How Zoom Enables Data-Driven Sales Managers to Drive Growth

Case study for how Zoom enables data-driven sales managers to drive growth using sales rep scorecards from Rekener.

The Zoom Story

Zoom Video Communications (Zoom) makes video communications frictionless.  Zoom’s cloud-native platform enables people to communicate over a distance with video, voice, chat and content sharing.  In the prospectus for Zoom’s initial public offering in early 2019, Zoom described their goal as making Zoom meetings better than in-person meetings. If Zoom’s historical growth is any indication, they are succeeding.

Zoom’s direct sales team is a key component of it’s multipronged go-to-market strategy.  Zoom has hundreds of sales reps, and the team is growing rapidly.  

As the sales organization has grown, it has been organized into multiple segments and different industry verticals.  In addition, Zoom has created dedicated sales teams to grow existing accounts and expand business in international markets.

Zoom’s direct sales team is a machine, and sales performance is a high priority.  Zoom has invested heavily in software tools and data analytics in order to help sales managers drive results.  The sales tech stack is extensive, with Salesforce.com as their CRM.

The Data Challenge for Zoom’s Sales Managers

Prior to using Sales Rep Scorecards, sales managers relied on a combination of dashboards and spreadsheets in order to manage their sales teams and coach their sales reps.  Zoom’s sales operations team maintained a KPI dashboard. Separately, the business operations team generated a set of data analytics using their business intelligence platform.  Additionally, Zoom had many different Salesforce dashboards.  

Typically, sales managers were left to cobble together data about their teams and reps from all these different sources.  Some managers had ten or more tabs open when they did their one-on-one meetings with reps.  Other managers created their own spreadsheets in order to give them the holistic view that they needed to coach their reps.

Bottom line was that some managers were using data to be effective sales coaches.  But others weren’t. This problem was magnified by Zoom’s rapid growth: (1) the company had grown to the point of having multiple segments with different goals and metrics; (2) many sales managers were newly hired or recently promoted from the ranks of account executives; and (3) the company was constantly hiring new sales reps who needed to be ramped up.  

The Opportunity

Hilary Headlee, Zoom’s Head of Sales Operations and Enablement, recognized an opportunity to improve data-driven sales coaching and have a big impact on sales performance.  Industry data further supported what Hilary knew from experience. Specifically, there is a performance gap of 15% quota achievement between teams with effective sales coaching compared to those with ineffective sales coaching. (See Sales Coaching Practices, Sales Management Association, May 2018)

Hilary spearheaded an initiative to enable sales managers to be data-driven sales coaches.  She chose Rekener’s Sales Rep Scorecards platform to execute her plan.

Hilary Headlee, Head of Sales Operations and Enablement at Zoom, chose Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecards to enable sales managers to be data-driven sales coaches.

The Solution

Zoom achieves 3 objectives using sales rep scorecards: enable sales managers to be data-driven sales coaches; standardize scorecards for sales reps, sales teams and business segments; and empower fast growth, ever-increasing goals, new managers and ramping reps.

Enabling Sales Managers to be Data-Driven Sales Coaches

Challenges:  Hilary Headlee saw the opportunity to improve sales performance with better sales coaching, and she chose to enable sales managers with a data-driven sales coaching approach.  Mark Roberge (former CRO at HubSpot and current Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School), defines data-driven sales coaching as (a) using data to diagnose skill deficiencies; and (b) customizing a coaching plan. The first hurdle was that it was really difficult for managers to sort through all the data to find and diagnose deficiencies in sales skills.  Zoom has an extensive set of Salesforce dashboards, and business analytics in Domo. On top of that, the sales operations team was building spreadsheets with info about pipeline coverage and quota achievement.  

With no consolidated view of data for sales teams and reps, some sales managers would manage their teams and reps with lots of different tabs open to all of the data sources.  Others were building spreadsheets to create consolidated views of their teams and sales reps. There was inconsistency in terms of metrics. Some managers were able to pull data together and use it to figure out what’s working and what isn’t.  Others weren’t.

Zoom needed a solution for data-driven sales coaching that overcomes these challenges: consolidates data about teams and reps into a single view; makes it easy to see deficiencies; and provides a framework for coaching that drives commitment and holds reps accountable for results.

Sales Rep Scorecards Enable Data-Driven Sales Coaching:

  1. Sales Rep Scorecards consolidates sales rep data into a single view.  By creating a 360 degree view of each rep, sales managers didn’t need to look at multiple dashboards to understand rep performance.  In addition, Zoom uploaded sales rep quotas in order to compare performance to quota in Sales Rep Scorecards. 

