August 11 by Kelli Blystone
We recently had the pleasure of hosting Reimagine, our very first fully online user event. It was also our first ever event hosted as the all-new Conga, formed from two long-time industry powerhouses: Conga and Apttus.
Even if we couldn’t meet with our customers face to face and connect with our partners in person, we were able to deliver a meaningful, information-packed event. There are some real advantages to the virtual approach. If you weren’t able to attend Reimagine—even if you were, but want to listen to a particular keynote or track again (or one you missed)—you can watch them on demand on our event platform through October.
The event featured four main subject matter tracks: Digital Documents, CLM (contract lifecycle management), CPQ (configure-price-quote), and Business Trends. This is the first in a series of blogs that will be revisiting key sessions from each of these tracks. The sessions we summarize in the blog are available for on demand viewing at any time—as are all of the other informative topics that were covered during Reimagine.
For readers of this blog, one of the newest subject areas at Reimagine this year is the one covered in the Digital Documents track. As we’ll see a little farther down, businesses run on documents. Documents are a common thread for every industry and every department in every organization. Common business documents tie together many internal procedures and almost every customer-facing interaction. As a result, it’s essential to get document processes right in any organization. Addressing the way that documents are created, managed, and stored is an essential step in optimizing commercial operations along every organization’s path to commercial excellence. When documents are created, shared, and stored effectively and accurately, it boosts productivity, reduces risk, and creates greater transparency across business processes.
In this blog we’ll dig into a few presentations that take a deeper dive into Digital Documents, and hear from a couple of customers how much it has meant for their organizations to use Conga to create, manage, and sign their digital documents.
Key Sessions from the Digital Documents Track
If you think about what makes any business run across each component of the revenue process, it becomes clear that documents are integral at every step. Understanding how to effectively digitally transform these documents and the processes around them is key to securing essential business outcomes like greater efficiency, lower risk, and better data integration across systems.
Session #1: “Getting to know Digital Documents: Composer 101”
In this session, Conga Product Marketing Manager, Courtney Finger, introduces Conga’s flagship Digital Document product, Conga Composer, and also talks through how existing users can expand their usage of this versatile solution.
This session starts off by exploring the idea that businesses of every size in every industry run on thousands of documents, and presenting many use cases across departments and sectors. However, document creation, management, and storage can be a real pain point for businesses if not streamlined effectively.
If documents and document processes aren’t handled efficiently, the results can be painful and document creation can be time-intensive. An example would be copying and pasting data from another system, like a CRM, as an outdated but common approach. Other manual touch points also cause drag. Think of the documents you create multiple times in your daily work. How often are there inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and headaches for internal teams and customers when this process isn’t handled well?
For example, you might send documents to prospects of customers that contain errors, outdated branding or pricing, or with incorrect terminology. While these mistakes are problematic enough, including incorrect legal terms can have even more serious implications. If any of these things happen, it creates difficulties for your customers, and puts a pretty significant dent in the customer experience. In addition to your reputation suffering, you also lose precious time and efficiency suffers. You might even lose accounts to your competitors.
With Conga Composer, Finger explains how it’s possible to have consistent, on-brand documents without having to worry about accuracy of information. What’s more, these documents can be created from templates linked to data in your system of record with the push of a button. Accurate documents, created more quickly, mean a better, more streamlined and transparent experience for customers and employees alike.
In her presentation, Finger proposes the scenario of a sales rep facing a daunting to-do list on the last day of the quarter. On her list are:
- Creating a QBR deck for Company A to review
- Getting out a quote to Company B, who showed interest on the phone yesterday
- Sending renewal documents to Companies C, D, and E
- Generating a pipeline report for next quarter to send to her manager
Sound like a lot? It is, but watch Finger’s presentation to see how she can manage it all efficiently with Composer.
Session #2: “Get started optimizing business documents: lead to cash use cases and beyond”
While the previous session emphasized how much a single sales rep can accomplish on the last day of the quarter, Brian Farr, Director of Product Management at Conga, takes us through Digital Document use cases for the people who interact with the customer on the lead-to-cash journey. Taking us along for the ride, Farr illustrates how documents are an effective way to drive Digital Transformation while creating a better customer experience, from first interaction with a prospect to customer success and support.
In this case, the journey starts with the business development representative, who has interactions with as many as 75 prospects in a day. This individual needs quick access to many kinds of documents—and the most accurate versions of those documents as possible—to share with those prospects in a very timely way.
From there, the prospect moves on to the Territory Manager, who needs to be able to generate a quick, accurate professional quote or sales proposal. The TM can also send simple contracts, provided that the right data and clauses can be automatically included using a template.
