Woman in IT Spotlight: A Conversation with Natasha Florence
December 18, 2015
Name: Natasha Florence
Current Role: Director of Sales Operations
Company: Long View
City: Calgary, AB
Years in the IT industry: 15
How did you get into the technology industry?
As most of us, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do upon graduation from university. A marketing professor gave me very good advice. She told me to get into B2B sales, it was an “untapped” career with potential. Little did I know she was onto something.
I knew enough about myself then that whatever I would chose, it would have to be something I was passionate about. Technology was always interesting to me. I may be dating myself (chuckle), but Microsoft’s bold mission to have a PC in every home resonated with me, especially when I was lining up at the university labs for hours to write my papers. The internet wasn’t around then and Microsoft Windows was released in my first year of school. I actually had to get books from the library for my papers. And if the local library didn’t have the book, well that was that. So, I was always intrigued by the possibilities of technology. I applied for an IT sales job out of university to sell Microsoft software and 6 years later I had the privilege of working direct for Microsoft. And today I still get to be part of that story by being here at Long View.
What is a day in a life in your current role?
Every day I am looking at how our team can enable our sales organization to get them “ready” for the marketplace. I’m responsible for the overall management, operations, and strategic direction of Sales Operations within the organization. This includes everything from internal systems CRM projects, sales strategies, opportunity management, to working with marketing, training, artifacts, proposals, etc. Our team also provides data, analyses, modeling, and reporting to support sales force quarterly business reviews.
Tell us about the most transformative project you were a part of?
I think that project is happening right now at Long View. The technology market has changed substantially in the past few years with the uptake of various consumption models like cloud; and that speed of change isn’t going away. In addition, technology has enabled “digital business” in diverse forms. Our customers are becoming more sophisticated in when and how they buy resulting in a perfect storm that makes it more difficult to sell. As our organization is transforming to adjust to the market, our sales team needs to shift and have the right tools at the right time in order to execute effectively. It’s exciting! We have built an engine that does this! The collaborative effort is phenomenal.
What’s one piece of advice you would lend to a fellow woman in IT?
Don’t shy from using your voice – it matters. Have your convictions – they matter. Be a team player.
When you are not in the office what do you do for fun?
I hang out with my family every chance I get. My husband and I try to keep our children active with skiing, hiking, and swimming. Or I “nerd out” and take courses. I am a lifelong learner, likely because my mother was an educator.