Recruiting, retaining and developing exceptional sales talent has always been a challenge for leaders. It becomes even more complicated in the midst of our “Great Resignation”. Tune in and learn how to build and lead resilient sales teams with your host Carrie Charles and her guest Kim Kerr. Kim is the Senior Vice President of Business Sales and Operations for US Cellular. She is responsible for driving revenue and building all-star sales teams. Discover Kim’s winning leadership principles and how she attracts, develops and retains top salespeople in this hot job market. Learn all that and more in today’s episode!
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Building And Leading Resilient Sales Teams With Kim Kerr Of US Cellular
I am especially excited about this episode. It’s one of my favorite subjects. I have a wonderful executive with me, Kim Kerr. Kim is the Senior Vice President of Business Sales and Operations for US Cellular. Kim, thank you for joining me.
Carrie, I’m glad to be here.
We have a lot to talk about. It’s one of my favorite subjects, which is sales. Before we jump into that, let’s talk about your journey. How did you get where you are now?
It’s a long one and I can honestly say I didn’t exactly have it planned out. If you go back to when I was in college, very short. I majored in PR and Journalism. I was, “Sales?” That never entered my mind even though you take your marketing classes. Back in the ‘90s where I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do post-college, it was between healthcare and technology, I was like, “Healthcare. I don’t have the stomach for it.” You’re always going to need healthcare and sick people. I thought of technology, “This is interesting.” I started off. At the time, it was Nextel. I knew that I always wanted to be on the leadership side but I knew I had to carry the bag and figure it out. I carry the bag for a year and went into sales management.
I would see the next role like, “That’s interesting. I want to go try enterprise.” I went into enterprise and started working my way up. I was at Nextel for ten years and did different roles but a lot of them in sales. I did some rotational assignments. I also managed on the consumer side because the more breadth and depth and the more you understand the different roles within a company, the better you are as a leader and understanding customer-supplier, what you need to do to make a company successful. We were acquired by Sprint. I spent another fifteen years at Sprint and continued to work my way up through the organization.
Even if I did a rotational assignment like I did head of training, I always knew and that gave me a great appreciation because you’re in customers like internal employees so it changes from your external customer but I was always drawn to sales. I love the energy coming from the sales organizations. Being head of sales and the different segments and watching the growth and opportunity of your employees and being the revenue generators as part of that, it’s something I find exciting in this industry. It’s always changing and dynamic. It’s not easy but I love it. I have a passion for it.
I also have the same passion so we share that. Tell me about your role at US Cellular now.
I hit my anniversary. It’s been an exciting, crazy role. I was brought in to build the business organization. There was a foundation here at US Cellular but I was brought in to make it more world-class and to add different channels and segmentation and how do you capitalize on what’s happening inside GE, IoT and private cellular networks. My mission is to set this organization up for success and become more of a contributor to revenue, margin and rock at US Cellular. It’s been a wild ride. I love it.
Because of COVID-19, really take a thoughtful approach to how work should be in the future.
Tell me how is US Cellular different than other carriers.
It’s different in many ways. We were local when local wasn’t cool. We have always been in the communities and the customers within those communities for the 21 states and for the many years this company has been in existence. That is a key differentiator because we’re in areas where other carriers probably don’t cover and didn’t have to start off with different sites. It’s very customer-centric at US Cellular. The customer is always the center, does that make sense for the customer and how do we serve that customer? The other differentiator here is the culture.
It sounds hokey on the outside. I’m like, “Seriously?” The culture is strong with engaged employees. When I say engaged, from a previous company coming to this and they’re asking others, my peers in the industry. The engagement surveys, when you look at the employee survey is literally 90% plus. People hear. They know that their opinion matters and there’s this great foundation of trust. That is a long answer too but why is US Cellular different? It’s because of our engaged employees and how we always put the customer at the center of everything that we do.
I’m curious. That level of engagement is incredible. How do you think that the company has achieved that?
