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Riding the wave: how RingCentral sales is thriving in the uncharted waters of a global pandemic


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The current global health crisis impacts every aspect of a sales organization. In every industry, leaders are asking—how do we protect our people? How do we stay productive? 

And most importantly, how do we care for our customers? 

We spoke with members of the RingCentral Sales team from around the country to see how they’re managing their teams, their customers and their day-to-day routines. 

Faiza Hughell
Senior VP, SMB Sales
Don Card, Jr.
MidMarket Segment Enablement Lead
Ayub Mohammed
Head of Global SMB Sales
Ras Patel
Senior Account Executive
Mike Piccolotti
VP, Global MidMarket Sales
Nancy Sulovski
MidMarket Account Executive

RingCentral’s years of unified communications leadership—and the April release of RingCentral Video—left the company uniquely well-positioned to respond to the crisis, both from employee safety and a productivity standpoint:

Faiza Hugell: “In 36 hours, we were able to switch our 1,800 person call center in Manila from in-office to work from home—even delivering laptops to people’s homes when we needed to. 

Nancy Sulovski: “I’ve worked in technology sales for most of my career, and being here at RingCentral I will tell you I don’t think I’ve ever seen a company pivot so well… We are really getting the support from upper management.”

Don Card, Jr.: “This situation – a global shift in the way people work –  is what RingCentral was built for.”

It would not have been at all surprising to see businesses—particularly smaller ones, pull back from spending in a crisis. That hasn’t been the case. At all. 

Ayub Mohammed: “We’re finding small-to-medium businesses need to maintain their continuity model, so our business has actually accelerated. Not only are sales up, but we’re seeing a decrease in sales cycle times, meaning, people are making their decision to purchase faster.”  

Nancy Sulovski: “The latest trend I’m seeing is more and more organizations saying they’re actually going to just forge ahead with a completely remote working experience.”

Ras Patel: Businesses are starting to realize that they can’t continue operating the way they were before. Change is inevitable. Allowing RingCentral to find better ways to operate, combining the ways they communicate with their customers, their partners and their employees makes the process easy and for most a no-brainer.” 

The situation obviously hasn’t been easy for customers. With conditions on the ground constantly shifting, RingCentral has had to be able to roll with the punches—providing solutions tailored to each customer’s individual situation, and finding ways to improve our own. 

Don Card, Jr.: “Folks just aren’t sure what to expect, or how to deal with this. So really what they’re looking for is that consultative approach; that guidance to say, “Hey, you know you’re making the right choice; let me walk you through how we get you from this stage to, an implemented stage and also create a roadmap for you even further out. It’s on us as salespeople to be able to do that, and ultimately it starts with that first engagement.”

Ayub Mohammed: This company was founded on solutions for small businesses. So I think the way we’ve handled this crisis really shows you the character of our company— the way we ensure that our customers are taken care of and our customer-first mentality continues even through financial hardships. We understand small business owners. This isn’t a “job,” this is their life. So we have to be agile and remember these people are protecting their babies. That’s why we’re working so hard to provide them with everything that they need in order to make it through these times.”

RingCentral’s legendary company culture isn’t just a catchphrase. It’s a critical competitive edge that could easily be diminished with an entire workforce off-premise. Fortunately, creative solutions for keeping teams connected, productive, and happy are appearing in every location. 

Mike Piccolotti: Since everyone’s transitioned to a work-from-home model we decided to have some fun and hold a workstation contest where we awarded “Best Workstation,” “Cleanest Workstation” and “Most Hi-Tech Workstation.” In London, they started hosting virtual cooking classes. We also started a group where everyone would post anonymous baby pics of themselves and everyone else had to guess who it was.”

Faiza Hugell: “We have a new VP – who was promoted while she was on maternity leave. It’s her first time as a VP and now there’s a pandemic. She’s thriving. She has done a great job creating culture and team building. Because her team is so connected both culturally and technologically, she’s able to stay on top of her team’s performance and connect with them personally on a really significant level.” 

Ayub Mohammed: “Virtual Charades…one of our managers did a Pictionary game that I think went on for an hour – everyone actually stayed connected.” 

Faiza Hugell: “SMB started a Peloton team so if you guys have Peloton you can join. It’s a mixture of employees from all departments – It’s starting to spread!”

Mike Piccolotti: “We have Flashback Fridays, with Spotify playlists from different decades; we just did the 90’s – that’s actually a really interesting way to get to know people. Some interesting and surprising choices.” 

The economic impact of the pandemic is real. It deeply saddens everyone at RingCentral to see so many great people lose their jobs. We are happy to be able to accelerate our hiring efforts to help everyone who’s been affected. 

Nancy Sulovski: “I’d be lying if I said it was easy—sales is never easy, certainly not now. However, I think we’re lucky we’re in a product set that can really benefit a lot of folks right now.”

Ras Patel: “We tell our customers: “If you’ve got a customer-first-focus, your legacy systems are holding you back. Our MVP (Messaging, Video & Phone) solution allows your team to work together from wherever they are. Being able to provide solutions that allow us to be impactful.”

Ayub Mohammed: “We’ve done what I consider a masterful job of managing the situation. It’s just sticking to the customer-first mentality this company was founded on.”

Originally published Jun 24, 2020, updated Feb 24, 2021

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