5 reasons to automate your quotes (plus 8 apps that could help you do it)

How long does it take for you to prepare and send a quote?

If you think about it, when people ask for quotes when they:

    • have made a decision to purchase a solution to a specific want or need;
    • believe your product/service could be the solution.

A request for a quote is a gift of a powerful opportunity to make a sale. With the right response, you potentially can ‘seal the deal’ straight away.

So what happens if you take some time to respond? Or if quotes for similar work wildly differ? Do you know if you are sending some other bad signals about your business?

Potential clients can move faster than your business. Someone who has committed to solving a need is not going to wait endlessly for you, they want the job done and will find someone else.

Your response to a quote will determine whether you win or lose both the client and the sale.

Here are 5 reasons to use software that automatically generates quotes:

    1. Team member time can be redirected to obtain better returns for you
    Your staff’s time has a value on it. Apart from quantities, prices and addressee, every quote is generally the same. So wouldn’t you be better off automating the stuff that stays the same so that the manual work is reduced to a minimum? This would mean your staff could spend more time reaching out to prospects and clients and delivering extra value.

    2. Demonstrate your business is capable and quick to act
    Automating your quotes means you can get them to prospects sooner, which shows your competency and that you respect their time. Nobody likes to be kept waiting.

    Within minutes your prospect could be reading your professionally laid out document that has all the required information and not errors. If you have a good call to action, it will be a no-brainer for the client to accept.

    3. Enable faster turnaround
    A quote puts the ball back in the client’s court. Once they have it, they need to make a decision. The faster you provide a quote, the less time they have to investigate alternatives or reconsider. If the quote meets their expectations (i.e. you can solve their problem for a price they’re happy with), they can accept it and not have to invest time in looking around.

    4. Maintain branding consistency and professional reputation
    Using software to generate your quotes enables you to be consistent with your both your presentation and pricing strategy.

    Design consistency across your logo, colour palate, website, stationery and vehicles influences people subconsciously. It shows a steadiness that increases trust and boosts your reputation. People come to have a certain expectation when dealing with your brand. You don’t want lack of attention to your quote design letting down the brand you have worked so hard to build in other areas.

    You are bound to get some clients by word-of-month, so quoting different prices to different prospects for similar services could raise some eyebrows if your prospects get talking to each other. It can seem like you don’t have any pricing strategy and just make it up as you go along, which reduces your appearance as a professional.

    5. Reduce staff training time
    As most of your quote document is produced automatically there will be less training required for new staff. You will only need to show them how to use the application to make any necessary adjustments or additions for special cases.

There are plenty of reasons to automate your quote process. The time you could save (and reinvest in wiser, more productive avenues) is just one aspect that makes it worth considering. Add to that the boosted reputation and sales figures (thanks to the quick turnarounds), and automation quickly becomes an option you can’t afford to ignore.

So why isn’t every business automating their quote process?

It can be confusing to know what action to take when you can see all the benefits of automating quotes and yet know that others in your industry or niche area are not automating quotes. After all, if it doesn’t work for them, is it going to work for you? Not all of us are risk-takers, most of us like others to take the risks for us.

Some of the concerns business owners have are:

    1. Quote software will limit their ability to make modifications as everything is generated automatically.

    Most software would provide for this by letting you add a ‘miscellaneous’ field to the quote template which means you can include amendments or comments. Give your software provider some examples and ask them to demonstrate how their solution can meet the ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ needs, before you sign up.

    2. How the software get the information it needs to generate the quotes.
    Most software packages will ingrate with at least one CRM which they can pull the required data from. For those that don’t integrate directly, the third-party app Zapier can probably make the link for you.

8 options for automating your quotes

Here are just some of the software packages that can automatically generate quotes and proposals:

Proposable lets you query clients and respond to their questions with inline comments—useful for high-touch businesses or those dealing with detailed and specific services.

They all integrate with a number of CRMs. However, as part of your evaluation you should confirm which ones will integrate with your CRM and your accounts system (or allow a connection via Zapier).

Try these steps to identify the quote software that best fits:

    1. List out the different fields you need to be able to show on a quote and what special adjustment options you may need from time to time<

    2. Identify your desired quote process – what is the trigger for a quote to be generated, when the quote is reviewed and adjustments added, whether the client is followed up to check if there are any questions, whether the quote automatically converts to an invoice when accepted, etc.

    3. Pick a maximum of 4 different quote automation options to investigate, either from the list above or from Google search results. If you try and cover any more, it becomes harder to compare, takes an extensive amount of time and overall just prolongs the decision making. It is better to pick the best of a handful of options and just get started. This way your business can start reaping some of the benefits of automated quotes and you don’t get discouraged by the selection process.

    4. Check on each of the 4 different options selected in Step 3 whether they:

    1. a. provide for the required fields and special adjustment options you identified in Step 1
    2. b. align with or improve your desired quote process as identified in Step 2
    3. c. connect with your accounting software and CRM, or whether Zapier can provide that connection, check with your accounting software, CRM provider and Zapier directly if you are unsure

    5. You should now be able to tell which option will be the best fit for your business. If the price is reasonable, it’s time to sign up. If it seems high, would it be reasonable when you think of it as a price for the 5 reasons identified above?

Give us a call on 03 5339 3200 or contact us here if you’d like some specific advice on quote software for your business. Otherwise, all the best with the implementation and we hope you will be seeing the benefits soon!

Thanks for reading.

 

The information contained on this website has been provided as general advice only. The contents have been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before you make any decision regarding any information, strategies or products mentioned on this website, consult your own financial advisor to consider whether that is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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