XCEC Intro Video - Teaser

February 15, 2024

Video Transcript

Speakers: Marjorie Abdelkrime. Matt Darrow. Leah McTiernan. Stephanie LaBudde. Sara Jones

Marjorie Abdelkrime: Hi, my name is Marjorie Abdelkrime I am the head of the US Healthcare Solution Engineering Team at VMware by Broadcom. I'm based in the New York metro area.

Marjorie Abdelkrime: I actually started my vendor career in professional services. And the company that I worked for at the time decided that they wanted to change direction and no longer be in the services business. So I got placed into the presales organization as an architect. I was an architect for a couple of weeks and then ran right into management of the SE team at the time.

What are you excited about related to PreSales?

Marjorie Abdelkrime: I'm super excited about the evolution of the solution engineer role, seeing how it's come along from focusing on the sale function only and looking at the entire life cycle of a customer and driving outcomes. It's so cool to see the change that's happening in the industry and the role.

On a personal level, what's one thing you're excited about this year?

Marjorie Abdelkrime: The new year always brings new and exciting things that one can focus on. This year. We just recently got acquired by a new company and we're evolving the SE role to drive further outcomes with our customer base and further focus on consumption. So I'm really excited about seeing where that goes and then on a personal level, just enjoying the time with my family and being able to do new things throughout the year is always fun.

Matt Darrow: Hey everybody. I'm Matt Darrow co-founder and CEO of Vivun, the copilot for technical sales teams. And I'm zooming in from Truckee California by Lake Tahoe three hours east of San Francisco.

Matt Darrow: Like many in the profession, I got into presales completely by chance. I was an engineer by background that realized very quickly writing computer software code in a small room all day by myself was not for me. So I figured out well, what else is out there? And I got into technology consulting, deploying custom software projects and SAP for Deloitte and I also realized very quickly doing the custom software deployment work wasn't for me. So I didn't want to write the code. I don't want to deploy the code, but I love technology. I love engineering. I love solving business problems and I honestly started to Google search what were jobs out there that would combine these characteristics. And I found this very crazy title call the sales engineer. It was at Big Machines at the time, Goddard Abel's Company. We ultimately would be acquired by Oracle and become Oracle CPQ and the rest was history. It was this great way that I could use both my technical chops and my business savvy to solve real problems and charter a career that I would spend the next decade plus doing and ultimately build a whole company category around.

What are you excited about related to PreSales?

Matt Darrow: Prior to founding Vivun, I was on the IPO journey at Zuora, the subscription billing company from single digits to 200 plus million in ARR, building and running the global presales organization and then actually going into product management. So while there are a ton of things that excited me as an SE leader during that run, I'm going to take this question from my point of view here as the co founder and CEO of Vivun, which is actually putting the tools and technology in the hands of the individuals that were going through the exact same thing that I went through. So what excites me most professionally is not only the arrival and the emergence and the momentum of the presales profession, but the ability to take technology and help support those teams to do so much more than just deliver demos for their companies.

On a personal level, what's one thing you're excited about this year?

Matt Darrow: On a personal level, I'm most excited about what my daughter will accomplish in this next year. She's four and she's learning to ski, learning to bike ride, doing a lot of things with dad, and seeing that growth is just one of the best things for me.

Sara Jones: Hi, everyone. I'm Sara Jones and I am a presales lifer. I have over 25 years in the tech world, 10 as an individual contributor, and 15 years in leadership roles at both SAP and Zendesk. My career has spanned alignment with geographical territories, lines of business, Channel, SMB, Large Enterprise and Strategic, Global, and a wonderful transformational assignment in China. I have been fortunate to work in the USA, UK, and China throughout my career. I am passionate about PreSales (Solutions) and the continual evolution of the role. I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and I am the proud mom to two wonderful children, Isabelle, a freshman at University of Arizona, and Oliver, a sophomore in high school. I love Atlanta United Soccer and I'm actually a certified soccer referee and wonder woman. Fun fact, I hold two passports-- neither of which from the country I was born in.

Sara Jones: I fell into presales as a product engineer when the role was nothing but doing demos.

What are you excited about related to PreSales?

Sara Jones: I am most excited about the changes I see in the tech world overall. CEOs are looking for ways to increase revenue while containing costs. I predict that the role of presales will be expanded, stretched even, into alignment with the customer journey with a vendor and that will eventually eliminate the need for a Customer Success Organization. We need to capitalize on this momentum with a louder voice for better funding, more headcount, and a larger seat at the leadership table. We are the best organization within a company to really help customers adopt and realize value. The smart CEOs are recognizing this finally.

On a personal level, what's one thing you're excited about this year?

Sara Jones: On a personal level. I am excited to be watching my son play soccer, watch Atlanta United play soccer, and hopefully win the MLS Cup, and to travel. We already have trips planned to Cyprus and the UK.

Stephanie LaBudde: Hi, my name is Stephanie LaBudde I live in the Dallas area, and I work for Qualtrics, where I have had several different presales leadership positions, including our traditional Solution Engineering org, as well as what we call our XM Solution Strategy or Strategy organization.

Stephanie LaBudde: I was lucky to find presales. I went to college and got a double major in Marketing and Information Systems, and luckily when I was on the job hunt during my senior year, I fell into a presales role and have been in it ever since, leading different teams, and going to different companies. But, truly, truly, am lucky.

What are you excited about related to PreSales?

Stephanie LaBudde: As a presales leader, I'm most excited about creating this amazing career and trajectory for people to go into presales both early on in their career or as a changeover from another role.

On a personal level, what's one thing you're excited about this year?

Stephanie LaBudde: This year is all about getting pregnant again. So I'm very much looking forward to having our second child.

Leah McTiernan: I'm Leah McTiernan, Group Vice President of Presales at DocuSign. Presales at DocuSign is comprised of four functions, Solution, Consulting, Value Consulting, Proposal Management, and Solution Architects. I'm based on the east coast in Philadelphia. I actually live right in Center City with my husband Chris and my two daughters, Abigail and Madeline.

Leah McTiernan: I moved into presales from implementation and consulting roles after a sales leader finally convinced me it was the best job ever and he was right.

What are you excited about related to PreSales?

Leah McTiernan: I am most excited about AI. At DocuSign, we've built and deployed already multiple AI solutions internally for the team that help us streamline customer insight research, the creation of presentations, and demo assets. And I feel like we're just getting started.

On a personal level, what's one thing you're excited about this year?

Leah McTiernan: I am really excited that I'm able what my family and I are going to Spain in March to visit our old neighbors that have moved there. So I am super excited about that.

Produced with Vocal Video