It’s been around for a very long period of time but they call it a Dynamic Organization, the DO. There are certain principles that are a part of that but it’s not new. It’s been around for many years, this engagement, this foundation.
Consistent for many years. It’s showing up the same every day. The leadership is probably all the way down through every single leader in the DNA.
This caring about one another and the opinion matters and this embracing of all employees and wanting them to thrive with us and the environment, it’s very real here. It’s amazing. I’m lucky to be a part of it.
That’s a trend post-pandemic. Companies are moving in that direction. It sounds to me like US Cellular was way ahead of its time in the area of culture. I love hearing that. What’s a big goal for US Cellular, let’s say for the next five years or an area of growth?
There are several. Obviously, we want to grow revenue and margin. We want to improve our rock. Big areas, though. One is going to be what I’m heading up, which is business. If you think about 5G and the applications and the solutions, even ones that we don’t even know about that are being developed. When you have faster speeds and lower latency, what does that enable? You hear the things like, “Remote surgery,” and things like that, which is interesting and autonomous vehicles but there are much more. When you think of billions of sensors that are going to be, not only in the United States but globally, what does that enable in terms of improving efficiencies or operations? That’s one big area that I’m heading out but also prepaid is a big area for us, high-speed internet.
We’re certainly interested in making sure that all residents in the United States, bridging that digital divide and that connectivity then you have the infrastructure bill. What we’ve ascertained thus far as it’s working its way through approvals is if there’s $9 billion within our 21 states. How do we work with states and local municipalities to make sure that they achieve their objectives? Whether getting that connectivity to all of their homes and their constituents that they care about. Big areas of opportunity and growth for us.
You have a big job ahead of you, Kim.
I do but no hill for a climber, Carrie, especially with the team that I’ve got working side-by-side with me.
We’re going to talk about leadership in a moment. Let’s look at remote work. Are you back in the office? Are you hybrid? What’s the structure of the company when it comes to in-office?
You can relate to this. Who would have ever thought we were going to live through a pandemic and that it would last this long? We thought originally that we would start back to the office in August 2021 then it moved to September 2021 and we decided to wait. Now, we’re looking at sometime in January 2022, officially going back. We’re in a volunteer phase now, where you have some volunteers that have agreed to go back into the different offices and we’re monitoring it. What I will tell you is that it starts with our CEO, LT and and our CHR or head of people. We are very careful of this because it has invoked this whole different expectation, this old school thinking of you had to be in the office. I was one of those.
Like, “You could never have a fully remote workplace. I don’t know what you’re doing.” Now, it’s completely changed. We’re taking a very thoughtful approach about what does that look like in the future. I’ll give you an example of that, which is, it’s not going to be, “We need you in the office three days a week.” It might be if we say 1 or 2 days but you’re working with your leadership in that chain of command. It’s more around purposeful meetings. Not for the sake of being in the office because I check a box.
It’s because there are purposeful meetings that I need to be face-to-face. I met with my team, believe it or not, for the first time. When I took over, we were all face-to-face for the first time, Carrie. We’ve been on Teams and talking but there’s a different energy when you’re sitting across from someone versus being on Teams. We’ve got to find that balance and that’s what we’re looking for.
I love what you said, purposeful.
It came from LT, our CEO but it resonates and it’s very meaningful.
Kim, you’re a subject matter expert in the field of hiring, retaining and engaging sales talent. How is being a sales professional different now than it was a few years ago?
First of all, who would ever thought that you were selling and you weren’t meeting with your customers? If you’d play the tape back, there are still certain things that are not going to change, like you’re tele-prospecting and maybe your door to door, but that went away because people are like, “I don’t want you knocking on the door. I don’t want you coming into the office to try to get an appointment.” The other piece that’s changed is the self-initiative. Being in the bullpen or being in the office and when you go 100 remote, it’s very different in terms of how your customers want to engage.
