Denise Sangster: Creating Client-focused Strategy for Hybrid and Digitized World

With more than 70%+ of business-to-business revenue in the IT industry earned through partners, billions can be won or lost without the right knowledge of how to accelerate predictable revenue and growth.  This is the sweet spot for Global Touch, Inc., a partner-focused strategy and go-to-market transformation consulting firm for the hybrid and digital computing world. Simply put, Global Touch knows partners: who they are, how they make money and how they help their customers’ businesses thrive through technology and how to turn a partner ecosystem into our clients’ X-Factor!  Global Touch acts as a catalyst for its clients’ growth by steering them from product-led to market-led leaders and helps them achieve success through conventional and creative partnerships while navigating unparalleled market dynamics and changes.

Global Touch was founded in 1990. The company is a management consulting group and expert in data storytelling, partner and customer listening activities, and partner profitability to create predictable revenue and growth. It helps technology companies to do five things:

  • Invest to leverage the future
  • Create partner success through partner-focused strategy and go-to-market transformation services
  • Unleashing the power of partners
  • Establish predictable revenue and growth through partners
  • Look over the horizon to build conventional and creative partnerships, while navigating unparalleled market dynamics and changes in a hybrid and cloud digital economy

Global Touch’s new area of focus is the ‘New Partner Profit Journey’ which will help energize the customer lifecycle journey, and allow partners to monetize and create new profit streams after the ‘land’ phase of the customer lifecycle routine.

A Thriving Leader

Denise Sangster is the President and CEO of Global Touch. She founded the company in 1990 after working as the Head of international partners for a database software company in Silicon Valley, which was later acquired by Microsoft. While Denise was considering moving into a role at Microsoft or Apple, a number of her prior sales partners in Europe and Asia encouraged her to create a consulting company to help them with their businesses. She leaped at this opportunity and never looked back. The journey has been filled with many surprises, twists and turns along the way. The most important thing Denise has learned through her path is that change will happen every day, henceforth, everyone should keep looking over the horizon and be prepared for what is coming next.

Denise started engaging and competing in sports since she was five, which she continued through college. Athletic experiences prepared her for business life more than anything else.

Denise’s childhood swimming coach won three Olympic swimming medals at the 1948 Olympics in London. King George was so impressed with her performance and invited her to have tea with him and his two daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at Buckingham Palace. Denise’s coach was an amazing role model to her. One of the most important things her coach taught Denise was that competing is not about winning or losing, but instead winning or learning, a critical business philosophy embraced by some of the top global leaders Denise has met.

In college, Denise switched sports to rowing. Rowing was the hardest thing she has ever done. Competing in rowing taught her all necessary traits of a leader, including commitment, humility, perseverance, and to respect competitors and thrive in chaotic situations. She also learned about teamwork, which includes working well with her peers, developing the right training program and finding the right coach to help succeed and champion her success. These are all lessons that Denise continues to draw from her daily business life.

Winning as a Female in the Old Stereotype World

Denise started working globally in the early 1990s. There were a limited number of American women working in the IT industry in middle and senior management roles with North America-focused responsibilities and even fewer women outside the United States. Being an American woman, working in a male-dominated industry was an opportunity. Even though when men did not want to interact with her, she accepted this as a challenge and did not see it as a roadblock. Ultimately, Denise won over most of them as peers, advocates or clients.

Encompassing Transformational Leader Attributes

Denise outlines at least ten attributes that transformational leaders should possess to win. Ultimately, her top three are:

  • Entertain new ideas- Transformation can be challenging to achieve if the leader is not open or receptive to new ideas, and they never solicit them.
  • Remain Adaptable- A leader must be in the mindset of continually adapting to changing market conditions to keep moving forward proactively.
  • Take the right risks- Taking calculated risks is the key characteristic of a transformational leader. Risks in today’s world are significant. But working with the team to gain input can remove risks from decisions while achieving goals, including growth.

Driving Data-Powered Innovation

Denise knows Global Touch works with technology companies that are continually innovating products and strategies, and are also creating disruptive innovations. This challenges her and her team to come up with new approaches, tools, performance metrics and knowledge to help their clients stay ahead of the rapidly changing market conditions and competitive threats. Denise’s team knows that data is powerful. Henceforth, they advise and assist their clients to use data differently to create a competitive advantage.

Global Touch’s methodology has been developed over two decades and is based on a combination of science, art and deep IT industry knowledge. For example, the company measures key touchpoints as ‘before,’ ‘at’ and ‘after’ the deal signature to understand how they drive customer lifecycle to success and provides sustainable partner profitability and predictable revenues for its clients.

Denise highlights that even though when companies are aware of the importance of data, they must gradually embrace to operate as a data-driven entity and tell a story on what data means. She adds that few companies grasp how to use data to tell a meaningful story that resonates both intellectually and emotionally with their stakeholders, and the people that need to use the story narrative to achieve their company’s goals. Bridging the gap between data and those who need to learn something from it, or make decisions based on it is a crucial necessity for companies who thrive the pandemic.

Denise says that technology is all about disruptive innovation and is the heartbeat of the IT industry. The market dynamics thrive with continual capabilities from artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics processing, automation, big data, security and managed services. In another way, these technologies are vehicles to enable disruption in business models and competitiveness delivered to customers.

Envisioning a Future Post-Pandemic

Denise exclaims that envisioning the company and the industry in the future is hard to predict, but she knows the “pre-pandemic” world will look different than the post-pandemic one for some time.  Today, everything is short-term focused.  Fortunately, Denise believes with a COVID-19 vaccine being increasingly available in the first half of 2021, there will be a turning point by the fall of 2021. She believes that when enough vaccines are made and are given to the world’s population, Global Touch will start to see more normal activities. Denise emphasizes that the major change in 2021 will be the new American President (Joe Biden) at the helm and a resumption of America’s international diplomacy and re-engagement.

Denise asserts that Global Touch’s ‘DNA’ is all about defining the future, and it is something the company works to help its clients realize. Besides, Global Touch is also willing to get out of the comfort zone to achieve success.

The Five Pointer Guidelines to Emerging Women Leaders

Denise affirms that there are a number of things women should think about to be successful. She stresses the top five as follows,

  • Be exceptionally well prepared for every meeting and discussion. Women leaders should dazzle their peers, superiors and clients with their strategic thinking and readiness for anything that will move the company or client forward. This will increase their visibility in an appropriate way without being seen as boasting.
  • Be confident in business knowledge, social manners and etiquettes. Many women don’t realize the value of a solid handshake or appropriate cultural greeting with women, particularly with men, and how it can create a great first impression.
  • Treat customers as customers for life and devise ways to interact with them even when they don’t have the budget to make short-term purchases from the company.
  • Leaders must upgrade their self-talk. They should turn off their inner critic and turn on the inner coach.

Leaders must celebrate the small successes and read the list of their successes at the end of each week.