Women in Technology -- Eileen Wiens
This year, we’ve kicked off a Women in Technology blog series focusing on some fantastic women in leadership roles here at the Sage Intacct office of Sage. These women come from all walks of life, and are mentors, moms, bosses, and even beekeepers. Their stories and wisdom inspired me, and I trust you’ll find the same.
This profile is with Eileen Wiens, Vice President of Sales Strategy, Operations, and Business Development, at Sage Intacct.
Brittany Benson: Eileen, can you tell me a little bit about your role at Sage Intacct and how you found your way here?
Eileen Wiens: Of course. I am the Vice President of Sales Strategy, Operations, and Business Development. It's a fairly tall order, and it's nine months new for me here at Sage Intacct. I lead an organization spanning solution consulting, sales enablement, business development, sales operations, and sales development. We are 100+ person organization. I spent the first few months wrapping my arms around things and am excited for the opportunities we have ahead of us!
Preceding this role, I spent four years as Vice President of Sales for Small to Medium Business Markets. It was extremely rewarding and successful, and definitely paved the way for my current role.
Prior to joining Sage, I was VP of Sales at a company called ToutApp. It was a Series A startup located in San Francisco. They have since been acquired by Marketo and Adobe. Soon after we received our Series B, it felt like a good time to take on another challenge. I had reached out to my network and happened to touch base with another VP of Sales. She had commented to me, “Hey, I know Kathy Lord at Intacct is looking to do something different in her upcoming fiscal year. You might want to reach out to her.” Interestingly enough, I had been introduced to Kathy a while back through a mutual board member and she happened to also be a ToutApp customer at the time. I was able to connect with her, and that is how I found my way here to Sage Intacct.
The overarching message here is that you should always be networking with others around you, not only with your immediate peers, but also deep and wide through meet ups, networking with industry groups or with a potential peer group you want to be a part of. I’m a huge believer of paying it forward, so I make sure that I allocate enough time to people in my network and help those that are looking for new opportunities. To me, if I pay it forward, it’ll come back in spades later on.
I started off in the world of technology straight out of college. My first job, ironically enough, was in accounting. But I broke into sales very early on in my career. I’ve been managing since my 20s where I’ve had opportunities to be in direct sales, marketing, channel sales, and business development. These opportunities enabled me to build a broad set of experiences allowing me to see the business through a different lens.
One final point, one thing I’ve noticed over the years is when meeting people in professional circles, they either appreciate the breadth of experience and additional value you can bring to an organization, or others who prefer expertise within your chosen craft measured in tenure. I think the variety of my background has allowed for me to gain a bit more perspective and work growth companies to scale.
Brittany: You say that you’re a huge believer of paying it forward. Has there been a time where someone has paid it forward to you and from that experience, has inspired you?
Eileen: I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with some of the best people who in many ways continue to inspire me. The most relevant person for me right now is my former SVP of Sales here at Sage Intacct, Kathy Lord. She has been a great mentor who encourages but also challenges me.
In a world where our time is in high demand, Kathy has been great example of having a rewarding career, influencing people and companies (as an advisor to companies or venture capital communities) in your chosen craft, a great mother and wife, and still being able to find time for yourself. It’s very inspirational, and I’m still looking to master that in my world.
Brittany: What advice would you give your younger self? Or for a woman pursuing a career in technology?
Eileen: I would tell myself to not take everything so seriously. I think that’s one of the things I’ve really focused on within these last couple of years. Focus on the things that are under your control rather than stress about things that aren’t. It’s very easy to get swept up into people and things that aren’t working. It’s easy to complain and the display of those negative aspects makes you appear as a negative force inside a company. The best thing to do is to focus on items that you can have a direct effect on and take control of. This applies to both incidences of whether you’re an individual contributor or if you’re a leader. Execute the things you have control over and for the things you don’t, be honest with people rather than creating a negative vibe out of it.
And advice for women interested in pursuing a career in technology: be confident, have courage, and pursue the things that you want to be. If you want to be a CEO, pursue it. Figure out what the right path for you is, because once you do, it’ll be extremely rewarding. Be one of the most educated people in the room. Again, I focus on what I can control; I can only control me. I can’t control the people around me, but I can always be an influence.
Another piece of advice I would give is to be true to yourself. Continue to invest in yourself well beyond college whether it may be in your own personal development or professionally. Read, attend different types of groups; all these things are going to benefit you long term.
Lastly, figure out what you’re good at. I learned early on that I am competitive by nature, and I like to develop people. So being in both Sales and Management was my calling and continues to be.
Brittany: That is great advice to give yourself and those that are yearning to start a career within the technology industry. Going back to your job, what do you feel is the best part of it?
Eileen: I think one is looking after people development. Sales is a very black and white world and there’s a lot of satisfaction knowing that you’ve either been responsible for or that you’ve been leading and assisting with change and growth for your company.
When you think about how people come in for interviews and ask, “What kind of job do you want,” many respond with saying they want to make an impact. And sales is a great organization for realizing the kind of impact you can have. Watching people develop under your guidance or assisting people in achieving their own goals and succeed is such a rewarding feeling.
Brittany: Do you have a vision for the future? Where do you see yourself and your career going in the long run?
Eileen: For me, it’s really about being able to come in and make a positive impact on those around me and for the company as a whole. As of right now, I’m going hard in my career. But as I look into the future, I am looking to take the breadth of experience I am gaining today and use that to tackle bigger challenges here at Sage. I see tremendous opportunity here to make an impact across multiple lines of business. Not just for me but for others, and at all levels. I really want to continue being part of the story here.
Brittany: That’s a great answer. Do you have any off-work passions or things you care about?
Eileen: My family. My husband and I have two teenagers so our top priority is spending as much quality time as we can with our kids before they head off to college. We love to travel to new places and do fun things. But it all falls back into spending quality time together with family. Those are moments that you really treasure!
If you’d like to connect with Eileen directly, you can reach out to her on LinkedIn. To learn more about careers with the Sage Intacct team at Sage, please visit here.
To check out the other blogs in Sage’s Women in Tech blog series, view:
- Women in Technology -- Melody Williams
- Women in Technology -- Stephanie Kleber
- Women in Technology -- Carmen Cooper
- Women in Technology -- Stefanie Maragna
- Women in Technology -- Amy Platt
- Women in Technology -- Aravinda Gollapudi
- Women in Technology -- Meg Deering
- Women in Technology – Wanda Pansky
- Women in Technology -- Nancy Sperry
- Women in Technology -- Kathy Lord
- Women in Technology -- Nancy Rivas
- Women in Technology -- Tina Wang
- Women in Technology -- Victoria Keeshan
- Women in Technology -- Susan Vincent
Brittany Benson is the Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Sage Intacct.