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People First, Technology Second: Meet Regional Sales Manager Sara DeMers

Published By Ryan Walton
People First, Technology Second: Meet Regional Sales Manager Sara DeMers

At Planview, we credit our growth and success to our diverse team of incredible employees. As Women in Tech continue to shatter barriers and drive innovation through diversity, we’re thrilled to celebrate Planview’s passionate and intelligent women who lead change and cultivate an environment in which everyone can thrive. 

In celebration of International Women’s Day, let’s get to know Sara DeMers, a Regional Sales Manager based in Minneapolis. Sara has spent 14 years in tech and is passionate about serving customers and creating change. 

Explain your role as a Regional Sales Manager and a few of your responsibilities.

At the highest level, my job is to understand the challenges our customers face and then offer ways we can help.

As a Regional Sales Manager, what type of meetings do you prepare for? Who do you typically collaborate in with?

I appreciate that my days have a wide range of interactions, from prospective customers to existing customers. In speaking with executive leaders and their teams, we  get exposure to every facet of some of the world’s largest organizations.

Aside from customer meetings, I meet and collaborate with my team of value stream architects and Planview account executives every day.

Tell us about working from home – what are your tips for success?

I’ve worked from home for six years. It’s an absolute dream, but it requires discipline. I’ve instilled routines that mimic me leaving the house even though I’m not. I wake up early, make the bed, clean up, get dressed, and am ready to go when it’s time to start work. You won’t always be motivated, but you have to be disciplined.

Tell us about your career journey to date.

Growing up, my mom worked for a large IBM reseller which led to my first tech-related job filing paperwork in a storage room closet at the same company. This experience gave me direct exposure to the world of tech sales and just how large the opportunity could be. I graduated from college with a degree in psychology at the height of a recession. I’m thankful for a sales manager at that same reseller where I was filing who took a chance on me as an inside sales rep, and I didn’t take that opportunity for granted. I was a sponge to every engineer and sales leader I worked with – and still am today. That was more than 14 years ago. Since then, I’ve been an account executive for outside sales for 12 years. I’ve had similar roles in that time, but my charter and responsibilities continue to change and build.

How is Planview different from other companies you’ve worked for?

I joined Planview through the acquisition of Tasktop. Planview is unique because of its position for radical growth. It’s exciting to enter a company that is an established leader and paves the way to continue carving out the market for value stream management. It’s one thing to be one of many in a crowded market, but it’s another to pioneer a new segment. That’s my greatest joy in working for Planview.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as you’ve moved up in your career?

Take care of those that take care of you.

How do you manage your work/life balance?

Having work and life intertwined has brought more peace instead of thinking I could have actual balance. I block critical times for work and family so I’m fully present for each one. I do my best to leave my work in the workweek so I can fully engage with family and friends on the weekends. 

Are there any experiences in your life that you feel contributed to your professional success?

I learn from everyone and everything. Every success has had an army of people behind it.  I have nuggets from influential people constantly playing in my mind. The people who have supported and challenged me along the way are what have contributed to my growth.

As a Regional Sales Manager, how do you make time for your team?

My team is everything. It is filled with my most trusted advisors and my greatest sounding board. We interact all day and care about each other personally and professionally.

What makes your team so effective?

Mutual respect is the core pillar of why we work well together. We see each other for our strengths. And we each have an attitude of not trying to be right ourselves but trying to get it right together. We trust each other and aren’t afraid to try and fail.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Have a plan and work the plan.

From your perspective, why is Planview a great place to work?

Planview has a unique market position. I love the opportunity to influence a major change in the market for ourselves and our customers.

What motivates you while working?

People. I love working with people, and sometimes we talk about technology.

For fun, how do you unwind when you are off the clock?

My husband and two kids are the center of my universe. My husband likes to cook, and I like to eat. We go on regular date nights to our favorite restaurants around Minneapolis. Our goals this year are to improve our golf and pickleball games. With the kids, it’s snow forts and sledding in the winter and swimming in the summer. I’m just trying to soak up this season of life.

The theme for International Women’s Day is “Embrace Equity.” What are some of the professional challenges that you have faced over the course of your career?

I’ve faced many of the same challenges many women and minorities face in the workplace. But where there is opposition, there is opportunity. I’ve used these scenarios to be more direct, set stronger expectations, and be someone who cultivates an environment that is better for everyone. Setting a tone for how we want to engage as women now and for future generations is critical. I’m super thankful to the sponsors and mentors — men and women —who have supported that mindset.

What does it mean to cultivate a workplace where women can thrive?

I heard a speaker recently say that women aren’t looking for handouts; they’re looking for opportunities. That resonated with me, because we aren’t seeking a title or job. We’re seeking opportunities that challenge us, hold us accountable, and make us part of a force that impacts change.

Who are some women who inspire you personally?

Hands down, my mother. My whole life, she has been my guiding light. Professionally, I work with more women now than I ever have in my 14 years in the industry. These women challenge, lead, and influence others. It makes me smile for the individuals and those who support them. 

Planview Is Hiring! 

Are you interested in joining a dynamic and talented team like Sara? Browse the current job openings on the Planview careers page. 

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Written by Ryan Walton

Ryan is Planview’s Social Media Manager and has over 17 years of experience in communication and community building. He’s a huge San Francisco Giants fan, dad joke extraordinaire and loves 90's rom-coms. He lives in Northern California with his two children.