How Outreach.io Optimizes the ROI of Technology with Its Enablement Maturity Model
October 28, 2021
Most revenue teams have the foundational elements of their enablement strategy down – onboard sales reps, manage ongoing product and sales training, and purchase the right tools to help teams succeed. The importance of having an enablement strategy in place cannot be understated. According to G2, organizations with sales enablement functions achieve a 49% win rate on forecasted deals, compared to just 42.5% for those who lack sales enablement.
But leading organizations are taking enablement strategies to the next level. Outreach.io, the leader in sales engagement and conversational intelligence, is one of those organizations. The secret behind their success? Repeatable processes and a proven Enablement Maturity Model for tech stack optimization.
During a recent webinar, WorkRamp’s Director of Sales Danielle Scott interviewed Whitney Sieck, Senior Director of Revenue Enablement and Sean Reay, Senior Enablement Specialist from Outreach.io, to learn about how they are developing a stand-out revenue and partner enablement program. “Our goal is to create a program so comprehensive and exciting that it attracts talent, improves conversion rates, and sets sales reps up for success, so they can hit their quotas as well as their personal growth goals,” Whitney said. “Not only do we want people to succeed in their current roles, we want them to stay at Outreach.io for a really long time, because their institutional knowledge is incredibly valuable to our business.”
According to Whitney, enablement means different things to different organizations. “Our team spans the entire GTM organization, so we’re focused on outcomes that ultimately drive revenue.” Whitney added that for Outreach.io, enablement has amplified impact, because their GTM teams enable Outreach.io customers’ GTM teams. “The work we do touches so many people, which is really exciting.”
An Enablement Maturity Model for Technology Optimization
Outreach.io’s innovative technology optimization strategy leverages an Enablement Maturity Model that explicitly defines progressive levels of maturity in terms of adoption and usage of a tool or platform. The team uses the Maturity Model to drive increasing levels of engagement over time, track various metrics related to how the tool is being adopted and used, and inform upper management during quarterly business reviews (QBRs) about how the tool is helping to accomplish the intended goals.
For example, Outreach.io recently adopted Workramp to deliver onboarding and product training to the GTM team, an essential component of effective enablement. But to get the most ROI from any tool, it’s important to progressively leverage more and more of its capabilities over time. Whitney’s team uses the Enablement Maturity Model to track their progress with optimizing their technology stack, and to understand how the user and manager experience is evolving and expanding over time.
“There’s a philosophy — crawl, walk, run — which refers to the logical pacing of implementing a new tool,” she said. “Our Enablement Maturity Model is based on this philosophy, which acts as our ‘North Star,’ helping everyone row in the same direction toward optimization.”
“At the pace Outreach.io is growing, optimizing our tech stack is a top priority,” Sean added. “Getting everyone aligned on how a tool or platform like WorkRamp will be used is really important for avoiding conflicts and duplicate work that can result from people using disparate systems. Streamlining the process helps to eliminate silos, and even if one team is further on the Enablement Maturity Model than the other teams, at least everyone is moving toward the same goals.”
From “Ad Hoc” to “Optimized”
To create the Enablement Maturity Model, Whitney conducted a workshop to determine the current state and areas for improvement. Next, her team defined user personas and populated the model with different user experiences, depending on their level of maturity in the tool. The team’s hard work manifested into the clean and useful one-pager describing the long-term strategy for optimizing WorkRamp across Outreach.io:
Along the left side of the model are the four core areas that are most critical for optimization of a tool or platform: User experience, manager experience, enablement and metrics. Along the top are five maturity levels ranging from “Ad Hoc” to “Optimized.” For each aspect of optimization, there are target accomplishments in each level of maturity.
Teams typically start off using a new tool in an ad hoc manner, focusing on the short-term impact of the tool. As they continue to adopt the tool, they realize they need to put simplified processes and guardrails in place, and make the processes repeatable. By level 3, they will have defined their processes and are beginning to standardize them across the organization. They begin to look into what more they can do with the tool and bring in resources to help them get there. By stages 4 and 5, the tool is highly optimized and users become thought leaders for improvement. It begins to help shape the larger enablement strategy.
As the organization progresses through the Enablement Maturity Model, different metrics become available. These metrics help the enablement team assess the current state of optimization and can be used to demonstrate progress to upper management at QBRs.
Sean built the Partner Enablement Maturity Model to first onboard and certify Outreach.io partners then get WorkRamp to a place where it’s at the center of the Partner Engagement Strategy. “We already had this wonderful framework in place, and all of the groundwork was done,” Sean said. “We made sure that model was unique to the partner experience but followed the same framework, which made it simple for us to scale and operationalize WorkRamp for our partner community.”
“Enablement Is a Team Sport”
The real testament to the effectiveness of the Enablement Maturity Model — and the metrics it tracks — is to reflect on accomplishments, prioritize work and build trust with executive stakeholders. It helps her expand the capabilities of her team, giving them the leadership opportunity to present to their own internal stakeholders, as well as get buy-in from managers on enablement strategy. “Sharing our process and Enablement Maturity Model with executive leadership elevates the revenue enablement function,” she said. “It enables us to be proactive instead of reactive, and stay at the forefront of any changes or shifts in our strategy.”
The Outreach team presents at two different QBRs each month: one for executives and one for internal stakeholders. “The meetings are a regular touch point to track progress, hear feedback, identify opportunities and build an exceptional internal customer experience,” she said. The Enablement Maturity Model for technology optimization is a key deliverable for the QBRs. “Enablement is a team sport,” she said. “We’re not working alone in a silo.”
It’s a Logical Progression
Using the Enablement Maturity Model as a framework for tech optimization helps the team roll out new enablement technology in a way that maximizes ROI, while providing peace of mind to everyone involved that roll outs are progressing as planned. “Too often, organizations are reactive rather than proactive in their use of technology, as they attempt to satisfy the needs of stakeholders,” Whitney said. “When we use the Enablement Maturity Model, it’s amazing how quickly you get everyone on board and quell their concerns. When you show them the roll out is following a logical progression, they know you’ve got things under control.”
To learn more about putting a Enablement Maturity Model for technology optimization to work in your organization, watch the full webinar on our YouTube channel. Next, check out our customer testimonials page to learn why market-leading organizations such as Box, Reddit, Plaid and others choose to partner with WorkRamp for an effective enablement strategy.
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