I recently had the pleasure of speaking with one of the co-founders of Quotient, Nathan Carter. He’s the next developer in our Intuit Developer Spotlight series, and his innovative app allows businesses to create, send, and manage quotes online.
If the app sounds familiar, you may have seen Quotient highlighted recently in this Firm of the Future blog by Dale Vink, Nathan’s business partner and Quotient Co-Founder. Today, Nathan provides additional insights into the app’s developmental journey and how integrating with QuickBooks Online has made a difference in their success.
More about Quotient
Quotient allows businesses to move their quoting system to the cloud. Videos, files, and website links can be included directly into their quotes. Customers can view—and accept—the innovative and professional-looking quote online, and this online access allows businesses to see when the customer has opened the quote.
Additional features include:
- Notifications that automatically alert businesses to follow up on quotes that have been sent
- Pre-written email messages
- The ability to add multiple-choice items to the quote and the ability for customers to set their own quantities
- Customer selections are calculated automatically and are reflected in an easy-to-understand summary and quote total
- Customers can post questions directly on the quote (which directly notifies the business and leaves a Q&A trail)
- Quote acceptance is as easy as checking the term box and clicking on “Accept Quote”
- Email notifications of a quote acceptance are sent to all parties
- And an itemized invoice gets populated in QuickBooks Online
The idea for this comprehensive app, which launched in December 2011, came from a previous business. “We initially came from the world of graphic design, which then morphed into the early days of web design and development, which then morphed into a single “product”, a.k.a. Quotient,” Nathan says.
As the Quotient team continues to develop their app, they’re making “good use” of their AWS stack. They also have an end-to-end design philosophy.
“We believe in good design, from the unseen code through to how the software looks and feels. Good design doesn’t get in the way of what the customer is trying to achieve,” Nathan says. “In everything we do, we try to be intentional and give it the time and consideration it deserves.”
Why Quotient Integrated with QuickBooks Online and Why They Enjoy Working with the Intuit Developer team
The Quotient team is big on utilizing customer feedback to improve their product. And Nathan says they received a lot of requests for a Quotient/QuickBooks integration. This, along with their own positive thoughts on the subject, spurred them on.
“Let’s be honest, QuickBooks has a rather large customer base, so this was definitely appealing,” Nathan says. “We just knew that Quotient would add value to QuickBooks customers and felt that QuickBooks would add value to our customers. It’s a classic win-win!”
And it has definitely been a win for Quotient. According to Nathan, since their integration with QuickBooks Online in early 2016, their US customer base has grown by 307%.
“The US is now our fastest growing region, and we largely have QuickBooks to thank for this,” he says.
Another benefit they’ve received after integrating with QuickBooks Online is becoming a member of the Intuit Developer community. Nathan says that he and the Quotient team have enjoyed getting to know the Intuit Developer team members on a more personal level and have appreciated the support they’ve received. This includes opportunities to promote Quotient in special promotions, blogs, and at conferences. He says they were also encouraged to join the very first $100K Small Business App Showdown.
“We ended up becoming a finalist, which gave us the opportunity to pitch Quotient against nine other apps on stage. While we didn’t win, the whole experience was very special,” Nathan says.
The Quotient Team’s Advice to Other Developers
For Nathan and the Quotient team, the benefits of being a part of the developer ecosystem is two-fold: one, they’re “exposed to a really large customer base”, and two, they “get to connect with other developers who are on a similar journey to us, which allows us all to learn and share as we go.”
The second benefit of sharing their expertise is one Nathan considers personally rewarding and has some advice for other developers. “Keep it simple. To begin with, just do the essentials and get your app in the hands of real customers. But grow some thick skin for handling feature requests. You’ll never be able to do everything for everyone, so do what’s right for the direction of your app/business.”
This strategy has been successful for Quotient. Their 40 reviews on their QuickBooks App Store page has procured them a 4.9 out of 5 star rating.
One of the many reviews, titled “First Class Tool!”, says, “I have been looking for a product that will help streamline our Quotations and this one is just perfect! It is so easy to use and is feature rich and flexible. I love that I can add comments to the quote (both public and private), reorder the items, allow the client to edit the quantities, display my logo, enable product codes to be visible for us, but off for the client, and convert the quote to an invoice when the customer accepts the quote! Well done guys, this is dynamite.”
Nathan also suggests that developers may want to utilize AI and machine learning—something he feels is becoming more accessible and easier to implement—if it makes sense for their app/business.
Along with offering his own advice, Nathan has received some. “In speaking with Intuit staff at a recent QuickBooks Connect conference, we received some valuable tips on how to optimize our App Store listings, which we’ve seen some improved results.”
Moving forward, Nathan is excited for the app’s future. He says the opportunities are endless, and the team has some developments in the works, including behind-the-scenes and front-facing features. He wasn’t yet ready to share what they are, but it sounds like 2019 is going to be a good year.
The Intuit team also feels 2019 is going to be a good year, and we’re excited to keep sharing our developers’ inspiring app journeys in our Intuit Developer Spotlight series. We always have new stories and advice on our Intuit Developer Blog (such as how to use QuickBooks Online API if you’re new to Intuit Developer and the importance of fundraising), and you’re invited to contact our team with questions at any time. Be sure to come back regularly so you don’t miss out.