Apttus has raised $37 million for its platform that automates the “quote to cash” (CQT) process within Salesforce.com. The funding came from K1 Capital, ICONIQ Capital and Salesforce.com.
Apttus is a service native to Salesforce.com that helps manage contracts from the time a buyer expresses interest in a product to the actual collection of revenues from the sale. It is designed to run within a Salesforce instance so the pricing, products, quotes and sales contracts can be synced.
It’s no easy thing for any third-party service to integrate with an enterprise customer’s deep integration with Salesforce.com. Apttus is essentially piecing together a disconnected network. It’s a complex process that can take three to six months to implement and is often done through Apttus strategic partners, such as Accenture and Deloitte, as well as modern integrators, such as CloudSherpas. It has large customers that include Sony, McGraw-Hill and Google.
Apttus says it is the only comprehensive, end-to-end CQT automation solution. That might be somewhat true, but it does face competition from companies, such as Big Machines and Selectica.
These two providers have a different focus than Apttus. Big Machines targets mid-sized businesses and makes the claim that it has grown its revenue more than 50 percent per year and ranked among the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. Magazine. The company further states that it has been recognized as the preferred sales configuration and quoting partner for both Salesforce.com and Oracle CRM On-Demand.
Selectica markets to growing companies. The technology was originally developed at Xerox PARC with the belief that “selection and configuration expertise” could guide teams to make better decisions during the sales process.
What’s still needing to evolve are mobile apps for these contract automation practices. Cameleon Software has had success focusing on mobile and Apttus has some offerings as well. Mobile services will drive the most change to the sales process. Without a robust mobile offering, customers can’t truly realize the benefits that come with the automation of the quote-to-cash selling process. Apttus has started to develop a mobile focus but it will need to intensify efforts as it grows its business with this large round of funding.