How ZoomInfo Built a Sales Team to Target Their Full Spectrum of Accounts

August 13, 2020

Last week, I wrote about our inbound go-to-market motions at ZoomInfo. In case you missed it, our performance-based approach results in nearly 60% of our revenue.

We refine and refine as much as we can, applying learnings in real-time, based on outcome-powered lead scoring and routing to scoring a rep’s performance.

We’re able to ask for reps to commit to that motion, and in return we provide an infrastructure that helps our company win and our employees grow.

Today we’re going to turn our focus to outbound go-to-market (GTM) motion. But before we do, let’s talk about commitments.

Investing in people

Prioritizing people should start on day one of the relationship. From our perspective, it doesn’t matter if you’ve switched careers or if it’s your first job out of college, starting a new job at a sales organization can be overwhelming.

Because data doesn’t lie, at ZoomInfo we like to convey the performance metrics we quantify and try to make incremental improvements toward every new rep.

I looked back to September 24th, 2019. And the numbers aligned with an average day at the time:

  • 250+ inbound demos booked
  • 225+ opportunities created

The level of activity included over 18,000 emails sent; 9,100 calls; 109 free trials started; and 4,900 replies to an email we sent.

But what about the other 40% of business? That comes from the 175+ outbound-sourced demos we book every day.

That doesn’t just happen overnight.

Investing in process means investing in people.

Our talent pool comes from developing within. Our feeder systems put inbound sales development representatives (SDRs) in a position to eventually become account executives, account managers or even team managers.

Beyond the sales organization, these SDRs move all across the company, driving placements in product marketing, operations, product management and even engineering.

This path is not exactly groundbreaking, but then again neither is disciplined response time on inbound lead follow-up.

“Investing in process means investing in people.”

And believe it or not, something simple like prioritizing people and their development is truly an investment in partnership that pays recurring dividends—for both parties.

Our employees benefit from a sound plan with multiple areas of growth; while the company can bring people in at a low OTE, especially since it’s likely their first or second job out of college.

And again, because we have a process in place, we can take a newly minted SDR, who’s never done any work in technology before or software, and we can grow them into an AE in 12 months.

Contrast that with other software companies that have to actually go out and buy this talent. These hires can take as much as six quarters to fully map. We’re able to do this much faster while adding real value for the company.

But don’t let circumstances defeat the process. A perfect example: Your process doesn’t need to acquire talent strictly from core cities. We’re doing it in Vancouver, Washington and Grand Rapids, Michigan. We’re doing it in Bethesda, Maryland and in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Your process can and should overcome location bias. And when you do, these “disadvantages” actually transform into financial gain.

Doubling down on process

Let’s talk about our outbound SDR motion. While I’ve already outlined just how important an inbound lead-to-revenue management strategy is, if you want to continue to scale, you have to proactively go out in the market.

Set up processes, set up a team, go out and find people who are interested in what you do.

You have to go out and say, “Hi, I’m ZoomInfo. Here’s what I do. I think it can help your business. It would be a shame if I didn’t have this conversation with you and you didn’t know about a platform that can grow revenue for you and your sales team. Let’s take some time to talk about it.”

And if you don’t have that outbound motion, you’re only going to scale as quickly as your lead volume.

ZoomInfo’s outbound go-to-market motion

We’ve had multiple days where we set over 1,000 demos in one day (which is a pretty amazing number for 24 hours).

Along with the process and people development, your outbound motion needs two other components:

  1. Large total addressable markets
  2. Data that allows you to go after that total addressable market efficiently

The second requirement is huge. Demand is king—especially active demand—but let’s face it: a large total addressable market without the data to attack it in an efficient manner inherently causes gaps in potential results versus actual results.

A few caveats here.

First, the obvious: Just like we’re using ZoomInfo’s data to append incoming leads from our company’s website, I’m going to outline how our data informs and accelerates revenue generation from outbound efforts. It’s an advantage that cannot be overstated.

But as was the case with lead response time and our talent development processes, none of what I am about to describe is earth shattering. Just obvious—and automated.

For example, say a VP of sales or marketing who uses ZoomInfo leaves to work for a new company. It’s a no-brainer for our sales team to reach out and see how we could help that new company.

But we also built this data lake where we’re pulling all of ZoomInfo’s data in—intent data from our platform, Scoops data, job changes, prior ZoomInfo product usage. Essentially, we’re surfacing the best leads we have at any given moment and feeding that into our outbound SDR motion.

Then, when something happens like an executive change, we’re able to actualize that in real time.

We take that record from the data lake, and then we pick it up and move it forward. Every day that’s running, we’re pushing our best leads out. The SDRs know who to call and when to call them, and they even receive a targeted message about why they should be calling.

The magic is: All of that happens automatically for them.

Final thoughts

What does this all mean? It translates to a high velocity, highly efficient go-to-market motion with really incredible metrics as a SaaS business.

There’s no Wizard of Oz behind the scenes here. We’re doing hard things, staying focused and constantly optimizing.

But really, we’re leveraging data all across the organization to be more efficient, more effective, and drive best-in-class metrics on efficiency in the go-to-market motion.

This can be a major strategic advantage for any company that’s willing to take the time to deploy it.

What are you waiting for?

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