Dan Ahmadi, Director of Demand Generation
Extracts and enhances lead list data sent from vendors via email and automatically loads it into the Marketo marketing automation solution to get leads to sales people in seconds.
Triggers automated Slack alerts based on keywords in content to improve communication with the sales enablement team.
Provides an automated workflow to request items be sent out such as thank you notes and swag, improving sales productivity.
Sales teams need an effective and efficient means of following up with contacts. That’s the premise behind Outreach.io, a cloud-based engagement platform that automates and personalizes communications so that sales teams can provide each and every lead, opportunity, and customer with targeted content to accelerate and increase sales.
In just a few short years, Outreach has garnered hundreds of big-name customers, attracted millions of dollars in investment capital, and is growing by leaps and bounds as it transforms the way sales professionals communicate.
While Outreach.io helps its clients make their sales team’s outreach more effective, the company’s director of demand generation, Dan Ahmadi, is focused on helping the Outreach.io sales and marketing team reach more prospects and close more sales, quickly and effectively.
Despite deploying tools and systems to automate the marketing and sales process, Ahmadi was frustrated by the gaps that still existed.
“In an organization that’s growing as fast as Outreach, one of the biggest challenges is providing a funnel that can scale at the same rate across all parts of the sales cycle,” says Ahmadi. “As great as marketing automation tools are, they can’t give you full integration and automation across the entire sales workflow. As a result, you’re constantly cutting and pasting to get the info where it’s needed. I knew that wherever we were doing this, we should instead be integrating and automating.”
While the applications that Outreach uses offer open APIs, it requires engineers to learn how to use the APIs and create the integrations. Outreach needs its engineering resources for more strategic tasks such as developing the sales workflow solutions that drive the business and working with external customers on their own integrations. Plus, says Ahmadi, “I wanted control of the process and the ability to build those integrations on my own.”
Luckily for Ahmadi, he knew just the solution that would allow him to do so. Having discovered the advanced integration platform offered by Tray.io on a product search for his previous job, Ahmadi realized that the Tray Platform would serve his needs at Outreach. Although he evaluated integration solutions from other vendors, Tray was the only one to offer the branching logic that would deliver the sophistication and versatility that Outreach required.
Once Ahmadi and team decided on Tray, implementation was swift and easy. “We were eager to start getting value out of the integration platform immediately,” says Ahmadi. “Our contact at Tray helped us draft out what we wanted and within a week he delivered fully built-out solutions.” Those solutions then made it possible for Ahmadi to learn how to use Tray on his own.
Ahmadi focused first on the leads that a third-party lead-generation vendor emailed to the company on a regular basis. Now rather than manually inputting those leads into Marketo (a marketing automation platform), the emails are fed directly into Tray via webhook from the third-party vendor, which uses business logic to enhance and enrich the data before automatically feeding it into Marketo (which in turn is integrated with Salesforce).
The Outreach team is also taking advantage of Tray’s Form Connector, Data Storage Connector, and Slack Connector features to trigger a flow of information that automates the process of requesting items such as thank-you notes or swag be mailed out to customers or prospects. Now, everything from creating the request form to approving the request via Slack or email, and routing confirmation back to the initial requestor is built within Tray with integrations to MailLift. Best of all, says Ahmadi, “No work on our part is required to make this happen. Anyone in our sales and marketing organization can take advantage of this automated workflow.”
Another integration includes using Tray to “listen” to Slack channels, filter conversations for certain keywords, log those conversations to a Google Sheet, and generate alerts to the sales enablement team whenever a relevant conversation is happening that the team needs to know about, without requiring the team to join every channel on Slack to get notifications.
For Ahmadi, one of the greatest benefits of Tray is the fast and effective dissemination of information throughout the sales organization. “With every conversation and notification in Slack being piped into Tray, I know that the right people are being notified about the right things,” he says. “This allows the sales enablement team to respond rapidly.”
The fast response times facilitated by the Tray integrations have also made Outreach’s sales and marketing teams work in a much more connected—and thus productive—fashion. Says Ahmadi, “Not only can our sales reps now expect to receive requests for product demos (and more) within minutes, our sales enablement team has a far better understanding of the sales reps’ pain points at any given time.”
Perhaps best of all, the leads being delivered to the sales team are of a higher quality than ever before because of the data enrichment made possible by Tray-facilitated integrations. Says Ahmadi, “I’d definitely recommend Tray.io to any company that has problems that can be solved by connecting cloud systems. You can take data, transform it, load it exactly the way you want, and own that process—that’s the beauty of Tray.io.”
With 20 percent of the company already employing Tray, Ahmadi expects usage to grow steadily. “Our company uses somewhere between 50 and 100 different SaaS systems, all of which could be integrated and automated to make processes more efficient,” says Ahmadi. “This means that there’s enormous potential for other departments (such as human resources) to use Outreach to gain the same kind of just-in-time intelligence that the sales team has already started to enjoy.” And because the Tray Platform is flexible and scalable, it’ll handle any complex workflows and future integrations that Outreach needs to automate.