- The perceived power strength is that it is supposed to contain CPQ, Contract Management, Document generation and template manipulation, and cash/invoice process all in one wrapped package.
- It was developed on the Force.com platform.
- They provide multiple releases of their product per year.
- The configuration of this product in terms of setting it up for users, requires a developer. The sales process tells you that it is built on the Force.com platform and an admin can configure it, however, this is not true. It required Visual Force and APEX configuration to make it work for the users.
- Upgrading to the next version of the product also requires developers involved. It is not a simply managed package to be downloaded and updated, it requires post-upgrade development to return it to users for testing.
- The Contract management module is not very robust. It is essentially a separate object that just houses the physical document and you can put "Send Email" buttons and apply an approval process to it, however it is not a contract management tool in the sense of managing document versioning and redlining. Negotiations just occur in word like they normally do.
- Misleading Template builder "included." To get templates, and contracts you need to buy the add-in to those modules which you've already purchased called "X-Author." The plug-in allows you to edit templates and manage some redlines, but it's cost prohibitive as it costs as much as a user license to the product itself.
- Expensive. When we compared a license of this product vs the license to Salesforce itself, Apttus, with standard modules, costs double the price of a normal Salesforce seat license.
- Very good at complex pricing and situations. Pricing can be related (% of another value), based on an attribute, Tiered, or done with formulas. It also has the ability to bundle and use options.
- Two great tools in the Apttus toolbox are X-Author and Intelligent workflows for approvals
- Flexibility for multiple use cases for pricing
- Speed was initially an issue but they have made great improvements in this area
- Better documentation for administrators
The Apttus Configure Price Quote (CPQ) tool is being used by our Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory sales organization. This includes a variety of different sales teams with different sales processes and pricing models. The spectrum ranges from SaaS implementations with 12-18 month sales cycles, negotiation of annual renewals of existing contracts for access to online content (3-6 months prior to renewal date), to transactional book sales occurring same day.
The CPQ tool helps sales reps to:
- Assemble the appropriate product variations and combinations for qualifying opportunities
- Conduct needs assessment exercises
- Identify the appropriate product combinations for customers
- Ensure that they arrive at suitable price for specific product mixes or bundles
- Ensure that the details concerning initial estimates and final quotes are represented accurately
The CPQ tool also:
- Substantially reduced cycle times to create complex quotes, proposals and orders
- Reduced quoting errors and rework caused by errors
- Ensured discounts and pricing are accurate based on standard pricing rules
- Ensured discounts and pricing were approved, prior to providing the quote to the customer
- In conjunction with our adoption of eSignature, reduced returns due to speculative ordering
- Apttus CPQ handles complex pricing rules with ease. We have tiered pricing, user based pricing, and quantity pricing discounts. Apttus CPQ allows us to easily provide correct pricing based on attributes of the sales rep, the customer and the product.
- Apttus CPQ administration is easy compared to similar products. As a product available on the Force.com platform, we were able to cross train our Salesforce administrators and take on the additional administrative overhead without significantly increasing our sales operations team size.
- Apttus CPQ is flexible. We are able to rapidly test and deploy new pricing models and offers using the Apttus model.
- Apttus has not completely transitioned from a product suite to a product platform vendor. Upgrades of certain products can have interoperability issues with other products in the Apttus stack. Our pain point here was attempting to use Apttus Xauthor for Excel to get around product line limitations in the Apttus CPQ shopping cart. The ultimate resolution was for us to upgrade and leverage the latest version of CPQ, where pricing callback limitations were addressed by client side processing, rather than the hybrid Xauthor process we tried to use.
- Upgrades in general require significant testing to ensure no unanticipated issues occur. We have a complete Salesforce sandbox dedicated to providing an environment for testing any modifications or upgrades.
- Apttus support model almost requires you to purchase premium support. Given the CPQ system is complex, the level of skilled support available through basic support require you to escalate several times before getting to a resource that can address your issue.
Apttus CPQ is an easy system to administer, using the same object logic as the Salesforce platform.
We implemented Apttus for virtually all of our sales representative processes, and in doing so found that we virtually eliminated speculative ordering.
Some things that could definitely be better are:
- Speed. At some points (especially quarter end) when a huge number of reps were using the tool, we would suffer a heavy lag that would time-out operations most of the times.
- Mobile app. If there's one, we never used it. Not sure if it's our own company policy in regards to apps, or if there's none actually. If there's none, it would be good to have one.
- Easy to use for reps. Not a lot of training needed.
- Produces quotes / executables quotes in a matter of minutes.
- Catalog / Inventory is pretty straightforward
- Mobile app, if there's any.
- Better response in high-peak circumstances (like quarter end). This could have been a salesforce.com issue, but honestly, everything else worked just fine.
- Reporting. It would be great to be able to see how many of my reps requested discounts and compare that to the standard quotes they can build.
- We have only a few SKU's, we crank out many quotes and have to make adjustments often. The configurator tool is easy to use and simple to train on.
- Seems to really shine when the quotes get complicated with multi-product, multi-year deals.
