How Do I Keep Track of Sales Quotes?
Fact: Nurturing leads is a key component of good business practice.
Therefore, keeping careful track of sales quotes – which are considered among the more reliable prospects – makes sound business sense.
Do you know exactly what is happening in your sales department? How many quotes are your team working on? Which items are still in progress, which is urgent, old, or still actionable?
Answers to these questions (and a host more) are at your fingertips.
The smart extension you’re looking for is called job costing software. Once you have it integrated into your business accounting system, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.
How Can You Track Your Sales Quotes?
Whatever the size of your enterprise, no one should neglect sales quotes. And if you’re a true blue sales geek, then tracking is in your blood, and you’ll love automated software’s control and overview.
Ultimately you want to improve your lead win/loss ratio right?
Salesforce well says; “Since every customer you serve represents an important relationship for the organization, every quote you present is a vital part of nurturing and developing these relationships.”
You will appreciate investing in software that enables every prospective customer to receive a service that makes closing the deal easy.
You may have thought you had it all in the bag when you set up your CRM software. (Which, by the way, was a great decision.) But there’s more. Imagine knowing, at the click of a mouse, how many quotes your team have sent, who on your team sent what, when, how, and to whom? What if there was a clever extension that details all the quotes your company sends?
Before we dive into the details, let’s take a look at what goes wrong in the quote to closure cycle and walk a mile in your customer’s moccasins.
A Customer Perspective on Tracking Sales Quotes
Our friend, Anonymous, contacted three different companies for quotes for executing the same task.
1. Sales Quote Disaster
First, a salesperson was asked to deal with the quote. After a reasonable amount of time passed with no sales quote arriving, Anonymous called the manager. A quote was hastily arranged after a few technical people swung into gear. Anonymous ordered but heard no more, so cancelled the order.
2. Sales Quote Failure
The second likewise passed the contact on to salespersons who failed to follow up. A quote was once again generated when Anonymous called again. The figure was over-the-top, so Anonymous questioned it and was told things were tough since Covid. Really? So we load quotes? No deal there for Anonymous.
3. Sales Quote Falls Through the Cracks
The third group seemed to engage more vigorously and a sales quote arrived as promised. Anonymous waited before accepting to see what would happen. After two weeks, he was clearly not important enough for follow-up protocol and was obviously forgotten.
These are sad stories indeed, but oh, so real. Read on if you want to be sure this is not happening in your business.
Sales Quotes, Untracked
There is an undeniable sigh of relief from salespeople who get to the quotation stage. However, as you well know, the job is still far from a done deal. Prospective customers who have been supplied with quotes need to be kept tight in the pipeline.
There is no doubt that untracked sales quotes continually fall by the wayside. Some progressive companies employ a Customer Success Manager (CSM) to bridge the gap, close the cracks and assist the business in navigating the journey to closing.
Give your newly appointed bridge-over-troubled-water CSM a tool that tells them exactly what’s happening in the quotes department in real-time. Watch your quote-to-order success rate climb with the right tools for the job.
Cloud-based Automation Quotation Tools
Cloud-based tools can certainly increase your conversions in targeted sectors and are great when integrated into your own systems.
The flow looks something like this:
- Re-route – website queries, emails, referrals, or calls get sent on to your projects manager.
- Online Forms – are to be created to keep everyone in the team in the workflow.
- Notification station – project manager gets quotation info onto forms and allocates appropriate staff.
- Business Owner Check – once ready for review, the business owner receives the form for signing off.
- Send Quote – on approval an appropriate template is selected and the quote sent.
Nice to see a good quote-to-sale process, but it still seems like there is a lot of manual effort involved.
Switch for Track Sales Quotes
If there was a magic switch you could flick to get a grip on your sales quotes, there’d be no looking back, right?
It is not just possible, but imperative that you either get hold of a quote tracking add-on or find the right accounting solution that has the switch you need to up your sales quote win ratio.
The ideal is real. You can have a seamless workflow from inquiry, to quote and follow up complete with an automated invoicing cycle that leaves your team free from paperwork overload.
How Do You Automate and Track Sales Quotes?
Good question, and it means you already understand how much time and man-hours you save with comprehensive automation processes.
The simplification is brilliant in itself, let alone how much time and human error is spared. Once you have a fully automated module, quotations become part of the system’s chain of operation.
With quote tracking software and job costing extension add-ons, sent quotations do not affect your stock, nor will sales transactions be created. The idea is to track sales quotes and keep a tight rein on this otherwise nebulous part of your operation, which should generate more sales for you. A logical add-on or switch portal links the customer-quote document, which your customer would have been sent.
Quotations usually have an expiry date, so smart software enables you to generate either a sales order and/or an invoice from that documentation.
Once the quote has been accepted by a customer, the quote is linked to the relevant customer account as well. Your system should ideally be fully integrated with your accounting software so that your whole business module will be synchronized.
Track Sales Quotes Across Devices
In order to have an automated accounts system that tracks sales quotes efficiently, you have to do your homework. You want to look for data automation moving in and out of the accounts module.
Imagine for example, that you manage a salesforce and you need to synchronize data moving between handheld devices and your accounts department. Quote-tracking automation means real-time transactions, proposals, and changes even at this embryonic stage of prospective sales are simultaneously updated across all platforms. Similarly, data movement between your website and your accounts system is updated in real-time.
It becomes possible with a system that tracks sales quotes to set up additional checks such as helpful reports running automatically at set times of the month. This includes having necessary reports emailed to specific users on your system.
Tracking sales quotes is not only an efficient way to plug up leaks in your business system, but it also enables you to automate your processes and increase productivity. It’s an old cliché, but most apt in this instance, ‘you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.’
Contact us at Omni Accounts – we have branches in 4 provinces, so pick one of our helpful and understanding experts for advice on the perfect set-up for your business.