CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Kayla Kirkeby

VP of Marketing, Dizzion

Location: Denver, CO


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 7

Fun Facts:

Has an advanced degree (a degree higher than a bachelor's degree)
Has an MBA
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has climbed a mountain

Biography and Background:
Kayla Kirkeby is the Vice President of Marketing for Dizzion where she is responsible for overall marketing strategy, including brand positioning, go-to-market strategy, and lead generation programs. She has over a decade of technology marketing experience building high-performing teams to drive business results and enable sales. Most recently, she was the Vice President of Marketing at Tax Guard, a tax monitoring and due diligence platform for commercial lenders. Prior to that, she held marketing leadership positions at ViaWest, an IT infrastructure provider headquartered in Denver, CO. Kayla is passionate about mentoring and coaching others to enable their greatest success. She holds Business and Communications degrees from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN and MBA from the University of Colorado. Away from the office, Kayla enjoys being active in the Colorado foothills, reading, food and wine, and traveling.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Programmatically, I have helped to bring additional rigor, process and structure to our program. We did a thorough review of our existing partnerships, the associated results, and the future potential. We then aligned resources including human capital and marketing spend accordingly. Not all partners are created equal and it takes discipline to stick to a strategy where you will focus to generate the most business and mutual benefit within the channel. I helped to drive this philosophy for Dizzion's channel program. From a marketing standpoint, I've helped to push our program forward in several ways. We created several new resources and sales enablement tools to help our partners including battle cards, joint assets, blog posts, webinar trainings and more. We are also communicating to our partners on a much more regular and frequent basis in terms of new elements of our program, product enhancements, and Dizzion milestones. This is essential to maintaining relevancy within the partner community and specifically with our own partners. I also drove several channel focused events and spearheaded our participation at both Channel Partners Conferences to advance the Dizzion brand within the channel ecosystem.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
In the past year, we've put a lot of foundational pieces in place for our channel program. This year, we'd like to see more new logo business generated through our channel partnerships. Additionally, we are striving to drive deeper engagement with the master agents we work with. From a marketing standpoint, we will be doing more joint events and engagement at the regional levels with our partners across the U.S.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I don't believe I have received any honors or awards in the recent year.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I really admire Oprah. I think she is such a boss. She has come so far and accomplished so much in her life and yet, to me, she remains so real and humble. She has the uncanny ability to inspire, lead and move others. This is a quality that can certainly be cultivated and worked at, but for her seems to come naturally. She has used her influence and power to shed light on underserved groups and causes which I really admire as well.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would remind myself of some of my truest strengths and highlight how I will call upon them in good and bad times in the years to come. These include focus, mental toughness, discipline, and confidence. Own who you are, rely on your strengths and forge your own path. Don't allow anyone but you to define what success looks like. It's ok to say no and it is also ok to stop doing things - you're not a quitter. Don't be so hard on yourself and take a moment every now and then to celebrate your accomplishments.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would like to master the art of sales and negotiation. I think they are skills that are imperative from a business and leadership perspective regardless of role or the type of organization you are in. Whether closing a sale, forming a new partnership, hiring a new employee, or interviewing for a new role, these skills are essential in so many aspects of business. Mastering them would make me a much more well-rounded leader and prepare me to take on any new role in the future.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I read "The Art of Not Giving a F*ck" this year and found it refreshing, real, and very straightforward. I think as women, so many of us often struggle with doing things we feel obligated to do, feel we should do, or perhaps that society expects us to do. This book argued that it is perfectly acceptable to do things like say no, put yourself first, or disregard the opinions of others. I think there is clearly a time and place for all of these, but the practical examples offered by the author provided great reinforcement for me.

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