Bridget Gleason is VP, Corporate Sales at Sumo Logic since July 2015, formerly VP Sales at Yesware and with sales leadership positions at Engine Yard. It was great to catch up with her since her move back to the West coast.
LR: How did you get into a sales leadership role initially?
BG: I went into sales shortly after I graduated from college after a quick stint in marketing. When I was raising my two sons (who are now 25 and 26) I worked part-time as an individual contributor, but was able to make a full-time salary. I was a single mother at the time and I couldn’t afford the roller coaster months that many sales people feel are inevitable. Other sales reps came to me to learn how I was able to make a full time salary working part-time. I wasn’t a manager, but I became a leader in the organization. That eventually led to more formal sales management roles.
LR: Who has championed, mentored, or sponsored you to succeed?
BG: My father was definitely a mentor to me. He believed that I could achieve anything. He supported my dreams and was a great sounding board. What I learned from him is that we rise to meet the expectations of those around us. The biggest gift that I can give anyone on my team is high expectations of him/her.
LR: What do you aspire to do?
BG: I aspire to help the people who work for me to one day take my job! I look forward to the day when I see their LinkedIn profiles with titles such as Director, VP, CRO, or CEO. To me, the measure of a great leader is her ability to develop those around her.
LR: What has your career in sales leadership done for you?
BG: It’s made me humble. There are a lot of ups and downs in leading a sales organization. It often happens that just when you feel you’ve got it figured out, you get the wind knocked out of you. It’s important to ride the good times and the bad times with equanimity – staying focused, determined and humble.
LR: What advice do YOU have for more women getting into sales or sales leadership?
BG: Enjoy the ride! Don’t take yourself too seriously. Pay attention to your intuition. It’s a great resource that we have as women in business.
LR: Who else should we interview?
BG: Marcy Campbell, SVP of WW Sales, Qubole
Lori Richardson (LR) is interviewing 100 women sales leaders before 2016 is over. Lori is President of WOMEN sales pros ® and CEO of Score More Sales.
email lori@WOMENsalespros.com | Lori’s LinkedIn Profile