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When Enterprise Sales Ops Goes Remote with Matthew Mulhern, Sr. Manager, Customer Success Cross-Franchise Operations at VMWare

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VMWare’s sales ops team structure 

VMWare aligns their sales ops teams with the sales team for each product. There’s a sales team (and therefore a sales ops team) for the core product and specialist sales/sales ops teams for each of VMWare’s specialized products.

VMWare’s tech stack

VMWare uses:

  • Salesforce as their CRM
  • Oracle to book their business
  • SAP to add a business intelligence view to the process
  • Tableau for data visualization
  • Alteryx to manipulate this data 

The impact of remote work on VMWare’s operations

Because of the geographic distribution of their sales ops teams, VMWare already had a collaborative workflow in place which acted as a helpful base to establish remote work. 

Their sales teams did start using Miro for online whiteboard sessions with prospects to replace in-office demos and Microsoft Teams for internal communication.

Since remote work started, recruiting requirements have changed to mostly remote with a presence in a specific timezone across all open positions in VMWare. Many employees in the Palo Alto office have opted to shift back to cities with lower home costs.

Forecast accuracy at VMWare during the pandemic

The role of CRM is now much more crucial during the pandemic because qualitative data has become increasingly important compared to quantitative data. At VMWare, Matthew’s team used Salesforce to recognize keywords and key phrases indicating a positive or negative relationship.  

Matthew recommends marrying data from quantitative systems with purely qualitative data to improve forecast accuracy. He learned to rely on a blended approach to forecasting from the book called “The Signal and The Noise” by Nate Silver.

Making sales reps more productive 

Matthew considers productivity per rep as a key metric that’s difficult to measure. As the rep becomes better at their job, their productivity tends to increase. Overall team productivity also tends to clean up over the next quarter after layoffs happen. 

Matthew’s biggest inspiration

Matthew considers his former boss Roger Parrish as his biggest inspiration. He would like to take his first sales ops manager at VMWare, Stephanie, to lunch for a general catch-up and to talk about her current work.

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