The sales cycle from start to finish can be an intimidating process. Traditionally it consists of;
To move this process forward cost is a critical component. During the connect phase of the cycle, your customer will put forward requirements.
Your ability to fulfil them in a cost and time-efficient manner could be what helps you close your deal.
Structuring their costing or sales quoting is a skill every organization should master.
Introducing effective methods for accurate information transfer regarding a sensitive topic like money should be standardized.
What is Sales Quoting
Sales quoting describes a binding document that states prices and additional cost for the provision of a good or service.
Quotes take the form of a fixed overall price, an item by item breakdown or the estimate for the completion of a project.
Sales quoting can take three forms;
Variable costs such as labor and market-dependent pricing must be accounted for, should the situation require it. If there are too many fluctuating costs, offer a client an estimated price.
The estimated cost accounts for variables in either direction (high and low end).
However, the estimates must not veer too far from the actual cost. Add an estimation software to your software suite to ensure as close to accurate information processing as possible.
Fixed Price Breakdowns
A fixed price quote offers an accurate figure for the cost of service delivery.
These quotes are well defined and offer stable prices with fixed deadlines.
A quotation application offers a quick solution to input the chargeable factors and creates a streamlined and comprehensive quote.
RFQ (Request for Quotation) Response
During the connect portion of the sales cycle, companies are likely to gather costing quotations from multiple suppliers.
Quotes created to respond to an RFQ are unique. They are made in the format outlined by the sender.
RFQs tend to ask for fixed price quotations to create an accurate evaluation before picking a supplier.
Introducing a proposal software offers the right templates for these quotations.
Perhaps you have a system in place to address all the above requests. How well is your process working?
Are you seeing issues with closing sales that stem from your quotation department?
Here are the warning signs;
The 5 Signs Something Is Going Wrong in Your Quoting Process
#1 Verification Slows Down Quotation Times
Traditionally, the verification process is done manually. An employee conducts a full review of a quotation from start to finish by hand.
This may work today but will prove to be a tedious long-term;
- Manual verification cannot be scaled up
- Human error lurks around every corner
- Time and Resource consuming
- Calculating figures like pricing and taxes can be tedious
The team reviewing the quotations are charged with that specific task. Should they be unavailable for any reason, a breakdown in the quotation process occurs holding up the sales cycle.
Minimize the risk by introducing a sales quoting software to automate the process giving you consistently accurate results faster.
The first quote received by a client sets the tone for future interactions. Snails’ speed and inaccuracies should be avoided at all cost.
#2 Rules Around Pricing Cause Errors
If you haven’t migrated to a software solution to handle your product catalogs, chances are they are running off spreadsheets and documents.
The transference process is tedious. Information has to be verified from the spreadsheets, moved to the quotation template, if discounts are to be added they need to be approved, the list is endless.
Simple processes like changing product names and prices become lengthy and difficult to manage simultaneously.
When verification methods are lengthy, human error rears its ugly head. Funds can go missing and the back and forth process of approval can skip a step forcing the process to restart.
The solution is simple, introducing a comprehensive quotation application with an integrated product catalog allows you to centralize all the information required to complete a sales quote. Migrate into the age of technology or be left behind.
#3 Bundles and Item Compatibilities Cause Errors
The troubles of manually entering bundles and special clauses amplify with larger orders.
Depending on where the order is coming from, ensure compliance with regional needs (adapters, voltage) or color requirements.
Representatives must also be aware of free shipping limits, volume thresholds for discounts and other customer service-centric item compatibilities.
Oftentimes a larger team is taxed with this task to minimize the margin for error. Introduce a streamlined system to handle bundling and its rules.
A quotation application allows you to enter rules and their dependencies for easy bundling and offering special services including discounts.
#4 Revision Requests Are Common
A frequent problem with manual quotation; human error. Imagine a client sending you back a quotation because of a spelling error of the company name or wrong template use.
These are the nuances that mark your company as unreliable and unprofessional. This situation worsens when the procedure to rectify the errors is time-consuming and requires a lot of back and forths.
Avoid a frustrating experience for all parties by avoiding preventable mistakes. Introduce standardized quoting templates based on the organizations you are working with.
Create organized repositories for all information regarding a client. Wondering how to do this with efficiency and effectiveness?
Mistakes are easier to locate when all the information is available in a single location for easy cross-referencing.
#5 Deals Are Falling Apart
The fastest way to deduce your quotation process is the mastermind behind lost deals; if the breakdown occurs due to the quote (or lack thereof).
If your quote churning rate is too slow, quotes are littered with mistakes and pricing errors and require too many revisions, you are doing this wrong!
Pricing structures are a sensitive issue. The customer wants time dedicated to addressing needs and interests.
If there is a breakdown in the quotation process, it breaks down the sales cycle resulting in a broken down deal.
Ensure your organization does not appear difficult to work with or untrustworthy. Introduce transparent protocols to your quotation system for the best results.
If your business feels visibly overwhelmed by the information processing required to generate quotes, look for a better solution.
More teams are decentralizing from physical offices. This increases communication breakdowns further delaying the quote from reaching a customer.
How are businesses coping with this? They are moving digital.
The Solution: VARStreet Quotation
A recurring theme across all these issues within the quotation process revolves around human error.
Let’s face it, automation has taken over business environments with good reason. Introducing a quotation solution that incorporates both estimation software and a distributor catalog is the comprehensive answer to your needs.
The VARStreet quotation software offers a number of features including;
- Proposal/ quotation creation
- Multiple templates
- Real-time pricing and inventory management
- A rules-based calculations system
- A quotation app built for mobile use
- The ability to create quotes without comprehensive client information for elevator pitches
- The ability to add and search for items within the catalog or add new items for existing catalogs
- Multiple quote formats
Built to maximize a VARs software suite, the sales quoting tool allows businesses to create bundles for competitive pricing.
Introduce different pricing models based on a client’s request that can be automated for quote creation.
Eradicate long chains of command with simplified workflow approvals based on rules inputted by the business.
The benefits of a software solution are endless. An advanced proposal software helps offer a solution to every customer need.
A centralized answer to your quotation requirements in a simple to use format specifically for B2B transactions is now a click away.
The quotation process is a delicate one. One wrong move could cost your company its credibility.
While manual intervention may seem cost effective; the long term repercussions are expensive.
Dealing with figures and complementary facts requires pin point accuracy and an extensive understanding of company policy.
It’s not to say an employee is not capable, however, would it not be easier to minimize the margin for human error?
Introduce a quotation software to your organization to build accurate and aesthetic quotes. The investment translates down to enhanced customer service and optimized business activities.
Assess your existing infrastructure before taking a plunge. Invest in components your business needs.
The best part about software is its ability to scale up when required. Enhanced capabilities are as simple as adding another module.