My First AppDynamics Sales Kick-Off

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Edna Yan joined AppDynamics less than two weeks ago and has already gotten a taste of the AppD culture and mission. Read more about her early experience as an AppDynamo.

I joined AppDynamics less than two weeks ago – and that’s all the time it took for me to truly live and breathe the AppDynamics culture and mission.

Within my first week, I had the opportunity to attend the AppDynamics Sales Kick-Off (SKO) in heavenly Miami. During my flight back to California, I sat in my window seat and tried to make sense of what I just experienced during my 4 days in Miami. I am not a frequent blogger, nor have I ever written a page in a journal, but after such an amazing 4 days – I knew I had to share my experience. So, here goes…

I was in awe from the minute my Uber dropped me off in front of the Fontainebleau Resort on the first day of SKO – which also happened to be my 3rd official day at AppDynamics. I didn’t know what to expect but having been to a dozen sales kick-offs in my career, I figured it would be at a generic chain hotel, with the usual team building activities, fancy powerpoint slides, buffet lines with mediocre food, an open bar, t-shirts, swag, and everything else to get sales reps ready to sell.

So, after walking into the Fontainebleau, a 5-star oceanfront resort, and watching Hollywood-grade videos and short films during our opening session, I started to get these butterflies in my stomach. I know it sounds a bit cheesy, but that was honestly how it felt. It was overwhelming, exciting, and admittedly, a bit full of nerves, too. I was surprised by my reaction because quite frankly, I’m not an amateur. I’ve been in the business for 20 years and had my own  executive search firm working with many software companies, but nothing has compared to the energy/synergy and sense of belonging that I felt at SKO. As I looked around the room, I felt like I was a part of this elite tribe, or better yet an unstoppable pack of wild lions – armed and ready to reshape the industry.

During the keynote, I was in awe of our humble CEO David Wadhwani, as he addressed the room. His words were passionate and determined, his thinking was intellectual and forward.  Most importantly, he was genuine and sincere. As I listened to him, it became very clear that David cares deeply about his employees and the company.  He’s invested in our careers and wants us to do well. He wants us all to be successful and more importantly, wants us to celebrate that success.

Next up on stage was Dali, our Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). I have worked with many CROs and sales leaders over my career, but Dali is different. He’s like Russell Crowe in Gladiator – committed to having strength and honor. He walked us through a few slides and the numbers were mind blowing: huge growth in ARR, significant increase in stock price, over 500 new logos, hundreds of million-plus deals, and 75 promotions in February.

Dali then went on to share his thoughts on inclusion and diversity at AppDynamics and within the sales organization. He talked at length about how diversity fosters a more creative, innovative, and successful workplace. In fact, according to a McKinsey report that analyzed 366 public companies, organizations that are more ethnically and racially diverse are 35% more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians. It’s clear that diversity matters – and it’s a top priority for AppDynamics.

Then came day 2. The company threw one of the biggest surprise beach parties I have ever seen.  It wasn’t some cheesy carnival with fried twinkies and funnel cakes; it was more akin to a Beverly Hills soiree and competitive Ironman event combined. From the amazing food to the massage chairs, super-sized obstacle courses, and brain-teaser games – there was something for everyone. There were also fireworks, drones, and colleagues diving into the ocean to compete for grand prizes. Needless to say, it was a fun-filled bonding day amongst colleagues and friends.

Everyday brought new excitement, new events, and a new high. The awards dinner at one of the hottest Miami nightclubs, Liv, was out of this world! Awards were given out to overachievers who made over 7 figures and the superstars that helped them exceed their goals. There were tears and excitement from everyone.

As I reflect back on my first couple weeks with AppDynamics, I’ve realized that every company has its niche, and some will say sales kick-offs are of course meant to be motivating. But my first AppDynamics SKO was legendary. It’s not every day you see a company like AppDynamics so willing and serious about investing in hiring top talent, and then continuing to train, motivate, and nurture that talent. In fact, AppDynamics prioritizes career advancement and promotions (75 this quarter)! It is certainly not an accident that we have such low attrition and super high growth in hiring.

So, if you’re a lion who’s ready to come join a winning team, AppDynamics has Sales, Sales Engineering, and many more open positions in all locations worldwide. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this winning team, we would love to hear from you! Contact me directly or connect with one of our AppDynamics Sales Recruiters on LinkedIn for more information. You can also check out our careers page for all career opportunities.

Edna Yan is the Sr. Director of Global Talent for Sales, and can be reached at

Edna Yan

Edna Yan

Edna Yan is Sr. Director of Global Talents for Sales at AppDynamics. Edna is a seasoned veteran in talent search with over 20 years of experience. She began her career in the early 90s at a sports talent agency, spent several years at The Walt Disney Company, and eventually made her way into recruiting sales and technical talent for startups, multinational corporations, and billion-dollar software firms. Edna has extensive experience recruiting best-in-class sales talent and has helped build world class sales teams. Outside of work, Edna serves on executive and development committees for many non-profit organizations and is an avid marathon runner who competes in a half a dozen races each year. She also has an Emmy Award under her belt as a producer for a documentary.