How Do Accurate Quoting Systems Give You a Competitive Advantage?
If you were to take a stab at how long it takes your sales team to respond to a customer’s request for a quote, what would that number be?
We’ll leave you to ponder that while we explore the fascinating topic of the role fast and accurate quoting systems play in the health of your business. You’ll likely be surprised at the far-reaching effects that they have.
As you read, we invite you to measure your current systems against the ideal and note how a little money spent on a reliable and speedy system adds up to major business benefits.
What is a Quote Management System?
A quote management system is a piece of software that allows a business to generate, send, and track customer quotes.
It’s easy to scribble some numbers on a sheet of paper and call it a quote. A professional business, though, is more likely to use a quote management system which is a fast and accurate way to serve your customer needs.
Ideally, a quote system is not a stand-alone application. Rather, it should integrate with other business processes to create a seamless flow from quote to sale. Quote systems are ideal for industries such as manufacturing, engineering, and construction that deal with a final product made up of multiple processes and parts.
Quotes Versus Customer Experience
A subject that we’ve touched on before and one close to our heart is that of customer experience or CX. This simple term sums up every touchpoint between your company and your customer. This could be online, a conversation with your receptionist or a call to your sales team. The feeling that your customer comes away with is their CX, and all too often, you only get one shot at making it awesome.
When a customer asks for a quote, they are considering buying from you, right?
This is the result of labouring over marketing, advertising, the perfect web design, the best pricing, market positioning, and a host of other factors.
Did you know that 30 – 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first?
These stats are not limited to B2C interactions.
“Among B2B decision makers, lack of speed in interactions with their suppliers is the number one pain point, mentioned twice as often as price.” (Source)
Speed is the result of a streamlined quoting system that takes the pain and frustration out of providing an accurate quote.
How Important is an Accurate Quoting System?
Just for a minute, let’s put ourselves in our customers’ shoes while we answer this question.
The Early Bird
With reference to the statistic mentioned above, when you’re first out of the starting block with a clean and correct quote you gain an immediate advantage over your competitors. As your customer, there’s a strong possibility that we’re already knee-deep in negotiations and the finer points of your quote before the competition sends along with their offering.
Do I really want to start this process with another company? I have limited time and capacity as it is without having to run through a series of questions with another group of salespeople. Remember, we humans prefer fewer hoops to jump through and will readily take the course of least resistance.
Impressive First Impressions
Perhaps they’ve dealt with your company before, perhaps not. If this is their first contact with your organisation, then this is the time to make an excellent first impression. A quick turnaround and an accurate quote tell the customer that you are a professional business and their business matters to you.
Conversely, if you’re battling to get a simple quote to them in their expected time frame, what are the chances of delivering a good product or service? Food for thought.
Speed and Accuracy
Never do we want our salespeople to hustle to get a quote out quickly at the expense of accuracy. Both are critical in the race to secure the sale and an automated quoting system will give you both.
When a quote is complex and needs to pull information from several sources such as in the manufacturing industry, things can get tricky. Taking the guesswork out of your quote by including details of additional parts or third-party services highlights your accuracy and professionalism.
As your customer, I see that you have taken the time to include the finer details of my request so that there are no surprises down the road. This also means that, if a competitor comes in with a lower price but a less-detailed quote, I’m still more likely to do business with your company as I know exactly what I’m working with.
A quote that ties in automatically with your CRM, adds the details to your customer records and updates these as the process unfolds, irons out so many potential issues. This same information is being fed into your accounting system, and your customer communications are carefully recorded for future reference.
As your customer, when I receive an accurate and timely quote followed up with a confirmation email (where all my details are correct) and a detailed contract, I’m satisfied that my business is in safe hands. My invoices all tie incorrectly with what was agreed upon, my emails to your business are handled quickly and any changes are reflected immediately.
Wow, I’m a happy customer right now!
What Can the Omni Job Costing Module Do For You?
Isn’t it interesting how multifaceted the quoting process can be?
In today’s business, those who employ integrated processes to create a logical and streamlined flow are more likely to win new business. They are also far more likely to retain existing customers who, incidentally, have been shown to spend 67% more than new customers over time.
The Omni Accounts Job Costing module does the thinking for you. It includes features such as:
- Linking a job to a quote and to the customer account
- Posting to job costing from source documents or from your stock room
- Allocating outwork to the job and customer information
- Allocating sundry costs on the job and within your accounting system
- Accurately allocate labour costs with the option to configure employee profiles within their labour categories
- Determine the value of all your work in progress at any point.
- Synchronise accounting from start to finish
- Report on estimated costs versus actual spend during and after the project
If you’re planning on growing your business in this highly competitive economic environment, then there is no doubt that you need support from the right partners in the right areas.
Yes, quoting can be a trial for some. But it remains an essential part of business and when done right, allows you to tower over your rivals and offer better service to your valuable customers.
You have nothing to lose – chat with our team to find out more about the complex topic of accurate quoting systems. It’s our pleasure to assist you.