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Agents of change: reflecting on Conga’s inaugural Executive Advisory Board

Srikant Sharma

August 16, 2019

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I had the pleasure of participating in our inaugural Executive Advisory Board meeting last week. We invited fifteen highly-visionary executives that are regarded as leaders in their industries from our more than 11,000 global customers to join us in Atria, our new world-class corporate headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado. We spent a day and a half engaged in highly-participatory, deep-dive discussions across many aspects of our business, such as our dominance in Digital Document Transformation (DDX), product leadership, and customer engagement and adoption. In this peer-to-peer exchange, we explored challenges, best practices, trends, opportunities, and solutions to help guide Conga’s business plans and strategies moving forward.

This time spent with our customers was invaluable. It gave us the opportunity to further understand and validate what is most important to our customers, what they’re experiencing as they engage with us, and how we can continue to improve in helping them realize the value of their investment in Conga. This information is crucial to how we approach our business, the Conga roadmap, and continue to provide 5-star value

Here are the key takeaways from our conversations: 

Change is inevitable—but how do you make it stick?

If there’s one thing we heard over and over throughout our time spent with this group, it was that they place a lot of value on being able to affect change within their organizations and, more importantly, to feel like they are enabling their teams to adopt those changes. Digital Transformation is itself the process of changing the way a company operates—a modernization of the processes, cross-team workflow, and the elements that are core to the business. 

Making the changes easy to implement and understand avoids friction in the business and across teams, and results in greater team buy-in and adoption. The group noted that it’s not just internal teams and reps who can be resistant to change—customers can fall into this category as well. Sales reps need to be enabled in order to enable the customer. This means that whatever changes are introduced—whether it’s a new tool, process, or system—a smooth implementation, easy-to-use interface, and consistent functionality will go a long way in the adoption of those changes.

Data is king—you just need to be able to find it.

As we continue to write the Digital Document Transformation story, we are reminded again and again how essential data is to business. The data that resides in documents represents a big part of the latent knowledge of any business. This data also provides the valuable insights necessary to calibrate and optimize the functioning of the business. Furthermore, tapping into this data, both present and historical, enables businesses to understand performance trends, risks and inefficiencies. Studies have shown that as much as 80% of data in untapped and unharnessed. Indeed, to paraphrase a quote we shared at the Executive Advisory Board, data is to this century what oil was to the last.  

As we shared this part of the DDX story, we outlined how Conga’s DDX Suite is built not only to improve the way businesses create, share, and sign documents, but also how they can get the most out of what lives within the documents, analyzing the data to work smarter. The group noted that this access to additional data offers them the ability to be more nimble with newer technology, that they can leverage the data to continuously innovate. 

Ultimately, what sets us apart from our competition and lets us claim the crown of the DDX space, is that we help unlock data and business insights for companies, and we do it faster and more accurately with our cutting-edge product suite and tight ecosystem partnerships, such as with Salesforce.

Work hard, play harder!

What’s work without a little fun? We didn’t trap our guests in conference rooms the entire time—the group participated in speed challenge racing. There’s nothing more fun than watching a bunch of hyper-competitive people get behind the wheels of really fast cars to best each other! The racers were measured on how quickly they got out of the gates and how long it took them to go a quarter of a mile. Each driver got two trial runs before the bracket challenge started—where most racers got up to 95 mph! 

The week was educational, insightful, and very encouraging. The feedback and discussions we will take away from the meetings will go on to shape not only how we can improve our products, but how we partner with our customers.  

We’re already looking forward to the next Executive Advisory Board, and to seeing the group at Conga Connect 2020 in sunny Orlando, Florida!
 

Srikant Sharma

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