One of our "Power 100 Vendors"
Biography and Background:
Leah Quesada is Vice President of SMB and Channel Marketing at Xerox Corporation and has been in the channel business for four years, and has more than twenty-five years in the print business. Quesada's team helps channel partners grow new revenue with better marketing. Xerox provides marketing programs with know-how and tools to effectively navigate the digital world - creating brand awareness and consideration, website traffic and new prospects. Chapter five of the book "Challenger Customer" features her team's work on how to create disruptive content that rises above the "clutter." It is a sequel to "Challenger Sales", a key reference book on how sales teams can take control of customer conversations. Quesada has held several technical, marketing and operations management positions, including five years in international assignments. She speaks five languages and holds a B.S. in Computer Science from UCLA, M.S. in Computer Science and MBA from University of Southern California.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Channel partners are challenged by their inability to grow new business and outrun declining revenues. Most have weak to non-existent marketing teams. With 57% of the buyer journey being digital (Source: CEB), how can they effectively build their brand presence and visibility or effectively create new prospects, but this time digitally? My team and I enable channel partners to generate new sources of revenue by helping them effectively build their brand presence and visibility, while teaching them how to create a new prospect base in the digital world. Digital Mastery is a partner marketing program comprised of four parts: • Partner websites - assessments and ways to improve • Search engine marketing - being found and driving website traffic • Social media - brand promotion through social media with automated platforms and curated content • Prospective customer creation - how to effectively connect and build a new prospect base digitally The Xerox Small Business Solutions blog and the Xerox Channel Partner blog help promote the Xerox brand to the SMB market and prospective new partners. Both are award-winning in their respective categories. With Xerox's own social media efforts, we help drive consideration for our partners.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Our goals include: 1. Helping partners tap new sources of revenue by moving them up the ladder through sales certifications and sell products with higher revenue and higher margins. 2. Helping partners move from being box resellers to true solution providers. We provide open architecture platforms and app development tools to create customized document workflows that augment their managed print services, thereby creating customer "stickiness" and seamless contract renewals. 3. Helping partners effectively create brand awareness, consideration and new prospect connections in the digital space.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
1. Chapter 5 of the book: Customer Challenger: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who can Multiply Your Results - fully describes our work. 2. Article: Avoid these Common B2B Content Marketing Mistakes - Harvard Business Review
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire individuals who are driven to make a difference, not for themselves; rather for the collective whole. They see themselves simply as instruments to the cause, who inspire others and in doing so, create a bigger collective force. They are "servant-leaders" - they lead by giving, not receiving. They give their time, energy and passion, expecting no accolades; focusing only on the outcome they've set to accomplish. Mother Theresa is a symbolic figure with these attributes. Even in business, we all could aspire to be this type of leader - not driven by ego; rather by a collective purpose.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Be yourself. If you find yourself in a male dominated environment, still be yourself. Your true self is the only form of you who can best assess any challenges and the best way to rise above the situation. Believe in yourself. You've likely chosen the tech market because of your technical or personal skills. Harness them and always find ways to improve them. Most importantly, always focus on the greater whole, not on yourself as an individual. See how you can help grow the business, being mindful of how that business also connects to people and community.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
All my life, I have always been an achiever. I've set goals and I have set game plans to achieve them. I've had many disappointments and many learning opportunities along the way. If I were a movie character, I'd like to be Forrest Gump. I would like to feel what it's like to simply experience life as it happens - without any prediction of the outcomes. There is simplicity and trueness in the Forrest Gump character. There is a relinquish of the illusion of "controlling our lives," and in so doing, experiencing how life simply manifests itself.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would go to Agra, India where the Taj Mahal is. There is something mystical about old cities and their architecture. I would like to see the intricacies of the Taj Mahal, appreciate the labor behind all the work and maybe imagine the unsung heroes who built it. Seeing historical sights and hearing the stories behind them provide a window to understanding our humanity. History always has lessons to learn from. I have travelled to many places and experiencing new environments always creates contrast. Experiencing Agra in its present-day form will create contrast that always leads to reflection and insights.
Unedited Content Provided By Participants