CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Michelle Wang

Director of Marketing - U.S. Channel, Tripp Lite

Location: Chicago, IL


Number of years in current position: 9

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 17

Twitter Handle: @TrippLite

Fun Facts:

Sits on a company board
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse

Biography and Background:
Michelle Wang is Director of Marketing - U.S. Channel for Tripp Lite, a leading manufacturer of data center, desktop technology and connectivity solutions. As Director of Marketing, Wang oversees an eleven-member team of marketers who promote Tripp Lite in the channel, Tripp Lite's exclusive means of selling products. She works with national distributors, direct marketers, e-commerce and solution providers, while supporting the Tripp Lite Partner Program. Wang helps nurture Tripp Lite's strong reputation for product quality, service reliability and channel loyalty, driving the growth and profitability of its partners. Her career began at Tripp Lite in 2001 as a Marketing Specialist on a two-person team. She was promoted to Marketing Manager, then in 2009 to Director of Marketing. She took on many additional responsibilities, including directing marketing activities for Tripp Lite's Datacom business. Wang has a business degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago with dual marketing and management majors. During Wang's tenure, Tripp Lite has experienced consistent channel growth every year and has received many partner awards, including CDW Partner of the Year, Insight Partner of the Year, Ingram Micro's Supply Chain Excellence Award, Business Solutions Best Channel Vendor and United Stationers Preferred Supplier Program Award.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Our U.S. channel business continued to propel yet another record year for Tripp Lite in 2017. Driving our success has been a focus by my team on our unassisted sales model by utilizing upgraded enhanced content - custom-written consumer-friendly product descriptions, images, videos and more - which is available on all of our products and can be syndicated via CNET to any partner that would like to display it. We've also worked tirelessly to maximize the visibility of our products in search results as well as our brand on partner sites and systems. Via the Tripp Lite 5-Star Partner Program, we've nurtured our strong relationships with our key partners and kept all educated and informed of new product releases, incentives and education tools like white papers, online configurators and a complete online training suite. Educating our partners on our lucrative bid and registration program has also been a priority that has resulted in increased bids and deal registration. Lastly, my new Marketing Analyst team has ensured our channel inventory goals have been met and our pricing is being strategically monitored to ensure both availability and optimized pricing for our channel partners.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Tripp Lite does not sell direct, so our channel business is our #1 priority. Goals include: Nurture existing partner growth and profitability by delivering and effectively marketing a comprehensive suite of solutions for various vertical markets, as well as providing world-class support from marketing to pre-sales to post-sales. We are focused on educating our partners and providing them with tools and incentives to sell complete solutions versus products from only one, two or three categories. Continue to grow our share of unassisted sales by analyzing, enhancing and improving all of the tools and tasks that drive that growth.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was recognized as a CRN 2017 Women of the Channel. Tripp Lite was awarded CRN's ARC award for Partnership in the Power Protection and Management Category, a 5-star designation for our Partner Program and recognition as a CRN Data Center 100. I am proud to have launched Tripp Lite's GROW Network - a network of women within the organization with a focus and goal of growth and retention of women within the company. The GROW Network kicked off in late 2017 and over 60% of our female workforce have opted in and are actively participating in the network.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
There are a TON of women I admire and am inspired by - everyday - and I just cannot name one. All of the women, both recently and in the past, who have spoken up to change and better the landscape that we work and live in are hugely inspirational. Since change does not happen unless there is a change agent - thankfully women from all walks of life have taken it upon themselves to be that change agent and not only speak up for themselves, but for those who cannot or don't have the courage to.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Give everything you do 100%. There is no point to only put in 50% effort. If you're going to do something - then do it right. Always stay true to yourself, follow your principles and maintain your integrity - it's ok to say no, regardless of who you're saying it to.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would like to learn how to code. It would give me a greater understanding of the technology used to reach people and influence their purchasing decisions.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The best book I've read this year was the first and second book in Ken Follet's The Century Trilogy: "Fall of Giants", and "Winter of the World". It's historical fiction centered around WWI and WWII, while touching on subjects relevant in that time period, from women's suffrage, to the coal mining industry and the start of labor unions, to the rise of communism and the holocaust. Along with the fascinating historical element, the characters are beautifully detailed and sympathetic, and the plot is so engrossing to the point where I literally couldn't put the books down.

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