Women in Technology -- Wanda Pansky
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 Wanda Pansky, Senior Director of Sales Development for Sage Intacct. Here’s what she had to share…
Brittany Benson: Hi Wanda! Thank you so much for talking with me today! Can you tell me a little bit about your role at Sage Intacct?
Wanda Pansky: Sure! I run our sales development team, which is top of the funnel opportunity generation team. We have two teams – out Inbound team qualifies marketing leads and outbound team focus on target accounts. We work very closely with both the marketing and sales team in order to execute upon our goals. This requires a lot of time spent on analytics with our marketing team on our MQL conversion and working on a lot of strategy with our outbound SDR’s on where to prospect. Typically, finance teams only purchase new software every seven to ten years so it’s about utilizing all the tools that you have and spend your time wisely. This means focusing on the accounts that have a better possibility of converting and looking to purchase.
Brittany: Can you tell me a little bit about how you got into that role? How did your path there start?
Wanda: I started off selling recruiting services to HR professionals and then I was recruited into technology but transitioned straight to a management role after being recognized as “Rookie of the Year.” I was very organized, always overachieved to reach my goals, and found new ways to simplify the processes. When my manager left, the CEO at that company tapped me on the shoulder for a management position!
Brittany: How cool! Can you tell me a bit about the breakdown of your team here? What does the sales organization at Sage Intacct look like?
Wanda: I have two inbound teams with 15 reps and 2 managers. Our outbound team has 21 reps and 2 managers. Additionally, we have a program manager, a sales analyst and additional part-time sales associates who help our outbound team find new leads.
In terms of what being part of the sales organization looks like at Sage Intacct – we have something that we call the SDR journey: you can come in as an inbound SDR, and you could be promoted to a senior inbound SDR. Then you can go to outbound, and then senior outbound.
I think one of my proudest accomplishments is that we have all different types of people that have been promoted and have gone on to very successful careers out of sales development. We’ve had people go through support and up to sales engineering as well as promotions into marketing , customer success and into sales as account executives. In some ways, our department seems to be the talent pool for the company! But I attribute that to us hiring fantastic, well-rounded people.
Brittany: It sounds like your team is a great fit for people who are curious, hungry to add to their skill set, and to even work cross functionally and transition if they find something else within the company that is a role that they’re interested in.
Wanda: Yes, I think that’s a huge highlight to Sage Intacct as we are really supportive of that.
Brittany: Can you share what kind of candidate would be a good fit for sales at Sage Intacct?
Wanda: First, a good candidate is someone that wants to be in technology sales. This isn’t a transactional software sale, but it’s a long term, considered purchase where you’re working with a pragmatic buyer: the CFO.
We look for candidates that come to the table with a lot of strategy, individuals that get excited about that complex sale, and those who are motivated. Due to the fast-paced environment, you must be very nimble, able to move quickly with the business, and need to make sure that you’re very organized.
I also like meeting candidates that are doing a lot on their own even outside of work: someone who is learning and excited about their side projects or hobbies.
Oftentimes, I’ll ask candidates in interviews to share with me a book that they’ve read recently that they feel contributed to their personal or career growth. Taking the time to read and learn is an investment in oneself. Candidates that do this will stand out. If they’re investing in themselves, it makes it easier for us to decide to invest in them and their success as well.
Brittany: That makes a lot of sense. That’s a great interview question to ask as well. Can you tell me about a woman who has inspired you?
Wanda: My first CEO, Michaela Connor Abrams, who is now the CEO of MOCA. She was very inspiring.
Sage Intacct’s SVP of Sage People, Kathy Lord, is also very inspiring with how she has worked within the organization. She has been phenomenal as a mentor to help promote your own personal growth and learning. Kathy truly cares about her employees growing.
Brittany: If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would that be?
Wanda: Find a great mentor! A lot of people look to get promoted quickly. But sometimes, you need to take the time in the role to gain experience to the point where you’re an expert at it, as opposed to you still figuring it out. That is the only way that you can really understand the role; do it with repetition to where you do it so much that it’s like second nature to you. At the same time, having a great mentor in conjunction with this, and taking that time to invest in yourself is going to get you to new heights with the best experience and knowledge possible.
Brittany: What advice would you have for a younger woman maybe earlier on in her career?
Wanda: If she is interested in pursuing a career in technology or even specifically a role in a career path like mine, I would say again: mentor, do informational interviews, figure out the skills that you’re going to need and start practicing those now for that next role. And when you’re in your current role, always dress and behave like you’re interviewing for the next role.
Brittany: What do you like most about your job?
Wanda: Seeing people grow and getting promoted. I like to train each person as if they are the future VP of Sales. That has been one of the most rewarding things - to help align with people and their aspirations and support them throughout their journey.
Brittany: Do you have a passion or vision for the future that you can share with the readers?
Wanda: One of my biggest passions is traveling. I just got back from Italy actually! Career wise, I’d like to see myself making bigger and bigger impacts upon the Sage organization and the individuals that I work with. Having a positive impact on those around me is incredibly gratifying and something I always strive for.
I am quite passionate about helping people. Something really empowering that I learned as a single mom is that I’m more than capable of supporting myself and those in my immediate circle. Once I realized that I had nailed that down, I felt empowered to go deeper and start exploring how I could support a wider network of people and help them succeed.
There are books that I’ve read over the years about people living and working in other countries and I’ve been especially inspired to realize that by living in America, we have so much freedom and opportunity that others – especially women in other countries - do not. Because of all the opportunities we are given, there are so many instances for growth. Anything that you dream of – you must take ownership of it, put energy into it, and make it happen. The sky is the limit for us for what we can do, and I try to encourage others not to that that for granted.
I get up every day and go to work, not just because I love what I do, but because that’s what you’ve got to do if you want to reach your result. Success doesn’t just come, you must work for it. One of my greatest joys is helping people realize their full potential and cultivating an environment where they are both challenged and encouraged.
To check out the other blogs in Sage’s Women in Tech blog series, view:
Brittany Benson is the Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Sage Intacct.