The great thing about this is customers are now open to, “I don’t need to see you face to face in other words.” In some respects, with this hybrid environment and we haven’t quite figured it out yet but we’ll get there. You’ll get to the new norm, whatever that is but you can be more efficient. If you think about in the old days, you drove to a meeting and you might prospect around that meeting. It took a lot of time. Now, if it’s a call where in the course of one meeting it might’ve taken 3 or 4 hours. Now, I can have probably three meetings at that same time. There’s this element of looking like, “How do I become more productive and efficient?” Meeting with the customer when they’re ready to meet face-to-face.
How are you instructing your leaders to train and develop their sales talent when it comes to being successful in this new world? I know you mentioned a couple of silver linings, which is true. We can use our time more efficiently and people know they enjoy sometimes having a meeting versus having an in-person meeting and traveling around. What are some other things that let’s say, that when you’re in your meetings that you’re instructing your team, “This is how to be successful now.”
When selling, make sure that you’re talking about what you can do for your customers and how it could be applicable to their business.
This is nothing new but it’s still honing in on we’re the experts in technology and they’re the experts in whatever it is and the industry or vertical what they’re doing. We need to consult with them. One of the things we talk about is making sure that you’re talking about what we do for other customers and how it might be applicable to their particular business. Another thing that we’re doing is we’re honing up on social skills, LinkedIn, doing your research, Twitter. I know it sounds cliché because we’ve been talking about this for a long time but now, more than ever, that matters and doing that research but they need to be effective at it. Even dipping your toe and monitoring that but giving them that type of training so they have the confidence is something that’s a new skill that we’ve got to continue to develop.
Let’s talk about finding or attracting sales talent because I know this is something that all leaders are challenged with. I know in staffing, we get calls all the time that says, “I’m struggling to find great salespeople and keeping them.” What would you say if you could share some of your secrets in attracting sales talent?
Some of it is using your network because people want to know what is it like internally at that company. Clearly using the network. Not just my network but all of our associate’s networks and who they know. We’re always tapping into that about, “Makes sure that if you’re publicizing these types of roles or jobs that are available,” and telling your own personal story about why you’re here. That’s probably nothing new but certainly, that’s something that we use. We have good recruiters, bullish and brave. They are not afraid to call up and say, “Do you know anyone?” Maybe it’s not even recruiting someone directly but utilizing their network, looking on LinkedIn. That has been great.
We too, are challenged. We have open roles and you’re trying to find the right individuals. Make sure that we get the USCC story out there. People are interested in what’s the mission, what’s the vision, do I believe in what you’re doing. When I get a chance to tell our story, a lot of times, like when I say, “We’re in a nascent be you in a 38-year-old company.” You’re going to be on this great journey. You can tell that story and bring people in that want to be a part of that. It makes it interesting then I talk about technology and how it’s changing. It’s certainly not a boring field that we’re in the telecom and with all the changes. We leverage that as well.
Is there anything special that you or your team does to vet sales talent? I know that’s a big challenge. Salespeople are awesome. I’m a salesperson at heart. We can talk a good game and sometimes it’s difficult to be able to tell, “Who’s going to perform and who’s not?” That’s what we’re supposed to do, sell.
Not only in sales but across any role because everybody’s putting their best foot forward. Some of the things we do employ are we make sure and we do this on purpose and with intent because I want to make sure that the person coming on wants to be here and his eyes wide open as much as I can tell them and our team can tell them. We don’t paint rainbows and unicorns. You tell them the reality of like, “Here’s all this great opportunity. You’re on this journey.” On the flip side of that, when you’re in a startup, what does that mean? That means there are probably systems and tools that are not quite where they need to be yet and we’re working on it and you tell the journey but it’s not going to be perfection. I don’t think there’s any such thing.
