Discover: Effortless quotes

"Give me a quote."

For people selling complex packages with various products and parts, these four words can mark the beginning of a dreadfully long process. To prepare a quote, salespeople often spend days tinkering spreadsheets, navigating rules and scrolling massive catalogs, all while customers wait.

When Apttus came to us, they were looking to create a better quoting experience for their business customers. They wanted to create an effortless Configure, Price, Quote, or CPQ, experience. One that cut out inefficiencies and frustations that lengthen sales cycles, dissapoint customers, and make it hard to close deals.

Define: Transparency needs become transparent

By listening to stakeholders and researching the businesses Apttus aimed to serve, it became clear CPQ could be redesigned to become an asset not just to sellers, but to a wide spectrum of people within the enterprise. Sellers needed to close deals and reach quotas quickly. Managers needed to see the larger picture of the sales pipeline and make speedier approvals. Legal wanted better visibility of the pipeline to deliver the right contract, at the right time for sales reps.

Additionally, financial planners wanted to harness the insights of the CPQ app to make better financial predictions and suggest pricing strategies to increase company revenues and margins. Marketers wanted to see which promotions and marketing message were translating into profitable sales with maximum ROI.

To fulfill these wants and needs, we knew the design would need to present information in an organized, hierarchical manner and allow businesses to create customized views of order statuses and actions based on every person's unique role within the organization.

Design:

Understanding the requirements, we began designing an interactive flow that would lead to a simple CPQ experience. We designed the interface to organize all information about the sales pipeline so that salespeople would have an accurate view of pricing and discounting guidelines. Additionally, we made it easy for sales managers to see orders needing approvals, to keep sales moving through the pipeline.

Understanding the importance of price accuracy in streamlining the CPQ process and building trust with their customers, we designed a flow so that salespeople could easily view and make changes to product attributes from within the shopping cart--with the total price always visible. Additionally, we made sure the most up-to-date prices, discounts and bundling options were visible to the seller.

After the user interface design was complete, we presented the mockups to Apttus stakeholders, who were pleased with our design solutions for the CPQ.

Using Azure as our cloud computing platform, we then created a clickable prototype with HTML, JavaScript, CSS and image files to demonstrate the CPQ design's functionality. The prototype, which could be viewed in popular web browsers like Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome, allowed Apttus developers to see the interface and understand the flows of each interaction we designed.

Once the Apttus CPQ application was fully developed and launched, it quickly became a staple in the company's cash-to-quote ecosystem. Salespeople were no longer tinkering spreadsheets or configuring prices with clunky code; they were closing deals.

According to Apttus reports, business customers using the CPQ application have experienced 80% faster contract processes, 30% increases on prices for new deals and 20% increases in renewal contract value.

The success stories of CPQ has fueled the success of Apttus, which is now valued at over $1 billion and eyeing a 2016 IPO.

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