CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Molly Sherwood

Director, Product Marketing, Westcon-Comstor

Location: Louisville, CO


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 24

Twitter Handle: @msherwood

Fun Facts:

Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Likes playing video games

Biography and Background:
I've worked in the channel for over 20 years. In my current position with Westcon-Comstor, I am responsible for leading the marketing and product management teams. In this role, I get to direct the teams that work with Cisco to create sales enablement programs for our customers to help grow their businesses profitably. Previously, I've held various marketing and operations leadership roles, primarily in distribution. I enjoy working in distribution because it affords me the opportunity to work with a very diverse group of successful vendors and reseller partners.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
This year, I was fortunate to lead a marketing team to integrate a new marketing automation system with the sales CRM environment to enable a new pipeline management and opportunity tracking system. Additionally, we launched a new customer preference center to ensure we are communicating to the right contact with the right information at the right time - a strategy that has resulted in a significantly reduced number of communication opt-outs from our partners. I also focused the product management team on building out the Comstor EDGE strategy with new architecture-specific programs that enable partners to grow their business practice areas of security, networking, collaboration, data center, software and annuities. This programmatic approach allows partners who opt-in to programs to be able to leverage more of what we have to offer, and Westcon-Comstor in turn can invest more with our most loyal customers.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Growth! With the recent acquisition of Westcon-Comstor by SYNNEX Corporation, I am focused on aligning the teams to be able to effectively integrate into the SYNNEX community and grow the business by leveraging all of the resources SYNNEX has to offer. There is also a big focus on helping partners grow a percentage of their businesses from reoccurring revenue streams, so we expect to see more enablement strategies in the areas of software and annuities.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I'm an active member of the Grand Lake Yacht Club, which is a volunteer sailing community. I served on the board of directors and currently serve as Membership Chair in charge of recommending new members to the current board. This past year, I was selected by the Commodore to serve as the Entertainment Chair for Regatta Week. This entails choosing a theme, recruiting committee chair people, managing a budget and, most importantly, creating a fun week for the 400 club members. Regatta Week was a success, and I was honored to have been tapped to be in charge of it.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I love the impact Taylor Swift has made as a positive role model to female musicians. I read an article recently that attributes the increase in women picking up the guitar to Swift. In a time where music is still a male-dominated industry, and with guitar sales sharply declining, I find the fact that she is reversing both trends to be an incredible feat. Swift has developed a way of personally connecting with her growing audience through social media that has redefined how musicians take their brands to market. This kind of success can be carried out in any industry.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
At this point, you have time but no money. There will come a day when you have money but no time. So, take advantage of this period in your life and do all the cool stuff you want to do. Volunteer, travel, learn to knit, play guitar, train to compete athletically. Eventually, you will make money, but you will no longer have the time to master all of these things. Trust me, guitar is much harder to learn in your forties.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Sales experience would be a good addition to my current skillset. I've been fortunate to lead some very talented marketing and operations teams so far in my career. But, Westcon-Comstor is a sales company at the end of the day. I believe that sales experience would further expand my business acumen and give me another perspective on sales strategy.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I read "Red Notice" by Bill Browder on vacation, and I couldn't put it down. The book reads like an espionage thriller, but it's a non-fiction account of Browder's business dealings in Russia amid corruption. Browder starts out as an everyday man and emerges as a human rights activist and hero taking on Putin's regime. It's interesting, informative and relevant to current events.

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