We make sure that there are multiple interviews. That’s number one. It’s not one or two. It’s multiple interviews. We get a different view. If it’s a hiring manager, you need other people to give you input on terms of their views of how they interviewed. The other thing we do is a panel, especially when it comes to salespeople. How do they handle themselves? There might be a structure but then sometimes we’ll go off the structure to see what happens in an event where it’s rapid-fire and you’re going down one line of questioning and you completely pivot to something else.
Doing your 90-day plan, that’s standard. Always make sure that they have a 90-day plan. What does it say? Whether it’s right on or not, directionally, if you’re in sales, Carrie, you know that there are going to be certain table stakes information, initiatives and activities that you’re going to do. We put them through that process. Did we get it 100% perfect all the time? No. It’s a lot of effort that you put into someone when they come on board, as you know.
I read that 80% of retention or turnover happens in the hiring process. That’s where the problem exists when it comes to retention. I know retention is something that is huge for everyone. The great resignation, people are leaving their jobs by the millions and holding on to people is everything now. What you talked about was very interesting because, in the hiring process, you are transparent and honest.
It’s like, “This is what this job is going to look like.” We’re enrolling them in the excitement and the passion and all the good stuff that’s going to come to them when they work for US Cellular but this is what it looks like. I love being real. When somebody sits in the seat then it’s not a surprise. “I didn’t know it was going to be like this.” What other strategies would you say that you employ for retaining sales talent and also driving results? That’s a big piece of retaining sales talent because they have to be performing.
There are your new hires, where we talk about the process. I would put it in two buckets. You’ve got your new hires coming in and how do you make sure it’s the best experience from day one, they get their badge, laptop and tools. Do they have a structured environment about, “What are you going to be doing on these days?” versus like, “Here you go and good luck.” That’s not going to work. There’s that. We shepherd them along. We’ve focused in on the first 90 days then 90 plus and making sure you have a mentor that’s shepherding you along as well. For your existing talent some people are motivated by money some are recognition. You’re here obviously to make a living because you want to do the things that you want to do.
There’s a couple of things we employ. Number one is, I am constantly sharing with our sales maker our systems tools and processes. Meaning the enablement to make them successful because it’s never production. It’s probably on every company’s PowerPoint in America, like, “How do you improve your systems tools and processes? How do you give back more selling time? How do you have a better customer experience?” We’re constantly sharing that with them and getting their feedback because their feedback matters. “Are you hearing what I’m saying? Are you aware of these challenges that I have?” It could be a myriad of things. Salespeople are. We are. We always want more.
Communicating back and giving them a voice, that is important. You have a say in this and like, “Here’s what we’re doing. I may not be able to fix all five of the things that you’re bringing up but 1 is fixed, 3 are in motion and that other 1 is going to be long-term.” That helps with retention as well. Celebrating like crazy successes. You know this because you’re in sales. It looks easy. What you don’t see is all the rejection and the hard work and the galling and the getting past the gatekeepers and all that hard work. You got to acknowledge that.
The last thing is the training, personally and professionally. What training? What skills do you want that you might identify as an individual or the manager working with you? What else do you want to work on so that we can help you and your career in enablement as you go on your own career journey?
Kim, you are a phenomenal leader. We can hear it in your voice and everything you’re saying. I’m hanging on to every word. What are some of the leadership principles that help you to guide and drive your teams to success?
There’s the shared vision. I always employ this seven times, seven ways because you can say it but it doesn’t mean everybody gets it the first time where they understand it as you would understand it. It’s that shared vision and making sure that people know that it is a team effort. It is not me. It is the collective effort of the team and making sure that you’re bringing them along. When I say team, it’s my team but as you know, we’re in a cross-functional organization. You need cross-functional teams as well. You’ve got to bring them along and make sure that you’re interlocking. There’s that. It’s the right people in the right roles and sometimes you have to make tough decisions.
