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Colorado's Most Powerful Salespeople: David Bangs

David Bangs, 47

Senior vice president of worldwide sales, NexGen Storage, Louisville

WHAT HE DOES: Oversees all sales functions for NexGen Storage. That includes recruiting, retaining and motivating top salespeople for his organization.

BACKGROUND: Bangs previously built and led the sales team for LeftHand Networks, a Boulder-based storage software company that grew from $10 million in annual sales to more than $100 million in less than four years before it was acquired by HP in 2008. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in business (with honors) from South Bank University in London.

PRAISE FROM THE FIELD: "As a venture capitalist over the last 15 years, I have worked with hundreds of VPs of sales, and David is one of the best and brightest I’ve ever worked with," says Kirk Holland, who nominated Bangs for this award. "He’s excellent at evangelizing and getting new and disruptive products launched to create new markets. He’s also a very clear communicator who tells the team, the board and the investors what reality is. He does not SELL his board members; he’s a straight shooter who gives the good with the bad."

Sales advice: "Stay close to prospects and customers alike," Bangs says. "Never be afraid to deliver bad news when you have to, or ask for the order when you need to. Many of our strongest and longest customer relationships and largest revenue wins have come from accounts where we were totally honest, transparent and proactive in working through challenging issues together and earned the right to ask for more business afterwards."

Sales philosophy: "Any sales leader is only as good as the team he or she hires and develops. Focus on the A players more than you think you should. Deserve Victory."

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