Location: Fountain Valley, CA
Number of years in current position: 2
Number of years involved with indirect sales: 22
Biography and Background:
Catherine Cruz has worked in the IT Channel for over 22 years. She has worked at D-Link for almost seven years and is currently the Director of Business Solution Sales. Catherine began her career at D-Link as an Inside Channel Account Manager, quickly moved to Inside Channel Sales Manager and then moved to the field sales team as a Distribution Channel Account Manager. Prior to joining the D-Link team, Catherine worked in distribution for both Ingram Micro and Arrow, where she managed their value-added reseller (VAR) partners.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Over the past year, I revised the D-Link VIP+ Partner Program to be more efficient and lucrative to new partners by offering immediate benefits rather than solely focusing on future revenue. I also developed a D-Link Fundamental Sales course targeting partner sales departments as part of the VIP+ Partner Program requirement to help increase overall D-Link product and program knowledge within the partner and distribution channel.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My goal for the company's channel business over the next year is to work on new partner recruitment with targeted programs through distribution. I also want to enable and empower our sales team and arm them with tools such as partner scorecards and social selling skills, which will help drive stronger partner relationships throughout the channel.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Given that the Olympics just concluded, I would have to say that I strongly admire the U.S. Women's Ice Hockey Team. They played at the highest level while the world was watching and did not let the overwhelming pressure get in the way of their goal. The women are huge ambassadors for their sport and as a team fought for equal treatment by their organization. They wanted to win, but more importantly, wanted to leave the sport better for the women that follow in their footsteps.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would tell her to TRY EVERYTHING and not let fear or uncertainty get in the way. I would encourage her to try out for every sport, join student government, join the science, computer or technology club, study abroad for a semester or summer and take AP classes.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would love to be better at public speaking. Mastering the art of telling a compelling, engaging, interesting, and meaningful story while getting the message across to your audience is a skill few people have naturally.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The best book I've read this year is Julie Foudy's Choose to Matter. I am a sucker for books written by Olympians and World Champions. I can always find a few takeaways from athletes who have won gold medals or world championships on their mindset and drive to succeed at the highest level. Julie's book was not only motivational but focused on leadership at all levels and across various professions. The key thing I took away from the book was to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
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