May 4 by Zack Alspaugh
Yesterday kicked off the fifth annual Accelerate conference. Four thousand sales, legal, ops and IT professionals gathered at Pier 48 along the sun stroked bay front. The day was highlighted by various breakout sessions, Pinkberry frozen Yogurt, a Puppy Pen and of course the Quote-to-Cash keynote. Apttus CEO and best-selling author Kirk Krappe took the mainstage and shared a telling historical allegory about understanding the changing world around you and adapting to that change.
The Defining Moment: 1929
In decades past, long before CRM, SaaS business models or even computers, two men with vastly different backgrounds and vastly different ideas saw their life trajectories intersect at the pinnacle of a cataclysmic chain of events.
First was Irving Fisher, a New York born son of a Congressional Minister, educated Yale graduate with an inclination for math and a Ph.D. He was an economic theorist, well-celebrated and well-to-do. Joseph Schumpeter described him as “the greatest economist the United States has ever produced.”
Then there was Jesse Livermore, undereducated son of a farmer who ran away from home at the age of 14. Livermore got his first job as a Board Boy, posting stock quotes for a Boston Investment firm. Armed with nothing more than his instincts and desire to improve his lot in life, he watched the stock quotes and market trends closely and began placing his own small investments.
Then something historical happened in 1929. With soaring stock prices, Fisher announced the market had reached “reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Nine days later the market crashed and America was plunged into the Great Depression. Fisher was tragically wrong, discredited, and lost much of his life savings in the crash. Livermore, on the other hand, sensed the changing tide and shorted the market, making millions on his investment.
This, Kirk shared, was a defining moment. One man seized the opportunity, the other was blindsided.
The Defining Moment: 2017
Today, we work in a collaborative, social, mobile, and conversational world. We can access information, interact and enact in a moment’s notice. We are not only comfortable with, but expect our technology to have comprehensive functionality, intelligence and intuitive interface. Yet, many of our enterprise tools and applications are anything but.
The software we rely on today to complete our most business-critical processes – whether it’s pricing, contract management, customer lifecycle management – still lives in the 20th century. We have to connect to wifi, login, navigate from the home page and manually input information. It’s physical, retro and rear-view, not real time not contextually relevant.
We are at the precipice of change. We require greater speed, visibility and control across our applications.
Meet Max… a virtual assistant that provides a conversational interface for your enterprise software, increasing the simplicity, efficiency, and productivity of your business processes. No more clicking, scrolling, tabbing and waiting. Interact with Max through text or voice giving you a more natural, engaging, and easy to use experience. And it operates in the space and time that works for you – when you’re driving, in the office, at home, or on the go.
Now is the time to make your sellers more successful. Now is the time to get the CRM system ROI that you intended. Now is the time to drive the best outcomes that your business deserves. We are amid a tectonic shift in the way we use and interact with technology. Enterprise tools are becoming increasingly more intelligent, intuitive, and instantaneous. Those who evolve along with this change will reap the benefit and those who don’t will see the sunset of their influence.
You have to ask yourself, is your business along for the ride or are you ready to maximize your outcomes?