I’m not saying you come in and blow everyone out but what I am saying is sometimes people are very talented, they’re just not in the role that plays to that skill. You have to make decisions but the right people in the right roles. Over-communicating, communication all the time so that people know what is happening and where you’re seeing the wins and the challenges. There’s the balance. The last thing I would say is if you ever read the book, Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin? I loved it. There are ten different principles. It’s called Extreme Ownership, which it starts with that. There are 2 or 3 that stood out to me. One is Extreme Ownership.
That is not only own your mission and strategy but you own what’s happening with your team. That is very hard when something goes wrong. It’s like, “The blame goes here.” You take ownership. It could be like, “Maybe I didn’t communicate it enough. Maybe I needed to train more. What do I need to do with the leader?” It’s extreme ownership and accountability of what is happening within your organization and the results in what you’re trying to achieve.
Enable your sales talent by getting feedback, training, and by giving them the tools for success.
I love the, “There are no such thing as bad teams, only bad leaders.” It’s very true. That’s a big one because we always want to place the blame game but it’s your leadership and how do you make sure that teams can perform but you got to have the right leadership, vision, inspection and culture that you’re creating.
The last one is structure and discipline equal freedom. What he’s talking about there in short order is we have to do the things that sometimes you don’t want to do but that’s what gives you the freedom in order to do what you need to do. Planning on a Sunday night. Who wants to do that? I’d rather be watching Billions or something like that. You have to take that 30 minutes to plan for the week. If you’re one that wants to be healthy. I’ll give you a personal example.
I cannot work out in the evenings. I never have. My schedule is always blowing up and I’m tired. It’s usually long days so I go to the 5:00 AM class. Who wants to get up at 4:20? Not many people but make a man. I’m not that special because that class is full at 5:00 AM. That’s that part of structure and discipline that gives me the freedom to say, “I am doing something about my health.” I love the principles that Extreme Ownership represents and subscribe to them. When I read that book, I was like, “Wow.” Some of the stuff you’re already doing but it puts it in the categories as they talk about it.
I’m getting that book because that sounds so aligned with how I lead as well and how I live my life. The other challenge that leaders face is identifying and developing sales leaders. We’ve always heard this, “Do you take the top salesperson and make them a leader because they want to be a sales leader?” How do you navigate this?
This is a great conversation that I’ve had because people say, “I’m a good salesperson. My natural career is that I need to go to a manager and director.” Not necessarily. You can go lateral or upward. There are different career paths that you can take. From a sales perspective, you can have great individual contributors but being a leader is very different as you know because it’s the collective efforts of your team now. It’s how you influence them. The whole, “I can lead a horse to water but I can’t make them drink.” There’s a lot of that. Sometimes you’re playing HR. It depends on what’s happening.
We have a program that we’re starting to develop, which is like individual contributors that want to go into the sales leadership to get a taste of that. The other piece that we’re trying to do is give them special assignments to make sure that that’s what they want to do and to prepare them. You’ll never be 100% prepared. Having candid conversations, like, “Is this truly what you want to do?” If it is and once we promote you, we need to have the resources and the structure around to enable them to be successful because they’re new to the role.
Diversity, I know it’s one of your passions. I know that you talked about how you were able to achieve such a high percentage of diversity on one of your teams. We hear it day after day, everywhere. What does it mean to you and how do you maintain diversity on a team? I know it’s a challenge for everyone.
Diversity is different backgrounds and experiences, ethnicity but it’s got to be that diverse group of people that you surround yourself with that are going to have different points of view. That’s what matters because if everybody thinks like you do, you’re not going to get to the best outcomes. You need diverse thoughts and healthy tension and to promote that on your teams. That’s one. Diverse in general. The other piece of it is, you have to make tough decisions sometimes. I hate to use the term risk, take a risk but sometimes you have to. Sometimes you have to pull that individual that may not even believe in themselves or maybe they don’t have quite as much experience.
