We’re back with another getting-to-know you interview, this time with our new Strategic Account Executive – Financial Services, Rich Cuneo. That’s right – we haven’t stopped building our team yet (and guess what, there’s more to come)! We took some time to get to know Rich and learn more about his perspective on trends impacting the financial services industry, how he sees DataMotion fitting into those trends, and more. So, everyone sit back and give a warm welcome to Rich Cuneo!
Hi Rich, so to start this interview, can you please introduce yourself by letting us know your name, your position at DataMotion and where you’re from?
Rich Cuneo: Hi, I’m Rich Cuneo, I’m a new Strategic Account Executive, concentrating on financial services from a new business standpoint. I live in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. So, I’m about 40 minutes from Manhattan.
All right, so as you mentioned, you’re a new Strategic Account Executive focusing on the financial services industry. Can you tell me what you will be responsible for in your new role?
Rich Cuneo: So as far my responsibilities go, they will partially involve leveraging my existing ecosystem – some of the contacts that I’ve already developed relationships with. I’ll also be involved in trying to get in front of companies that we haven’t been in front of before, specifically from the financial services side and trying to leverage those relationships. For the most part though, my job will be to get in front of new organizations, in order to educate them on who DataMotion is, and where we may or may not fit into their company.
Okay so, let’s dive into the industry a bit. Can you talk about the financial services industry and some of the trends that you’ve been seeing?
Rich Cuneo: Most of the trends in financial services, specifically related to what DataMotion brings to the table, fall under digital transformation. Every company right now is focused on digital transformation, so to speak. So, they’re looking to be able to communicate very easily between their customers, the employees at the company, for example agents, brokers, and traders, and interacting within their companies. And they’re really trying to make that communication process as seamless and as easy as possible for everyone involved. So really focusing on ease of communication, improving the customer experience, and how one company can differentiate that experience from another. Doing so successfully could bode very well for them in terms of reducing churn rates, increasing customer activity, and simply making the process of communication that much easier for them.
I’d also like to highlight that because everyone is doing so many things, including managing their finances, on mobile devices these days, security is paramount. The question for many financial services agencies is how they can make sure that data is secure as it is being sent from place to place or from person to person. So, if I were to put the trends related to digital transformation in financial services in bullets, they would be:
- How do we make the process seamless?
- How can we use digital transformation to improve the user experience?
- How can we keep our customers’ data secure?
Okay, so you talked a little about digital transformation, customer experience, and security. Branching off of that, I know face-to-face interactions used to be pretty common and were a big part in how clients interacted with their advisors. How do you think this has changed in the past year?
Rich Cuneo: Well, due to everything going on with COVID, people are working from home more. So, we have to make sure that the devices that they’re utilizing from a company standpoint are secure. We now have a lot of employees at home, so financial services agencies had to put together a security plan for all of their employees who now have to deal with all of their customers and organization’s data at home. It was important to establish a secure environment for them, whether in the home or in the office. That being said, it was especially important for these organizations to give their employees the proper tools for them to provide their customers with the same experience that they would have received had they been able to go into the office to speak in-person with their advisor. So, it was and still is all about customer experience and ensuring that the customer wouldn’t see anything different from the employees, agents, traders, or brokers working from home than they would if they were working in the office.
Besides COVID, the industry seems to have already been heading in a more digital direction for quite a while now. Do you think this is going to continue to change over the next several years? Or do you think there’s going to be some other trends that start to take over?
Rich Cuneo: No, I think it’s going to be a continuation of digital transformation and making sure that the customer experience organization’s offer is at a very high level. From there, from a financial services regulation standpoint, security is one of the key elements. And, from a mobile standpoint, everybody is still moving towards doing more and more things on a mobile device. So, we have to make sure that security is layered on top of those mobile devices as well.
One other thing that I think comes into play, regardless of if it’s pre-COVID, during COVID, or post-COVID, is the movement to the cloud and companies moving to more of a hybrid approach. In other words, keeping some of their applications on-premises, but also moving other applications to the cloud. The security around that data in the cloud is another factor that is going to continue to influence the industry over the next several years.
Let’s loop back to our customers and our prospects. What’s one thing you want them to know about working with you? For example, what can they expect when speaking with you for the first time, and then during subsequent conversations?
