QA with Julie Lawton

Q & A with Julie Lawton

VP of Channel – Reseller & Strategic Partnerships

Julie Lawton is VP of Channel – Reseller & Strategic Partnerships at GPS Insight. She has over 16 years of experience in the automotive industry, focused on SaaS, analytics, and sales. She was part of a startup, String Automotive, that was purchased by Experian. She discusses what’s going on in her department, the importance of relationships, and the inner workings of GPS Insight. She currently splits time between Utah and Arizona, loves her team, and has a healthy obsession with golf.
QUESTION

What are the main goals of your department?

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We have two segments – the reseller and the strategic partnership side. The goal of the reseller side this year was to get as much out of our current resellers as possible by restructuring the department and the pricing, and we did a good job of that. We have a quarter left, and we’re already so far ahead of our yearly goal, that we just want to blow out the rest of the year and get as far over our goal as possible.

We need to expand our reseller reach and redevelop our co-op program. We’ve moved people around in the department, they are all in the right positions to optimize our department and target doubling the business we did this year. We can achieve that by providing more education, using more marketing materials, getting more consistent training, and getting a higher sell through rate with our partners. We have some really big goals!

On the strategic partnership side, we’re focusing on data monetization and expanding the GPS Insight brand. The more channel sells, the more resellers we have, the more partners we have, the greater it helps expand the GPS Insight brand name, which attracts more customers indirectly and directly…helping the company grow.

We have a little bit of a niche since combining the benefits of fleet and field. It was a brilliant company and marketing move for GPS Insight.

QUESTION

What are your main duties as vice president?

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I’ve been given a lot of freedom in leading the overall strategic direction for both sections and keeping them in line with the GPS Insight goals. I spend my time managing multiple teams, helping develop people, coaching them, making sure everyone has accountability, and developing processes. Of course I’m also putting out fires, dealing with contracts, and doing boring stuff that comes along with being a vice president.
QUESTION

How does GPS Insight build strong partnerships?

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That is a complicated and broad question! It comes down to relationships. We need to know what they need, have an open line of communication, and be able to have real conversations. Sometimes we just need to be able to say, no, I can’t do that, I can’t do that price, I’m losing money.

We have to have a clear understanding of how we can work together and mutually benefit both companies. Basically, the goals of our partnerships have to be aligned, and if they aren’t, then we don’t partner with them. And of course, in any sales, lots of touches to our partners to stay relevant.

QUESTION

Who is in your department, and how do you work together?

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I have five people right now, and we’re pretty well organized. We wouldn’t be able to do this if we weren’t! Mike Albrizzi takes care of the resellers he brought on, and Brian Hedgepeth is our channel development representative. Todd Parks is now the pre-sales manager working with demos and potential customers. Brandon Chaiko supports strategic partnerships. He has brought on so many companies, and he’s very self-motivated. Krista Jurczenia supports both sides, and she’s the glue that keeps us all together. I have a really good team, and I love them all. We really like each other and want to work together – what’s better than that?
QUESTION

Where do you go to work?

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I split time between Utah and Arizona, where the GPS Insight office is located. My husband Mike has to work in Utah, so I live here sometimes, but I’m not walking my dog in the snow…and my golf league is in Phoenix. I’ve lived many places – Indiana, New York, Panama, Florida, Illinois, Washington, and once, a year in Peru.
QUESTION

What was one of your past jobs?

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Aside from my work in the automotive industry, I owned Designs by Boo for five years, where I made one-of-a-kind collars that made your dog stand out and show some personality. It started with my dark black dog, and everyone thought she was a boy, which drove me nuts. I was doing décor for special events in New York and grabbed a ribbon and fake flowers and put them on her collar. Everyone went wild at the dog park and placed orders. I eventually sold my company to a Taiwanese company that transferred my designs to horse harnesses.
QUESTION

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?

QA-Headshot-Julie-Lawton
I am an avid golfer. I am obsessed. That is definitely my game. I like hiking with my husband and dog Opie, I like to cook, I like to be with my family – including our three boys – and friends, and of course my golf girls.