- Apttus Configure Price Quote has a solid team that provides assistance when we need it.
- Develop a mobile application that synchs with SFDC DBA and runs independently.
- Advanced approval config is a chore and should be easier.
- Ability to manage large quantities of validation rules necessary for complex product builds.
- No product addresses a company's requirement right out of the box, but Apttus CPQ is built on the Salesforce.com platform which is a distinct advantage for us. It allows us to build functional extensions, and customize the application to our specific usage.
- Service and support is the key for any product, and Apttus has always made efforts to support their products with continual improvements.
- The GUI design of Apttus is configurable but prescriptive. If you want a very specific look and feel, it will take some effort to do so. There have been some modern design updates recently using AngularJS. Check it out to see if it works for you.
EverString is a SaaS platform that helps B2B organizations identify and engage with their ideal customers by providing Predictive Demand Generation, Insights, Scoring and Segmentation. We have some typical SaaS characteristics—subscription sales model, a small number of products at first glance but a tiered structure, meaning selling is a lot more complicated than it seems, and a business that is growing and evolving fast. We had common problems in our quoting process - a disconnect between our CRM data and what was put in front of our customers. [They were] simple errors that should never happen. Additionally, as we grew we needed to relieve the burden to Finance and Legal.
We went with Apttus for two simple reasons: they were fantastic to work with and they could solve our problems. The sales process was incredibly smooth—just a great team overall. The CPQ does exactly what we wanted by creating consistency in our sales process, something we needed to scale. CPQ forces you to look critically at your sales process, but their team of experts helped us achieve that in a thoughtful way. You don’t want to just automate what you already do… you have to think about doing it better, the Apttus team really helped us with that. Great experience overall, would definitely recommend them.
- Their solution completely solved our problems
- They have an incredible team
- Very easy to work with
- Apttus CPQ is a strong, enterprise grade tool
- Invest early in training your Sales Operations team
- Capitalize on their community as their are some great solutions there
EverString is a predictive marketing platform and we’ve been growing fast in the last few years. Sales, sales team, and our solution suite have all grown rapidly. We needed repeatability and consistency in our sales process—like any business growing rapidly and needing to scale. We wanted to get a CPQ in early in our growth to solve for these problems and help us scale easier. We choose Apttus because they could give us exactly what we needed and have been great partners to our business.
The system has been easy to use and the sales team adopted it quickly. We wanted to think through as many scenarios as possible in terms of what our future state and needs might be. Apttus helped us through this process—that’s critical. Apttus has been a partner, not a vendor, which is what you need for CPQ. Our goal was to future proof our organization, and we can see the success there in our growth.
- True partner, helped us look to the future, set us up for success
- Helps drive consistency across all reps, streamlines the approval process and eliminates customer confusion/multiple quote revisions
- Feature complete, total solution for our needs with room to grow
- Fast deployment
- Great hands on support team
- Easy customizations
- Responded to every request with an easy yes or a great suggestion on an alternative which will save us future pains as we continue to grow
- APTTUS CPQ has more than what we need but we're glad to know its there for when we need it
- It is an enterprise level tool which allows us to sell products with attributes and bundle products.
- We are also using Advanced Approvals by Apttus which allow us to configure complex approvals which seamlessly integrate with the CPQ tool. Email approvals are especially important for our organization which allow managers to approve the quotes on the go.
- The UI takes a little longer time to load, they have done improvements with angular UI which we have not implemented yet.
- I would also like to see better administrative training guides.
Before Apttus, we used a manual process to configure products and calculate pricing while providing quotes to customers. This process was not consistent, it was very cumbersome, complex, high-maintenance, and error prone. We also did not have the ability to systematically track the progression of the quote through negotiations with the customer and analyze the impact of negotiations on the final outcome.
With Apttus CPQ, we were able streamline and optimize the product configuration, pricing and proposal creation and management process. We also seamlessly integrated this with our existing sales and contract generation processes. Our sales team now has the ability to configure product offers in a consistent manner with improved efficiency, and are able to track and improve related sales metrics.
- Improved ability to price complex deals
- Generate professional, compelling proposals from templates
- Avoid duplicate data entry for product and pricing related data in CLM by integrating CPQ with Apttus CLM
- Advanced workflow could be made easier
- Complex discount approval rules are hard to implement
- Force.com native is very important to us - for reporting, administration, integration, and uptime.
- 70% of our business is back to base, so having customer owned assets fall under the same inclusion rules as items in the cart is critical.
- Variable bundles allow us to build fewer bundles.
- Change management: Pricing changes are difficult to deploy, no regression testing for existing configurations.
- Administrator usability: Very easy to create problems with price list items firing unintentionally which leads to price list item sprawl. No holistic testing tools to make sure you've set up pricing / rules the way you intended.
- X-Author has limited capabilities to include related objects - our Quote header object has several hundred fields that serve no purpose but to make form generation more stable / faster.
- Great Customer Service.
- Flexibility with Salesforce field usage.
- Quick and reliable.
