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iTech Series Unplugged Interview with Dina El Banna, Senior Director of Sales Excellence at Avaya

Saurabh Khadilkar

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iTech Series Unplugged Interview with Dina El Banna

Dina El Banna, Senior Director of Sales Excellence at Avaya, discusses GTM strategies, customer-centric sales, AI’s impact, and enhancing customer journeys with iTechSeries.

Welcome, Dina! With your extensive experience in marketing and sales roles, tell us a bit about yourself and your current role at Avaya.

Thank you for having me. I have over 15 years of experience in marketing and sales, with a particular focus on driving growth through strategic GTM executions. Currently, I serve as the Senior Director of Sales Excellence at Avaya. In this role, I lead the charge in fostering cross-functional collaboration and developing and implementing sales methodologies that drive significant pipeline and sales growth. My expertise lies in spearheading go-to-market plans, sales acceleration initiatives, and strategic transformations that enhance both sales effectiveness and organizational efficiency. I have a strong track record of cultivating executive-level engagements and leading customer programs to ensure optimal customer satisfaction and loyalty. At Avaya, my focus is on creating a cohesive strategy that aligns our marketing and sales efforts to deliver exceptional value to our customers and stakeholders.

For successful go-to-market (GTM) execution, what best practices would you recommend to fellow GTM leaders?

For a successful GTM execution, I recommend the following best practices:

  • Clear Objectives and KPIs: Define clear objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) from the outset to measure success and guide the team’s efforts.
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration: Foster strong collaboration between marketing, sales, product development, and customer success teams to ensure alignment and cohesion.
  • Customer Insights: Leverage customer insights and market research to tailor your strategies to the needs and preferences of your target audience.
  • Agile Methodology: Implement an agile approach to quickly adapt to market changes and feedback.
  • Regular Review and Optimization: Continuously review performance data and optimize strategies for better outcomes.

“Creating a cohesive strategy that aligns our marketing and sales efforts to deliver exceptional value to our customers and stakeholders”.

What has been the most challenging yet successful GTM execution program you’ve led or been involved in?

One of the most challenging yet successful GTM programs I led was overseeing the GTM strategy for the Avaya Experience Platform in EMEA and APAC, including sales and channel readiness, tool implementations, carrier partnerships, technical enablement, and marketing efforts. We have managed to expand the launch to 50+ countries internationally through effective global program management and GTM strategy, achieving double-digit pipeline growth, over 25 public references, and enhanced booking conversion rates in the first year of launch while driving migration programs from on-premises to public, hybrid or private cloud subscription models.

What strategies have you found successful in driving sales teams towards a customer-centric sales approach?

Driving sales teams towards a customer-centric sales approach requires a multi-faceted strategy focused on training, tools, and culture. Implement training programs that emphasize understanding customer needs and pain points. This includes role-playing exercises, customer journey mapping, and empathy training to help sales teams see things from the customer’s perspective. Shift the focus from purely sales volume to metrics that reflect customer satisfaction and retention, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer lifetime value (CLV), and churn rates. Reward and recognize sales personnel who excel in these areas. And finally, equip the sales team with tools and resources that allow for personalized customer interactions.

What advice do you have for fellow GTM leaders to leverage strategic partner engagements and drive pipeline growth?

Leveraging strategic partner engagements effectively can significantly drive pipeline growth and create a win-win scenario for both parties. Choose partners whose products, services, or market presence complement your own. Establish clear, mutually beneficial objectives and goals for the partnership. Develop joint go-to-market strategies that leverage the strengths of both partners. This can involve co-branded marketing campaigns, joint webinars, and combined sales efforts to present a unified front to potential customers. Create integrated solutions or bundled offers that combine the best features of both partners’ products or services. And finally, work closely with your partner to ensure customer success. Jointly manage customer onboarding, support, and feedback to deliver a seamless and positive experience. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat buyers and advocates.

Based on your experience, what are the essential elements for crafting a customer journey that fosters customer delight and retention?

To craft a customer journey that delights and retains, ensure deep customer understanding, seamless onboarding, and consistent personalized engagement. Provide proactive support, continuous value delivery, and use customer feedback for constant improvement. Foster community and transparency while leveraging data-driven insights to anticipate needs.

Within a cross-functional revenue team structure, how can GTM leaders ensure clear communication and strong alignment across all departments?

To ensure clear communication and strong alignment in a cross-functional revenue team, GTM leaders should: hold frequent meetings to discuss progress, share insights, and align on goals. Establish shared objectives and key performance indicators that all departments work toward. Utilize collaboration tools and platforms for seamless information sharing. And clearly define roles and responsibilities to avoid overlap and ensure accountability.

What emerging trends do you foresee impacting the customer experience and sales strategies in the coming years?

AI will enhance personalization, predictive analytics, and customer support automation, while seamless customer experiences across all digital and physical channels will become essential. This continues to be a goal for many organizations. With that, there will be an increased focus on transparent and secure data practices to build customer trust. Finally, we should see the growing importance of sustainable and ethical business practices in customer decision-making.

Avaya

Businesses are built by the experiences they provide, and every day, millions of those experiences are delivered by Avaya. Organizations trust Avaya to provide innovative solutions for some of their most important ambitions and challenges, giving them the freedom to engage their customers and employees in ways that deliver the greatest business benefits. Avaya contact center and communications solutions power immersive, personalized, and unforgettable customer experiences that drive business momentum. With the freedom to choose their journey, there’s no limit to the experiences Avaya customers can create. Learn more at https://www.avaya.com.

Dina is a senior sales leader with over 15 years in Avaya, known for driving business growth and developing robust go-to-market strategies. She excels in fostering lasting customer relationships through innovative sales methodologies and strategic transformations. Passionate about analytics and market insights, Dina crafts forward-thinking strategies that empower her team to exceed objectives. She advocates for a culture of excellence and meaningful connections at the intersection of technology and strategy.

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