Heather Shafland

Personal Title: Daughter, Sister, Friend, Colleague
Work Title: Channel Sales Operations Manager
Company: Cyber Power Systems (USA), Inc.
City, State, Country: Shakopee, MN, United States

How did you get started in Sales or Marketing?

I would say my inspiration for Sales, and specifically Customer Service, really came from my part time job at a fabric store during high school. Every customer had a story. Whether it was just listening to how their day was going to offering them a solution to their problem, I felt like I was making a difference.

Do you use Salesforce in your day to day?

It’s crazy to think what life was like before Salesforce. Our company has only been really using it for maybe three years? Now, it’s the first thing we all log into when we arrive, and for some of us, it’s become one of the only programs we use.

How does your company or team use Salesforce?

From managing Marketing Projects to Case Management to Special Pricing Requests, the list is endless and it’s only getting bigger.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your career to date?

There are so many things that I’m proud of, but if I were to pick just one, it would be the Extended Warranty Process that I put together and helped to build and implement. It’s created an entirely new revenue stream for the company.

What would most people reading this today be surprised to learn about you?

I think many would assume I had great mentors throughout my life. Actually, I’ve had managers tell me they haven’t ever worked with someone who has had it more difficult but stays so positive. I look at those challenging experiences as lessons of what I didn’t want to be when I had a team of my own.

When hiring, what skills or attributes do you value most?

During interviews, there are two values/traits that I look for in a potential candidate: does the person have experience in going above and beyond for their customer and does the person have experience truly owning a project, problem, or task. These are things that can’t be taught, but I think are critical to the success of a growing company.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

I had a Director once ask me, “Can you put the past behind you?” As I thought about the question, I thought it was really quite profound. So often people dwell on the past and don’t allow themselves a chance for a bright future. Every struggle has shaped us into the people we are today. We need to be thankful for the hard times, because they made us stronger. 

What do you do to empower other women?

I listen. Whether it’s to their idea, the problem they are having, or to hear of their success, I take the time to listen. I never want a woman to feel that her thoughts don’t matter.

What advice do you have to find an ally?

As Ernest Hemingway once said, “the best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

Tips on the tough stuff:

Negotiating - Let the data do the talking. It’s really tough for anyone to argue with data!

Risk taking – Life is too short to wonder what could have been. Take a chance! If it works out, great. If not, you still learn and grow.