Jacki Drexler, Global Account Representative for AWS, was recognized by  Cloud Girls, in collaboration with the Alliance of Channel Women, as a Rising Star in the fifth annual Cloud Girls Rising “Women to Watch” awards announced in May of 2020.

The Cloud Girl Rising award was created to honor women in the telecom and IT channel who have shown leadership and innovation in the emerging cloud space as well as to inspire more women to step forward and follow their example.

Drexler was honored as a Rising Star, a female up-and-comer in the cloud community who has shown initiative in advancing cloud and next-generation technology solutions for her organization, customers and the industry.  Cloud Girls is pleased to share more about Drexler in this edited excerpt from her award application.

Demonstrate your success at implementing or promoting cloud technology, management principles or processes.

 I will never forget my first Board Room meeting presenting to a client.  My heart was pounding as I looked around the u-shaped room of fifteen chairs filled with every C-Level Executive, and a few members of the board for this company.

My firm was there to present for an hour on why they needed to migrate from their premise-based telephony system to a cloud-based model, and I would be the one tasked to open, facilitate, and close our presentation.The objective was to give the Executive team enough information to collectively come to an agreement that it made sense operationally and financially to move to a cloud model by 2020.

I learned so much that day about what each Executive cared about when considering a huge cultural and operational shift such as the one we were proposing. For instance, the CFO cared a lot about understanding how we broke out our findings of their current state TCO, while the EVP of the Board cared about potential hard-cost gains by reducing things like average handle time, and the Chief Digital Officer wanted to understand how a better experience for members would drive more revenue.

I bring this up because for any sales meeting, big or small, there is only so much you can prepare for. I did not know every question or objective to anticipate, but I did know how to tie everything back to their strategic goals for 2020 by focusing on what they could achieve, and how they could do it. It would have been really easy to go down rabbit holes in that meeting breaking apart numbers and widgets, but we kept the team focused by staying on task, confident in our preparation, and focused on the desired outcome … which was to get them to agree to move forward with cloud.

It was a pivotal moment in my career where I shifted my mindset from being intimidated by the titles in the room, to becoming focused on how I could help each executive based on what they cared about. Instead of focusing on “sounding good” or being concerned about what I was going to say next, I reframed everything with “How can I be of service to this client in this moment?”. It wasn’t our perfect PowerPoint or cool pivot tables that made this meeting a success. It was staying on task, focusing on their objectives, and wrapping it up with the right next steps that got us approval from every Executive in the room to move forward with the cloud project.

They are still a client of ours, and we just started the process of moving their telephony system to the cloud.

 About the Editor

Tamara Prazak is the National Channel Director for AppGate and the chair of the Cloud Girls Communications Work Group.

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