Anna Chen

Personal Title: Mom, Partner, Coach, Head Cook
Work Title: Regional Vice President, Silicon Valley
Company: Salesforce
City, State, Country: San Francisco, CA, USA

How did you get started in Sales or Marketing?
I started as an Account Manager taking care of customer success with no quota. I saw how successful my sales peers were and thought, “that doesn't look too hard!” and went for it.

When hiring, what skills or attributes do you value most?
When I'm hiring, I'm looking for grit, curiosity and creativity. This winning trifecta has proven to generate outstanding business outcomes. I once hired a kindergarten teacher directly into a sales role...I figured if she could manage helicopter parent expectations while helping form young minds, she had the fortitude to deliver on customer success. She ended up being very capable as an account manager. I believe success is transferable and not dependent on a certain career ladder.

What do you do to empower other women?
Creating an environment where everyone has a voice, diversity and gender equality in VP, “Head of” or C level roles, so that there are models for what's possible and focusing on outcomes, not face-time. These are important components to empowerment.

On Leadership & Motherhood...
I can definitely see the corollaries between these two important roles. I use my skills as a manager to help me be a better parent (Ex. asking my 11 year old to come up with a plan on how she is going to walk the dog every day vs. telling her when, where, and how long) and vice-versa (Ex. entering conversations with my team members with a positivity bias (just as I do with my family)...starting with what's going well, what's new & fresh today, what's working). I know I'm a better manager by being a parent because I have the capacity to see the bigger picture and weather the highs & lows of sales management.

Fun Facts:

  • Coffee vs Tea - Ooh, tough. Dark roast coffee (no cream or sugar), but Lapsang Souchong tea is a close second.
  • One place I want to travel - Burma/Laos. I love to travel, I love exotic locals with amazing food and I would like the outdoorsy aspect of Burma.
  • Words or phrases I use most - “Every deal every day” “Oh. My. God.” “Awesome!”
  • My favorite emoji - 😬 and 🥂