CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Sara Lehmer

Marketing Director, Focus Technology Soltuions

Location: Burlington, MA


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 8

Fun Facts:

Sits on a company board
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Has studied abroad
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
I graduated in 2009 from ECSU with a bachelors degree in business administration and a concentration in marketing. During my senior year, I was a marketing intern at a start-up VAR called Flytrap Technologies. After finishing the internship, I was offered to come onboard full-time, running their demand gen and marketing initiatives. A couple years later, Flytrap was acquired by a larger VAR called Par 4 Technology Group. At Par 4, I gained a tremendous amount of experience over the next seven years, guided by mentors that have helped me along the way. During this time, I helped grow the company from $40M to $100M, when the company was acquired by another larger VAR called RoundTower Technologies. I worked hard and did everything from demand gen, website development, branding, collateral, customer seminars, tradeshows, social media . One of my highlights was being recognized by DELL EMC as the "Marketing Partner of the Year". I am currently the Marketing Director at Focus Technology Solutions in Burlington, MA. As a women in the channel since 2009, I've never been more passionate and proud of where I am and the opportunities and experience its given me.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Its interesting... Focus Technology Solutions has been in the channel business for 20 years and the company has never had anyone 100% dedicated to marketing. So, its been a great opportunity taking on that role and creating a brand that reflects who Focus is today - and the growth that the company has experienced. Over the past year, I have made tremendous improvements in the following areas: demand / lead generation, brand awareness, sales enablement, maximizing MDF programs and implementing ROI tracking to make data-driven decisions. I've planned and executed innovative event ideas.. for example, for our 20th Anniversary Celebration, we invited our customers and partners to participate in the Webber Grill Academy. Over 100 attendees showed up to learn how-to make their own gourmet burger and get a tour of our headquarters. Other events include concerts, movie premieres, and private shopping experiences. All which have influenced 25% of our revenue in 2017.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
In late Nov 2017, my company acquired a Managed Service Provider in Boston called NSK, Inc. One of my major initiatives in 2018 is integrating those solutions into the Focus portfolio through a series of brand awareness initiatives, seminars and digital marketing campaigns. Other major goals include increasing demand gen activities by 15%, driving brand awareness and developing sales enablement programs. I fully believe that marketing is an extension of sales and that's the approach that I take on a daily basis - interacting with the sales team to develop programs that drive revenue.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Our company was recognized on the CRN 2017 Solution Provider 500 list. Additionally, Alexa Rowe, Multimedia Specialist at CRN invited me to participate in CRN's WOTC video to include some of my experiences, especially as a woman in the industry. We have a call next week to discuss.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
This past year, I had the privilege to attend the Massachusetts Women's Leadership Conference in Boston. One of the keynote speakers was Diane von Furstenberg. I was moved by her ability to connect with the audience through story telling - sharing her own experiences of hardship, perseverance and strength. I wrote more about this in my blog:

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Be yourself. Be kind. Shine from within. In a fast-paced world, take time to slow down and reflect. Give thanks every day. Help others. Care for yourself - deeply.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would master Digital Marketing - this is a new skill for me that I am learning each day. Why? Because its incredibly important as a marketer and will bring great value to my organization.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The best book I've read this past year is "The Universe Has Your Back" by Gabrielle Bernstein. Its about letting go of fear and knowing that you are always supported. She said "Obstacles are detours in the right direction" I love this.... when we are faced with challenges - its a growth opportunity. Its just such a positive and uplifting book that I really enjoyed reading!! As a wife, mother and full-time working women - I really appreciated the words of wisdom in this book.

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