You could see the attitude and you can see that they’re smart and intelligent and they’re engaged and they want to do it. I would take that over maybe somebody that’s got 30 years of experience. You take those and I call them risk. I don’t know if that’s the right word but then you have to mentor and make sure that you’re talking to them and giving them feedback and being a sounding board and that they can trust you in terms of where they’re struggling.
You have to make a conscious decision to do that because it’s too easy to let things go. At my former company, we had sales leaders. It’s diverse, which was great for females, BIPOC. There’s nothing against white males. Sometimes they might feel in this environment but there are lots of opportunities but we have to make very conscious deliberate decisions.
That’s what it needs to be. I hear it over and over from top leaders. There’s still a problem with women in tech. There’s not enough. I was reading and there’s only 25% of people in tech are women. It’s become such a problem since the pandemic because millions of women have left the workforce. How do we solve for this? I know we’re not going to solve this overnight. Do you have any ideas about how to bring more women into tech, how to keep them in tech? Also, maybe bringing more women back in the workforce after the pandemic.
I’m not seeing some of the exits at US Cellular, which is good but I’m very aware of it. As you know, women, we’ve always had two jobs. You’ve got your day job and some people would call it your second job, which is taking care of the kids and the household, whatever else. That’s been around for probably years but it’s been exacerbated. When you’re working from home, there are no lines. Everything is blurring, especially when kids were at home. There’s been a lot of stress on that but part of what we’re doing, Carrie is talking about it.
First of all, talking about it. Secondly, encouraging women. There’s this scariness around when you say technology and there shouldn’t be. We need more women in technology. There are all types of different roles. Part of it is talking about it. The work-life balance is a big one. We’re going to have to be mindful of that. I was reading articles about maybe you allow more flexible schedules because we need to enable women to be successful.
I’ve had women that have worked for me in the past and it came down to, they had small kids and had a career. If you’re going to pick, your family. That matters but why do we have to make them make that decision? What can we put in place to enable them to have it all, if you will. Maybe not perfection but harmony. Whatever that means and so that they don’t have to make those tough decisions. If they do then and they get out of the workplace, how do you make sure that we get them back in?
I was reading something that their paycheck is 7% low or their income when they come back because they’ve been out. That’s the type of things that we’ve got to talk about, bring to the forefront. I’m looking for ideas even internally and from other women, about what do we need to do to support them because we do need more women. How many meetings have you been in and you’re the sole female? There are lots of them but the good news is, we’ll continue to work on this. There is no silver bullet but it’s finding that balance. We need females and diversity. That’s what we’re talking about.
Doesn’t this start from the top? With leaders changing the mindset and understanding that because a woman, let’s say, needs some flexibility or needs to go pick up her children. We have a leader here in the company, who every day at a certain time, needs to go and pick up her kids. I’m fine with it. She is so productive in the hours that she is working and then she fits in her mother duties because she’s got very small children. She’s so productive with that time. I find that sometimes, you have ten hours in a day to work then you might be wasting some of that time.
You may not be as productive in that ten hours but if you have seven and you have to get it all done, we’re pretty powerful as human beings. We can up our game and become more efficient to get more done in less time. Am I on the right track? Leaders don’t have to worry about that saying, “If I allow this flexibility, she’s not going to be as productive.” That could be in the minds of some leaders.
Have a shared vision with your team. It’s a team effort. It’s not just all about you as a leader.
The other component to that is trust. I’m going to tell people that I’m going to pick up my kids. You have to have that trust to say, “That is acceptable. You should be doing that. We support that.” That’s probably not the norm but it needs to become that way and offer that flexibility and that foundation of trust. You probably wouldn’t hear as many men say that but they could because there are fathers that pick up their kids but it needs to become part of the norm and that flexibility.
