CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Polly Weiss

National Partner Manager, Citrix

Location: Downers Grove, IL


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 20

Twitter Handle: @pinkwindow1

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Has studied abroad

Biography and Background:
As a Strategic Partner Manager for Citrix, I'm responsible for leading a team managing our largest partner including implementing programs and driving results. Switching the focus to an active selling model with our partner significantly and positively impacted business growth. I've been privileged to be a Director with several great technology companies including Citrix, Adobe, Cisco, and Dell where I've been inspired to grow the business and overachieve goals. Personally, I've been married for 30 +years, have 2 adult children, am actively involved in volunteering in our community and beyond and part owner of a craft brewery (Evil Horse, Crete, IL). I enjoy running, reading, traveling and teaching. Currently taking courses in non-profit management with a future goal of leading in an NFP. Next volunteer trip, Nepal!

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I outlined a plan for accelerated growth through specific purposeful segment and solutions, investments and engagements. For example, I advocated for the addition of a US Public Sector Business Development Manager to drive revenue growth with that segment. We hired an experienced seller, outlined a specific action plan around on-site enablement and sales, aligned with our field and drove +59% Y/Y revenue growth. In addition, I advanced the relationship between Citrix and our partner by hosting our first joint executive briefing at our corporate HQ, introducing our CEO and driving purposeful engagement with field leaders and the partner. We negotiated and signed a cloud services agreement that will propel our business into the future. Trust is the best indicator of success - trust took a leap forward in 2017 overcame challenges, measured results and celebrated success!

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Becoming a "Diamond Partner" through continued sales momentum, purposeful investments and measuring ROI. As Citrix moves to a Cloud Services Model, this is a great time to expand with the channel. I'll focus on messaging around the Citrix Secure Digital Workspace (enablement, specific targeted accounts, marketing investments), while shepherding my team through this change in business model (Capex to Opex, on premise to hybrid/cloud). We've launched Citrix Ultimate Rewards - new upfront incentives, a model developed as a direct result of feedback from our partner. My goal is for the partner to maximize their Citrix profit in 2018!

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
National Partner of the Year and National new business partner of the year. Awarded by Citrix for exceptional growth and overachievement by my channel partner. Together, we over-indexed company results by achieving +24% Y/Y revenue growth. Our partner was willing to take positive steps forward as we invested in additional resources and programs. Together, we changed the approach to the relationship to drive results.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Debra Liccar, Chairwoman of GEMS International Girls Clubs. Debbie was the local leader of our girls club for years. She joined the board of GEMS International and was elected chairwoman. Through her leadership GEMS, which is focused on improving lives of girls in the US and abroad has grown and helped at risk girls. Debbie works tirelessly in many capacities with GEMS and in our community, yet she never receives a paycheck! As a full time volunteer, she is the model of what I aspire to. Plus, we teach 7-9 year olds together and have a blast - much laughter!

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Don't panic! Things will work out! Age 16 was the turning point in my life. I moved forward out of tough circumstances and propelled by my faith left home to start a new life. Although I credit that time with the development of my resiliency in overcoming obstacles and my drive to succeed I didn't enjoy the typical high school experiences and never had a "senior year". My actions were purposeful and focused on going to college early. Looking back, I would advise myself to enjoy life more, not take things so seriously, buy a dress and go to prom!

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Deeper analytics of channel impact on the business. Often, a field sales organization is viewed as the driving force behind revenue growth. Yet, our channel partners play a key role in that financial success. Traditionally, the value of partners is viewed as supporting the end customer including order flow, enablement and technical support. Understanding the financial ROI of channel actions tied to results is critical. Using data analytics to refine the definition of "impact" is a goal. Movement to Cloud Services makes this an exciting time to redefine "Channel Impact" at Citrix.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Pachinko: Historical fiction tracking a family in occupied Korea/Japan during and after World War II. My perspective of that time period from is from US history books. Stepping into the mindset of women living in that culture, understanding more about their trials and how they overcame enormous challenges in a world with limited freedom for women is fascinating. By developing their own business while navigating the subtleties of their male dominated culture, they impacted the physical and financial survival of families. It speaks to individual and family adaptability that drives change in the world. - we need more of this!

Unedited Content Provided By Participants