Apttus CPQ - When you need Complex Rules Modeled Easily
Jack Borland | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated January 09, 2020

Apttus CPQ - When you need Complex Rules Modeled Easily

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Apttus Configure Price Quote

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:

  1. Substantially reduced cycle times to create complex quotes, proposals and orders
  2. Reduced quoting errors and rework caused by errors
  3. Ensured discounts and pricing are accurate based on standard pricing rules
  4. Ensured discounts and pricing were approved, prior to providing the quote to the customer
  5. 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.
  • We purchased Apttus CPQ as an infrastructure requirement. As such we did not calculate an ROI value.
  • Positive impact 1: Improved quote accuracy and quote approval process, thus reducing sales rep time to finalize a quote.
  • Positive impact 2: Improved compliance with required disclosures of appropriate terms for subscriptions from 50% to 98%, thus reducing rework to change contract terms.
  • Positive impact 3: Requiring eSignature for every quote resulted in an unanticipated reduction in speculative ordering. The reduction in overall orders was offset by a reduction in returns - resulting in a net increase of 2% to recognized revenue.
  • Positive impact 4: Shifted ratio of auto renewing subscriptions from 40/60 (auto renew vs annual invitation to subscribe) to 60/40.
We evaluated Configure Price Quote in 2015. At that time we evaluated Steel Brick & determined it could not easily handle our complex pricing rules. We also evaluated Big Machines and determined it was too much of a tool kit, requiring significantly more ongoing administrative support.

Apttus CPQ provide a clean solution with capabilities to address our complex pricing rules with the ability to leverage our existing Salesforce administrator resources to support it.
Apttus CPQ excels for complex contract and/or complex pricing requirements. If your business has simple pricing rules, a less full featured solution may be more appropriate.

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.

Apttus Feature Ratings

Quote sharing/sending
Product configuration
Configuration options
Pricing rules
Price adjustment
CPQ reporting & analytics
CPQ-CRM integration
Attachments to quotes

Using Apttus Configure Price Quote

165 - Sales Representatives and Sales Managers: inside and outside sales teams, both hunters and account managers.
4 - 2 Certified Apttus CPQ Administrators/Salesforce Advanced Administrators + 2 Salesforce Administrators.

Apttus CPQ on the force.com platform can be supported by cross-training existing Salesforce Administrators. Effectively, this cost us 0.5 additional FTE in our support organization, which was much lower than comparable solutions like Big Machines, that required 1.0 to 1.5 additional FTE.
  • Complex product pricing rules - dependent on attributes of the user (sales rep), customer, sale type, and product. Apttus provides the ability to have multiple pricing rules separated by different price lists, and assign those price lists based on attributes of the user, customer and sale type.
  • Ability to adjust line level pricing or section pricing based on differing rules: surcharge or discount amount or percentage, application of promotion code.
  • Strong native integration to eSignature solutions such as DocuSign or Adobe.
  • Ability to manage basic quote terms & conditions using Xauthor for Word: we have 21 separate types of standard terms, depending on the market segment (academic, federal government, corporate, etcetera), and type of sale (various flavors of subscription, standing order, one off sale, service sale, etcetera). These are all managed through a single template which auto generates the correct terms based on system information.
  • We are leveraging Apptus Machine Intelligence and Apttus CPQ to provide product family sale recommendations to our sales representatives. The Salesforce Account page has a button which appears when recommendations are available for a specific sales rep. This references the Asset Lines of the Apttus CPQ, and selection of products results in automatic creation of an Opportunity and Quote (with appropriate pricing) in the CPQ solution.
  • We are extending Apttus CPQ and Apttus Machine Intelligence to integrate with Salesforce Analytics to produce a whitespace analysis tool which allows the reps to create target Opportunities as part of overall account and territory planning.
  • We are utilizing Apttus Max for intelligent Agent/process automation. We intend to integrate Max within Apttus CPQ to streamline the quote creation and order creation process.
The rating is based on several things:
1) Ongoing support requirements being able to be addressed by cross training existing Salesforce administrators
2) Apttus superior corporate vision for the quote to cash space
3) Apttus execution of the corporate vision with automated agents (Max), and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning offerings to leverage the investment in Configure Price Quote
4) Apttus corporate health and investment in the product line