Welcome to another edition of IntelePeer’s Tech Tuesday series. This week Heather Hancock, Director of Solution Marketing, walks us through her telecommunication experience, shares how she succeeded in launching a new project to a new market, and gives us some great advice.
1. What first got you interested in working in technology?
I was always quick to learn technology and enjoyed keeping up with the latest gadgets and business software. More than 12 years ago, I completed a certificate from Georgetown University in Digital Media Management. I was kind of a nerd in class and was excited about learning. I asked all the questions.
During this time, one of my adjunct professors – also a Sr. VP of Marketing at a telecommunications company – believed in my potential and recruited me for a new role on his team. This began my journey in telecom – and it has been an exciting world for me ever since day one. I later worked again with this same professor while he was CMO at iCore Networks, a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) start-up company, which was later acquired by Vonage.
2. What AI or machine learning capabilities are you most looking forward to?
I have always been a terrible driver, so I’m waiting for the day when AI will be able to drive my car better than me.
3. What was the most challenging aspect of your career and how did you overcome it?
I joined BroadSoft as a Sr. Enterprise Solutions Marketing Manager, where I was responsible for launching the company’s enterprise department. I worked closely with the Product and Sales teams to roll out the company’s portfolio in the market and developed a new channel marketing program for partners like MSPs, VARs, resellers, and Master Agents – including Ingram Micro.
Previously, BroadSoft only sold through big-name providers which marketed BroadSoft solutions to small and medium-sized businesses. So, when the company decided to go up market, the solution and our brand awareness started from scratch.
There was a lot of sensitivity between the company and our service providers because of the shift. We were creating some conflict among channels. While service providers primarily sold BroadSoft only to small businesses, they also sold other solutions to the enterprise market.
Eventually we built awareness, credibility, and a large Fortune 5,000 enterprise customer base. Service providers began pitching BroadSoft solutions up market. We moved the needle for BroadSoft by creating a new channel and revenue market within the company. This was one of the attractions that played a significant role in Cisco’s decision to purchase BroadSoft two years later.
4. Any advice for women who want to join the tech industry?
Take new challenges and opportunities that are out of your comfort zone and surround yourself with experts who understand the ins and outs of the technology product or service you sell. During my career, I worked to educate myself on technology outside of my role’s responsibilities. I constantly looked for new ways to expand my skillset – from shadowing experts during on-site implementations to learning how to conduct customer demos to pitching solutions to attending advanced sales trainings and completing certifications that were only required of engineers.
5. What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting in the workforce?
Keep an open mind. Sometimes the jobs that sound boring or above your head are the ones you might grow to enjoy the most. Try different things and once you figure out what you want to do, map out the steps and experiences you’ll need to get there – and plan accordingly.
Bonus: What podcasts are you currently listening to?
I’m enjoying listening to the Girl Boss podcast.