Day in the Life: Shaheen Haque

Shaheen Haque of Interactive Intelligence on taking new technologies to market

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Day in the Life: Shaheen Haque
By  Mark Sutton Published  April 20, 2011

Channel Middle East’s feature on members of the channel community and the role they play in their organisation and what keeps them busy during an average day at work.

Name: Shaheen Haque
Company: Interactive Intelligence Middle East FZ LCC
Job title: Territory Manager
Years in the role: 3 years
Years at the company: 3 years
Previous companies: IBM, Micromuse, AppsSmart Software, Seagate Software, LBMS, Oracle and SPSS

How would you summarise your role?

My primary responsibilities include the sales and marketing of the Interactive Intelligence solution suite including both contact center, telephony and process automation within the Middle East, excluding Saudi Arabia. It also includes the recruiting, signing and managing of the sales activities of reseller organizations for Interactive Intelligence.

What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office each day?

My day starts at breakfast, dealing with the emails that have accumulated on my BlackBerry overnight…we have a US parent and report into the UK, so I get quite a few out-of-hours emails.

What skills or qualities are required in order to do your job?

You need to be an effective communicator, have the ability to listen, ask great questions, be well mannered and courteous, and be a person of integrity - honesty in our business is so important and it is almost impossible for this skill to be taught…it’s inbuilt!

What does a typical day entail for you?

Every day tends to be different from the next, sometimes I am meeting with a new prospect, another time I am supporting a resale partner, manning an expo or sometimes responding to questions asked by journalists or analysts. On most office days, my drive in to work can get absorbed into an impromptu conference call with a partner, customer or colleague. By the time I drive into the parking garage, I have just added a few more points to my action list. After lunch, I have internal conference calls and calls with customers and partners followed by possibly spending the final one to two hours at a partner premise to run through projects how we can assist them in getting them in.

How much time do you spend out of the office each week?

I usually spend about 30-40% of my time in the office and the rest of the time in customer/partner meetings in and around the region, which also includes Turkey, or working from home.

What is your favourite part of the job?

The favourite part of my job is being involved with the most bleeding edge technology in our market and working on innovative ways to market and promote our solutions. I also enjoy travelling to see partners and customers in the many different countries that make up the Middle East.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your current role?

In one particular incident our team was able to turn a competitor sponsor within a partner, to actually admit that we had the better solution and he would very much like to learn more about our technology. There were a few heated moments where he blankly refused to believe what our solution could offer…but I’m please to say he conceded and is now a key advocate for us.

What is the hardest part of your job?

I wouldn’t say it is the hardest but it is definitely a challenge to adhere to the rapid response times we typically need to meet for proposal responses. It’s also quite hard to keep a balance between family and work lives…both are as demanding as each other.

What criteria do you measure your performance on?

In my role, revenue is king. For me, it is important to see our regional entity grow in terms of people and customers. Also, I compile a checklist of things to do each day, and see how much I was able to achieve each day; I listen to criticism, negative or positive, as it opens a window into productivity/quality, and how I am being viewed by my co-workers and those above me; and I search the internet for research on a daily basis, as it is very important to be fully up to date on new technologies.

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