Accelerate 2017 has been over for several weeks now. How much of what you learned there do you still remember? Hopefully a lot. Hopefully you’ve already implemented some new processes and techniques you gained at Accelerate. If you are like many people, you’ve moved on, you’ve already done the mind flush and gone back to your pre-Accelerate routine. Here’s my top takeaways from Accelerate 2017. Its time to grab your notebook or your mobile phone and compare notes!

9. You Really Can Build an X-Author for Excel App in Minutes!

John Graf, Salesforce MVP and Business Process Director at World Water Works took the stage in the Awesome Admin track to not only talk about how you should go about gathering requirements for a new X-Author for Excel App, but also went on to build an app during the session. No PowerPoint slides, no screen shots. Live, start to finish.

8. Law Departments Can Save Companies Big Bucks!

Ginger Dolgow, Senior Manager, Worldwide Contract Management & Services at NetApp proved to the audience that law departments shouldn’t be stuck in the back office. She discussed how NetApp took advantage of an efficient contact management process to drive improvements in operations which led to sales increases. It’s a success story that other companies should be copying.

7. CRM Admins Face Interesting Challenges – No Matter Which Platform!

Being a CRM Administrator can be a challenging and, at times, thankless job. It doesn’t matter if you use Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, all CRM Admins take on similar issues. From users who don’t use the system and then wonder where their data is, to tackling what seem like insurmountable challenges, all CRM Admins look back at what they are able to overcome, and react with a good laugh. They just don’t usually have the opportunity to share that with many colleagues. At Accelerate, CRM admins from near and far commiserated about how to make users smarter, right before the networking happy hour. Coincidence? I think not!

6. Not All Tech Conferences are Created Equal

Some people, usually those who have never attended a tech conference, think tech conferences are futuristic and full of high-tech gadgets, and in some cases, they would be right! At Dreamforce last year, we featured a robot from Kuka. At Accelerate, we like to do things a little differently. We like to have a good mix of mischief, music, and mystery. This year’s Accelerate offered attendees the chance to become a graffiti artist, without the risk of being arrested; the opportunity to see and hear The English Beat perform live and in person; as well as wonder how Magician David Blaine put an ice pick through his hand without drawing blood or leaving a hole.

5. People Don’t Always Buy a Product Based on Value

Jason Lemkin, Founder of SaaStr, hosted a casual conversation on the importance of personal branding and building social skills that make an impact. He was joined in the conversation by Topo’s Craig Rosenberg, Foxwordy’s Monica Zent, Social Selling Expert Jill Rowley and others. They shared many things, with one major theme: People don’t always based on perceived value, they buy from companies and people they trust.

4. Gurus are Truly Wise

GuruGanesha Khalsa shared his top sales tips. Trust is the single most important aspect of a sales process. Establishing trust takes effort, and doesn’t happen overnight. If asked a question and you do not know the answer, simply say that: “I don’t know yet” and then go find the answer. Don’t convince people to buy your product, make them feel like they made the decision to do so. If you can succeed at these, you have become a trusted adviser.

3. The Ebb and Flow of Business

Pablo Dominguez, Vice President of Global Business Operations at AppNexus shared how to help level out the cyclical nature of business. With tools available today, your Quote-to-Cash system can deliver targeted behavioral nudges to help close the gap. These targeted nudges help drive your sales teams to better guide conversations with customers to drive positive business outcomes.

2. Storytelling is Back!

Kirk Krappe, Apttus CEO, regaled the Accelerate crowd with a great story of how two men, from very different backgrounds reacted to one situation. The man with humble beginnings, armed with only instinct, saw great success and fortune. The other, who came from a well known family and was educated at an Ivy League college, was discredited and lost his entire life savings. For both of these men, the stock market crash of 1929 was a defining moment. One seized the opportunity, the other was blindsided.

1. Speed up Business Processes Through Conversation!

During the Quote-to-Cash keynote, Kirk Krappe continued the discussion about defining moments, saying that the defining moment for Apttus customers is now. It’s time to maximize business by going beyond world class. It’s time for artificial intelligence, machine learning and intelligent agents to drive the speed of business forward. It’s time for Max. Kirk demonstrated Max, the world’s first Quote-to-Cash Virtual Assistant. With a brief conversation Kirk had Max send relevant information to everyone attending Accelerate. Talk about seizing your defining moment!

Have you met Max? Max helps business create optimal deals, configure solutions, prepare quotes and more!

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