CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Leslie Conway

VP of Global Marketing, Digium, Inc.

Location: Huntsville, AL


Number of years in current position: 10

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 27

Fun Facts:

Can code
Has an advanced degree (a degree higher than a bachelor's degree)
Has an MBA
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Has written a song
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
Conway joined Digium in 2008 as Vice President of Global Marketing. In this role, she is responsible for setting the worldwide marketing strategy and executing corporate, product and channel marketing activities to position Digium as a leader in the business communications market. Conway has more than 20 years experience in technology marketing and channel development. She previously worked at ADTRAN, a networking, and telecommunications company, where she served as Vice President of Global Marketing responsible for corporate, product and channel marketing as well as pre-sales technical support and training. Additionally, Conway served in senior positions responsible for product marketing, product management, and distribution sales. Prior to joining ADTRAN, Conway worked as a product manager at Intergraph Corporation and as a design engineer for General Electric. Conway holds a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a master's degree in management and a master's degree in business administration from Florida Tech.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
The primary goal for 2017 focused on advancing Digium's cloud program by expanding and enhancing the company's infrastructure, processes, and systems to better support our growing cloud partners and customer base. We continued to develop and execute a highly targeted marketing strategy to recruit new cloud agents and provide more opportunities for existing partners to offer Switchvox Cloud services. Also, in the last year, we introduced a number of new, innovative products. This included a completely new line of Switchvox hardware appliances, which feature more powerful capabilities and lower pricing. We launched a new series of analog gateways to provide partners a complete end-to-end solution to offer their customers. We also simplified our subscription model to help improve the quoting process. Channel partners benefited from these new products and corresponding marketing programs by making them more competitive in the VoIP market. In 2017, we also provided our channel partners with new marketing enablement tools, including product videos, case study videos, social media content, email campaigns, blog posts and end-user promotions. In addition, we implemented a new learning management system, which has provided an improved user experience for our partners.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
We are expanding our partner program by recruiting new VARs, Agents, and MSPs as well as increasing our marketing and lead generation efforts for our Switchvox on-premises and cloud services. We will continue to create new tools to help our partners successfully sell our cloud and premises-based unified communications products. Other strategic areas of focus include improving reseller and agent training and onboarding. We will continue to educate our partners on new product offerings to enable them to sell into new vertical markets.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
2017 CRN Women of the Channel

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Mary Barra, the first female CEO of a major automaker, General Motors. Her parents didn't have the opportunity to attend college but had a very strong work ethic. Mary earned a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from Stanford. At 18, she began at GM as a co-op student and held many positions over the years. As CEO, she led GM out of bankruptcy and generated $9.4M in net income in 2016. I admire her for her passion, work ethic, and leadership skills. She is changing the GM's culture to be customer-focused, upon which GM's new success is based.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
When you start earning income or receiving an allowance, get in the habit of saving 20% for the future. Learn how to budget and track your money early. Learn the difference in a "want" versus "need". Learn how to use credit and credit cards wisely and learn how to deal with debt. Learn how to invest and grow your finances early. Pay attention to your own finances and don't let anyone else own them.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Mastering web analytics is a critical skill in understanding customers better. Analytics can provide consumer insight to help improve everything from customer service to product development. It can also help provide insight to shape a better customer marketing and sales experience, ultimately producing happier customers and more revenue. It's important to understand these technologies and tools to better direct programs and activities to improve your company presence, customer experience and grow company revenues.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
"Influencer, The New Science of Leading Change" is one of the most impactful books I read this year. The book provides a practical approach to leading change by understanding how people are motivated and what influences them to change their behavior. If you want to implement change in your personal or professional life, understanding the six sources of influence and utilizing them during the change process is the key to successfully changing behaviors. The book has many useful examples and stories that demonstrate the do's and don'ts of influencing behaviors.

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