Quote and proposal transformation

EXL’s Digital BluePRINT™ discovery framework helps a large US-based group and voluntary benefits carrier reimagine its operating model to deliver enhanced customer experience and reduce operational expenditure

EXL’s client, a large US-based group and voluntary benefits (VB) carrier, detected inefficiencies in its quote and proposal process and requested an “outside-in” process assessment to determine opportunities to improve. Specifically, they wanted to create a differentiated experience and reduce operating expenses associated with assembling quotes for RFPs, while also enhancing customer experience with an eye on improving its win percentage.

Much of the quote and proposal work was manually performed by underwriters, drawing them into expensive and time-consuming efforts to process information before quotes or negotiations could even begin. The client’s objectives included:

Quote and proposal transformation


As an existing service provider to the organization, EXL had inside knowledge of the client’s quote and proposal process. However, the consultative nature of the work required a full discovery, leading to a business case prioritizing the new models and frameworks based on the value, immediacy, and complexity of implementation.


Using the BluePRINT™ discovery framework, EXL and the client identified opportunities for transformation:

Customer Experience: Reimagine customer journeys and identify digital interventions to gauge improvement.

Process Experience: Refocus on operational efficiencies including intelligent automation, lean, and right-shoring

Data Experience: Leverage data and analytics for optimal performance


The current-state assessment and future-state operating model led to a business case for phased improvements, applying EXL’s “Human X Technology” approach to ensure outcomes. The plan included leveraging AI to auto-extract data, building analytical models such as likelihood to win, implementing digital tools such as a census validator, and transitioning to a global operating model for a fast, accurate, broker-centered and data-driven underwriting process.


Faster quote TAT


Improvement in close ratio


Improvement in productivity and efficiency


Faster underwriting decisions

"Understand customer pain points and align for optimal operational, cost and customer experience impact"

EXL’s Digital BluePRINT™ Framework at Work

EXL’s Digital BluePRINT™ discovery framework is designed to reduce the risk of digital transformation by holistically and correctly evaluating strategy and execution, identifying opportunities and levers, and orchestrating the implementation roadmap towards stated business goals and outcomes.

Within this framework, we consulted with the client to “know, sense, and think” through their quote and proposal process in terms of customer, process, and data experience. Based on the discovery research, the following finding highlights and recommendations for digital transformation were presented:


Manually intensive non-core tasks performed by experienced underwriters such as :

  • Data entry in rating and CRM systems from RFP documents
  • RFP segmentation and work assignment
  • Census validation and formatting tasks
  • Multiple reach outs to producers for missing information, such as census data
  • High error propensity SIC validation processes

Limited ability to generate actionable insights Data entry in rating and CRM systems from RFP documents:

  • Lack of RFP prioritization resulting in high decline to quotes after the initial quote
  • Suboptimal close ratio and persistency


De-couple, offshore and automate non-core tasks to increase underwriter (UW) bandwidth to drive growth

  • Auto extract data from RFP documents and ingest data into rating and CRM systems
  • Auto assign RFP to underwriters based on complexity, UW experience and availability
  • Auto-census formatting and validation of missing and incorrect information
  • Leverage external third-party data sources for census enrichment
  • Automate SIC code validation, saving time and improving accuracy

Build data-driven analytical models

  • Deploy analytical models such as likelihood to win, CLTV, persistency, quote sophistication to prioritize RFP, improve close ratio and persistency
  • Producer segmentation by investing in sold case analysis

Executing the Plan

Armed with a practical, approved implementation plan, EXL commenced digital prototyping and execution. This included building a future-state digital prototype to demonstrate the art of the possible. Additionally, EXL redesigned the operating model, clearly articulating its associated skills, processes, technology, metrics and costs.