How Flippa helped customers close $6 million in deals with an eSignature workflow
Online business marketplace Flippa used the Dropbox Sign API to launch a new asset purchase agreement feature within its platform in just three weeks, enabling customers to close deals in a matter of hours instead of weeks.
Roadblocks in customer deal cycles stalled sales and led to missed revenue opportunities
Flippa is the number one marketplace to buy and sell online businesses and digital assets including ecommerce websites, SaaS companies, and apps. The platform powers the entire sales process from valuation to purchase, facilitating exits and acquisitions for over three million entrepreneurs across the world.
The Flippa Deal Room platform enables customers to make offers, vet potential buyers, negotiate terms, and complete the necessary legal documents to close a deal, all in one place. However, the deal process includes the creation and execution of an asset purchase agreement (APA) that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. Getting an APA signed by both parties required customers to download the PDF agreement, send the document back and forth between their lawyers outside the Flippa platform, and upload it again. This caused significant roadblocks to successfully closing a deal, dragging out negotiations over days or even weeks.
As its customer base grew, Flippa began receiving feedback about the challenges customers faced during the APA stage of the deal cycle. “The end-to-end process was broken at a critical point in the deal pipeline,” says Blake. “Time kills deals. We needed to improve our ability to facilitate the deals customers want to do, at the speed they want to do them, so it’s as easy as possible for them to exit their company successfully.”
Flippa’s own sales velocity was gridlocked by external lawyers’ timelines and too much time spent manually verifying signed PDFs. Without visibility into where an APA was at, the account management team was unable to seize opportunities to help deals close more efficiently. They didn’t have a way to track pipeline metrics and they didn’t know if a deal had closed until the customer paid their fees.
Flippa needed to bring the APA process into its platform to enhance the customer experience and speed up the deal cycle for both its customers and the business itself. Their team was looking to build out an intuitive yet secure way for customers to draft and execute APAs without lawyers. The solution needed to be embedded directly into the existing workflow in the Deal Room to close the loop on their end-to-end experience. With the right solution, Flippa would be able to offer the fast, seamless service its customers were asking for.
“It came down to listening to our customers. We noticed they were missing out on tens of thousands of dollars in deal opportunities. Customers were telling us, ‘Flippa needs to make the APA process smoother.’ Once you receive that kind of feedback, you need to act on it.”
Our experience with Dropbox Sign has been nothing but positive. The integration was simple and it’s had a significant impact on our business, driving efficiency and increasing visibility into the deal process for customers inside the Flippa platform, and within our team.
An intuitive agreement and eSignature workflow that delivered major visibility
The Flippa team decided to build a feature that provided a modular, customizable APA that could be exchanged, and securely signed by all parties directly within the Deal Room interface. They were in search of a reliable eSignature solution they could plug into the APA workflow. Flippa was already successfully using Dropbox Sign internally and took the natural next step of investigating whether it was a good fit for their customer-facing platform.
Flippa works in tight eight-week sprints to tackle development projects. It was critical that the APA feature could be pushed to production within that time frame. Flippa chose to use the Dropbox Sign API because it provided the engineering team with comprehensive documentation and a simple implementation process. The Dropbox Sign API offers a range of highly configurable features that made it easy for the team to build a solution to expedite the APA process. The Flippa team was able to build the APA feature and launch it in just three weeks.
The APA feature allows customers to create their own agreements using templated modules. They can then send the agreement to the other party in the Deal Room platform and get it signed using the integrated Dropbox Sign workflow. Dropbox Sign also provides notifications that let all parties know when they need to review the document and when the APA is signed and countersigned. Customers no longer need to engage a lawyer to help them draft and negotiate an APA.
The Flippa team also receives notifications about the progress of each APA as it moves between parties. Instead of waiting to hear back from lawyers and liaising with customers wondering where the APA is at, account managers can take control of the sales process and provide support to help deals close faster.
“Before, we never knew where the deals were at,” Blake says. “Dropbox Sign gives us complete visibility from when a draft is created to when the APA is accepted and signed. And it’s that visibility and transparency that customers like most.” The Dropbox Sign API enabled Flippa engineers to develop a solution that delighted customers and totally transformed the team’s internal processes, turning a clunky offline workflow into a golden opportunity for exponential growth.
“I can’t say anything but good things about the process our team went through with the Dropbox Sign API and documentation. It was simple and made it easy for our engineering team to move at the speed we wanted to move.”
Customer sales velocity skyrockets driving over $6 million in closed deals
Launching the new APA feature with Dropbox Sign generated immediate results. Within 24 hours of the feature release, five customer deals closed using the expedited APA workflow. The new feature significantly reduced the time customers spent closing deals. An agreement process that once took anywhere from days to weeks now clocks in at a brisk 13 hours on average. In the first two months, the Dropbox Sign integration helped Flippa facilitate over $6 million in deals for 120 customers.
“The customer-centricity of the Dropbox Sign solution is what makes it so powerful,” Blake says. With the new feature, the path to a closed deal is less complex and much more rewarding. Instead of experiencing a drawn-out and anticlimactic deal negotiation, quickly closing a deal is exciting for Flippa customers. The new streamlined experience leaves them with the feeling that they’ve achieved something great.
Flippa has also increased velocity—not to mention a sense of confidence and accomplishment—in their own team. With deeper visibility into the deal pipeline, sales can forecast which deals are most likely to close and step in at critical points to ferry them toward completion. When the team is notified every time a deal closes, they can really feel the impact of their hard work. As Blake says, “When you can show a team the influence they have on the business and demonstrate the quality of the solution they’re bringing to market, it’s extremely motivational.”
Dropbox Sign helped Flippa upgrade its solution to increase customer satisfaction and team efficiency. With the Dropbox Sign API, Flippa was able to develop and rapidly deploy a powerful feature that transformed a key component of their platform for customers. The Dropbox Sign API enabled Flippa to stay agile and respond quickly to customer feedback, significantly raising the value and functionality of their platform without overburdening the development team. Now, Flippa can focus on making deals happen faster for their growing customer base and continue to scale with better insights into their business.
“For those considering driving efficiency in any workflow, Dropbox Sign isn’t just a great choice, it's the right choice. The team watches our sales Slack channel light up multiple times a day. It gives us an insane level of visibility into our customers’ actions, and that's exactly what we’d hoped for.”
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