That is what we’re going to see going forward. We’re going to have to. It’s the expectation in order to have world-class talent and people that want to work for your company. You’re going to have to work with them. We are going to have to work with them on what works and make sure that they know it’s safe. That is applauded when you go do that because if you’re saying, “That’s fantastic. Go do that.” Others will then be like, “This is great. I can do that,” versus like, “No.” Like it was so taboo to have a dog barking or a kid in your video. Now it’s like, “It’s old hat. We’re all used to it.” It was truly taboo in pre-COVID. We were going to have to work on that.
I love what you said. If you want to have world-class talent, this is what you need to do and you need to make it okay. Women cannot feel guilty and feel like they’re not enough because they’re taking care of their families. They need to feel empowered. I truly believe that we can genetically and sit in our DNA to handle a lot of things at once. We are more efficient. Everything you’ve said is spot on.
Carrie, we are multitaskers.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve got these fifteen arms doing all kinds of things all over the place. It’s all working and I don’t even know how it is. I know our brains must be different. They must be wired differently for us to be able to do all these different things. What excites you about the future in telecom and also at US Cellular? About your job, your career, your team, what excites you every day? What gets you to jump out of bed every morning at 4:20?
Being on this journey of being able to make something and bring people along, sometimes you don’t get these opportunities in your lifetime. This is the third time. There was at Nextel. There was a Nextel-Sprint merger. There was getting Sprint through the merger with T-Mo and seeing that to the other side but this is so exciting. You got to be passionate about what you do. If you don’t like your job, you need to go look for something else because you spend too much time at it and you need energy and you’ve got to give energy to the teams and you got to believe in your purpose and mission. I’m a big believer in this journey of light growth.
What excites me is the opportunities, IoT and sensors and how that’s improving the lives of, not only consumers and individuals but what does it do for businesses and how does it make us better. That’s exciting to me. Not even knowing what is on the horizon. You think of things like Jetsons. When we were young and those cartoons, that’s a reality that’s probably coming. For US Cellular, the mission of serving our customers and our communities and make sure that we take care of our employees. When I say customers, I mean consumers and our businesses as well. That is that mission that we’re an essential service to keep people connected when and how they want to be connected. I love that about what we do.
Kim, this has been a fantastic conversation. I appreciate you coming to the show.
Thank you for having me.
I could go on and on. This is something that I love talking about. Can you share your website where people would go if they want to look at jobs at US Cellular?
It’s easy, www.USCellular.jobs.
Thank you. You have been incredible. Thank you so much for sharing all of your wonderful wisdom with the entire audience.
Carrie, thanks for having me. This was a great discussion.
Thank you. Take care.
About Kim Kerr
Kimberly Green-Kerr is the Senior Vice President of Business Sales and Operations for US Cellular.
Kim is responsible for driving revenue and customer growth, creating competitive differentiation in diverse industries and markets, and providing strategic direction for the company’s business and government sales organization. In this role, she collaborates with cross-functional leaders to ensure that the company meets its long-term goals and that business and government customers have a great wireless experience throughout their tenure.
Prior to joining US Cellular, Kim spent nearly 25 years at Sprint, most recently serving as
senior vice president of business solutions, where she lead a team of 2,000 sales professionals, including indirect partners, inside sales, and field sales personnel across all Sprint Business segments and channels of distribution. Previously, she led the business sales operation in a number of capacities, including vice president and general manager, business strategy and sales enablement, regional president, and regional vice president of business sales and distribution.
Kim earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and public affairs from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., and completed the Executive Leadership Program at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. She is a 2019 Gold Stevie Award Winner for being a Leader in Transforming Customer Engagement and was also named to Connected World’s 2019 Women of M2M and IoT, recognized as a 2018 Top 100 Global Sales Leader by The Modern Sale and received the Women Who Mean Business award from the Kansas City Business Journal. She is currently on the Board of the Kansas City Tech Council and has been active with a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Kansas City Chapter of the American Heart Association, Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area and Matrix Human Services, an organization supporting children and families in at-risk Detroit neighborhoods. She is married and has one daughter.