Once the prospect becomes a customer, the Customer Success Manager steps in to ensure the relationship thrives. Documents like quarterly business reviews and account plans help ensure satisfied customers who see the value in their solutions and will sign renewal quotes when the time comes. Customer Support Representatives are also part of the equation, providing “how to” documents and response emails based on situation-dependent templates
Farr’s session takes us through all of the documents that the lead-to-cash team depends on to help grow the business and gain market share, while creating a better, more effective customer experience along the way.
Session #3: “Streamline eSignature: Getting to Know Conga Sign”
In her session, Kristen Ditsch, Conga Product Marketing Manager, presents the value of Conga’s electronic signature solution, Sign. She takes us through how eSignature supports every Digital Transformation strategy, how easy it is to implement, and how it can help streamline any transaction process.
Electronic signature in itself is a game changer when it comes to digitization and efficiency. This has become even more essential in the current environment, where in person signing has become that much more difficult. When combined with other Digital Document solutions, Sign streamlines and integrates the entire sales process, including document or contract execution. This results in reduced sales cycle times and improved business outcomes.
Ditsch takes us through the features that makes Sign such an impactful solution:
- Quick implementation
- Streamlined eSignature from Salesforce
- Transaction delivery capabilities
- Transaction automation capabilities
- Transaction tracking features
Watch Ditsch’s session to learn how, when combined, these features have a significant impact on business processes and cycles, and how the sky’s the limit when it comes to eSignature use cases for any organization.
Session #4: “From weeks to minutes: how National Geographic automates document creation” Kate Russell, Manager of Salesforce Applications at NGS
Now comes the best part. Hearing from a customer who really uses these solutions and can explain what that’s meant for her organization. Kate Russell, Manager of Salesforce Applications at National Geographic Society, does this in her session, “From weeks to minutes: how National Geographic automates document creation.”
Russell walks us through National Geographic’s grant management operations, a process the organization goes through to the tune of more than $15M annually in the areas of conservation, education, research, storytelling, and technology grants. This 130-year-old process has grown significantly easier since Conga Composer, Conga Batch, and Conga Trigger have been implemented.
Here are a few highlights:
- National Geographic uses Composer during the application process. Once an applicant fills out an online application, comprehensive application data is compiled and collected into PDFs and all of the data the applications contain is stored in Salesforce as Opportunity records.
- The committee that meets to weigh the applications, decide which ones should be awarded a grant and which declined, receives packets containing all applications (plus a 1-page summary of each application). These packets are sent using Conga Batch.
- The disposition process, where applicants are notified whether they’ve received a grant, takes place using Conga Trigger. The system automates the email and document package that is sent to an entire group of applicants, depending on whether or not the applicant has been awarded a grant. In Russell’s words, “It revolutionizes how our system uses Conga.”
As Russell’s session title tells us, these Digital Document solutions have led to some pretty significant improvements. In terms of productivity, it’s gone from 7 to 10 days to prep application documents for an award committee meeting down to 2 to 3 hours. Sending out grant notifications used to take 6 to 8 hours, and now takes only one. Other key benefits include central document storage and management in Salesforce and reduced risk due to always-accurate contract and document data. Watch Russell’s entire session to hear the full story and all of the creative ways National Geographic is using Conga’s Digital Document solutions.
Session #5: “Optimize your seller and customer experience with Digital Documents”
In her session on how to “Optimize your seller and customer experience with Digital Documents,” Lindsay Baskervill, Sales Operations and Deal Desk Manager at Metabolon, Inc., talks through the changes she’s been able to implement using Conga’s Digital Document solutions and the positive impact it’s had on her business.
In her session, Baskervill explains improvements she’s seen with Conga’s solutions, including both internal improvements and improvements to the customer experience.
When it comes to internal improvements, she walks through how she’s been able to implement:
- Streamlined templates
- Automated templates
- Version control
Focusing on customer experience, the most important milestones for Baskervill include:
- Electronic signature and the data that returns to her systems from that interaction
Listen to Baskervill’s session to hear more about her examples of internal benefits (like a rep being notified when a prospect opens a proposal) as well as automation (like data from the eSignature transaction being automatically written back into Salesforce or the accounting system.) Overall, these use cases have had a considerable positive impact on document processes, on business outcomes, and on the customer experience.
Up next: Top sessions on CLM at Reimagine
The Digital Documents track at Reimagine was full of information, including many other sessions on the benefits to businesses of digitally transforming their documents, eSignature, and related processes and how to get there. Check out the full track and all sessions on the online event site.
We’ll continue to provide overviews of some of the best sessions in each of our remaining tracks in the coming blogs in this series. Look for the next blog on the Business Trends sessions next week.