People.ai

In every organization, there are unspoken heroes. The men and women that fuel the engine of the enterprise – sales leaders. This series is an attempt to share written portraits of these amazing humans that bring together a passion for moving the business forward with data, technology, and a few other ingredients that might surprise you.

This is the story of Mark Pickart, Sales Leader at Zoom

I spoke with Mark from his home office in Denver Colorado. Mark has an easy way about him, but there is a tell of his adventurous spirit in the background. A world map with push pins scattered throughout. Later in our conversation, I find out Mark and his wife love to travel and the map is a reminder of the world yet to be explored.

Mark graduated college in 2008 and for those that remember that year – things weren’t so great. The economy was on the verge of collapse and jobs were far and few in between. Just like any college grad, Mark’s resume had odd jobs of working retail, bars, and telemarketing for his alumni association. That is where he discovered his knack. Sales. On Craigslist, Mark found a job as a water salesman and as he was driving to accept the role, he got another more enticing offer. He started as an SDR in a 20 person company, which is where he got exposed to all aspects of running a business.

What started as a job that gave him flexibility and a good paycheck, turned into a passion that pays tribute to his roots and past generations. Both Mark’s parents are teachers and he comes from a long lineage of teachers whose work served to elevate the next generation. Mark knew he also wanted to make an impact with his work and he couldn’t think of a better way than taking the principles of teaching – bridging a knowledge gap and bringing new ideas and concepts to people – but applying this in the world of sales.

Gone are the days of the transactional sales people. In SaaS business, you are a consultant, Mark says. You are here to solve problems. At Zoom, the pace of change keeps the team on their toes. The industry is evolving, the products, processes, and competitive landscape. It can be frustrating at times, but it’s also the most enriching and nourishing part because it means they are constantly challenged to learn new things. “In discomfort, we find growth” says Mark.

I ask him what a typical day looks like for him and this is the what Mark describes:

“When I sit down at my machine to start the day, I look at the forecast, pipeline, emails, chats. Part of that routine is also to look at People.ai. It’s part of our scorecard. How did we do? Who had a busy day and why? It helps me to know who to check in with and where to focus my conversation. As I spot check deals, especially the largest opportunities that I don’t know well, it shows me what’s happening and if I am missing something. It’s a safety net.”

Mark is not only a builder of knowledge, but also a self proclaimed sports guy. He stack-ranks his team and pushes them to be the most engaged – no surprise that drives results. Like every sales organization, their goal is to drive more sales, and more bookings. But Mark knows there’s an equation there that’s important. What People.ai does for Mark is it lets him pinpoint what part of the equation is missing so he can lean in and understand the why behind the number so he can coach his team to success.

We’ve been talking to Sales Legends these past few weeks, and I think Mark is on his way. He’s clearly driven to hit his number, but the reason he moved into sales leadership is to have a wider and deeper impact on people. His proudest achievement? His team today looks nothing like the team he started with two years ago. His sales managers were all promoted to new or higher roles and are growing a coaching tree at Zoom and that uses data and a culture of development that is based on learning and growing together.