One of our "Power 100 Vendors"
Biography and Background:
Tina Smith, Global Director of CenturyLink Alliances Marketing, has more than 24 years of sales and marketing experience in the IT/communications industry. Smith is widely considered an innovator, respected leader, and has excelled in her career because she knows how to drive results within organizations. Joining Qwest (now CenturyLink) in 1998, Smith built a successful career in sales leading to her position as Area Vice President, Enterprise and Business Sales. In 2012, with a desire to leverage her knowledge of sales and an instinct for "what works in the market", she took on a new role as Director of Business Marketing. In her marketing leadership role, Tina has led her team in creating powerful tools, campaigns, collateral and messages that win. As a result of her impressive track record, Tina was asked to lead the Alliances marketing team as CenturyLink increases investment and marketing support for the channel. Smith is the lead architect on developing the premier channel marketing support team in the industry, offering innovative programs to open doors for CenturyLink's partners to access new revenue opportunities. During her tenure at CenturyLink, Smith has been named a Circle of Excellence or President's Club Winner eleven times.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
It's an exciting time at CenturyLink and a new day for our channel business. This year, we successfully launched a new program concept and name - CenturyLink Alliances - which targets four distinct routes to market. To support this complexity, I have built a marketing structure and world-class team that delivers custom, targeted, and impactful marketing programs to recruit partners in each of these new routes to market and enable them to win business. Also, we support partners of all sizes. My team has launched scalable, fully automated, and self-service marketing tools and campaigns to meet the needs of any sized partner organization. The overall theme to my personal contributions in advancing our channel business is also one of my proudest achievements: The level of marketing support for CenturyLink's channel business has never been greater, more recognized, or more impactful to our bottom line. Our marketing program is one of the major attraction points in bringing new partners into Alliances. I had a successful career in sales before moving into a marketing leadership role, and I have used that "real world" selling knowledge to build programs that I know our partners can and will use to open doors and win.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
The goals for CenturyLink's channel business over the next year include: 1) Re-cast our channel personality to the industry (with the new Alliances program name and organization concept --- along with our four route to market structure and targeted approach; 2) Increase wallet share from our top existing partners, including winning large deal pursuits and repeatable sales volume; 3) Recruit new and top tier partners; 4) Elevate perception of and participation in our program by making it easier to do business with us and elevating our support, offerings, and benefits.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
In February, CenturyLink held a first of its kind partner event in the history of our company in San Diego. The event brought together partners from all of our routes to market, along with leadership and staff from CenturyLink. The goal was to re-launch and re-invigorate the partner channel at CenturyLink. The event, called Ascend, was a tremendous success and is now recognized as one of the best industry events in memory. Tina orchestrated the event from conception to reality, and was commended by CenturyLink leadership, partner attendees, industry analysts, and media for her leadership in producing this extraordinary event.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Temple Grandin, a fellow Coloradoan, is a woman who I admire greatly. Faced with the challenges of autism, Temple found her calling early in life, used the skills she was given, and excelled to become a world-renowned author, speaker, and leading expert to the livestock industry on animal behavior. She mixed her skills with her unique passion to do the best she could --- and that combination led to amazing results. Her story is one of fearlessness and perseverance. Temple is a pioneer and inspiration for children with autism, like my nephew Tucker, and I admire her for it.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
This is a passion of mine. I think it's so important to share wisdom and experience with young women to empower them for successful careers. The first thing I would say is to develop and grow your network right away and find 2-3 women to guide and coach you. Also, the best way to learn technology is to sell it. Get a sales job, learn everything you can, talk to everyone, and ask questions. Be proactive. BE FEARLESS. Speak confidently and don't be intimidated - as you will frequently be in the minority in business and the technology industry.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I have always been drawn to adventure and the outdoors. I'm also known as being fearless in most situations. When my daughter, Stella, and I saw The Hunger Games the first time, we both were enchanted by the Katniss Everdeen character. We watched it over and over again. I'm limited in the "real world" to show my true adventurous side, so it would be fun to be Katniss for a day. Who wouldn't enjoy fighting for your life out in the elements for a day? (As long as I knew I would come home safely when the day was over!)
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would definitely travel to a city in an impoverished country, somewhere in Africa or South America, where I could help women and children who are in need. I think it's so important that women who have had the opportunity to succeed actively go out and share their wisdom, expertise, and experience with those who may be less fortunate. It would be very rewarding to travel and share my business acumen and skills with other women, so they can make their lives - and their family's lives - better. I can think of no better way to spend my time.
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