Vice President, Revenue Operations: Jeff Wadholm of MINDBODY, Inc
Jeff Wadholm, Vice President, Revenue Operations at MINDBODY, Inc jumped onto the Sales Operations Demystified Podcast to share his experience and journey into sales operations. Check out all the other episodes of Sales Operations Demystified here.
To learn more about Jeff Wadholm of MINDBODY, Inc:
Getting into sales and revenue ops
Jeff’s initial career was in sales, before the prevalence of the internet in the field. He worked the offline, old-school-style in those days and said his passion was finance, especially the FP&A side.
He made the switch and began working for a company based in Amsterdam called Wolters Kluwer in their FP&A team. Jeff says the analytics side and use of data kept him so interested, as he feels that is the best way to understand and make decisions in a business. While working there, a sales leader who would later become a close friend, mentioned to Jeff that he should switch his field and apply the concepts he was using in finance to sales and revenue operations.
It was a bit of a gamble as, at that time, sales and rev ops were not as prevalent as they are today, but Jeff feels it has paid off, and he enjoys his work today. He thinks that finance gave him an excellent understanding to apply in sales and rev ops, but he enjoys the dynamic nature of the ops team more.
How do things work at MINDBODY?
MINDBODY is a SaaS company that focuses on the wellness industry, encompassing fitness, integrated health, beauty salons, and spas around the globe. The company supports both businesses as well as individual customers. Since the company is global, its sales organization is also global, with about 150-175 sales reps. The system they follow is primarily of inside sales, i.e., virtual or remote sales.
As with every company, they have a strong tech stack employed by the sales and rev ops team. Jeff says that while they have a big stack, some the core revolves around Salesforce, Eloqua, Gainsight, and Incontact.
Challenges amidst COVID-19
Jeff points out that MINDBODY is in a unique position since the focus has been on inside sales even before the pandemic made working remotely a necessity. Still, he acknowledges that they have some challenges to face.
As the company focuses on the fitness and wellness industry, which has been severely affected by the pandemic, they had to find a way to balance their business while keeping their customers in mind. Jeff says that putting customers first is how the company operates, but they face some challenges in maintaining motivation among the team, while also working on compensation. Right now, the focus is more on outreach and content and how to approach businesses and customers who have been affected. “It’s been less about how we come out of this financially successful, but how do we become industry leaders, leading with our empathy.”
In terms of working remotely, as that process ready existed in the company, the sales team had no issue in getting used to it. However, Jeff says that they try to focus on the team’s health and mental well-being in these unprecedented times.
Jeff’s way of overcoming pandemic challenges
Jeff says that early on during the COVID-19 crisis, MINDBODY committed to differentiate itself from the crowd and focus on helping their customer base instead of only trying to make money off the pandemic. “How do we help these customers who are peers of ours, who are friends of ours.”
He credits the executives, marketing, and sales enablement teams for providing the resources to move forward. The company has been more focused on thinking of solutions and problem solving, like applying social distancing in gyms or planning out how a salon trip can be made in a contactless manner.
On the product side, they released a video and live streaming option for customers in the fitness business to connect with their customer base using the MINDBODY app.
Sustaining growth and targets
Jeff feels most sales teams around the world are facing challenges in balancing growth and managing future deals. He points out that their company has banded together, with executives being even more involved than before.
They have updated their commission model for reps to account for the unpredictable nature of business during the pandemic and to modify targets and plans to make them more achievable. Jeff says that they like to keep it dynamic and update as per the changing environment. The goal is to reach a balance between reps and customers.
Forecasting and creating confidence
Jeff feels that their forecasting has been entirely accurate as far as things go. The company mostly had smaller deals that favor predictability instead of huge deals that can cancel and change a forecast quickly.
The team stays close to the deals, keeping an eye on the changing environment, and trying to stay ahead of the rest. The company has a data science team that also keeps track of areas around the globe that shut down or open up, so focus can be increased in those specific areas.
For Jeff, the most important thing is to know that they are all in this together. He wants the company to be able to look back and learn from all the challenges they are facing. He thinks some of the changes made in the way things work might last even after the world begins to return to normalcy. “We’re gonna take some of the lemonade we’ve squeezed here and brought it with us.”
#1 sales metric:
The metrics and key performance indicators have changed in this situation. Jeff says the focus is less on traditional metrics like future deals, and more customer-oriented.
Jeff’s biggest influence:
Jeff says his teammates mostly inspire him. He appreciates that sales and rev ops can be composed of people with very different backgrounds in business and strategies.