Case Study

Quote Generation Tool Upgrade for Gemini Sales Reps

Gemini – the world’s largest manufacturer of dimensional letters, logos and plaques – wanted to improve customer experience by providing online quotes to customers. Neuger designed and developed an online tool to make it easier for customer service representatives to improve internal sales productivity, email quotes to customers, and to let customers see and edit those quotes online.

The Situation

Gemini has been a front-runner in the sign industry since 1963. Today, it’s the world’s largest manufacturer of dimensional letters, logos and plaques and receives hundreds of quote requests every day.

In 2018, we created an online quoting tool which allowed Gemini partners, who are often independent sign shops, to log in to their account and save quotes with a list price. If partners wanted to know their preferred price, they would have to call Gemini sales representatives to generate quotes for them. With this process, Gemini’s partners weren’t able to see their quotes online, and it was time consuming for both parties.

The Communications Challenge

We already had a good working knowledge of the product lines from creating the original online quoting tool, but the challenge was now to understand the processes of Gemini’s sales reps. Throughout this project, we learned how Gemini communicated with its partners, and we developed a process that wouldn’t upend their current workflow, but make it more productive.

The Strategy

We met with key members of Gemini’s sales team to identify their internal customer service issues. They were using a system that had a high learning curve for new employees and that had unneeded complexity in many cases. With this knowledge, we developed a strategy to leverage the existing partner-facing tool, which would give the Gemini team expanded functionality. In order to provide the best user experience for Gemini’s sales team, we created a series of interactive wireframe prototypes using Sketch, a rapid prototyping and design tool.

Prototypes like this allow us to improve user experience design challenges before we begin writing any code. The goal was to increase the productivity of Gemini sales reps and to improve the experience of their partners.

The feature we designed, now called TrueQuote, was a custom add-on to the existing quoting tool that we had created for Gemini in 2018. This tool is a single-page application that we coded in CoffeeScript and used the Backbone JavaScript library. We had originally built TrueQuote for Gemini’s partners to log in and generate their own quotes with a list price for reference. It also gave expanded functionality for Gemini’s sales reps and integrated well with a tool that partners were already using.

TrueQuote stats:

  • 13 product lines
  • Instant price calculation for letters, logos and plaques
  • Online history for Gemini’s partners

TrueQuote allows sales reps to create a partner quote quickly by selecting the product line and all of the custom options. Next, they can choose a custom discount, add notes and save the quote directly to the partner’s account. They can also choose to send that quote to the partner via a Gemini-branded email template and with an attached Gemini-branded PDF, which TrueQuote generates. That partner can then log into their account on the website and view the quote, make edits, and place the order directly. Partners can also view past quotes in their online history to monitor their quotes and orders with Gemini.

To help Gemini keep track of how their internal team was doing, we designed and developed a custom daily analytics email which summarizes TrueQuote usage by sales reps from the prior day. We also added an analytics summary section so Gemini can view how their sales reps are performing.

The Results

TrueQuote has dramatically improved the productivity of Gemini’s sales reps and is praised by many on the team. While the tool has not replaced their internal systems completely, it has been adopted by many internally and continues to speed up quoting and provides their customers with an improved experience. To alleviate the steep learning curve of their existing internal systems, all new sales reps at Gemini are using TrueQuote exclusively from the beginning. One of Gemini’s 2019 strategic goals was to have a certain percentage of their quotes generated online through this tool. Gemini’s employee incentives were tied to this strategic goal.

From April 30, 2019 to January 1, 2020, 15,244 quotes were saved, totaling more than $20 million in potential sales.

This project was launched in April 2019 and had a narrow scope and a short timeline, but the Neuger team delivered everything on time and within budget. We trained Gemini’s sales reps on how to add users and how to best use the tool. As of early 2020, we are still meeting monthly with their team to develop ongoing improvements to enhance TrueQuote with regular updates.