It’s the end of Dreamforce Day 3, and with one day of the show left, my live blogging tool broke, so I’m recapping our sessions here. Enjoy!

Today was another great day of Dreamforce 2013! Lots of traffic at all of the Apttus booths, and full attendance at our sessions. (There were definitely some people dragging this morning post-Green Day, but for the most part, spirits were high–in spite of the rain.)

In our first session today, “100% Native Apps: How Sales VPs Boost Revenue with CPQ and Contracts,” we were able to draw a decent sized group to the Marriott. Which I really appreciated, because about 15 minutes before our session, the rain hit its peak. Thanks for toughing out the walk everyone!

This first session of the day explored how businesses can automate the Quote-to-Cash process in Salesforce for increased deal size and faster deal cycles.

Larry Dunivan, the EVP of Products at Ceridian, and Ray Hein, the SVP of Product Management and Product Marketing at Apttus led the discussion, and Larry shared how Ceridian moved from manual processes to end-to-end configure price quote and contract management, 100% inside Salesforce.

Why Ceridian made the move to an automated Quote-to-Cash process

With a growing sales team expanding into new markets, an increasingly complex sales process and growing product catalog, and an ongoing initiative to modernize, Ceridian knew it was time to automate Quote-to-Cash. In a time of growth, manual processes were not cutting it, and were even introducing a variety of challenges like:

• Weak visibility into the sales pipeline

• Different (and incompatible) systems in every geography

• Ad-hoc delegations of authority

• Spreadsheets galore, especially for quoting

• Vast proliferation of exceptions (Larry joked that although Sales liked getting away with rogue discounts, they didn’t like all the time they spent on administration.)

ERP fails to take Ceridian from Quote-to-Cash

As a first step toward an automated Quote-to-Cash process, Ceridian decided to adopt an enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool. Unfortunately, the massive on-premise ERP implementation was expensive and complicated. And because it was an on-premise solution, it lived in a silo, and was quite inflexible.

As the team moved closer to roll-out, it became clear that implementing the ERP system would lead to excessive billing complexity, an inability to reconcile billing drivers to billing, and a lack of business agility. Ultimately, the thought of having to live with these challenges led to a full “sales organization rebellion.”

Just a few short weeks before the go-live date, the Ceridian leadership team met, and decided to take action. They cancelled the roll-out of the ERP tool, and began the search for a better solution.

Ceridian chooses Salesforce and Apttus for Quote-to-Cash automation

Ceridian realized it needed a single, integrated framework to keep the sales organization in sync. To that end, they purchased Salesforce CRM in January of 2013, and Apttus CPQ in March of 2013. With a fully integrated Quote-to-Cash solution built 100 percent on the Salesforce Platform, Ceridian leadership knew that their opportunities, pricing, product configurations, quotes and contracts would remain accurate and completely in sync.

Ceridian benefits from automating the Quote-to-Cash process inside Salesforce

Since adopting Salesforce and Apttus, Ceridian has seen the benefits–both for IT and business users alike.

Because Salesforce and Apttus are together in the cloud, IT benefits from a lower total cost of ownership, ease of administration and upgrades, global scalability and performance, enhanced security, mobile support, and frequent updates. Business users benefit from the agility to keep up with the pace of innovation, better collaboration through Chatter, better executive visibility, and 100% access to all opportunities, quotes, and contracts,

Larry shared that one of the best benefits of Apttus was the ability to better meet business objectives, and drive Sales behavior. Larry joked, “Sales people hate Apttus before they love Apttus.” In other words, while Sales doesn’t get the same freedom to run wild, they quickly see the benefits of a strong workflow capability. As Larry says, “With the process provided by Apttus, things ultimately become easier.”

Since Ceridian has only been up and running on Salesforce and Apttus for a month, there aren’t a lot of quantitative details for Larry to share about the project’s success, but Larry expects there will be. “I can already see we will have better visibility into what our revenues will be. We will have cleaner, consistent contracts. We will have a richness of data about what our sales people are doing with the customers around pricing and quoting. When you look at the entire train, from quote to contract to electronic signature, we are confident we are going to close deals faster, and that means real money.”

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