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Quote creation

Your situation

In a market in which the demand is evolving faster and faster, your company is finding it a challenge to make your customers substantial offers quickly. After all, you manufacture complicated products involving hundreds of different aspects. You hardly ever draw up a quote that is fewer than 10 pages. Every quote involves lots of people: sales people, material specialists, engineers, and financial experts. What’s the best solution and what will it cost? Calculate, share information, calculate, share information – these things can take days, if not weeks. You can’t afford to make a mistake. But, you might have noticed that customers and potential customers are not as patient as they once were. They are apparently accustomed to receiving quotes quickly. You have already had some prospects drop out of negotiations. In fact, they went to your competition. Some said they wouldn’t invite your company to submit a quote anymore. So you can forget about them. You’ve discussed it with others at the company. But then there are always examples of the times you produced a quote quickly, or adjusted a quote in haste, but errors found their way into them. Which meant that you then had to modify production to deal with that. It’s an expensive business. Speed in quoting is not usually good for accuracy. It might generate a lot of money, but it can cost a lot of money too.

The solution

Sofon is absolutely perfect for putting quotes together quickly with 100% accuracy, regardless of the stage of the negotiations that the sales people are in and whether it is a budget indication or a final offer. And by “quick” we mean minutes rather than hours – and they certainly won’t take days or weeks! This is because your sales staff, partners, and resellers can use the knowledge model for the products you have created using Sofon (Configuration Management). That model provides a coherent description of all the product options, including legal regulations an other regulations, as well as your own stipulations, such as service and financial arrangements, discount options, and so on.

Would you like to add or remove an option? Should you or shouldn’t you offer another service? What about a payment scheme in five instalments? Or should it be three? And the customer has had second thoughts and wants the luxury edition. None of these issues is a problem: with just a few clicks your quote will be adjusted to accommodate these preferences.

The quotes are always complete because Sofon uses smart question and answer lists: your sales people cannot forget any aspects. Furthermore, the lists produce a needs analysis, which means that quotes are not a sum of the parts, but instead define the solution or answer to the customer’s problem or question. At each stage of the negotiations, customers will know what they will get and for what price. Prices in new quotes are always consistent with previous versions of the quote (Revision and version management).

The advantages for you

  • The ability to make use of a rapid quoting procedure that produces clear descriptions of your answers to customers’ queries will make you a more appealing tenderer. Customers and prospects will know exactly what they can expect from you without running the risk of not being able to obtain exactly what they meant. If you present quotes that stand out favorably from those of your business rivals, you will have a better chance of getting orders and your company will expand.
  • Your quotes will always be accurate: you will not need to get back to your customer to explain things and you won’t need to spend any more money on correcting defects in the production.
  • The prices you present in your quotes are always consistent, which makes you a reliable partner. You will avoid asking prices that are too low, and consequently losing your margin, or asking prices that are too high, and consequently frightening away prospects and customers or creating room for new competition.
  • Your sales staff will work more efficiently because the solutions and the prices are clear at every stage of the negotiations. Accordingly, it will also be immediately clear whether a prospect or customer actually wants to do business and whether the customer will remain interested. This will prevent lengthy negotiations that ultimately fail.

This may also interest you

As an addition to your quote creation, you can also improve other aspects of quotation and contracting by introducing smart processes: quote management, cost of goods sold, sales negotiation management, discount/rebate management, contract creation, contract management, authorization and approval, revision and version management and revenue recognition.