  2. Sales Rep Scorecards makes it easy for managers to diagnose deficiencies.  By benchmarking each rep against their peers and to top performers, sales managers can easily show sales reps where they are falling behind.  In the screenshot below from Zoom’s one-on-one scorecard, the sales rep compares very favorably to peers in terms of new opportunities, close rate and sales cycle.  But he is behind in terms of Average Deal Size (ADS), and this metric shows up in red. It immediately gives a sales manager the coaching insight they need to help this rep focus on moving bigger deals through his pipeline.Zoom uses sales rep comparisons in Sales Rep Scorecards in order to quickly diagnose what is working and what isn't.

  3. Sales Rep Scorecards gives Zoom a data-driven coaching framework that can be replicated across the entire organization.  It starts with motivation. By comparing reps to top performers, managers can show reps what it takes to be the best. Managers can show what metrics need to be improved and drive commitment to goals.  From there, managers can use Sales Rep Scorecards in weekly one-on-ones to track these metrics over time and versus goals.4 Elements for a data-driven coaching framework: 1. Diagnose deficiencies using data; 2. Motivate sales reps to improve using comparisons to top performers; 3. Drive commitment to specific activities and goals; 4. Hold reps accountable by tracking performance over time and versus goals.

Standardize Scorecards for Sales Reps, Sales Teams and Business Segments

Challenges:  Zoom’s sales operations and enablement team wanted a standardized set of scorecards that would enable data-driven managers across multiple business segments, industry verticals and geographies. 

Zoom has built an impressive sales machine.  For the machine to perform at a high level, all of the sales managers needed to speak the same language in terms of quota achievement, forecasting, pipeline coverage, opportunity stages and lead response.  

At the same time, different segments have different requirements.   For example, the Enterprise segment does larger deals that take longer, and needs to have visibility into pipeline stage conversion.  The SMB segment is transactional in nature and has a large focus on lead conversion rates and velocity. The challenge is to use sales metrics to speak a common language, while also accommodating the specific needs of different segments.

To support rapid growth, the sales ops and enablement team also needed a data-driven scorecard solution that was flexible.  The metrics that will be critical a few quarters from now may be different from the metrics that are critical today. Zoom needed a solution that could not only help identify key metrics but also adjust those metrics as necessary. Data-driven sales management can be a virtuous cycle, but it only works if the metrics and KPIs are flexible enough to change as the business grows.

Zoom needed a solution to enable sales managers across the entire business. Any solution needed to overcome these challenges: standardize scorecards for segments, teams and one-on-ones across the entire business; supporting a common, data-driven language while accommodating special metrics for different segments; and maintaining flexibility in order to adjust scorecards rapidly as the business grows and changes.

Sales Rep Scorecards Provide Standardization With Flexibility:

  1. Standardizing scorecards.  Zoom’s sales operations team worked with Rekener’s customer solutions team to configure scorecards for all of Zoom’s business segments, plus upsell and international teams.  Two scorecards were created for each segment: (1) team level scorecards; and (2) one-on-one scorecards. At the team level, the scorecards give managers immediate visibility into quota achievement, pipeline coverage, open and expired pipeline by opportunity stage, lead conversion analytics and sales velocity metrics.  For one-on-ones, the scorecards include sales rep comparisons, quota attainment, pipeline coverage, sales velocity and lead analytics. All of these metrics are shown over time so managers can see trends. 

  2. Accommodating different segments.  As part of the roll out of Sales Rep Scorecards to Zoom’s business segments, Zoom’s sales operations team collected feedback from sales leaders in different segments about unique requirements.  The sales ops team wanted to maintain a common language but also make any adjustments that were necessary to reflect differences from segment to segment. Because Sales Rep Scorecards are configurable, this was easy.  Examples of metrics that vary from segment to segment are quota period, the importance of different lead sources and the definition of overdue pipeline.

  3. Maintaining flexibility and responding to fast growth.  Sales Rep Scorecards can easily be updated as Zoom grows.  For example, Zoom introduced Zoom Phone in 2019. Over time, it will become important for Zoom’s sales managers to see which products have been purchased by customer accounts.  This is a way of identifying cross-sell opportunities. When the time is right, Sales Rep Scorecards can be updated to track this. Changes can be made to one segment, several segments or all segments.

