12 Jun, 2019

Sales Ops Leaders: Interview with Allie Marconi

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Welcome to Sales Ops Leaders, an interview series featuring sales ops professionals in all industries, company sizes, and stages of their career.  We’re featuring different leaders as a way to learn from each other, answer tough questions, and connect the sales ops community.

This week we’re featuring Allie Marconi, a sales ops alum!  Allie Marconi is the global online sales leader for Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM platform. She is responsible for growing Salesforce’s self-service channel across all segments and products. Prior to that, she was a strategy leader who drove four years of scalable and consistent commercial growth, building a world-class sales organization that leverages product, data, and engineering. Allie provides a leading industry perspective on making data-driven decisions at scale.

fullcast.io: Describe your career progression and how sales ops prepared you for the role you’re in now.

Allie: From an early age, I loved math and the idea of running a “business” always excited me. One of my earliest endeavors was a jewelry stand outside of our community pool. The high traffic area allowed for a multitude of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities 😄. My interest in math and business continued to university, studying engineering & business. And into my professional life, using data analytics to solve business problems.

My career started in management consulting focused on global commercial due diligence. Management consulting was an exceptional learning opportunity for me. It provided first-hand exposure to how executives manage and run their organizations and challenged me to design how organizations should integrate to be successful. But I craved more impact – I wanted to execute on and learn from the recommendations our firm was making.

I decided to move into industry and, given my interests, high tech was a natural fit. I joined Salesforce’s Sales Strategy & Operations group almost five years ago. I have led several strategy teams across our commercial and small business space. I pushed my team to find the biggest opportunities for uplift and challenged the status quo.

As a Strategy & Operations leader I partnered with our sales team to grow the business fast and efficiently. We identified growing our self-service and online channel as a big opportunity. Not only does it improve our customer experience, it also allows our go-to-market to scale. Within strategy, I funded a small team to focus on this opportunity.

After working on it for a year within Sales Strategy, we knew it needed more to be successful. We needed more focus and closer alignment to our product. We broke out from Strategy & Operations and moved into our Technology & Product organization. I am now leading Salesforce’s Global Online Sales team within our Technology & Product organization.

fullcast.io: How do you define success in your role?

Allie: Success for my team is building and delivering an easy self-service experience for our customers.

We measure success by growth in our global, all-segment & all-product self-service channel. We want to empower customers to buy when and how they choose while freeing up capacity and allowing the company to re-invest and scale.

fullcast.io: What is your biggest roadblock or unsolved problem right now?

Allie: Salesforce has consistently prioritized investment in direct sales to fuel our growth, and it has served us well. The growth we are able to achieve at our size is outstanding. We have a high touch, direct sales go-to-market for all segments, all products, and all transactions types (except for our new Essentials small business product).

My biggest challenge is introducing self-service into our existing high touch machine. And providing our customers with the best experience no matter the channel. Allowing them to talk to an account executive where they see value, or self-service online for speed and flexibility. That’s both an internal and external challenge. We need to provide a customer experience that feels easy, natural, and personalized. And on the back end, we need to redesign our systems to enable a large self-service business.

fullcast.io: What’s the top goal for your team right now?

Allie: Learning. For the first time, we have a business team owning our self-service channel. We are focusing on growing that channel and own the associated revenue targets. As a first step, we have to learn about our systems, our products, our data, our customers, and the current experience.

We are only a couple of months in. After we learn, we can execute and bring some exciting changes to market.

fullcast.io: What advice do you have for other sales ops professionals looking to grow out of their role?

Allie: In my experience, Sales Strategy & Operations has a lot of project-based work. It’s an exceptional opportunity to work on projects across the organization. I have partnered with marketing, product, M&A, data science, and others. Create projects and work that will be most impactful to your company’s success.

Align yourself and your team to that highest impact work. The work that also excites you is the sweet spot. And for me, that sweet spot turned into my next career destination.

Connect with Allie on LinkedIn.