Rich Cuneo: So, I think one of the things that I bring to the table is integrity. Everything that I will be working on with customers, from start to finish, is going to be done the right way. And, as we develop a relationship, I’m going to move from more of a sales-executive and salesperson role, to more of a partner. I’m going to make sure that I’m locked in step with them throughout the entire process. I’m not looking to simply sign a deal and then move onto the next one. Instead, I’ll form more a strategic partnership with them, starting from landing an account then working with them for as long they’re a customer. So, like I said, I want them to know that I’m going to act with integrity, from start to finish and form more of an overall partnership with that particular organization. That kind of process is something that I think really differentiates myself.
Okay, so one thing that I have heard a lot is the forming of relationships and partnerships with our customers. Can you talk a bit more about that?
Rich Cuneo: Yes, so as far as what that means to me is getting an understanding of their business and some of the challenges that they are currently having. What are some of the missing pieces to their puzzle, if you will, and how can we help them put that puzzle together in the right way, without trying to force pieces that don’t connect together. So, that involves understanding what the needs are that they have. And sometimes it’s going to be something that we can address as far as the solutions go, and other times we’re going to have to let them know that we can’t address this particular issue, but there are other places that can help them with this. So, it’s understanding their challenges and their needs and making sure that we’re addressing them in the proper way in order for them to move the ball forward.
Okay. So, what you’re pretty much saying is, you’re going to do what you can to help them be successful.
Rich Cuneo: Exactly. And that may not always be the best thing for me, but sometimes that’s the case.
You’ve been working here for about a month now, what would you say is one thing that sets DataMotion apart from our competitors?
Rich Cuneo: You know, working for a smaller company, you’re able to develop really unique relationships with some of the executives at DataMotion. And everyone should know that the executives here are rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty – frequently meeting with customers. And sometimes in bigger firms, you never speak to the executives of those firms, you never even see them. They’re kind of just looking from a high-level and not really getting in the weeds, if you will. So, I think from a DataMotion standpoint, the executive team is really hands-on and trying to move the ball forward and that’s something that truly sets us apart from other companies.
By the end of 2021, what is one goal that you hope to have accomplished?
Rich Cuneo: By the end of 2021, I hope to have landed a couple of new opportunities and move a couple of those to existing customers. Leveraging my ecosystem, I’m going to open up some doors, make some appointments, and by the end of 2021, I hope to have a few of those deals closed. And have at least one of those deals be on the significant side.
That sounds like a good goal to me. Now for a few non-business-related questions. What would you say is your favorite hobby outside of work? What are some things that you do to keep yourself busy?
Rich Cuneo: I would say taking my boys to their sports, whether it be tennis or baseball is one thing that I do outside of work to keep myself busy. I also like to work out or run outside in my spare time. But most of my free time is spent with my little guys and being involved in their activities.
So, if you could travel anywhere in the world, but you knew there was a chance you had to stay there for a year, where would you travel and why?
Rich Cuneo: I would travel back to where I lived in Brooklyn, mostly because I miss living there. So, if I had to go back for the year, that’s the place I’d choose.
So, is there anything else you would want our customers and prospects to know?
Rich Cuneo: Well, I think DataMotion is one of the best kept secrets. I think it’s up to myself and some of the other members of the sales team to educate the customers that we’re trying to go after, from a digital communication and security standpoint, that we have a couple of real differentiators that we need to let them know about. We need to help them understand exactly what DataMotion brings to the table. I think we just need an opportunity to get in front of these guys for 15-20 minutes and the platform and the solutions will sell themselves.
- Rich believes DataMotion is one of the best kept secrets. One of his goals is to let others in on this secret by educating potential customers on what truly differentiates us from our competitors.
- Rich highlights that right now, in the financial services industry, digital transformation is everything. Organizations today are trying to figure out how they can make the process of digital transformation seamless from a user experience standpoint while ensuring that their customer’s data remains secure.
- Potential and current customers can trust that every interaction they have with Rich, from start to finish, will be done with integrity. He will always suggest the best solution for them and their organization – even if that recommendation isn’t in his best interest.
- One thing Rich wants everyone to know is that the executives at DataMotion don’t hide in the background. They will gladly roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty to build relationships with our customers.