As part of our “Bring What You Bring – Women in Leadership” blog series, we’re celebrating several of our women in leadership to find out what they bring to the organization.
Meet Sonja Aboulez. She’s the Vice President, Digital Sales EMEA.
What does a Vice President, Digital Sales EMEA do?
Sonja takes a leading role in effectively & efficiently executing the Digital Sales Model across multiple routes to market to drive incremental growth and provide exceptional customer experience.
“My role is to delight our customers and partners with a team of talented, passionate, and highly engaged sales and presales professionals. This team leverages client and market insights from smart data analytics to engage with clients, prospects and partners in innovative, professional and fast ways along their buying journey. The Digital Sales Team is the coolest place at CA.”
Bring What You Bring
At CA, employees are encouraged to work with one another and build on each other’s strengths to create richer results. This ‘Bring What You Bring’ ethos is spread right across the organization and when speaking to Sonja about what she brings to CA she told us that her main asset is her passion for people & IT. She believes in building high-performance teams in complex matrix organizations that can achieve strong and undisputable business outcomes.
Sonja with “Tara” one of her two horses. Tara is a former race horse whom she rescued in 2016.
“I believe I bring my experience and solid understanding of leading digital transformation and building high-performance teams that are committed to their mission and roles, and who understand the power of teaming”.
One piece of advice for current or future Women Leaders
Sonja believes that women should be curious and never afraid to try something new & challenging at work. Scary challenges can be a great opportunity for personal & professional growth.
“Doing something new and different enables a new perspective and often this curiosity triggers a different, thought process that drives positive change. Be curious and don’t be afraid to fail. I have seen too many great female talents not believe in their own capabilities and therefore stay too long in a job they have outgrown already. I’ve learned that it’s better to try something new, fail fast and change course rather than be safe in our comfort zone. Failing is not a reflection of who we are. I am convinced that success stems from hard work and is built on failure.”
My female inspiration
Sonja has many female and male role models but mentions her biggest inspiration is her Grandmother.
“My grandmother, who raised 3 kids by herself in Austria during WW II is my biggest role model. Her husband was fighting against the Nazis in the resistance. He was imprisoned and then sent to the “Front“ in Russia when he was in his early thirties, from where he never returned. He was never declared dead, but missing. My grandmother never lost strength, she kept her positive energy and did not become an embittered or cynical person. She never married again, and devoted all her energy to raising 3 wonderful children and then being a wonderful grandma. She was the kindest, calmest, unconditionally loving, trusting and most forgiving person I have known. No matter what my grandmother was always there for us. She didn’t speak when no words were needed, had wise words at the right moment, and was terribly proud of us without ever putting any pressure on us. She let us be kids, be silly, learn by making our own experiences, but was always there to help if need be. The self-confidence I got from how she trusted us without control was invaluable. None of us kids would have ever abused that trust. She gave us wings to fly and we always returned.”
Women in Leadership qualities
CA Technologies has a core of DNA that align with the companies mission, to eliminate the barriers between ideas and business outcomes. Sonja has selected the most important DNA traits that she feels will make you a successful woman in leadership at CA Technologies.
- Customer Centric – Changes in buying behaviors are requiring organizations to adapt digital engagement models to engage with customers whenever they are ready to engage with us. Research tells us that about 60% of the decision making process on the buyer side are already done before buyers are willing to engage with a sales person. This means we have to engage with customers, partners and prospects wherever they are in their decision making process. We have to do that by providing a delightful, intuitive and personalized experience for them. Knowing what they want and when they want it requires customer insight through smart data analytics.
- Agile – We have seen new sales and engagement models disrupt the way we used to think about engaging, selling, buying, consuming etc. The drivers to this digital revolution are Social Media, Mobile devices (apps at your fingertips), Analytics (Internet of Things, everything connected) and Cloud (from on-demand applications to infrastructure compute power). With changes happening faster and at a greater scale than ever before we need to move with a sense of urgency, adapt quickly, try out new models and fail fast and learn fast from failure as well as adapt in anticipation of change.
- Uncompromising Integrity – Integrity is a core principle of who I am. There’s no difference in personal or professional life. Integrity put in very simple terms is doing the right thing when no one is watching. I am convinced there is no good and lasting business that’s not built on strong and mutual trust relationships and trust is built on a culture of uncompromising integrity.
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Sonja Aboulez – Vice President, Digital Sales EMEA. Connect with Sonja on LinkedIn here