The first step in every sale is a quote. It can be a verbal quote, for example, when you a customer asks your salesperson for the price of a product or it can be a more formal process crafting a printed or a digital quote prepared specifically for a customer’s needs.
Quotes are quotations in procurement or formal statements with itemized lists of products and services which specify the prices with terms of sale and payment. It is the first step towards a business transaction and is created at the request of prospective buyers interested in knowing the cost of certain products before making a purchase.
Once quotes are accepted, customers are committed to purchasing at specified prices. However, quotes are not legally binding contracts. How do quotes help sellers? Quotes are documented and kept for future references while they also help tally accounts for taxation purposes. Quotes also give resellers a basic understanding of how customers function as the transacting process is initiated. This also starts a seller-customer association which can be long-standing.
Given that the sales quoting process is such an important first step in starting this relationship, great care must be taken while crafting a quote that will convert to a sale.
VARStreet has a comprehensive proposal generation software which smoothens the quoting process. With a proposal generation software, the quoting process gets a lot simple and importantly error-free.
Here’s how you can build an efficient quoting process
1. Understand Customer Needs
Understand what customers need and give them the best possible price. Spend time understanding what your customers have in mind and how best to reach common ground. This ranges from product specifications, the time frame when they are required and budget.
Get your sales team to customize quotes accordingly to make the information easy to understand so the customer can make the best possible decision. You as a reseller also need to keep your profit in mind for the transaction to make business sense.
VARStreet simplifies this for you as we have connections with 40+ distributors in the US and Canada. We also aggregate their entire product catalogs into one aggregated catalog which is available to you with real-time prices and rich content.
VARStreet gives you a single-window view of prices from different distributors so that you can quote the best possible price to your customers.
2. Automate For A Smoother Experience
What do automating quotes mean for quotations in procurement? Look for ways to eliminate manual processes. It helps to track quotes with everyone involved in review and approval working on the right document.
Emails are passe with going back and forth in the mail chain as are Excel spread-sheets. Automated processes keep an audit trail for changes along with documents. Automate negotiation processes with customers by incorporating tracked changes in documents back into the quote system.
VARStreet’s quoting software allows you to track the cycle of each quote and also take notes for your sales teams to refer to even months into the quoting cycle.
3. Streamline The Approval Process
After the sales team has worked on quotes, next comes approvals before quotes are handed over to customers. Streamline this process for quicker approvals, smoother working and give customers the impression that the sales team is on the top of their game.
In short, bring visibility to the quoting process and a great way to do that is using a proposal generation software like VARStreet which allows you to add approval workflows into your quotes.
4. Avail Collaborating Tools For All Teams To Access
This makes it easier for all teams apart from sales which include the accounts team, legal team and customers by deciding on and consistently using a collaborative tool that is simple for all to access yet easy to understand.
There are many approaches to creating, editing and sharing documents. Be sure to use a proposal generation software that makes it easy to combine content and communication in a single, simple experience.
5. Signing The Contract
The quote is prepared, handed over and approved by customers. What next? It is about getting customer feedback, attending to queries, suggestions and tweaks before quotes go through to the next step, which is signing.
This contract is then the official document which then means customers are expected to pay for the products within a certain time frame. However, not all contracts are paid timely and here is where customer service matters. Soliciting payment is not an easy task. This part should also be thought up during the quoting and subsequent contract process.
What helps overall is to use a proposal generation software to streamline the process, get basic quotes right and then choose to alter them for a quicker turnout of the quote by the sales team.
Quotes should be quick, aggressive and accurate. If quotes lack in accuracy and are not given promptly, the customer looks elsewhere. An inefficient quoting system hinders businesses from effectively moving through the sales cycle of providing quotes to signing contracts.
Having a long-standing association is key. Get the quoting system right which sets the foundation for the rest of the symbiotic working rapport between the dealer and the reseller.