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A New Era of Revenue Success: An Interview with CRO Sam Zayed

May 06, 2024
3 min read

In an era of rapid digital transformation and evolving customer expectations, the role of a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) holds unparalleled significance in charting the course for revenue growth and customer success. I recently sat down with Xactly’s newly appointed CRO, Sam Zayed, to discuss his ambitions and strategies for Xactly. Read on to learn the fresh perspectives, innovative approaches, and visionary insights that Sam brings to the Executive table.

A Customer-Centric Revolution

As a past Xactly customer and user, Sam said Xactly’s emphasis on customer focus, one of the company’s core values, and its ability to not just articulate its values, but also embody them, resonated deeply and led him to join the Xactly team. By harnessing the collective expertise of Xactly’s Sales, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, and Support teams, he aims to drive a customer-centric approach by deeply integrating the customer's voice into every aspect of its operations. With a focus on building lasting customer relationships, his plan involves fostering a culture of innovationthought leadership, and subject matter expertise, leveraging the strengths of the highly motivated and passionate Sales team to consistently deliver extraordinary results.

Sam envisions orchestrating strategies that will cement Xactly’s position as the market leader, redefining the standards of customer success and revenue growth alike.

Sales and Marketing Alignment: The Most Powerful One-Two Punch in Business

During our conversation, Sam agreed with me on the powerful impact of aligning Sales and Marketing teams, claiming that by working together the two teams, “create the most powerful one-two punch in business.” By operating as a single, integrated organization with shared goals, a culture of accountability, and meritocracy, the two teams can create a powerful synergy to drive revenue growth. As a public company in need of a predictable sales motion for new logo acquisition, Sam successfully spearheaded a collaborative effort between the Sales and Marketing teams. Together, they evaluated processes, systems, compensation plans, and quotas, rapidly orchestrating a cohesive approach that yielded the desired sales outcomes.

We also talked about the convergence of Marketing technology and Sales technology into a Revenue Technology (RevTech) stack — At Xactly, we take this convergence seriously, exemplified by our joint ownership of tools like Salesloft, Chorus, 6sense, ZoomInfo, and 6sense. This shared RevTech not only fosters seamless collaboration but also provides invaluable insights that empower both teams. As a Marketing leader, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of actively engaging with our forecasting product daily, gaining critical insights into opportunities, performance, and the needs of our teams. The emotional and cultural resonance of this shared tech stack further unites our teams, fostering a unified sense of purpose and joint ownership of revenue generation.

Leveraging Data and Analytics

One key topic we discussed was the imperativeness of data-driven decision-making. Sam says leveraging data is “required, not optional” in making informed decisions to identify new revenue opportunities and optimize performance. With access to real-time insights, teams can work together to refine strategies, target the right audience, and maximize revenue potential. Developing data-driven decision-making also allows businesses to “see around the next corner” and create early warning signals to operate proactively vs. reactively. 

Partnering and Innovating for Success

Developing a robust go-to-market strategy is paramount to driving revenue growth. According to Sam, one essential aspect of this strategy is leveraging partnerships. An effective partnership ecosystem enables companies to leverage the reach, resources, and expertise of trusted partners to unlock new growth opportunities.

Another crucial aspect is the company’s roadmap — which, for Xactly, has seen significant innovation in the past 18 months and promises to continue delivering. For Sam, that shining example is the introduction of Xactly Extend, a game-changing solution that combines a robust, scalable off-the-shelf package with the agility and extensibility needed to support diverse business needs. This provides the best of both worlds for customers - a proven solution that can be easily configured along with the flexibility to adapt and grow as their requirements evolve. Additionally, the introduction of AI Copilot, adds another layer of value by harnessing the power of Generative AI and data to drive sales rep productivity and deliver incremental value to customers.

The insights shared by Sam align perfectly with our future vision for Xactly. By embracing Sales and Marketing alignment, shared ownership of the RevTech stack, data-driven decision-making, learnings from past experiences, challenges head-on, and partnerships, we are paving the way for a successful future at Xactly. I’m excited to collaborate with Sam and achieve unprecedented business growth. Together, we will usher in a new era of success for Xactly.

Come see Sam and me at Upside — Xactly's User Conference happening May 20-22nd in San Francisco! This is the Revenue event you know and love and that promises to propel your revenue growth, inspire innovation, and drive success. 

  • Human Resources
  • Culture
  • Intelligent Revenue
  • Sales Performance Management
  • Sales Planning
Jen McAdams, Chief Marketing Officer at Xactly
Jennifer McAdams
Chief Marketing Officer

Jennifer McAdams is an accomplished leader with the ability to work across organizations to design and deliver measurable marketing campaigns. Jennifer has a strong record of driving integrated programs to support sales growth and business objectives. She also has a proven ability to oversee all elements of marketing strategy and execution.