The Daily Briefing: April 14, 2020

April 14, 2020

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In today’s Daily Briefing, Jim Benton was joined by Sean Andrews, SVP of Worldwide Corporate Sales at MongoDB. They discussed meeting volume across segments and markets compared to pre-COVID levels and week over week.

Here are the numbers:

  • Most segments are still averaging 14% below baseline.
  • Slowing decline week in some segments, getting closer to baseline
  • Some markets continue to have a strong decline, whereas others have shown a slight rebound week over week

While we’re not out of the weeds, the slowing of decline was heartening to Sean, who displayed optimism in the midst of the current state of affairs.

“People are really pulling together. The necessity that has created this innovation is forcing creativity. I think we’re having more sincere discussions. Everyone is going through this so I think people are slowing down and building more rapport.”

“The sales community is really stepping up,” added Jim. “Do you think this is a natural shift or are you training your team to have more empathetic conversations?”

Sean explained that his team is doing a little bit of both. “It’s natural for salespeople to be aggressive about uncovering pain and finding solutions,” he said, “and how to manage expectations.” Salespeople are naturally attuned to understanding what someone is going through, but there are also opportunities for conversations to become more efficient and compassionate. “Chorus has been an incredible help to provide training for our sales force on how to have better conversations,” Sean added.

Most segments are still averaging 14% below baseline, but slowing decline week over week provides optimism


While most segments are still well below pre-COVID levels, Chorus is seeing improvements week over week. If only in the form of a slowing decline.

Some segments continue to be more affected than others.

  • Finance/FinTech, HR Tech/Recruiting, Infrastructure: Show almost no change week over week, indicating a slower decline
  • Most other companies (specifically MarTech, Sales Tech, Security): Show a slight increase week over week, inching their way back to baseline

Sean shared that his team has seen a similar trend. “We work with people who are application or cloud centric. These companies are more prepared and able to work from home and move teams remotely,” he said. “Now, more than ever, you have to be available and ready to connect with customers.”

When asked if companies should be preparing for the eventual acceleration, Sean was emphatically behind it. MongoDB is enabling their teams to be ready for the market as it is now, and as it will be once we exit the COVID-19 era. “One struggle many companies are facing is ramping new employees,” he shared. “It’s difficult to do this remotely. Chorus has been hugely helpful to get us up to speed.”

Knowing that some market segments are being affected differently, ABM strategies are likely shifting. Sean shared that MongoDB is adapting theirs to the current climate.

“You should absolutely be re-tuning and refocusing what your short term goals are,” said Sean. “We are looking at people who are in the cloud, who are hiring right now. We don’t focus on legacy database companies, we’re looking at companies who could really benefit from us. We also want to connect with people who will want to connect with us when they come out the other side.”

Most segments are down when measuring meeting volume.

Some markets continue to have a strong decline, whereas others have shown a slight rebound week over week


Some areas have seen a steep decline week over week, but most are showing little to no change.

Here are the two groups:

  • Bay Area, NYC, Chicago are down roughly 10% WoW
  • But most everywhere else has rebounded WoW, inching their way back to baseline.

The leveling off of declines in most cities is telling. The transition to remote work may be a contributor. “We’re entering into week 5 of working from home,” said Sean. “It’s getting people to manage the first few weeks at home, and get back to doing what they do best. We have to do the right thing and focus on what we can control.” Do that, he says, and we will come out of this in a better way than we entered it.

Sean ended with this advice for revenue leaders: Strong communication from executive teams.

“I think people are unsure right now. Let people know that you’re doing well and that you have a plan.”

How did meeting volume change since last week?

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