Revenue enablement teams often receive requests for enablement programming from their direct stakeholders or other members of the Go-to-Market (GTM) organization.
In order to keep track of and manage these requests effectively, enablement teams may consider creating a repeatable intake process to streamline their efforts and kickoff enablement workflows.
Standardized intake processes can:
- Provide a centralized and consistent way to keep track of requests and ensure they are followed up on in a timely manner
- Help route requests to the relevant team or individual within enablement to efficiently kick off project analysis and other enablement motions
- Quantify the volume of requests, type of requests, requesting department, etc. to spot trends and create visibility to senior leadership for capacity planning & project resourcing
What to keep in mind when setting up an intake process:
If you are considering setting up an intake process, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Before you get too far along in your planning process, ensure that your leadership is onboard with the idea of an enablement intake process at a high level.
When preparing to get leadership buy-in:
- Learn about existing intake processes within your organization, including common tools, standard formats, success stories, and key learnings
- Ensure you can clearly articulate the challenge for which you are looking to solve with this intake process
- Know who you intend to engage in your process. e.g. Will reps be able to submit intake requests? Managers? GTM leadership? Cross-functional teams?
- Have a list of intake process benefits to highlight (see starter list above)
Once you have approval from leadership, begin outlining your intake process in more detail.
Pick the right tool
Intake forms connected to project management systems with action item tracking functionality are often an effective place to begin your intake process.
Clearly identify the audience.
If you are using an intake form, write who should submit requests and what kind of leadership support is required for each request at the top of the form.
Pro-tip: Depending on the problem you are trying to solve with your intake process and the size of your organization, consider funneling rep enablement requests through managers, instead of giving direct intake form access to reps, to ensure there is a leadership sponsor behind each request.
Be clear on next steps
Outline what happens to the request after it is submitted. A common next step, once the request has been routed to the appropriate area of the enablement team, is to set up a discovery call with the requester to learn more.
Try to set a realistic, yet short, timeline for follow-up on requests as timely responses can help build strong relationships between enablement and requesters.
Set clear expectations
You will likely want to do analysis to better understand each request that is submitted before taking it on as a project for the enablement team.
Therefore, be clear on the form that while the submitted request does not guarantee a certain enablement action will be taken, enablement will set up time to learn more and determine the appropriate path forward.
Include enough (but not too many) fields to capture key information
Be sure to capture the requester’s contact information, the target audience for the enablement need (you may find different or additional audiences are relevant during your analysis process), perceived urgency of the request, a summary of the request, and links to relevant information to review for additional context.
Determine your routing and assignment plans
Once an intake is received, you will need to assign someone to follow-up on the request. Consider the roles on your team and define your process for allocating these requests within the team.
For example, if your team members support different GTM audiences and you receive a request from a Customer Success leader, have your Customer Success Enablement Manager reach out to kickoff next steps.
Outline your evaluation and prioritization approach
Intake request analysis and prioritization should be standardized within the enablement team to provide each requester with a consistent experience and ensure each request is properly analyzed. To do this:
- Create a list of analysis questions that every team member should ask when following up on an intake form request
- Determine a consistent framework to determine request priority (e.g. high priority requests align to requests that have a critical impact on GTM team effectiveness)
- Outline project plans aligned to each priority level to support consistent execution
Once you have a draft in place:
Once you have a draft in place, be sure to review your intake process with a few sample requesters to get their input and iterate before finalizing your approach.
Then circle back with your GTM leadership to review the details and launch your process to the broader GTM organization, ensuring all applicable parties are clear on their role.
After your intake process is live, remember to:
Always redirect requests to the intake process.
Once you have an intake process in place, it is important to stick to it to ensure the data you capture accurately represents the team’s efforts and helps the team appropriately capacity plan.
Redirect requesters to the form first, and if you do follow-up on a request outside the form, still log the request in the form to ensure it is tracked appropriately.
Evolve your intake process over time.
Gather feedback from those who use the form and engage with your process to learn what works well for them and what can be approved upon going forward.
The process is intended to foster collaborative partnership, NOT create distance from stakeholders and cross-functional partners.
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