SmarterCX.com is proud to highlight women in technology who are driving innovation, creating the next generation of customer experience, and inspiring future leaders. We met with Niki Hall, Vice President of Marketing at Five9, who shared with us her path to a successful career in technology and her 3 ingredients for a best-in-class team.
Watch Niki’s interview and read the transcript below.
My name is Niki Hall. I’m Vice President of Marketing at Five9, and in that capacity I lead a team and act as a coach/leader. My charter is to build best-in-class brands to shape market perception, create brand preference, customer loyalty, and ultimately drive bookings.
My path to this role in technology stems from childhood — my dad worked for BMW of North America. With BMW, there was always the technology that was powering the car, and we always talked about the technology, whether it was horsepower, compression ratio, or torque.
During college, I started working with an agency that supported Porche Cars of North America and then BMW of North America. Then I made a switch to high-tech because I was really fascinated about technology and what it could enable.
I think there are 3 key ingredients that it takes to build a best-in-class team.
A great network
Number 1 is a great network. And how you get that network is just by being true to yourself and others, by being a good person who’s naturally curious, who has integrity, and who follows through on their commitments. By doing so, you’re going to surround yourself by that same type of network. Therefore, when you’re looking to build a team, those people will want to join your team.
Number 2 is about alignment. If you’re true to your goals and they’re aligned to the top business priorities, you’ll never go wrong.
Finally, to build a best-in-class team, you need to empower. I don’t know many people who like to be micromanaged, but if you’re aligned, like point number 2, you won’t have to micromanage because you’re clear on what success looks like. And then you’re empowering the people on your team to be the best that they can be.
Be a business professional first
My biggest piece of advice is to be a business professional first, and then your functional domain expertise second. If you understand the business, the revenue, the market, where the business has been – trailing 2 – 3 years back and then forecast moving forward – if you understand the numbers and the business, you create a plan aligned to this, then you take all subjectivity out of it, because it’s grounded in numbers.
Once you do that, then it’s building out your functional expertise, whether it’s what you’re going to do to build and extend the brand, or what you’re going to do to build enterprise credibility for your brand and awareness with the press or industry analysts, or drive a digital marketing strategy. It all hinges on what the business targets are.
If you’re a business professional first and then functional second, in my experience that tends to work really well for success.
Check back for more with women in technology leaders at https://smartercx.com/womenintech/.
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This transcript may be edited for readability.