CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

TJ Houston

Director, Channel Sales Programs & Operations, Cylance

Location: Irvine, CA


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 10

Twitter Handle: @teeg999

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Can code
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Likes playing video games
Has written a song
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
TJ is a sales and channel partnering professional with over 20 years of experience designing and executing global channel and go-to-market strategies, for high tech companies of all sizes and multiple industries. At Cisco she captured numerous records for her work in demand generation, sales enablement, SEO and marketing programs. Her innovative global programs were leveraged across seven theaters (GEOs) and produced some of the highest marketing ROI in the company at that time. Most recently, at FireEye, she developed their global marketing programs and supporting engine which drove pipeline and revenue to support a highly successful IPO. Promoted from within, she went on to focus on partner development working directly for the channel chief. She implemented the design and day-to-day operations of an alliance ecosystem that included seven different partner types and drove increased sales capacity in a single-tier alliance ecosystem. Currently Director, WW Sales Programs and Operations at Cylance, she is gaining experience leading channel sales programs and operations. She has built a global ecosystem for two-tier channel that makes it easy to do business with Cylance and at the same time drives sales capacity, pipeline, and revenue through channel programs.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
TJ was able to develop a new single-tier partner portal in 3 months time that supported our channel programs and made it easier for our partners to do business with us. With the Deal Registration program at the core, working through multiple layers of people, she has created a systematized process that judiciously protects our partners and their deals, while connecting partners to our sales team so they can receive help in the selling. Since then, TJ continues to guide the partner programs and portal roadmap. With regular releases, TJ continues to add functionality to increase our partners' visibility and provide more self-service tools to speed the sales cycle. In addition, TJ increases sales capacity by enabling new partners and partner types including a major release to a two-tiered model to support our rapid international growth. TJ manages the team that supports partners and internal employees for all channel related feedback and issues. Because she is dedicated to partner and sales service, her team is able to quickly respond and ensure success in our partnerships

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Launch new/revamp existing channel program, Launch new certifications and/or partner levels, Increase partners' customer satisfaction ratings

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
My channel chief, Didi Dayton, who I have had the pleasure to work for twice is a truly amazing woman. She takes the land and expand model to a whole new level. She has a strong ability to envision a robust channel ecosystem that makes our solution sticky. She starts with focus on establishing a core foundation for our partners to do business and then steps back and adds in the pillars to scale. Working for her has been a great honor and I continue to learn so much.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Find the things you love and focus there, but do your best on the rest. Realize there will always be parts you don't like about your work; But, you must do it anyway, to earn a reputation for working smart and hard. When someone gives you more responsibility, realize it is an opportunity to build skills and achieve more. Don't just focus on academics, social skills can be just as important. Learn to communicate and cooperate so you can build a network. Most important, create a specific vision of what success will look like in 5 years, every 5 years.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Financial analysis for business leaders. I would like to deepen my appreciation for the key financial statements and profitability management. I would like to be less dependent on financial advisers and benefit my company in my decision making with financial informational analysis.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock L. Eide, M.D., M.A. and Fernette F. Eide, M.D, did a great job of explaining how to unlock potential in the Dyslexic brain. The differences in information processing was helpful to explore so I could get a base understanding of why and how I am different. While I got an in-depth understanding of the difficulties related to mastering fine details and other trade-offs, the best part was the many advantages. In addition, learning more about strengths in perceiving relationships, reading gist and episodic memory will help me take advantage of these special skills.

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