Comparing Salesforce CPQ to Apttus
In the quote-to-cash game, it’s vital that you determine which solution will represent your company and products the best. Your quote-to-cash solution will be configuring your complex product offering, pricing that complex offering, and then delivering a branded quote to seal the deal. Because it’s so involved in the sales cycle, you need confidence that your quote-to-cash platform will deliver. Two big players in the quote-to-cash space are Salesforce and Apttus. Both are packages within Salesforce, meaning their backends are built using Salesforce as the platform, rather than being externally developed and connected via API. Both, because of their tight integration with Salesforce, are widely used by many organizations, as well as supported in the Salesforce AppExchange. Read on to see how Salesforce CPQ and Apttus compare in product offering, ease of use, ability to expand the base offering, and available customer satisfaction data.
Because each of these products is an industry leader, there isn’t much that each of these products miss. Apttus has released Max AI, a fascinating application of artificial intelligence that can be used by salespeople to build effective quotes based on instant comparisons to your company’s top reps. Not only that, but salespeople can actually chat with Max AI to run the numbers on quotes, reorder components, or even offer coaching. Max AI can give recommendations based on quote scoring to deliver the likelihood of closing a deal, cross-sell or upsell opportunities, and optimal pricing strategies. In addition, Apttus offers the full gamut that your quote-to-cash process requires, like CPQ, e-commerce, and contract management.
Salesforce has based its quote-to-cash offering off of the same powerful, easy-to-use design language that has made it an industry leader in CRM. Salesforce’s AI, Einstein, also gives recommendations based on quote scoring and can be used for predictive offerings. Salesforce CPQ does everything that you need a quote-to-cash platform to do, including guided selling, rule configuration, orders/renewals, automated and subscription billing, among many other tasks. You also get cool features like real-time forecasting based off of delivered quotes, as well as access to your sales tools for partners and resellers.
When it comes to the product offering, both Salesforce and Apttus offer very compelling products to make delivering quotes better.
Ease of use
Both Apttus’ and Salesforce’s end users are salespeople. A product that is simple to pick up and use is orders of magnitude easier to get salespeople to use because they want to be selling. They don’t want to take weeks off at a time to go through a software boot camp, they want to be out filling the company’s (and their personal) coffers. Because of that, both solutions put a large emphasis on making usage simple and easy for the end user. Both utilize guided selling, mobile access, and other tools that make it simple to deliver excellent quotes to your potential clients.
Ability to expand base offering
Where it gets interesting is when you go beyond the base offerings of the products. No two businesses are alike, and sometimes your processes or business structure necessitate additional solutions on top of what comes out of the box with Salesforce and Apttus. It’s in Salesforce’s DNA to encourage its many partners to develop additional solutions that can integrate with all of its products, and that continues with quote-to-cash. Many different companies offer extensions for Salesforce CPQ, which means the platform has been able to rapidly innovate, and do so much more quickly than other solutions. Apttus does offer integrations with their partners, but it’s at a much smaller scale. More of the onus of development falls to Apttus itself, and it’s less likely that, if the base product can’t do what you need it to, you’ll be able to find an integration or a partner that can bridge that functionality gap.
Available customer satisfaction data
When searching customers satisfaction data for these products, it’s difficult to have confidence in the many websites that present themselves as unbiased, agnostic review aggregators. To feel good about customer satisfaction data, you need to be able to trust the outlet based on years of solid work and sterling reputation. One such outlet is Gartner, which surveys many customers of quote-to-cash platforms to offer analysis on the market. In its most recent survey, it notes that Salesforce has the highest reported satisfaction scores due to “accurate representation of the product during the sales cycle, ease of implementation, achieved business benefits and ease of maintenance.” For Apttus, Gartner notes that their quote-to-cash platform scores lower in implementation and end-user adoption, and attributes those low scores to “overpromising on product capabilities during the sales cycle [and] a shortage of highly qualified implementers caused by the company’s rapid growth.” These are not showstopping issues, but ought to be presented and understood.
In the end, both Salesforce and Apttus are solid quote-to-cash platforms that deliver a massive amount of value to your organization. Because of its edge in expandability and higher customer satisfaction, we recommend Salesforce CPQ for your quote-to-cash needs.
For more questions about the difference between Salesforce and Apttus, please contact us today.