If your sales quotes take too long to create, you run the risk of losing the sale. Everyone in sales knows how important it is to generate or prepare sales quotes as quickly as possible. This can be an important time-saver, especially when the purchase is coming from a lead that you feel is moving faster than usual.
It’s no wonder why sales teams around the world are looking for new ways to create quality and profitable sales quotes faster. In this blog post, we’ll show you some time-saving tactics that will help you automate your quote creation process, so you can focus on higher-impact tasks.
Steps to Efficiently Create and Send Sales Quotes Faster
How often do you find yourself responding to a customer inquiry or providing a price quote? If you’re like most salespeople, it’s part of your daily routine. This task is so common that it’s easy to get “lazy” and not pay close attention to how you’re doing it.
That’s a mistake. Potential customers use price quotes and proposals as the basis for their buying decision. Your job is to provide them with all the information they need to evaluate your offer and make a decision.
Here are 9 simple tips for improving the quality and sending the sales quotes faster
1. Use the Right Sales Quoting Tools and Software
Rather than relying on Microsoft Excel or Word to create your sales quote, you should use dedicated quote management software. This will save you lots of time in the process: there is no need to re-enter the same information over and over again, then reformat it every single time.
With an effective quoting system, it is easy to quickly create professional and impressive sales proposals and quotes with winning business in mind.
One of the great benefits of quoting software is you can generate quotes and proposals in multiple formats and easily share them on multiple platforms. The formats include dedicated proposal landing pages, which receive approval more frequently than traditional proposals.
The right sales quote management software speeds up how quickly you send out quotes and provides an easy way for customers to accept them so you can close more deals faster.
2. Clarify Which Services or Products are Included in the Pricing
If your sales quotes have a lot of services or products included in the pricing, you should clarify what exactly is included. You don’t want to end up with customer complaints after delivering your service.
It’s best to have one section for each of your products or services (including any materials or subcontracting work that may be needed) mentioned in the pricing and explain them individually.
Another option is to have a table with all the information regarding the services and products. In this case, you can add their price, quantity, and total value. This way, it will be easy for your customer to figure out how much all the elements are costing him/her.
3. Add Discounts to Strengthen Customer Retention and Reduce Complaints
Does your client need to order more than one item? Or buy more than one service from you? Then be sure to offer them a discount on your quote.
This way, you’ll entice them to buy more from you, increasing their lifetime value as a customer and helping increase sales for your business.
4. Create Templates for Common Quotes
If you frequently draft quotes for different sets of customers, set up templates in the system that include the basic elements, such as your logo, disclaimers, and contact information.
Typically, these will include the flow and components of a quotation such as a logo, contact details, disclaimers, and signatures just to name a few items. All you need is to customize each template according to the needs of your customer.
Fill the template with some standard items, such as:
- Date of quote
- Business name and address (yours)
- Contact name (if known)
- Quote number (you can use sequential numbering)
- The expiration date of the quote (optional)
- List of items/services being quoted, including quantity, description, and price per item/service. Make sure that this section is easy to read by using indentation or bullets.
5. Make Your Quotes Easy to Respond to
Don’t make your customers wait.
You know how frustrating it can be to wait for a response to your offer. You’ve been trying to reach someone for the past week and you still haven’t heard from them. You’re not sure if they’ve decided to go with another company, or if they are just very busy. Or maybe something else?
Don’t let your customers feel this way about you and don’t keep them waiting for an answer to their quotation request. Make sure that you reply immediately so that they know you’re a professional company that cares about their business and makes their time count.
If your customer asks you a question that requires more time to respond to, send them a quick email in the meantime and tell them when they can expect an answer from you. This way, your customer will know that you have received their request and are working on their project.
6. Utilize The Option of Soft Signing as an Alternative to Physical Signatures
It’s not uncommon for salespeople to be asked to submit orders by email. However, this is often a time-consuming, inconvenient, and expensive process even when using a desktop computer.
If you’re using a desktop to send quotes, you have to pay for an hour or two of your time and possibly a long-distance phone call, which means the quote will take longer to arrive at the customer’s inbox than it would just by sending it via email.
A better solution is soft-signing – a way for salespeople to quickly type out an order and then sign it digitally. Soft-signing allows the customer to download the digital signature immediately, meaning he can do business with you immediately after receiving the document. It also allows you to use your hard drive instead of paying for cloud subscriptions, so you don’t have to spend as much time working on someone else’s computer.
7. Streamline Your Approval Process by Assigning Roles and Access Rights to Different Sets of Users Depending Upon Their Responsibilities
Your customer has requested a quote. You need to get it approved and send it to your customer quickly so they can make a purchase decision. Unfortunately, your sales rep is out of the office. The customer expects a timely response. What do you do?
To ensure that quotes are followed up in a timely fashion and you don’t miss out on any opportunities, you need to streamline your approval process.
The best way to keep your sales quotes moving is by assigning roles and access rights to different sets of users depending upon their responsibilities. Once the user logs in, they are directed to the relevant quote or order from within their assigned user group without having to search for it all over again.
8. Prepare a Central Repository of Quotes For Organized Workflow
When you have a central repository, you will no longer have to worry about keeping up with multiple versions of the same document or wondering if you have the most recent copy of the quote form. The cloud-based solution will ensure that everyone is using the same version and will give each member access to unlimited copies of the quote template.
Another benefit is that your sales team members can fill out the quote from anywhere and then send it off at their convenience. This not only makes it easier on your sales team, but it also gives them more control over their day and when they get their work done. If they finish up a quote before they are supposed to be off work, they can simply send it off right away instead of waiting until the next morning.
9. Manage Quote History With Version Control And Group Products For Better Readability
Creating an effective quote can be time-consuming, especially if you need to draw on data from different sources, like your CRM software or your inventory management system. This is why you need CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software.
Implementing CPQ software has a couple of benefits:
Group products for better readability
When creating quotes, if you have many similar items, it can be difficult to read through each line and keep track of every detail. A simple way to make your quote easier to read is to group products. When you do, the CRM-integrated Invoice will list them in a tabular format instead of listing each item separately. Grouping also helps you manage discounts and taxes easily for all the grouped items at once.
Manage quote history with version control
It’s not uncommon for customers to ask for multiple revisions of their quotes before they agree to buy from you. As a result, sifting through multiple versions of quotes manually can be confusing and time-consuming. With version control in Invoice, all the revisions are saved automatically so that you have a clear view of what each quote looked like at various points in time.
Create Approval Workflow for your Quotes
CPQ software supports a variety of standard and custom approval processes. You can set up a serial or parallel approval workflow process for quotes based on criteria like price, margin, payment method, and more.
Make Your Quoting Process More Efficient With Cloud-Based Automation
With today’s technology and numerous online programs, automation of the quoting process is the need of the hour. A timely and clean sales quote makes the entire sales process stress free.
It makes it easier for the salesperson to create quotes and follow up at the same time. Bad pricing and dawdling in the search for correct information is not an excuse anymore.
In the end, automation will lead to a better sense of efficiency for any sales team. Setting up your quotation processes correctly will streamline communication and client care, enable faster turnaround times for quotes, and give you as a business more time to focus on important opportunities going forward. Never underestimate the value of automation—you can spend your saved time in myriad ways that are better for you and that can transform your eCommerce Business’s bottom line.