Zenefits Community: What I Learned Scaling From 2 to 80 Salespeople in Under a Year

This session will be about the lessons learned in scaling from 2 to 80 salespeople in under a year at Zenefits.

Along the way, we learned many things in the Zenefits community that helped us grow from two to eighty salespeople in under a year. I will share some of those with you today.


  • What qualities to look for in a representative in the Zenefits community:

When you’re hiring, look for someone who’s seen an early stage company and can make a difference with minimal training.

When you hire new salespeople, make sure they are number one in their peer group. If not, ask yourself how much this person wants to be number one and whether or not heshe has the drive necessary for success.

In Zenefitis community, it’s important to ask for at least five references. Anyone can find three people who will say something positive about them, but number four and five are more accurate information., so it helps if you position the question as “we’re thinking of hiring John, what do we need to know that would make him successful?”. This leads the way for their reference’s weaknesses to surface which could change your decision.

  • When is the right time to employ a vice president of sales?

First, hire a few salespeople and see if they can generate $1 million in revenue. You want to find someone who will be good at leading others but also have enough talent for the job.

  • Outside recruiters can be used when you’re looking to hire for a specific job that is difficult to find.

Outside recruiters can be helpful in the hiring process, but you should use a variety of them.

  • Internal recruiters are often necessary when there is a high turnover rate in the company, or if the hiring process needs to be done quickly.

If you are hiring 2-3 people a month, it is probably time to hire one or more recruiters on staff.

Compensation and Quota

In order to be successful in Zenefits community, quotas should still allow for a margin of error. A good goal is that 70% of your sales reps can hit it.

Remember, you get what you pay for. Be more aggressive on the variable compensation side and aim to offer above-market rates in order to attract good employees.

Cycle Times Control

You need to control the cycle time of your sales reps in the Zenefits community, because if they are taking too much time on an opportunity and can’t focus on new ones, you will miss out on revenue.

Discounts will be crucial in this. Be creative with how you position offers, too. We did things like tell our customers that we were getting out of the discounting business and tried to get them to take advantage while they could.

Don’t let them get away with a discount or offer. If you give in, they will expect to have that same deal all the time.

Sales Development and Specialization

Specialization in zenefits community is a good idea if your margins are high enough to make it work. If you have one salesperson for prospecting and another for closing, they can become experts in their field.

Hire strategically. You should not be spending time training reps to sell your product, but instead train them on the features of your company’s products.

Make culture a priority, and make sure it’s included in training.

Organizational Structure and Promotion

The best way to design a sales organization in zenefits community is by making sure each rep has 8-10 people they manage. They should also have one or two managers who don’t report directly to them, but are their peers in the company.

The trend of promoting people after 3 months is a mistake. It was great when we were small and just starting out, but as the company grew, they weren’t expecting to be promoted so soon.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was generated for LeadFuze and attributed to Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze.