Meet Caroline Porteous

She has a motorbike license, a black belt in karate, and trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She’s an amateur cosmologist who can sew her own clothes. And she also was named the 2015 “Best Woman in Software Sales” EMEA by WISA, the independent organization promoting “Women in Sales Awards”. Meet Caroline Porteous, Adobe Enterprise Sales Rep for Document Cloud specializing in the Financial Services sector.

Caroline grew up in Oxford, England where she attended the Oxford College of Marketing. She also holds a diploma in fashion design (thus being able to make her own threads). She has been with Adobe since 2012.

In order to learn how Caroline won this award, we take a closer look into her life and work strategy. “What has been key to my success is consistency,” Caroline says. “This year, we landed the biggest eSign deal in history.” The deal, which was orchestrated by combining a 3-cloud vision, demonstrated the value the technology brings across the business.

“When I receive a new quota, I immediately break down which 3 or 4 companies can help me meet half of it. Who are the elephants that will get me to 50% of my quota? Then I break it down to the companies that will help me achieve a quarter of my quota. Those become my targets.” Her success has been evident in the fact that Caroline has exceeded rising quotas for 7 years straight (3 years at Adobe and 4 years at a prior company).

Caroline also advocates putting the customer at the heart of all engagement, helping them deliver against their strategy, and going above and beyond both pre- and post-sale. “There’s no such thing as luck,” she says. “Just hard work, good use of EQ and Sales Science.”

“Caroline is the backbone of the sales team in EMEA. Not only does she lead by example, she is the go-to person that her peers turn to for advice and guidance. She has built an unassailable reputation based on a proven track record of selling significant net-new business at the executive level. My job would be twice the challenge if not for Caroline’s commitment, effort and passion for personal and team success.” – Richard Langham, Head of EMEA Sales for Document Cloud.

Art + Science = Success

Caroline’s overriding goal is to first understand customers’ objectives and then to ensure they are met. In doing so she builds trusting relationships with her customers and is as valued by them as she is by Adobe.

Caroline believes that women can bring a special viewpoint to the field of sales by combining the art of intuition with the science of sales. She says that her emotional intelligence allows her to read a room, mitigate risks, and act appropriately to deliver the right results. The science half is sales methodology – taking a value-based sales approach and understanding the business challenges, identifying the key stakeholders, peer-matching the right teams, and then tying in how Adobe has already engaged with the customer previously.

But she also admits the challenge of maintaining a work/life balance and says the important thing is to not lose one’s perspective on why we’re here. She believes we’re here to make a life- defined as a combination of a successful work life and successful home life. She also believes it’s important to keep up the hobbies you have outside of work. A self-described adrenaline junkie, Caroline loves activities that make her heart race: Jumping out of airplanes, bungee jumping, riding super bikes, and martial arts, to name a few.

“Finding out I was a finalist among Europe’s top female talent was unbelievable,” Caroline says. “Being nominated for the European Women in Sales Award is an achievement in itself. To be formally recognized by my company, colleagues and customers has completely blown me away.”

“She does not carry the burden of ego. She freely praises colleagues and celebrates the success of others, even though she seeks no praise herself, rather she is quite embarrassed by it.”
Richard Langham, Head of EMEA Sales for Document Cloud.

“Caroline is a role model of determination and success for men and women in sales around the world. But in EMEA, we’re particularly fortunate to have her on our extraordinary Adobe team.”
Mark Zablan, President, Adobe EMEA

This article was originally published using Adobe Slate.