- Easy to sync with Salesforce.
- Logic is difficult to learn when building custom applications - but definitely not impossible!
- Mapping of fields from Salesforce to the app is quite easy.
- Setup of multiple users to use the app was a breeze.
- Getting the app to work within 20 minutes to demonstrate was no hassle.
- I haven't had any issues using X-Author for Excel. All questions I had were answered and solved in the same day.
- Apttus provides users the shopping cart UI which is easy to use and easy to train upon.
- Simple guided selling configuration.
- Easily upgradeable.
- Promotions Management.
- Some areas of UI and UX between the shopping cart and configurations screen.
As an engineer, I spend a majority of my day working in Excel managing lists, performing calculations, etc. I had limited knowledge of administrative tasks in maintaining the Salesforce org when my company first got this app, but was able to easily learn how to integrate my design spreadsheets with Salesforce and created complex X-Author apps. This application has greatly propelled our engineering / technical sales departments to the next level of efficiency!
- Apttus has excellent support of their product. They are quick to respond to any issues we are having. Apttus is also extremely accommodating of incorporating new ideas or fixes to future releases of the product.
- Training and installation materials need to be updated more frequently.
- Native Salesforce.com has allowed us to extend the solution and enable very tight integration to the sales process as implemented in Salesforce.
- Highly configurable with alot of strong out-of-the-box functionality.
- Document generation and maintenance very easy with X-Author
- Customization needs handled with Apex code and Visualforce pages.
- Current Opportunity Sync feature only syncs Quote Line with Opportunity Product. Need ability to sync data from Quote Header to Opportunity.
- Complex conditional logic is difficult in X-Author.
- Need the ability to have multiple shopping cart layouts and rename and manage standard buttons on screen.
Allowing our sales reps a way to create accurate proposals for our customers per the pricing structure we have put in place. The ability to quote accurately in multiple currencies. The ability to create sales promotions and discounts seamlessly. Implementing approval processes for managerial sign-off on discounts.
- Completely native to Salesforce. This is a huge plus as it allows you to maintain and customize features in a way that you are already familiar with
- Apttus provides a lot of functionality out of the box and it can handle all of our pricing models natively
- Allows the admins to restrict choices for Sales reps and easily implement approval processes for reps to requests discounts or other changes.
- Although a lot of things can be customized, the main "shopping cart" feature that the sales reps interact with is not as easily customized. We did try making our own feature via visualforce, however this provides complications when it comes time to upgrade.
- The X-Author tool for editing documents is also a little lacking; it requires us to create additional fields in SF when trying to edit display elements like number of decimal places and date format.
- There also appeared to be a fair amount of staff turnover at Apttus, as our staff changed a number of times during some of our projects
- Apttus enables us to control versions of contracts as well as ensure the approved terms are populating in the contract.
- Apttus reduced the cycle time of moving a contract from term approval through execution by enabling functions to be completed online, from any device.
- When updating templates, the ability to add notes and report out on versions would be nice to have in a more automated or built in fashion.
- It is clear that the Apttus Team understands that my implementation of their product is a key development. They made sure we were running on full steam, even if it called for "All hands on Deck".
- Customer Support - If my developer or I were ever hung up on the building of a template, their Support Team provided excellent assistance; never giving in until the problem was resolved.
- Very friendly.
- Growing Pains
- Handles more volume in less time
- User friendly
- Flexible and integrates with other systems
- Tech support
- Response to issues
- Templates are very technical, if you don't know what you are doing, you have to take training
- Fully integrated with Salesforce.com. Allows for the seamless update of all objects on the SFDC platform. As primary quotes are updated, so to are the opportunities.
- Supports integration with Avalara for Sales Tax and DocuSign for E-Signature.
- Supports the quoting of product that requires customization that results in a dynamic cost, MSRP and customer price.
- Significant amount of R&D is being invested in to the platform. Many of the items on our wish list have already been incorporated as a standard feature or on the near term roadmap.
- As a SAAS solution with a large amount of R&D being invested, there is functionality that is becoming standard in the platform that previously would have required some customer customization. The incorporation of the standard functionality will require regression testing and migration off of custom code. In the long term this is a positive, but in the short term does create some overhead with testing.
Apttus Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
Apttus CPQ aims to help companies drive optimal sales behavior by guiding reps to the right products and prices to meet business objectives.
According to the vendor, key benefits of using the product include:
- SHORTEN SALES CYCLES: Reps can configure the right products, even complicated product bundles, at the right price and faster with guided selling, smart search and a clean, customizable UI.
- MAKE APPROVALS FAST AND EASY: Intelligent workflows help eliminate approval bottlenecks.
- WIN BIGGER DEALS: Pricing controls and workflow approvals help increase average order size and eliminate rogue discounting. A recommendation engine and guided selling feature highlight cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
- DELIVER ACCURATE QUOTES EVERY TIME: Approved language and validated customer, product and pricing information help reps send accurate quotes.
- CONNECT QUOTES TO CONTRACTS: Proposals can be turned into contracts.
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