April 13 by Zack Alspaugh
The Apttus founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kirk Krappe, stood center-stage in front of an audience of 3,000, back-dropped by luminous shades of blue and bright green. His keynote kicked off Accelerate 2016. This year’s Quote-to-Cash Event of the Year featured a lineup of expert speakers, headlined by best-selling author Matthew Dixon, neuroscientist Carmen Simon, and late-night host Jay Leno. Transformation was a key theme, not just in Mr. Krappe’s presentation, but throughout the event, and a fitting one at that as Apttus transformed a cavernous bayside pier next-door to AT&T Park into a beehive of energy, innovation, and networking.
“14 Billion years ago there was a cataclysmic event of a magnitude so large that it had never seen before in the history of time. And the explosion was so powerful that everything about it was different. Laws of physics as we know them today did not prevail. The speed of light, gravity, the way atoms are constructed all behaved differently,” Kirk Krappe prophetically described as he drew a compelling parallel between the big bang and a dramatic shift in big business.
It was a call for companies to fundamentally transform the way they think and ultimately the way they run their business. Now is the time to break away from linear process-oriented tactics and embrace outcome-focused, behavior driven and machine intelligent stratagem. “Take the leap,” he urged. “Go ahead and defy gravity.”
What is Defying Gravity?
When you think about what defying gravity is, it’s more than just getting a better outcome than you expected, it’s about exceeding your present limits, and accelerating towards new goals and possibilities. Defying gravity is an ever-evolving upward trend. A good example would be NBA’s MVP and World Champion Stephen Curry who for the past three years and counting has continued to top himself for the NBA’s single-season three-point record. He is defying gravity by not just surpassing his milestone mark, but up-levelling his play far beyond all competition. Curry has 100 more three-pointers in a season than the next closest record holder, simply astounding.
Bringing it back to the business world, defying gravity is about extending beyond the feature functions of the product; it’s about focusing on and achieving your business objective – your outcomes.
Driving Towards Positive Outcomes
Mr. Krappe compared it to a classic the workflow example, getting approvals. But it turns out “over 70% of the time,” he noted, the upstream person always approves, despite not having enough info, or have enough time. So what is the outcome? Most companies have a control in place that ultimately doesn’t matter. All they have done is slowed down business and ultimately created a negative outcome.
But now imagine if you can influence the behavior of that user at the time they are getting that approval. For example, imagine if you are a salesperson and when at the time of submitting your approval, you can see what compensation you are making, and that if you seek approval you can see you will make less compensation. Chances are very high they will try to avoid the approval and you will have affected the outcome far more because you changed the behavior of the user, not just put the controls in place. We call these behavior related applications, but we can take this even further.
Across every organization there is information that if presented to a user, would help them, manage their jobs better. Imagine if a user could be told by the system the prescriptive steps to do their job better. Could you imagine when doing a quote compares tells you what to do – not only but also comps you more?
Enter Apttus Intelligent Cloud
Mr. Krappe announced this is what Apttus is launching today – the Apttus Intelligent Cloud – utilizing control applications behavior applications and machine learning artificial intelligence to make the outcomes for your company better.
The Intelligence Cloud allows companies to move beyond descriptive analytics about the Quote-to-Cash process like measuring sales cycle times and identifying bottlenecks to providing prescriptive insights on how to more quickly accomplish business outcomes. It also creates selling strategies and incentives that drive better selling behavior, adjusting them in real-time, giving sales teams greater control and visibility than ever before.
For instance, in a live onstage demo, Sales Engineer Nick McCoy exhibited how the Intelligence Cloud was not only able to recognize the best possible sales opportunities, but automatically notified the rep and offered prescriptive insight on optimized pricing, generated a quote, and outlined the possible compensation for the rep if the deal closed. In a matter of moments, the Intelligent Cloud by passed what could have been months of prospecting and process to help set up not just a faster, but better deal.
Putting a close on the keynote, Mr. Krappe said, “Machine-learning. It’s not about technology or data science. It’s about all of you, who know your business inside out, and are ready to defy gravity. We’re here to help you.”
Posted by Zack Alspaugh on April 13, 2016.
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