Russel Banzon of Apttus

From Bike to Rocket ship: How Apttus Sparked Growth in Silicon Valley

In my short time in Silicon Valley, I’ve seen companies tackle growth in many different ways. But whether you go for VC funding right away or choose to bootstrap, one thing is clear: you have to have good product-market fit in order to grow. How do you ensure product-market fit? Here’s how we did it at Apttus.

Start with a bike

In 2006, Apttus was founded with Contract Lifecycle Management to help legal departments bring greater visibility and control to the contracting process. Our three founders: Kirk Krappe, Neehar Giri, and Kent Perkocha, already had a number of years of experience in the space and it was a natural starting point for them. Apttus started with the proverbial bike (a very nice bike). In other words, we started with a great, basic product that would get us moving: Contract Management.

Becoming a Rocket ship

The growth strategy was simple. Look to our customers to help dictate our product strategy. With all contracts already stored within Apttus, customers wanted a solution that could help streamline the quote and proposals process. This prompted Apttus to build our next AppExchange product, CPQ (configure price quote). From then on, we repeated the process: Listen to our customers and take action on those insights. After CPQ and Contract Management, our customers wanted a way to bring revenue management into this front-end process. This cycle of customer feedback and product expansion, enabled us grow from a bike to a rocket ship. We’ve now grown into a category defining leader in Quote-to-Cash with 500 customers, 450,000 licenses, 1000+ employees, and 9 offices worldwide. Our key growth driver was being customer centric and “Tier 1” at our core.

Foster Community

Since constant feedbacik from our customers drives our growth, we’ve found ways to stay in sync with our community. Every year we host our annual Apttus Accelerate user conference in San Francisco. Accelerate features speakers from customers, analysts, industry thought leaders, and last year, we even had Magic Johnson. We use the conference to help our customers be better at what they do, but we also use it as a sounding board. We ask our customers where they want us to grow, and we let them know what they can be excited about in the future for Apttus.

Our growth from bike to rocket ship has been an awesome ride and we hope that it can help inspire growing companies to reach the next level.

About Apttus

Apttus, the category-defining Quote-to-Cash software company, drives the vital business process between the buyer’s interest in a purchase and the realization of revenue. Apttus is delivered on the Salesforce1 Platform, one of the world’s most trusted and comprehensive cloud delivery infrastructures. Applications include Quote-to-Cash Intelligence (Analytics), Configure Price Quote (CPQ), Renewals, Contract Management and Revenue Management. Additionally, Apttus’ patent pending X-Author technology enables Microsoft Office to be a user-interface with full interaction and control between Salesforce and Microsoft Office. Apttus is based in San Mateo, California, with additional offices in London, UK, Bozeman, Montana and Ahmedabad, India. For more information visit: apttus.com.

About the Author

Russell Banzon is a Marketing Specialist at Apttus where he manages paid digital advertising and social media. Previously he held a business development position at Morgan Stanley. His passions aside from marketing are for hip-hop dance, the Oakland Raiders, and the Golden State Warriors. Connect with him on LinkedIn!