ATOM, headquartered in Western Australia, specialises in hardware retailing with a focus on online and direct sales catering to the mining and construction sectors. Operating both through their ecommerce platform and a dedicated sales team, they offer thousands of products, including customised solutions for large orders. Their entire product management and ordering system is facilitated by an in-house ERP system we’ll call ML.
Building a custom quote tool in HubSpot for ATOM
What they needed:
- A process driven quoting tool to make the sales/ordering process more efficient
- A CRM platform that could talk to their in-house ERP
- Data visibility and revenue reporting
How they got there:
- Implemented HubSpot Sales, Marketing and Service
- Built a robust quoting tool via a HubSpot CRM Card
- Integrated the quote tool and HubSpot with their in-house ERP
ATOM has developed and maintains an impressive in-house ERP platform (ML) that serves as the cornerstone for product management and ordering, acting as the singular source of truth. This platform efficiently powers the listings on their ecommerce site.
While the online sales aspect works well, the process for custom orders handled by the sales team faced challenges. There was a lack of a standardised procedure for creating quotes, and the sales team had the autonomy to make pricing decisions independently. Additionally, ML wasn’t optimised for product quoting leading to a lengthy quote process and costing errors.
Recognising these issues, ATOM sought to integrate everything seamlessly by incorporating a CRM platform and the aim of providing comprehensive oversight and reporting capabilities for customer interactions, quoting procedures, and overall profitability.
The proposed solution
During our initial consultation with ATOM, they were considering two new platforms – one for a quote tool and another for CRM – and had not committed to either. Following our discovery process, we worked out that we could develop the quote tool as a feature within HubSpot, accessible through a CRM Card, meaning only one platform.
To help ATOM visualise the solution, we created an interactive prototype showing the end to end process, how it was accessed in HubSpot, and how it integrated with ML. It showed how sales reps could easily raise quotes via a Deal in HubSpot with dynamic line item communication with both HubSpot and MotherLoad. Customised discounts, approval workflows, and detailed pricing strategies were incorporated, automatically tailoring costing to customers. The finalised quotes were digitally shared with customers as links and the acceptance of these quotes triggered the invoicing process in ML.
Once they saw how well the quote tool performed, how interconnected the systems were, and how effective HubSpot would be at managing customers and reporting, we got the green light to proceed.
Based on the agreed prototype, there were three main elements to implementing the solution:
Custom quote tool
ATOM has a lot of experience in developing and managing software – they have built and manage both their ecommerce website and ERP in-house – and were very specific about the development environment for the project. Working closely with ATOM’s development team we were able to create the quote tool on their local servers, giving them the ability to self-manage after project completion.
Most of the UX work had already been done during the prototyping phase and we were able to launch straight into development. We phased the launch of specific features with staged testing to ensure that any bugs or UX issues were ironed out early on.
As the quote tool progressed we needed to make sure it interacted at each step with ML. ATOM provided the required API elements to make dynamic calls and updates as a user moves through the quote process.
Likewise, the quote tool needed to be accessible in HubSpot and we built it into a CRM card accessible from a Deal. All the information and data created in a quote is also saved into HubSpot against the Deal and Contact, and accessible for reporting.
Lastly, we made sure that ML and HubSpot talked directly with each other so that any changes to customer details or quotes in one system is reflected in the other.
Once these elements were in place we worked with ATOM’s sales team to get onboarded and trained up on HubSpot. With a detailed knowledge of the new system, our onboarding team were able to tailor HubSpot specifically to ATOM’s needs and to make suggestions to extend the system even further.
The implementation of HubSpot Sales Hub and the customised CRM card brought about transformative changes internally. The streamlined process resulted in significantly improved efficiency, offering a standardised and user-friendly method for creating and managing quotes.
With complete visibility into all quoting activities and discounts, ATOM gained valuable insights, enabling better decision-making and strategic planning. Importantly, the company could now accurately manage the profitability of their ordering processes, moving away from the previous, cobbled together forecasting estimates.
The new system empowered ATOM to set profitability benchmarks, enhancing their overall operational effectiveness and customer relationship management.