PROFILE OF THE MONTH: SARAH SPENCE

June 17, 2020 Lovisa Taylor

Some of you may not know it, but we do have a group called “Women at Cornerstone W@C” in which we meet and discuss topics around workplace and gender openly. Currently I have the privilege to head up this initiative in EMEA, working together with some of the most brilliant women we have in the region. I am very proud as well as humbled for being offered this opportunity.

One of our bigger aims is to make all stories visible, to ensure we are portraying great women as much as we do great men and therefore, we wanted to interview Sarah. Sarah was the highest achieving European woman in a sales function and only one of two in EMEA to be invited to President’s Club in 2020. We are proud of her and her achievements.

I hope you enjoy this small snapshot Sarah shared with me in a recent interview!

"Sarah was the highest achieving European woman in a sales function and only one of two in EMEA to be invited to President’s Club in 2020.

The day starts with a dash downstairs to see the puppy’s damage from the night before, then a cup of tea with some cuddles. 

I’m an early riser and my preferred routine is to have answered my emails and completed any critical tasks before the regular workday begins.

I joined Cornerstone OnDemand as an Implementation Consultant over 5 years ago. In my current role, I’m responsible for supporting my Sales team in communicating the value of Cornerstone to prospects. 

Previously, I was managing a consulting department for a small firm in Edinburgh, specialising in providing training and consultancy for digital transformation. I was 30 years old and my clients consisted of a very limited demographic of European IT Directors that contracted my services. While I was good at consulting, I lacked experience in the real-life application of the theory. Every engagement was an uphill struggle to gain enough credibility to reach successful outcomes. I decided to put my money where my mouth was and get hands-on experience implementing digital solutions.

I got to where I am today through a mixture of hard work, personal reflection, and constant development.  Cornerstone is a very entrepreneurial environment and we are constantly evolving both in terms of product and approach. And I am always willing to put myself out of my comfort zone.  Of course, you need to recognise that you are part of a wider team. We have the best people in the business, so I consciously work to be someone who can be relied upon to solve problems with. My personal motto is ‘Always thrive’ because survival is just not sufficient.

My typical day consists of a mixture of prep and client-facing meetings. Although we must be flexible, my days are normally scheduled a week in advance. This allows me to properly investigate client requirements, configure my system, design a script and workflow as well as align with the salespeople. With any luck, I should be looking at no more than two demos and enough time to grab a coffee in-between them!

My most memorable moment at Cornerstone was when it was announced that I was going to President’s Club during the sales kick-off dinner in January this year. I was in complete shock as I really wasn’t expecting it. On the announcement, my entire team (and many other teams) cheered for me. We don’t always need a round of applause to just do our day jobs, but on this occasion, it was thoroughly appreciated and made me feel extremely touched and humbled.

The worst part of my job? I generally don’t tend to think in these terms. I believe that this is something that I must choose to do every day to retain enthusiasm. Of course, where you are passionate you will find frustrations, and I am a passionate person, but my frustrations say more about me than my job.

On the flip side, the best part of the job is my team! I am extremely fortunate to have a Manager like Tricia Leigh, that gives me enough autonomy to take pride in my success, but enough support so that I never feel alone. My brilliant colleague Lisa Baker and I work together with humour and creativity. There is nothing more motivational than being surrounded by people you truly respect and who you can constantly learn from. I think if I didn’t do this, I’d like to have my own consultancy business.

My worst trait and my funniest trait are the same, I think I’m funny. I believe I’d do a great stand-up routine but my husband (and many, many others) respectfully disagree. Whereas my best trait is my loyalty. It may stem from my Viking heritage, but I have a very innate sense of justice and I can be fearless in standing up for what I believe to be right."

About the Author

Lovisa Taylor

Previously coming from a diverse background, with a most recent focus on Learning and Development, Lovisa helps clients navigate through the trends and strategies of Human Capital Management and how to utilise their product in the best way.

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