Stay ahead of the pack and learn what is required to create the best possible quotation system that your customers could ever ask for.
The quotation is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental steps to get right in the sales process.
Not only is the quotation a means of stating a price, but a detailed transcript of the service that is to be provided.
Moreover, It is the quintessential opportunity for a business to display their professionality and earn the potential customer’s trust, guaranteeing that they are the perfect solution to take care of their services. Logistically speaking, the quotation process can also facilitate a business’ growth or potentially hinder it.
Fortunately, the evolution of quotation software has enabled businesses to optimize this process and consequently blossom in their industries. In this article, we discuss the importance of this process and how a business can benefit from quotation software. Finally, we look at some of the different types of quotation software out there today.
Here’s what this article will discuss:
- The art of the first impression
- What quotation software is and why a business needs it
- The fundamental features of quotation software
- 3 types of quotation software that a business can benefit from
The Art of the first impression
The smile, the body language, the overall professional glow that imprints itself on the mind of others. There’s no shortage of statistical data that indicates how significant first impressions are.
Indeed, those who have mastered the art of first impressions succeed in winning investments, establishing new business relationships, and triumph in general.
This is all well and good when doing business in person, but nowadays everything is becoming digitalized.
So how can a business make a flawless first impression that oozes affidability and quality to their customers when their services are being proposed via alternative methods? By the quotation process.
The quotation is presented to the customer prior to the service being confirmed and is therefore the first point in contact with the customer.
The art of the quotation is certainly not to be underestimated. In fact, making the best first impression for your business via the quotation poses can be rather challenging. For example:
1) When the services and their details are constantly being modified, it can be extremely difficult to manage these changes in a professional manner.
2) The more manual methods that are applied increases the risk of reducing the accuracy of the quotation by generating errors. Whether this means manually calculating the price, or referring to several other documents to create the quotation.
Thankfully, there are plenty of solutions on the market that help businesses get the better of these challenges. Collectively, these are known as quotation software.
What Quotation Software Is and Why a Business Needs It
Naturally a business must increase its workflow in order to maximize the profitability of their services and grow to be among the leaders in their industry. For this reason, the quotation process must be optimized in a way so that
- The efficiency in which quotations are created and received is perfected.
- Provide an appealing and professional manner to every aspect of their services, including the quotation.
With these factors in mind the ultimate goal is to improve the probability of acquiring more business.
Quotation software centralizes and automatizes the entire quotation process in a professional way, ultimately providing a perfect solution for businesses that want to achieve their goals.
Let’s take a closer look at 3 features a business can expect from quotation software and how it can help their business grow.
1. Automatize and speed up the quotation process
In order to acquire more services, a business has to stay ahead of the competition and satisfy the customers’ needs before a competitor gets there first.
In many cases where a prospective customer is awaiting quotes from two or more vendors for a service, not every customer can be price sensitive and in fact choose the first business that delivers a quotation and meets their specific requirements.
Quotation software gives a business the competitive edge by automating the entire quotation process by allowing the business to generate quotations in a matter of seconds and track every activity following the initial step.
Not only does it calculate prices, including any relevant tax or deductions, quotation software centralizes all customer information into one unique database. This information is then used to create a professional looking quotation document containing all the necessary information about the service.
2. Customizable & modifiable
Customizing is an important element when it comes to tailoring a quotation to a customer’s preferences. Naturally, some customers may prefer to receive the quotation via email whereas others prefer it to be printed directly.
Keep in mind that ensuring every quotation template that is generated is customizable allows the business to put that touch of professionality with every document, whether that is the company logo, personalized terms and conditions for a specific customer, and much more.
Another great point about this feature is that it is very common for customers to ask for modifications to the delivered quotation. Of course this is a great sign for businesses that the customer shows interest in their quotation, but this can be a difficult task to manage manually for a business that is wanting to expand.
However, quotation software allows businesses to update existing services according to the customer’s desired modifications and automatically update the quotation, ensuring that the customer’s preferences are catered for in every way.
3. Consolidate customer relationships for future business
So far, quotation software seems like a powerful tool when it comes to increasing a business’ rate of conversions. But let’s not forget that’s only half of the story.
A successful business not only has the power of turning potential customers into conversions but cultivates repeated buyers.
The benefit of using quotation software is that it allows businesses to get the most out of every deal and construct productive relationships with customers and convert that into a long-term revenue stream whilst maintaining complete transparency in every negotiation process.
Now that we know what to look for when it comes to quotation software, this prompts the question:
How can a business choose the best quotation software amongst the vast number of software available on the market today?
The answer to this question depends on what it is a business is really looking for and the market offers plenty of varieties of quotation software that each have their own advantages. Let’s have a look at some of the software out there and what they offer.
