In this inaugural episode of the Selling the Cloud podcast, we were joined Greg Holmes, the Chief Revenue Officer of Zoom Video Communications between 2013 and 2020.
Your hosts of the Selling the Cloud podcast are Mark Petruzzi, Digital Sales Transformation consultant at Accenture and Ray Rike founder and CEO of RevOps Squared, the B2B SaaS KPI Benchmarking Index company.
In this episode, Greg shares how Zoom cultivated a "happiness culture" from the very early days at Zoom. Happiness as a concept was first applied to how Zoom made customers feel, and then to employees. They even anointed a CHO - Chief Happiness Officer.
Eric, the founder of Zoom actually gave every new Zoom employee a copy of the book, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh which created the foundation of the Zoom culture. As Zoom grew beyond a single office, happiness crews were established in every office around the globe to promote and amplify the company culture.
Zoom differentiated their solution by being purpose built for video communications in the collaborative, mobile age to make video communications easier and better from solutions developed for more traditional environments.
Early on, a key role of the Zoom sales organization was to be the "voice of the customer" and ensuring that in the early days of product maturation, customer feedback was constantly shared back to the product group.
Authenticity was a core pillar of the Zoom sales hiring profile from the early days. Many of the interview questions for new sales hires were asking for examples of times when they delivered happiness to their customers. In fact, an early sales person was hired based upon the happiness he delivered to Zoom employees when he was a server at a local restaurant that Zoom employees frequented.
As Zoom scaled, finding the key performance indicators by sales team (Enterprise vs SMB vs Commercial) was key to ensuring every team understand the performance metrics that optimized the probability of success. Zoom's early success was found in the education market, and then they moved on to the SMB marketing (< 1,000 employees) and Enterprise (> 1,000 employees) in the first few years.
Zoom also took at outside-in approach to customer acquisition by beginning with mapping the "buyer journey" and building a sales process that followed the buying process versus trying to force their sales process onto the buyer.
We then touched on the power and importance of "resilience" in being a top sales performer. Greg shared that resilience is built upon life experiences, and that seeking out difficult situations and tough challenges is a great way to build resilience. Similar to asking questions about experience delivering happiness, Greg would always ask about the biggest challenges a candidate had faced in life, and what they learned by encountering and hopefully, overcoming the challenges.
Lastly, Greg discussed the power of being humble, and perfecting the art of praise. The unique take on praise was not only learning how to give praise, but also how to accept praise.