CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

One of our "Power 100 Vendors"

Salena Butler

Vice President, Channel, Infor

Location: Minneapolis, MN


Number of years in current position: 7.5

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 15

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Has studied abroad
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
My career of working in the channel business started when I was in college. I took an internship one summer with a hardware and storage company in Minneapolis and that is where I was first involved in channels. I was aided in the creation of a new channel program this company was rolling out to spur growth among their current partner community and attract new partners to the program. After college, I landed a position with an aggressively growing software company in Minneapolis. I worked my way up from a channel manager to ultimately running the channel business unit globally. I found a lot of success and satisfaction in restructuring, revitalizing and growing that channel business, so I decided to take on a similar challenge with a St. Paul based software provider, having the opportunity to recruit new partners and sell alongside the few strategic partners we had at the time. About 9 months in, that company was acquired by Infor. Over the past 7.5 years at Infor, I've run multiple facets of the business, primarily within the manufacturing division, and have had the opportunity to run both the distribution and CRM teams.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
We are always striving to make the relationships with our partners more successful and profitable at Infor. We also want to make doing business with us as easy as possible. There are a lot of moving pieces at a global company. One way we have been able to make positive changes for our partners, and better listen to the partner community, is through our Partner Councils. I lead the NA Partner Council today. This council's mission is to help prioritize the areas in which we need improvement. This feedback and structure, has, and will continue to help Infor make positive changes for the betterment of our partner community.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
I have 3 main goals this year. The first is to continue to invest in my team. My number one priority is to try to clear as many hurdles for them as possible so they can be successful. The second goal is to make our partner's lives easier and to truly make doing business with Infor as easy as possible. The more profitable we can make our business relationships for the partners, the better. Finally, revenue growth is another huge driver. I feel if I can do number 1 and 2 successfully, then 3 will be a byproduct.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Last year I was awarded "Women of the Channel 2017" and "Power 100: The Most Powerful Women Of The Channel 2017". I think this is my 6th time receiving this award over the years. Each year it is a surprise and honor.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
When I think if a woman I admire, I look back to my High School days. Sports were a big part of my upbringing, and I had an amazing coach over those years that taught me how to take my passion to the next level and compete to win. She gave me a lot of confidence in my ability early on. I admire her because she saw something in me and helped me believe it. That is probably why I like being a manager so much and why I find pleasure in helping others succeed and meet their goals.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
My advice would be to experience as much as possible in life. Don't be narrow minded or turn down opportunities, instead, try as many things as you can and reflect on how each has made you grow. My advice to any young person is to be aggressive, take it all in, and work hard early in your career. The work will pay off and it will get you in a position to have a family someday, if that is what you want to do, without having to sacrifice too much. Of course, finding balance in anything you do, is key.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
If I could master any new skill, it would be to become fluent in as many foreign languages as possible. In today's world, our collaboration with other countries is key. Having the opportunity to manage global sales, in my career, has been exciting and gives you a new outlook and perspective on things.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The best book I have read in the past year is "The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation" by Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson. This book does a good job of comparing different profiles of salespeople and how effective each is. It explains how customers benefit and see the highest value on salespeople who make them think, who bring new ideas, who find creative and innovative ways to help the customers' business. The modern buyer expects salespeople to teach them things they didn't know. These are all core skills of "Challengers".

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