Grant Peterson, Chief Product Officer at Conga talks about a few ways through which sales and revenue teams can create impactful revenue rich customer journeys in B2B:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Grant, tell us about yourself and more about your role at Conga…
As Chief Product Officer at Conga, I’m responsible for the vision, design, and delivery of Conga’s products and commerce platform. I have deep experience as a product and engineering leader with more than 22 years as a technology executive and more than a decade as a technical architect. Before coming to Conga, I served for more than a decade as CTO at DocuSign, where I steered product definition, development, architecture, innovation, engineering, and technical operations leading to the industry leadership position in automated document transactions.
Can you share a few thoughts on the evolving revtech / revenue cycle software management market and how you see B2B salespeople are benefiting from these kind of features/platforms?
I have had the great privilege in my career to work with many thought leaders at complex global organizations working tirelessly to automate, scale, and optimize their revenue solutions. Most are working to scale highly complex quoting and configuration practices, then to process those signed quotes seamlessly through revenue contracting, obligation management, billing, invoicing, collection, and revenue recognition to complete the full transaction.
Many are now starting to work to seamlessly prepare for renewal, upsell, cross-sell, and churn-prevention for an increasingly subscription-based business. This has been a massive undertaking, requiring complex system integration, significant customization, and years of effort. With the emergence of full revenue lifecycle focused technologies, many of these complex and expensive custom efforts will be simplified by thoughtfully pre-integrated technologies allowing companies to focus more on the process and change management vs. the heavy technical integration work. Companies with effective full revenue lifecycle solutions will be able to do business faster, with lower risk, fewer errors, and increased revenue certainty while optimizing for renewals and increased ASP. This will become a completive advantage for those who do it best.
What kind of optimized processes and salestech/revtech features should B2B sales teams be focusing on implementing into their everyday strategies given today’s market dynamics?
Given today’s market dynamics, B2B sales teams should focus on gaining as much advantage as possible.
Key opportunities include:
– The ability to accurately and efficiently quote complex products and services without limitations often encountered in cart size, SKU complexity and mixed product types
– Efficient and self-documenting approval processes
– Continuous flow from the quoting process to a managed revenue contracting process
– Unified electronic approval, signature and archival of contracts
– Automatic flow to obligation management, order fulfilment and risk management
– Seamless integration to revenue collection and management
– Automatic path to an immediate contract renewal capabilities orchestrating entitlement monitoring, up-sell/cross-sell opportunities and an effective practice of reliable renewal at the best possible rates
Technologies that are fundamentally open to extension, allowing customization, partner integration, supporting complex scale, and with strong focus on AI/advanced analytics will help to future-proof these complex investments.
When it comes to the easing the overall B2B customer journey and sales cycle: how are you seeing leading brands use newer salestech/tech features to enable impact?
B2B customers are trying to solve for the full revenue lifecycle and largely have been forced to integrate several vertically focused products to try to turn these specifics into a full revenue lifecycle solution. This has dominated the time and budgets of B2B customers, but this should not be the case. Leading vendors are striving to offer solutions that address the full revenue lifecycle and allow for implementation aligned to the timing and priorities of the B2B customer.
Brands can enable impact with customers that are open to extension, customization, and integration with both partner and competitor products, and that have a deep commitment to AI and advanced analytic intelligence.
A few thoughts on the future of the B2B sales market?
The future of the B2B sales market will begin with the adoption of a full revenue lifecycle perspective. This will increase the ability to bring deep AI advanced intelligence to the sales process through automated revenue lifecycle management solutions.
Complete and integrated processes and data will help eliminate the errors and delays that frustrate customers and cause deals to fail. Revtech features that enable B2B sales teams to simplify quoting, shorten contract processes, and create a single source of truth for contract data can help keep customers engaged and close more deals. Further, implementing a contract intelligence platform allows B2B salespeople to extract dates, terms, and other critical information from existing contracts.
It then aggregates this data into a searchable, centralized repository where it can be leveraged to provide end-to-end contract insights. Automated sales intelligence solutions result in a faster, more accurate, and headache-free process so teams can focus their energy on developing customer relationships and spend more time selling.
For example, Extreme Networks, a global leader in cloud-driven networking solutions, sought a way to streamline and automate its contract management and quoting processes, which the company previously outsourced. A recent case study by Nucleus Research found Conga’s CPQ solution reduced the time it took Extreme Networks to generate a quote from three days to just 20 minutes. The solution also reduced the time to provide a quote estimate from four hours to merely 10 minutes. Employee productivity overall increased by 15% with Conga CPQ’s automated quote generation and features capable of managing multi-tiered pricing channels.
And finally, a few views on salestech as a segment and how you feel this space will shape up over the next few years?
I expect several key trends in the salestech space to solidify in the next several years. First would be moving from a fundamentally fragmented technical approach to more of a full revenue lifecycle approach. Solutions will vary greatly in the beginning with most vendors offering only a limited capability to support a full lifecycle and generally in a more closed offering. The leaders will have more complete support for the full cycle and the best will be thoughtfully architected to support open integration and customization via APIs and an extensible data model.
The next generation of revenue lifecycle solutions will be differentiated by AI and the ability to apply advanced intelligence to drive faster, more compliant, more accurate, and more efficient execution of the lifecycle. Lastly, I expect eCommerce to become a core requirement in B2B and to extend and increasingly be used to allow B2B customers the ability to participate directly in the configuration and quoting process. It is a huge challenge, but in time, B2B will look a lot more like B2C.
Conga crushes complexity in an increasingly complex world. With our Revenue Lifecycle Management solution, we transform each company’s unique complexities for order configuration, execution, fulfillment, and contract renewal processes with a unified data model that adapts to ever-changing business requirements and aligns the understanding and efforts of every team. Our approach is grounded in the Conga Way, a framework of entrepreneurial spirit and achieving together to champion our 11,000+ customers. We’re committed to our customers and to removing complexity in an increasingly complex world. Our solutions quickly adapt to changing business models so you can normalize your revenue management processes.
Grant Peterson is the Chief Product Officer at Conga.
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