3 Types of Quotation Software a Business Can Benefit From
1. Free quotation building tools
At this point, it must be noted that when it comes to quotation software businesses are spoilt for choice thanks to a wide range of powerful tools available, from certain quotation software focusing more on the CRM integrations to others that aim to drive conversion rates through the ceiling.
Depending on the functionality of the software in question the cost can fluctuate. However, there are free quotation management tools out there that should not be underestimated.
Google Sheets is a great solution for small businesses or those who are thinking about transitioning from manually creating quotations.
First of all, Google Sheets allows businesses to generate a product/service list that contains all the necessary information about what it is they are offering. This includes the name of the item, the price, and whether any tax should be applied where relevant.
Source: Google Sheets
Following the creation of a product list, in a separate sheet, it is possible to create a quotation template. Businesses are able to play around with the layout of the template and add any fine touches such as the company logo.
Source: Google Sheets
The significance of creating these two sheets is that they will be ultimately connected with one another. That is, once an item is selected, or marked with an “x” on the product list, it is automatically added to the quotation.
For all the readers who aren’t spreadsheet experts, do not worry. Check out this article on how to configure a product list and quotation template on Google Sheets. Here, you can even find a pre-made spreadsheet to get a better understanding on how to create quotations using Google Sheets.
Source: Google Sheets
Once the products or services have been loaded onto the quotation, all that’s left to do is insert the quantity of each item and Google Sheets calculates all the prices automatically. There is also the possibility of inserting any additional information that may be relevant for the service.
In the end, a tidy quotation document is generated that contains all the essential information that a customer needs to know when deciding whether to accept this offer.
2. More robust alternatives
Although the previously discussed solution offers an ideal solution for some, in an industry where competition is fierce, it may take more of a robust approach to managing quotations.
With over 450 templates to choose from, PandaDoc is one of the leading quotation software on the market. Although PandaDoc is actually an all-in-one document automation software, there certainly hasn’t been a lack of focus on the quotation management side.
The power of PandaDoc is its ability to integrate with a business’ customer relationship management (CRM) software and automatically transpose data from there to guarantee error-free quotations automatically.
The quotations that are generated are completely interactive, meaning that customers can propose any modifications/ provide eSignatures, which is then relayed directly back to the business. Not only that, it is possible to integrate bank details and a payment processor to collect payments using this quotation software.
The transparency PandaDoc provides between business and customer is fundamental to establishing long-term customer value and proves why this quotation software stands out among its competitors.
Finally, one great feature about this type of software is that it caters for almost every category of business out there. But before crowning this type of quotation software, let’s take a look at a third type.
3. Direct quotation management integration with niche software
As mentioned previously, the strength of software like PandaDoc is the ability to integrate with a business’ CRM and generate quotations. Although this can be advantageous for some, for others it only creates an additional step.
Fortunately, a third type of software exists that integrates quotation management within its own platform.
A perfect example of this is the passenger transportation software Sengerio, that provides a platform that centralizes not only the quotation management side of the transport companies, but the entirety of the management processes.
What does this mean exactly?
This signifies that when a transportation company responds to a customer’s quotation request, all the relevant information of that service, whether it’s the departure and arrival locations, date and time of service, assigned resources, and prices, are automatically generated from Sengerio’s interface onto a quotation document ready to be passed on to the customer.
Source: Sengerio Charters
The quotation documents are completely customizable to give them that professional aesthetic which can be personalized according to the transportation company’s preferences, and then saved as its own template. As a result of this, generating new quotations becomes almost instantaneous for both new customers and returning ones.
Source: Sengerio Charters
Once a customer accepts the quotation via email or telephone, the transportation company can convert the quotation into a booking at the click of a button. From here, the transportation company can manage further aspects of the service, such as assignment of the resources, and automatically generate a booking confirmation document to be provided for the customer.
When any modifications to the service information are made, the service information is updated directly within Sengerio. All the activity, whether it is a simple modification or even a request, is communicated in one unique place.
Check out this article if you’d like to read more about how Sengerio optimizes the management of the sales process for passenger transportation services.
Though the importance of generating first-class quotations to improve a business’ conversion rates should not be underestimated, thankfully quotation software provides an excellent help in hand for any business’ sales strategy in order to succeed in their sector.
Despite the vast amount of quotation software that is available for businesses, it’s important that the business tries and tests the variety of different quotation software to understand which one benefits them the most.
Keeping in mind, of course, that when a quotation is provided to a customer, this isn’t an estimation of the price or service, it’s a promise. The quotation is essentially guaranteeing the customer of the service that will be provided.