Zoom has standardized team scorecards and rep scorecards for all of their sales divisions.

Empower Fast Growth, Ever-increasing Goals, New Managers and Ramping Reps

Challenges:  Hilary Headlee and her team wanted a solution that could handle the challenges that come with rapid growth.  

In a fast-growth sales team, targets change all the time.  Usually they are adjusted up because performance outstrips goals.  Zoom wanted a dynamic solution with easy-to-update targets and goals.  They also needed a tool that sales managers could use to motivate sales reps even when they are crushing their goals.

Zoom is adding new sales reps at a very rapid rate, and Zoom wanted to be able to help them ramp up as quickly as possible.  The challenge for Zoom’s sales managers was to identify sales reps that were having trouble ramping up.

Because of Zoom’s growth, they’re adding new sales managers all the time.  Some sales managers are promoted from the ranks of the top account executives.  Others are hired from the outside. Zoom needed a scorecard solution that was simple to use so new sales managers could be effective data-driven sales coaches as soon as possible. 

Zoom needed a solution that empowers fast growth. The solution needed to overcome all of these challenges: Motivating reps with dynamic goals and targets; Quickly ramping new sales reps; and Helping new sales managers get up to speed with their reps and the business.

Sales Rep Scorecards Empowers Fast Growth:

  1. Easy updates to goals and targets and sales rep benchmarking.  Quotas and goals are uploaded into Sales Rep Scorecards in a flexible way, so that they can be changed at any point.  Updating goals in Sales Rep Scorecards is as easy as updating a spreadsheet.. From there, Sales Rep Scorecards automatically updates all of the scorecards for all segments, teams and sales reps.  Sales Rep Scorecards also benchmark all sales reps against other reps. This is a powerful tool for motivating sales reps who have already exceeded quota. To be the top sales rep, they need to beat the other top reps.  Sales Rep Scorecards makes this very easy to see. 

  2. Ramping lots of new sales reps.  Zoom’s sales managers can use the sales rep comparison feature to compare ramping reps to other reps with the same tenure.  This helps sales managers see who is outperforming and who is lagging. Sales Rep Scorecards also show the performance of sales reps over time, which helps sales managers track improvement over the ramp up period.  

  3. Enabling lots of new sales managers. Sales Rep Scorecards helps new sales managers get up to speed.  Many don’t have any experience as a sales manager and don’t know how to pull together or analyze data to manage their teams.  With Sales Rep Scorecards, all the critical metrics and data are brought together in one place, so managers can focus their attention on identifying deficiencies.  Sales Rep Scorecards also categorizes KPIs as red, yellow, or green so that managers can easily see where a rep needs to be coached. Even new managers can quickly diagnose problems, create improvement plans and then track metrics over time to make sure sales reps stay on the right track.  

Key Takeaways

Zoom is using Sales Rep Scorecards to enable sales managers to improve sales performance using data.  Research shows that the performance gap between effective and ineffective sales coaching is 15 percent quota achievement.  

Sales Rep Scorecards provide a framework for data-driven sales coaching (see graphic).  Zoom has created standardized team and one-on-one scorecards for all of its business segments, plus sales teams focused on upsell, international markets and vertical markets. 

Sales Rep Scorecards help Zoom’s sales operations and enablement team stay on top of rapid growth.  Goals and targets are dynamically updated. Ramping reps are easy to monitor over time, making it easier for sales managers to identify problems.  And the data-driven coaching framework is easy for new sales managers to adopt when they join the company. 

Mike Lazzaroni is a senior sales leader at Zoom and his team is using Sales Rep Scorecards to run all of their one-on-one meetings with sales reps.

Learn More about Sales Rep Scorecards

Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecard app is the fastest and most powerful way to give your new sales managers everything they need to become great at data-driven sales coaching.  Investing in better coaching and a goal-directed playbook will generate significant improvement in your sales results. The return on investment is big. 

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Alex Laats

Alex is CEO and Founder of Rekener. Previously, he served as President and COO at ZeroTurnaround and as President of the Delta Division of BBN Technologies. At ZeroTurnaround, he grew high velocity inside sales by 6x in 3 years. At BBN, Alex co-founded RAMP and AVOKE, both recurring SaaS businesses based on BBN's world class speech recognition and natural language processing tech. Alex started his entrepreneurial career as founder and COO of NBX Corporation, which led the transformation of business telephone systems to Voice over IP. Alex’s companies have generated $500M in liquidity events and more than $1B in sales.

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