Lisa Graham, senior director of Adobe’s North America Strategic Channel Accounts, recently received the honor of being named to CRN magazine’s 2012 “Women of the Channel” as well as the “Power 100.” These awards recognize some of the most powerful women in channel sales. For those who aren’t familiar with the publication, CRN (Computer Reseller News) is the leading publication in North America for the IT channel sales and marketing industry. Lisa speaks to Life@Adobe bloggers about her accomplishments and her career.
Congratulations on the recognition. How do you feel?
I am really thrilled to be recognized. More importantly, I am proud of our entire North America channel organization and our accomplishments in the channel this year. We are consistently recognized by our partners for ‘best-in-class’ programs and execution compared to other suppliers.
What are you and your team responsible for?
My team and I are responsible for our strategic North American Platinum Resellers, who represent our top-tier channel reseller partners in the Adobe Partner Connection program. We’re engaged in driving strategic programs that deepen partner engagement and drive exceptional sales results.
In addition, I often work with cross-functional teams across Adobe on programs that support our channel partners, such as Adobe’s Channel Immersion Program. It provides senior leaders across Adobe with opportunities to experience first-hand the interactions our partners have with us, and identify continuous improvement priorities in order to make Adobe an even better company to partner with.
How did you decide on a career in sales?
After exploring different paths early in my career, I recognized that my true passion was for sales. I’m fortunate that my role here at Adobe continues to expand and I get the opportunity to actively get involved across verticals, practices and partner relationships.
In the future, I’d like to explore how I can contribute to Adobe’s global channel operations in order to further deepen our engagement models and business relationships with partners; extending my leadership skills while remaining true to my passion for delivering exceptional financial results and identifying new revenue opportunities.
Besides a love for sales, what else are you passionate about?
I’m motivated to help other women succeed in sales. I currently lead Adobe’s “World Wide Field Operations & Women” initiative, an offshoot of the company-wide “Adobe & Women” program. The goal of this initiative is to support women in their continued growth in sales leadership roles by offering mentorship and connection to career development programs. It all began as a one-time event—the Women’s Leadership Breakfast—at Adobe’s 2012 Worldwide Sales Conference and quickly grew to become a popular, active program with global participation.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young women?
I’m often asked to mentor other women. I look for two things, above all, in a mentee: someone who shows focus in her goals and who doesn’t hold back.
Personally, I have never regretted stepping forward, no matter what the results. You may not know your exact career path, but if you want to be mentored, you have to put a stake in the ground.
How do you balance your professional and personal lives?
I “outsource” everything I can! I am very serious about respecting my top priorities, and I look for help with just about everything else. As the single mother of a 13-year-old son, I purposefully carve out time for fun family activities on the weekends and on vacation. Freeing up my time—or “outsourcing” less important chores and errands—enables me to be intentional and present with any downtime I have and to manage my personal and professional lives with clarity.
Interested in a challenging and rewarding sales career? Visit www.adobe.com/careers to explore.