Eliminates gaps in communication around the sales workflow and increases cross-team process visibility
Triggers automated alerts in Slack based on new requests for proposal, providing more lead time for RFP contributors
Automatically adds proposal information into Salesforce to eliminate tedious manual entry
When it comes to transformation, few other industries have been as dramatically affected as the media business.
The sales and marketing organization at this leading media firm has to continually adapt to selling new products in a changing digital world. And while the firm successfully reaches nearly 100 million people worldwide through its magazines, website, TV, conferences, education, and technology, its sales and marketing organization was looking to get even better at what it does.
Like so many enterprises, communication within the sales and marketing organization was mostly email driven. While Salesforce, the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, is the system of record for sales opportunities, few team members outside of sales teams tend to use it. Email was used to help spread the word about upcoming opportunities, but many of these communications were late or didn’t reach the right people.
Communication around requests for proposal (RFPs) was one of the top pain points within the media leader’s sales workflow. With as many as 45 proposals on average sent out each week, teams frequently had to mobilize at the last minute to create a proposal. “We needed a way to make sure that proposals weren’t a surprise for the teams that support their creation,” says the revenue team’s product lead.
This product leader is responsible for improving the sales and marketing workflow, eliminating the gaps and delays in communications to streamline everyone’s efforts and bring needed efficiency into the processes. As part of this mission, the product lead helped the sales organization roll out Slack, a cloud-based messaging tool for teams. While helpful in bringing communication together in one place, the firm needed to have Salesforce integrated with Slack so that communication could be automated and go out to the right people at the right time.
“The first thing we wanted to automate was sending an alert in Slack to support the RFP process,” says the product lead. Knowing that developer resources are limited, the firm’s product team began searching for a way to connect Salesforce and Slack that didn’t require help from the company’s internal development staff. They discovered the Tray Platform, a flexible automation and integration platform that makes building complex workflows easy for non-developers.
“It was an easy decision to work with Tray.io,” says the product lead. “The team was immediately available, even by phone, and have been extremely helpful from the start.”
With the pressure on to roll out the integration quickly, Tray.io worked closely with the product team and the director of business systems to determine the top priorities for the project and get the integration built. “The Tray.io team helped us build the dashboard, test triggers and alerts, and create documentation,” says the product lead.
The director of business systems adds, “I liked the Tray Platform’s powerful conditional logic that can send different types of alerts based on different responses. For instance, if one field in the form changes, then the content of the Slack alert changes. It’s a really cool capability that I didn’t know existed until we started using the platform.”
Within a month, the firm rolled out the new integration to a small test group, collecting feedback and refining the integration before rolling it out to larger teams. Now when a sales team gets an RFP and fills out a form online, the Tray Platform triggers a flow of information automatically into Salesforce and Slack. Based on which of the firm’s products is involved in a potential deal, it triggers automatic alerts to the appropriate teams.
The Tray.io integration began paying dividends almost immediately. “It’s really streamlined day-to-day communications for the teams using it,” says the product lead. “We now have a more effective, efficient workflow in place.” The best part? No more last-minute RFPs.
The firm’s team credits Tray.io with understanding their needs and helping them map out their goals and how to achieve them. “If you need to automate and integrate systems, the Tray Platform is great,” says the product lead. The business systems lead adds, “It’s so seamless that the sales team doesn’t even know they are using it. The support from Tray.io has been unbelievable, too.”
When asked about any tips for other companies getting started with integrating important parts of their workflow, the firm’s team emphasizes they’ve learned not to worry about all the moving pieces up front. “It’s better to focus on one part of the workflow at a time, improve that component, and then move onto the next trouble spot,” says the product team. “With each area you integrate and automate, you learn so much that you can apply to the next area to make it even better.”
The media leader is now working together with its development team, which is training up to use the Tray Platform to build and maintain its automated processes. As the firm refines its workflow process to include more teams and prepares to automate new and more-complex processes, the product team has introduced the platform to the dev team, which is preparing to support the product and revenue teams with additional workflows in the future.
With the first integration now rolled out to the entire pre-sales organization, the product team will turn their attention to creating additional automated enhancements to ensure all relevant teams are in the loop.
On the pre-sales side, the product team is working toward expanded workflows that integrate Microsoft Office 365 Outlook, which remains a widely adopted email client for enterprises, with the rest of her communications system. With this additional integration, the Tray Platform’s workflows will loop in graphic design, marketing, and other departments into a fully-centralized communications system to provide visibility and streamlined communications for all stakeholders. The team is also looking to set up processes that automatically make use of Slack’s archiving features to auto-archive sales conversations to save the sales team valuable time.
The product team will also be working on an integrated workflow for the post-sale teams. They explain: “Automating the pre-sales effort was hugely valuable. Now we want to automate the workflow once an RFP converts to a sale. We’re excited to be working with Tray.io again to plan and build out the post-sale process, which is a crucial part of our business.”