real talk
Podcast: Founder Real Talk
Date: April 19, 2018
Title: How to Build a Winning Sales Team, with Kelly Wright
Length: 37 Minutes
Episode: 11

Kelly Wright tells the story of how selling books door-to-door shaped her approach to start-up sales and how she went from the first salesperson at Tableau to becoming the EVP and scaled the company to nearly $1B in revenue.

Kelly brings 20 years of experience in leadership and sales roles, including ten years at Tableau selling the company’s award-winning applications. She has previously held positions at a number of high-profile companies, including VP positions at At Hoc, a major venture-backed software company in Silicon Valley, and sales and management positions at Southwestern, Inc., Dale Carnegie and Bank of America. With an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, Kelly has also spent time at strategic consulting firms Bain & Company and McKinsey & Company, helping executives solve strategic questions about organizational structures, channel conflict, operations, pricing and international expansion.


3:47 Why did you choose a sales role? What attracts you to sales?

4:16 What was it like to be the first salesperson at Tableau and scale it to close to $1B in revenue and become EVP?

9:14 How do you decide between working with advisors vs. hiring experts?

10:23 What advice were you given on how to scale?

12:50 How do you build and maintain a positive culture?

16:06 As the company scaled, how did it change how you managed the team?

20:20 How did you coach the sales team?

26:51 How did you manage your time as a sales leader?

29:58 What were some of the best life lessons you’ve learned?

33:19 Hot Seat Questions

Recent Podcast

Purposeful Culture Driven Sales

May 2024

Length: 59 Minutes

On this episode of The Founder's Sandbox, Brenda McCabe speaks with Kelly Breslin Wright, Founder & CEO of Culture Driven Sales. They discuss resilience and purpose related to the Culture Driven Sales methodology where Kelly Breslin Wright operates as a C-level executive, board director, advisor, and adjunct university professor.

Kelly Breslin Wright is an experienced executive and corporate board director for both public and private companies, with over 30 years of experience in leadership, sales, operations, and strategy roles. She has served as an Independent Director and Advisor for multiple Boards and has helped companies navigate multiple stages of growth. These include IPOs, enterprise expansion, CEO and leadership transitions, globalization, M&A, financings, business model changes, and global crises. She has a unique mastery of sales, go-to-market, leadership, transformation, strategy, growth and scaling, data and analytics, and culture.

As an operator, Kelly Breslin Wright served as President and COO of Gong, an artificial intelligence platform that serves revenue organizations to deliver insights at scale. There, she managed all go-to-market functions, including Sales, Customer Success, and Marketing. For nearly 12 years prior to Gong, Kelly Breslin Wright was Executive Vice President of Sales (Chief Revenue Officer) at Tableau Software (formerly NYSE: DATA). She joined as the company's first salesperson, where she grew Tableau’s worldwide sales and field operations from zero to $850M in revenue and managed over half of the company’s 3,400 global employees. Tableau was purchased by Salesforce in 2019 for $15.7B. Before Tableau, Kelly Breslin Wright spent time at Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, Bank of America, Dale Carnegie Training, AtHoc, and Southwestern Advantage.

You can find out more about Kelly Breslin Wright at:  

Culture Driven Sales Website:  

University of Washington Foster School of Business Website:  


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