What's In My Portfolio: Cate Gutowski

Photo by Chino Sardea
22 May 2017

GE is undergoing a major transformation from an industrial to an industrial digital company, and Cate Gutowski, VP for Commercial Digital Thread, plays an important role in it

My portfolio at GE includes the digital transformation of the sales force. This means helping our sales professionals do their jobs simpler, faster and better, enabling them to serve our customers with speed, and enabling growth. We are doing this by activating digital tools.

We have 25,000 sales professionals in different business units, from 160 different countries across the globe. I have been with the company for almost 20 years, but our sales organization is still using the same tools that I did when I started out—Power Point, product training, and a CRM system, which is essentially a database where you put information in, but you don’t get anything out. My job is to digitize and contemporize our sales team with new tools including AI, machine learning, and more.

GE’s Commercial Digital Thread is focused on creating a connected, digital ecosystem that will enable sales professionals in every business unit to drive new growth, and serve their customers with speed. I lead a team of Global Product Managers who are dedicated to partnering closely with the GE businesses to deliver Horizontal Digital Tools that will drive productivity.

We have an organic growth target, and we want to drive the company by 5 per cent or US$25 billion in 2020. Equipping our sales force with the tools is just one of the things that we are launching to achieve our target.

About seven years ago, marketing went through a major transformation; now it is turn of sales. Sales will transform more in the next two years than in the past fifty. I am responsible for leading this initiative in the company, by using different tools. This will be the largest transformation in our lifetime, and our success depends on how we go digital.