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Brainshark Customer Success Story

How OwnBackup Scaled Onboarding & Readiness to Meet the Demands of Rapid Growth

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OwnBackup was experiencing rapid growth, and for Thomas Cheriyan, head of sales enablement, that meant addressing a series of challenges across the field sales organization. New reps were typically onboarded at in-person boot camps and then received manager-led training.  However, the latter process was up to each sales manager, leaving too much variation across new reps’ learning paths and ramp-ups that took too long.

The sales team also relied on Google Drive to store all its training and content, including Zoom recordings of meetings, playbooks, and battlecards, but this didn’t allow for an easy way to train and coach reps, identify skill or knowledge gaps, or measure rep readiness.

And when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, reps were forced to shift all their face-to-face meetings overnight to virtual, requiring immediate new skill sets. To improve readiness , Thomas began making the case for a sales readiness platform.


Thomas identified Brainshark as a solution that could help him standardize onboarding, create and manage training materials, and give reps a way to practice skills via video coaching.

[Learn more about OwnBackup’s approach to onboarding here.]

Brainshark allowed for more flexibility so Thomas and subject matter experts could easily create training and update content as needed. He could also empower sales managers to use Brainshark’s coaching tool to establish a continuous feedback loop with reps and facilitate practice for virtual sales meetings. The result of this is known internally as OwnBackup University, with over 30 courses and growing!


Halfway through 2020, OwnBackup’s sales team began doubling its headcount (30+ reps each quarter) to meet the demands of its swift growth. Thomas said Brainshark is a key component in this initiative.  “Our investors were pleased to see that we’ve capitalized on a platform to scale our L&D efforts and truly be able to measure and coach to the effectiveness of our sales force.”

All new sales hires now use Brainshark for all their training needs, even before their first official day. Thomas says this has strengthened the onboarding boot camp sessions because reps can take introductory courses in Brainshark, so they’re prepared before they attend.

Onboarding with Brainshark has worked so well that the company is seeing a faster return on investment for new sales reps with many closing deals within their first month.  According to Thomas, “We now have a scalable process for ensuring our employees are genuinely owning OwnBackup messaging and knowledge.”  And word has spread, other departments across OwnBackup will be using Brainshark for new hire onboarding as well.

Existing sales reps leverage Brainshark for all training courses pertaining to products, messaging, sales skills, and processes. Training content can be updated over time and accessed on-demand, which takes the pressure off technical staff and managers to train reps, so they can spend more time assisting with deals and working toward company objectives.

When asked about the effectiveness of courses in Brainshark, one OwnBackup rep had this to say “Making my way through the Backup & Recovery course right now, and it’s a great refresher on the core product! I highly recommend the Archiver course, which I took part in during the pilot, which has a ton of new information, even for more seasoned account executives.”

Prior to using Brainshark, OwnBackup’s sales managers didn’t have an easy way to review rep performance.  With Brainshark’s video coaching tool, managers can deliver continuous feedback to reps and better assess their teams’ readiness. Brainshark’s Machine Analysis, which automatically reviews their videos for filler words, rate of speech, and facial expressions, has been crucial since the pandemic, as most selling is now taking place via Zoom.  According to Thomas, “we’ve had more feedback being delivered and received over the past two months with Brainshark, than within the last five years.”

In the first five months, over 1,225 coaching videos have been recorded and reviewed. And with Brainshark’s leaderboard, reps can see how their performance compares to others and review examples of ‘what good looks like.’

Moving forward, to keep reps engaged with Brainshark and promote a culture of learning, Thomas is running the Brainshark Elite Status perks program. Within the program, if all sales teams complete 100% of their assigned courses and coaching activities by the end of 2020, they’ll earn points toward prizes like a free Airbnb virtual experience.


  • Lack of structure for sales training and content; hosted in Google Drive
  • Inconsistent onboarding paths; left up to sales managers
  • Pandemic forced reps to shift to all virtual sales meetings