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Zahra Jivá


The Lead Quality Advantage: Fueling Sales Team Efficiency with Zahra Jivá

How Pipedrive’s sales and marketing teams work together
Quota and commission structure: do they impact sales rep performance?
How Pipedrive leverages AI-powered sales tools
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logo pipedrive

Season II is here!

We're thrilled to announce a new season of Ungated Conversations! Meet your new hosts Jiaqi Pan and Rachel Kreis.

Sales without marketing would be like spring without flowers — marketing plants the seeds, but sales have to water them if they want results.

A good lead is worth its weight in gold, and ensuring strong lead quality is the first step in securing an effective and high-performing track record. 

How do you craft a lead qualification process that makes that goal a reality?

Zahra Jivá, Director of Global Sales Strategy at Pipedrive, is intimately familiar with the lead quality pain point and has more than a few tips and tricks from her experience to help your sales team thrive.

How Pipedrive’s Sales and Marketing Teams Work Together

Pipedrive’s sales team depends on marketing for qualified, inbound leads. That type of collaboration is partly dependent on two main elements:

  • Communication
  • Alignment

Communication supports clarity around the target audience and ICP business goals, leading to decisive alignment cross-departmentally. When everyone is on the same page, workflows soar, and numbers climb.

“We all want high-quality leads, especially being in sales. We need to build continuous conversation between both departments in order to assess, for example, the quality of the leads being handed over by marketing,” Zahra says. 

Pipedrive addressed this need by creating a lead scoring system to determine if they aligned with the ICP or if they were off. This system allowed for a tiered structure that sorted leads from low to high quality, giving sales the direction they needed to prioritize appropriately and act with confidence. 

These initiatives, paired with content collaboration for unified messaging and an engaging commission structure, make for a smooth operation that delivers qualified leads with accuracy and consistency. 

Quota and Commission Structure: Do They Impact Sales Rep Performance? 

Money motivates — we all know that. It’s nothing to shy away from. The structure of how someone earns their income can have ripple effects across their entire performance, especially in sales, and should be an open and candid discussion. 

At Pipedrive, they determine quotas based on a few key questions:

  • What is the expected volume in each key region?
  • What is the percentage of signups that will be handed over to sales?
  • What is the conversion expected for sales?
  • What is the average revenue of a deal that sales should bring on each new paying customer?

The market drives the quotas, taking into account the nuances of differing pipelines.

“We have a digital journey and a sales journey. For the digital journey, we know that the conversion is lower than the sales. So we always consider that,” Zahra says. “Each year, we always put on additional growth. As a business, we always need to look at what we want to achieve more of.” 

The level of seniority team-wide also affects quotas. The longer an employee stays with the company, the higher their conversions will be as they learn the product inside and out. Of course, this can also lead to higher commissions. 

“We've determined base salary versus commission. Market-wise, SaaS businesses sit around 60/40. It can also be 70/30, depending on if you're a manager or leader,” she says. “We've determined exactly what the OT would be at 100%. And once we've decided on the actual value at 100%, we want [sales representatives] to overachieve and for them to be compensated for overachieving.”

Commission structure varies greatly from company to company, and Pipedrive took careful steps to determine what made the most sense for them and their people, with favorable results.

How Pipedrive Leverages AI-Powered Sales Tools

Every team needs the right set of tools in their belt to perform at their best. Sometimes, that means a streamlined project management software or a reliable time tracker. 

For Pipedrive, it means an AI sales assistant that provides sales reps with effective email responses, follow-up, and a foundation for more effective meetings based on their performance and activity across deals and prospects.

“It gives you an idea that one deal in particular has a higher probability of winning than the others you're working on,” Zahra says. “And then it recommends you do a follow-up. It gives you an idea of how likely that customer is to close based on the behaviors and patterns of your past interaction with the system to determine your best next action.”

Momentum is a critical element in sales, and with AI reminders and suggestions, sales reps are better equipped to stay on the ball and keep up with the pace of sending the right follow-up at the right time to the right lead.

“If you’re a manager, it also adapts to the role that you have within your Pipedrive account so that you can see who's in a leaderboard a little bit higher than the others, who's overachieving versus the ones underperforming,” Zahra says.

With that type of visibility, it’s simple to take action to get everyone to the same level of priority and performance while aligning goals and creating the ideal environment for well-nurtured leads and high-performing team members.

Interested in learning more? Listen to our full conversation with Zahra on the latest episode of Ungated Conversations, where we explore Pipedrive’s sales and marketing team, what their commission and quota structure looks like, how they’re leveraging AI, and more. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.