Udemy streamlines self-service to enterprise sales processIntegrates Stripe and Salesforce to eliminate manual inefficiencies, rapidly process enterprise contracts, and drive upsells

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The Tray Platform is incredible. With it, we’ve been able to automate a formerly inefficient and error-prone revenue ops process with enterprise security and a modern interface...without engineering resources.

Sean Passanisi

Senior Manager, Sales and Marketing Operations

Udemy for Business helps companies stay competitive in the digital transformation of the workplace by offering fresh, on-demand learning content powered by a content marketplace. The company’s mission is to help employees do whatever comes next- whether that’s tackling the next project, learning a new skill, or mastering a role. Udemy for Business does this by curating 2,500+ of Udemy’s top-rated courses taught by the world’s leading experts. The company’s content covers key business and technical topics ranging from development and IT to leadership, marketing, design, stress management, and much more. In addition to a curated content collection, organizations can host and distribute their own proprietary content on Udemy.

Leading organizations including PayPal, Lyft, Booking.com, Pinterest, Adidas, and HSBC choose Udemy for Business to upskill their workforce and drive learning forward.

Udemy for Business sells to medium and large organizations through a typical enterprise sales process. To handle demand efficiently, the company also set up a self-service system that permits smaller teams to purchase licenses without engaging sales.

Challenge: Improve enterprise contract process

Like other rapidly growing companies, Udemy faced challenges getting its systems to scale. As Senior Sales and Marketing Operations Manager Sean Passanisi puts it, “The self-service platform, which handles credit card purchases through our payment processing solution Stripe, had been in place for about a year before I joined the company. To get enterprise customers on board, we turned to Salesforce CPQ - formerly known as SteelBrick - to manage contracts and pricing.”

Unfortunately, self-service for enterprise was originally a manually-managed process that left much to be desired. Udemy sales development representatives (SDR) would painstakingly enter payment and contract information manually into the company’s Salesforce and CPQ instances, which was a time-consuming and error-prone process to begin with. “It just wasn’t sustainable,” says Passanisi.

Even more frustratingly, important features in Salesforce CPQ, such as the ability to amend or update contacts, weren’t available via its API - the interface that software applications such as Salesforce and Stripe use to connect to each other to enact joint functionality. This meant that updating contracts after the fact required even more manual work.

“Due to IT security policies, I didn’t have direct production access, so we needed to find some kind of workaround,” Passanisi explains. “At Udemy, our focus is on delivering a stellar educational product for our customers, so we tend to deploy our development resources to enhance our product offering, rather than on fixing internal gaps among our tech stack. This meant that building some kind of internal stopgap would have been time-consuming and costly. We needed to find a better way.”

Solution: The Tray Platform syncs Stripe to Salesforce CPQ

To tackle this issue, Udemy looked for integration solutions to flow important contract data between Stripe and Salesforce. Udemy’s initial search turned up alternatives that ultimately didn’t work for the education leader. Right off the bat, Salesforce’s own built-in Process Builder tool wasn’t robust enough to handle the cross-application processes the company needed.

The company’s search for external solutions unearthed one option, a small- and medium-size business (SMB) tool, which ultimately didn’t meet the company’s security requirements. Another external option turned out to be a clunky, enterprise-grade tool whose outdated interface required development resources simply to use.

Finally, Udemy discovered the Tray Platform, a SOC2-certified solution that offered all the integration and automation functionality the company needed, with an easy-to-use visual editor that would let Udemy’s team build whatever processes they wanted themselves, without the need for expensive development resources.

Use case: Automate enterprise self-serve payment + contract processing

Partnering with Tray’s customer success team, Passanisi was able to get a working prototype of a workflow that incorporated Stripe and Salesforce CPQ up and running within a few hours.

The Tray Platform is built on serverless, API-first architecture that connects to the deepest levels of cloud-based applications like Stripe and Salesforce. Using the platform, Passanisi and his team were able to integrate Stripe’s payment processing features to Salesforce and Salesforce CPQ to connect initial credit card swipes to the rest of its account infrastructure. Udemy has a highly customized instance of Salesforce that integrates Salesforce CPQ for pricing and contract processing, but using the Tray Platform, the company was able to connect payment data to contract information to Salesforce account listings, even directly incorporating contact info updates within Salesforce CPQ.

Results: Increased user engagement and significantly improved efficiency

With successful Stripe-to-Salesforce-CPQ integration for enterprise contracts in place, Passanisi’s team members saw direct improvements to their daily work, as well as to the company’s bottom line. Previously, the company had compensated its SDR team for taking on the arduous work of entering enterprise contact info manually, but this clearly wasn’t a good use of either the company’s resources or its team’s time.

With the new automated process in place, Udemy realized time savings of 20-25 hours per month, and an increase in efficiency by turning time-consuming, error-prone manual labor into a seamless, automated process. The company redirected its SDR team’s time away from manual data entry to focus on what they had been hired to do. Udemy also recorded hard savings of approximately $1,000 per month from no longer having to essentially compensate its SDRs to close an internal gap in its tech stack - and could instead fully focus on compensating them for actually bringing in new sales opportunities.

“The Tray Platform is incredible,” says Passanisi. “It has empowered us to bring self-service sales to enterprise as an efficient, automated process, without engineering resources. We’re looking into ways we can use the Tray Platform for future projects.”

Next steps: Integrating and automating ERP

Udemy is already investigating the Tray Platform to integrate its Salesforce instances with the popular enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution Netsuite to handle its internal finance and budgeting processes.

“Currently, Udemy still enters a great deal of information manually into Netsuite,” Passanisi remarks. Now aware of the potential to close more efficiency gaps by trading up from the frequent errors and significant time cost of manual labor to faster, seamless automation, Udemy is actively investigating ways to automate more of its tech stack across its organization. “Frankly, aside from the Tray Platform, other options we’ve considered for this new use case look stale.”

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