CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Dawn Ringstaff

Regional Sales Director, SonicWall

Location: Austin, TX


Number of years in current position: 3

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 22

Twitter Handle: @d_ringstaff

Fun Facts:

Sits on a company board
Is a mentor
Is an extrovert
Can ride a horse
Has written a song
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
Dawn is a versatile and experienced sales professional with strong strategic sales, account management, channel management, technical expertise, and marketing experience. Her background includes a wide variety of experience and accomplishments in the security industry including sales management, strategic sales planning, creation and implementation of sales and/or channel sales programs, project management, and executive-level presentations. She is recognized for her ability to offer consultative services, deliver optimal customer satisfaction and strong sales growth. Her specialties include channel management, security solutions, wireless solutions, strategic marketing, developing and managing all levels of partnerships, consultative services, new business development, sales team management, contract negotiation, sales program development and executive level presentations.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
When SonicWall became independent of Dell in November 2016, we began selling our solutions exclusively through the channel again. We needed to quickly reengage with key partners and take to market our new programs and solutions to ensure that our channel partners had the knowledge, training, resources and support to make sales and effectively serve customers. As one of SonicWall's longest-tenured sales leaders, I played a key role in communicating the new SecureFirst Partner Program, which launched in November 2016 to our partners through my sales team and was given the ongoing responsibilities of partner enablement, partner profitability and overall sales growth. Since May 2017, my team has helped SecureFirst grow 500 percent to more than 21,000 registered partners, 7,700 of whom are new to SonicWall. Part of this success is due to the launch of SonicWall University, our free on-demand online training center offering more than 287 technical and sales-based courses. Already partners have completed more than 100,000 exams and more than 55,000 hours of classes - activity that has accelerated more than $450 million in deal registrations for SonicWall. Partners who leverage SonicWall University deliver a 21% quarter-over-quarter revenue attainment increase, compared to 7% for other partners.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
After being with SonicWall for over 12 years, we are better positioned than ever with investments in technology, our new SecureFirst channel partner community and our executive leadership team. The company goal is to increase revenue by leveraging our channel partners and award winning solutions. My personal goal is to motivate and inspire my team to reach these goals by creating a team culture where we all help each other to achieve not only company goals, but individual goals as well. We will then be able to take this message to our partners and keep them on a growth trajectory.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
In 2017, I was honored to be named to CRN Women of the Channel for my leadership in indirect sales for SonicWall and my 20+ years in channel sales overall.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Mary Kay Ash. As a Texan, I've known her successes my entire life. She "retired" from a successful direct sales career in 1963 to help women survive in a male-dominated business world by creating two lists. One was a list of things her prior employers had done right and the other a list of what they could have done better. This list, along with a savings account of $5,000, became the marketing plan and start of her dream company. We all know how successful her company was and how great of an example she was for women.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I have 3 very simple mottos in life that come from life experiences and I would love to share it back then with my 16 year old self for so many reasons. (1) Live life for today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed so make sure today is good. (2) Love What You Do. Life is too short to be unhappy or have any regrets. (3) Be confident in yourself and have your own back even if no one else does.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would definitely work towards more technical skill such as coding skills and networking certifications (CISS). In today's industry, particularly at SonicWall, I'd love to have the ability to manage digital forensics for identifying ransomware and other malware.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I picked back up "Who Moved My Cheese" by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. It's a classic about dealing with change and enjoying your personal and professional lives with less stress and more success. In today's IT world, things change so quickly and it's just human nature for people to be fearful of change. When I first read it, I saw how I was personally handling change in my career. This second read I discovered how to help my team anticipate and accept the pace of change in the industry and turn it into something that positively impacts their future.

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