How Zscaler Transitioned from a Price to Value-Based Sales Force

Published: January 29, 2016

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To develop a new habit, psychologists say that you need to make it easy on yourself. Incorporate it into your daily schedule, so that it becomes a regular practice. Some of the barriers to success—such as finding the time to do the new habit—are removed.

But what about changing the daily practices of an entire organization? This type of cultural transformation is not an easy task—but it’s exactly what Jason Georgi, Director of the Value Management Office, and his team at Zscaler did. Below, Jason shares the keys to Zscaler’s success in transforming a price-focused sales force to a value-focused culture.

 

Step One: Recognize what doesn’t work

First, when sales professionals are constantly introduced to new capabilities aimed at improving the outcome of deals, each capability means there’s yet one more place for the sales pro to learn. Rarely is there any integration between a company’s CRM and sales enablement capabilities. This forces the sales pro to swivel chair among several platforms, spending more time on consuming administrative work and less time on securing new business.

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Second, the company has a hard time tracking adoption, utilization, and efficacy of the application. When the company cannot easily tie the enablement capability directly to impacted revenue of the deal, discounting, and sales cycle, the value of the capability is lost.

When I was tasked with standing up a Value Management Office (VMO) for Zscaler, the first thing I thought was “Great! Now we can shift customer discussions from price to value!” My immediate next thought was that with a growing worldwide sales organization like Zscaler’s, another capability is not going to scale. To combat the two problems, we needed a single source for all sales. At Zscaler, this is Salesforce.com.

 

Step Two: Fully integrate value capabilities in a single sales resource

By orchestrating people, process, and platform, the value selling capabilities are integrated across the sales force. With our value selling program integrated with Salesforce.com, we minimize disruption to the sales force while keeping things contained within a single browser tab. We were able to plug the Value Management Office into Salesforce.com within a week.

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Step Three: Identify the benefits of full integration

  1. Track the entire value lifecycle

    Integration allows the development of dashboards within Salesforce.com that enable tracking Value Management Office engagements by the sales pros, the VMO’s impact on revenue, and current quarter engagements in real-time.

  1. Let sales pros sell

    With integration, the sales pros are equipped to access all the resources they need in one portal, rather than several different applications. Reps can tie business cases to Salesforce.com opportunity IDs, and access value-based business cases directly in Salesforce.com.

  1. Empower managers to reinforce behavior

    Managers are given instant visibility into how their reps are leveraging value-based resources and becoming value-selling challengers. They are able to tie deals won and quarter performance directly to Value Management Office engagement, helping them establish best practices for future deals.

  1. Make customers’ lives easier

    Another result of integration is that it allows the sales force to collaborate in real-time with customers, creating a fluid and cohesive experience. Customers are no longer subjected to disconnected and chaotic sales processes.

     

    The benefits of integrating value-based selling into Zscaler are clear. For the organization, it enables us to easily cultivate a culture of value-based selling because we can weave it into the fabric of what we already do every day. We are also able to see tangible benefits such as the impact of value-based selling on revenue, focusing reps’ time on acquisition, and improving forecasting.

    Culturally, we’re talking a lot less about price competition at Zscaler and a lot more about value.

About the Author

Jason Georgi

Jason Georgi

Jason is Director of the Value Management Office (VMO) at Zscaler. As a technology executive and strategist, Jason has over 21 years of experience innovating, driving change, and leading global organizations.  His broad range of experience includes leading global initiatives at one of the largest companies in the world, GE, and at Zscaler, a cyber security startup. He is a cloud security evangelist and frequently leads thought leadership discussions at CIO/CISO events.