As the requirement to provide real-time information to customers from any location grows, switching over to quoting software from MS-Excel or MS-Word is surely on the uptick. A Sales quoting tool provides accurate and professional quotes; shortens your sales cycle; and increases your bottom line – we all know its super advantages. But with a plethora of quoting tools vying for your attention, how would you ensure that the software you are selecting is the right, the best and most effective for your business needs?
A non performing software could leave your sales rep in a fix and your customers unsatisfied, resulting in a marred brand reputation for your organization. Hence, don’t rush into buying a sales quoting tool that pops up on the first page of a search engine, is used by your competitor or simply because it is more popular in the market.
Here are a few evaluation tips you should consider before selecting the quoting software.
- 1. Give your vote to web-based software
- 2. It should integrate with CRM, other business apps and distributor
- 3. An online payment feature is definitely a plus
- 4. Simple or complex – it should accommodate all pricing requirements
- 5. Do not hesitate to ask for a free product demo
- 6. Evaluate vendor support and services
1. Give your vote to web-based software
A desktop app is a good option when your business boundaries are restricted, you want your own backups or you are tight on budget. But if the flexibility and virtual access from anywhere, anytime is what you are looking for, an online quoting software could give you the desired results. Since it is stored on a server and managed by a vendor, there are no hassles of installations, updates or maintenance either.
2. It should integrate with CRM, other business apps and distributor
Take a close look at the integration features of a quoting software. Does it allow you to manipulate the data intelligently and diligently from across CRM, accounting, marketing and other business apps? Similarly, it should also fetch you the real time price and availability of the product from multiple distributors through a single sign – on.
3. An online payment feature is definitely a plus
You wouldn’t want to waste time getting the customer sign the deal after he has given a positive nod. An online quoting software that allows you to accept online payments on the spot through electronic signature will multiply the value of your quote by several times.
4. Simple or complex – it should accommodate all pricing requirements
Percentage and volume based pricing, discounts, customs and bundles, freight or markups – a quoting tool should able to capture every possible pricing scenario and generate customizable quotes for the customers.
5. Do not hesitate to ask for a free product demo
The best way to verify if all features will live up to their promises is to ask your vendor for a demo or a free trial. This will not only give you a hands-on glimpse into the working of the software but also show you if need to install any additional software or app to support the quoting tool. If a vendor is unwilling to give you a demo, then it may indicate that the software may not match your expectations.
6. Evaluate vendor support and services
No matter how low maintenance the quoting software may be, you may need vendor support from time to time. After you are satisfied with all features, ensure that the vendor provides comprehensive technical support for the configuration, updates and security. If possible, read the latest reviews on the product as well as vendor services to get accurate feedback.
Remember, you are investing your money as well as time in the sales quoting software. Hence, it is advisable to list down all required features you want and the expectations that you have from the software and then match them to your needs.