A Face in the Cloud – Jen Holroyd, Client Commercial Lead
Here at Cloudreach, we believe that the growth of a great business is fuelled by great people. It is our talented individuals that make Cloudreach the success it is. Jen Holroyd, Client Commercial Lead, tells us about her experience working and keeping it cloudy at Cloudreach.
Tell us a bit about your current role and your journey at Cloudreach?
I am currently a Client Commercial Lead. My focus and responsibility is to grow and develop Cloudreach’s relationship with some of our key strategic customers. I started at Cloudreach over 4 years ago. I joined from HP, and you couldn’t have 2 more different companies (in a good way!)! I joined as an Account Manager, responsible for acquiring new customers for Cloudreach. I have taken a few different roles, all in sales, and am now responsible for one of our largest global accounts.
How has the company changed over the 4 years you’ve been here?
The company has changed massively! When I started I was number 72, I was the first women Cloudreach hired in sales, and I was one of only about 5 females. Over the past 4 years we have grown to over 500 employees, expanded globally, moved offices in London twice, and have achieved some incredible things as a company.
What has been your favourite Cloudreach moment?
There are too many to choose from, but some highlights include: a company Kick Off to Barcelona a couple of years ago where we had an amazing pool party, dressing up as Princess Leia to film a Star Wars spoof with our 2 co-founders, and having one of my customers present on stage with us at AWS re:Invent in Vegas.
What do you enjoy most about working in this industry?
The constant change and transformation the industry goes through. There is certainly never a dull day! I love the fact that enterprises are now fully embracing technology transformation and using it to drive innovation within their businesses.
What are some challenges you have faced in your role and how have you overcome them?
I have faced many, many challenges in my role over the years, from going months without selling anything, to struggling to keep up with all the changing tech that is happening in the industry. I have tried to overcome these by remaining positive and getting myself a good coach/mentor within the business. Someone you can talk through problems, ideas and strategies with and who can offer you an outside perspective.
I think sometimes challenges can seem insurmountable when you are trying to deal with them by yourself, but with a good sounding board and some perspective, there isn’t any challenge you can’t overcome.
You spoke recently at a 'Women in Tech' meetup. Have you noticed much change in terms of diversity since joining the Tech industry?
My first year in the Tech industry was in 2006, and things were very different back then. I previously worked in Financial Services, and more often than not, I would be the only woman in any meeting I walked into, which was quite daunting for a 23 year old!
However, I am excited about the change I can see happening. From the many Women in Tech meetup groups, to growing number of female execs, to encouraging more girls to take STEM subjects in schools, to the recent pay gender gap review, diversity is moving in the right direction. There is still a long way to go, but we are definitely making progress as an industry.
What inspires you?
So many different things inspire me everyday… From incredible business leaders like Richard Branson, Satya Nadella, Sheryl Sandberg, and even our very own Pontus Noren leading huge organisations and making them successes, to friends/family/work mates pushing themselves to achieve something they didn’t think they could achieve, no matter how small that thing may be.
One of my favourite events to watch is the London Marathon. I find that incredibly inspirational every year - people are taking on a huge challenge for so many different reasons, pushing their bodies to extreme limits, and all to raise money and awareness for good causes and to help other people.
If you had to be stuck in a lift with one person, who would it be and why?
I would love to be stuck in a lift with Peter Jones from Dragons Den to pitch him a business idea. I always watch Dragons Den and cringe when people don’t know their numbers - so I would love to give it a go and see if I could withstand Peter’s wrath!!
Name 3 things on your bucket list?
- Road trip from Vancouver down to LA in a camper van
- Learn how to speak fluent Spanish
- Eat at the Fat Duck
What advice would you give to people thinking about working in sales?
Do it. It’s hard work, but also very rewarding! I think you need to be tenacious, resilient, and not be afraid to fail. Sales can be hard, and you will get rejected….A LOT. But you can’t give up! It will all be worth it when you sign that deal and see that all your hard work has paid off and your company is actually helping an enterprise transform.