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Evolution of Zillow's Salesforce Team Structure (2016-Present)

August 15, 2023
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Scaling the Salesforce Team Infrastructure at Zillow

At FoundHQ, we often say that Salesforce is well beyond just a CRM platform - it's infrastructure.

In the case of companies like Zillow, Ticketmaster, and others, their core product is essentially just an interface that sits on top of the Salesforce engine. And because Salesforce is that type of infrastructure, you should expect massive changes to the shape of the team and product itself as the company evolves.

This has been the exact case of Zillow's use of Salesforce and the team they've built so support it.

In the early days, Zillow was effectively a media company.

They had a directory-style search engine that displayed real estate listings and generated revenue by serving display ads to site visitors.

Pretty simple and straightforward use case of Salesforce as 'just a CRM'.

But today, Zillow is a full-fledged Digital Real Estate Brokerage and two-sided marketplace that not only purchases homes directly but then facilitates the re-sale of those homes and guides customers through the buying process, including facilitating loans and mortgages.

The Salesforce footprint at Zillow if vast and includes Sales, Service, Experience Clouds, Einstein, Pardot, and various custom applications.

A quick look through the years:

Zillow's Salesforce Team in 2016

12 person team: 4 Salesforce Admins, 5 Salesforce Developers, and 3 Business Analysts.

All 5 of these Salesforce Engineers were hired in 2016, which signaled a massive step in the evolution of Zillow's Salesforce org.

2017

18 person team: Much of the team remained the same heading into 2017 but the Salesforce Development team 2x in size, ending 2017 with 10 Salesforce Engineers (to 4 Salesforce Administrators).

2018

23 person team: In 2018, Zillow started building more robust tooling with Salesforce, in addition to scaling their use of Sales + Service Cloud. Despite the team growing, the composition of resources is a bit off-balance as they had only 5 Salesforce Admins to go with 15 Salesforce Engineers and 3 Business Analysts.

2020

Fast forward to 2020 and we started to see the team take better shape.

It's now 36 people strong and includes 4 Salesforce Architects, 8 Salesforce Administrators, 18 Salesforce Developers, and 4 Business Analysts.

This actually appears to be a really strong structure and the investment being made in Architects is the only way to successfully power a Salesforce Development org of 15-20+ Engineers. The Architect is a fundamental layer building a cohesive, long-term product roadmap and designing platform and integration architecture decisions.

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