Since its foundation in 2017, Rafay Systems has sought to make it easier for companies and developers to solve core issues related to the automation, security, and self-service of the infrastructure running their Kubernetes-based applications. Being in a new market requires significant field education on the latest trends in the industry and the value of a solution. To help facilitate a clear and cohesive message and expand its sales capabilities, Rafay Systems knew it needed a more robust content management solution – but it hadn’t considered what was possible with a unified enablement platform. By demonstrating the return on investment that Rafay could experience with Highspot in its tech stack, the team knew that they didn’t just need to invest in a unified enablement solution, they needed to do it now.
WHY NOW: HOW RAFAY SYSTEMS IS SCALING PRODUCTIVITY BY INVESTING IN UNIFIED ENABLEMENT
- Difficult locating up-to-date content hindered velocity
- A disjointed rep journey diminished sales productivity
- No visibility into partner and buyer engagement limited strategic decision-making
A DISJOINTED SELLER EXPERIENCE HINDERED PRODUCTIVITY
Rafay Systems aims to help enterprises rapidly implement automations that will help them maintain control and consistency across their cloud environments, while simultaneously allowing developers and other cloud users to provision their needs using rapid self-service processes. Central to the enterprise sales process are the content and learning materials used to educate both reps and customers – but its existing solution made the management and findability of these resources painful. For example, since the company deploys new services and features at least monthly, keeping resources updated was a considerable challenge. “Our engineering team is relentless, and because of that, we want to make sure that everyone knows exactly what’s new and what we’re doing every month,” shared Michelle Shalvey, director of enablement and revenue operations at Rafay Systems.
Meanwhile, without any metrics or data on how reps and partners used enablement resources or how buyers were responding, it was challenging to accurately prioritize the creation of enablement programs. This made it difficult to influence strategic decision-making and optimize programs to enhance the buyer experience. In particular, Shalvey and her team noticed the value this could bring to the enablement of Rafay’s partner community. “If we’re investing time in partners and we don’t always see the return in an immediate deal or introduction, we do want to see that there’s activity,” explained Shalvey. “In an enterprise sales cycle, it’s six to nine months before we close a deal. That’s a lot of time to invest with a partner, not knowing if they’re really putting in the time and talking about us as much as we are about them.”
As the team considered both of these key pain points, they realized that the most urgent driver of change was a desire to create more cohesion in their rep and partner journey – a goal that could only be fulfilled through a unified enablement solution. By designing a consistent rep and partner journey and investing in a unified platform to deliver it, Rafay can improve sales productivity and velocity.
Much like the customer goes on a journey, we want to be able to have the reps go on a journey as well. Without a solution where we can put together a whole journey, I’m listing out disparate pieces of content as opposed to actually having a rep go through an entire enablement process.
A UNIFIED ENABLEMENT PLATFORM UNLOCKS SCALABILITY
While Rafay Systems initially thought it just needed a simple solution to store and access content due to its size, Shalvey and her team realized as the company scaled that a more comprehensive enablement solution was an essential piece of a modern revenue tech stack–and the status quo would no longer suffice. But to make the change, Shalvey needed to secure that same buy-in from Rafay’s executive leadership.
In doing so, Shalvey was both persistent in advocating for the investment with leadership and intentional about finding the right partner who could deliver personalized value, which she found in Highspot. “Just being treated like a person and not a prospect during the sales process was really huge,” explained Shalvey. “I felt entirely supported.” This personalized support helped Shalvey prove to her executive stakeholders what was possible through a unified solution. This included sending Digital Sales Rooms to stakeholders like the VP of Sales so they could see the benefits of the solution directly.
Additionally, Shalvey helped illustrate the pain points of the existing solution by documenting every time reps asked for materials that already existed, further securing the support of sales leadership by emphasizing the negative impact on efficiency. “I work hand-in-hand with our VP of sales daily, and he trusts what I do from an enablement perspective,” said Shalvey. “When I share with him the ability to accelerate that with Highspot, he trusts that.”
Shalvey built that trust with other stakeholders as well by highlighting the impact that a unified solution could have on conversations with investors as a differentiating factor for how Rafay supports its sellers. “As we’re talking to investors, there’s always a conversation around how we’re onboarding and certifying reps and making sure that our messaging is cohesive,” explains Shalvey. This helped create urgency to invest in the eyes of the C-Suite. “This is a big investment and it’s a huge personal career win to be able to say this is something that we need to invest in for our department and to really have everyone rally around that,” said Shalvey. “I report directly to the CFO and she told me, ‘you’ve convinced me, it’s in the budget.’”
I was able to tell our Highspot account representative exactly what the different stakeholders at our company would need, and he was able to provide that and go above and beyond.
While Rafay Systems is still in the early days of rolling out Highspot, the support from leadership and excitement from sellers to have a unified solution has Shalvey enthusiastic about the change it will help usher in.
In addition to providing a better rep and partner experience, Shalvey plans to leverage Highspot’s Analytics to measure the impact of enablement programs on key metrics including ramp time and partner productivity. With a unified platform, Rafay Systems can implement a strategic approach to enablement that increases company value in both the short and long term. “That’s going to be huge,” said Shalvey. “We know this is the right solution.”
This is the first tool that sellers not only get to see from a personal growth and career standpoint where they get to go through those certifications and training, but they also get to use it to reach out to their customers.