How to Choose the Perfect Quotation Tool for Your Business
11 min read by Nichita Herpuț
published 13 days ago, updated 13 days ago
When it comes to the business world today where everyone is busy and rushed, it is important to have as much automation in your systems as possible. This is because when processes are in place to take care of the mundane tasks, your employees, or yourself, can move on to more important tasks.
Choosing the perfect quotation tool for your business depends mostly on what type of business you own, and the products or services you will be providing. Having the ability to automate as much as possible when it comes to sending out quotes is vital to many businesses.
To discover how to choose the perfect quotation tool for your business, you will need to understand various features that are offered. Read on to learn more about various features you will want to have when looking for the right software.
What is a Price Quotation Tool?
A price quotation tool software is a necessary component of any business that wants to increase the productivity of the sales team, or the quoting and/or proposal process. Using a quotation tool adds many benefits to assist with streamlining your processes to close business deals faster. You can double that speed by linking yourself with your supplier or reseller in a Supplier - Reseller Platform or SRP.
One benefit of using this type of tool is that it allows you to create proposals and quotes quickly and efficiently quickly and efficiently so that you can get back to serving your customers instead of being bombarded with paperwork.
A good quotation tool speeds up the process of quoting as well as ensures that fewer mistakes are made along the way. This is because once the software has been uploaded with products, pricing, and other details, creating a quote and proposal can be done with a click of a few buttons.
In many cases, the sales team of a company is kept busy putting pricing quotes and proposals together instead of spending quality time with potential customers. Using a price quotation tool cuts the process down so that more time is spent with the customer instead of on the paperwork.
Finding the right price quotation tool can be a challenging task for some companies who are looking for specific features. Read on to discover some of the best features you should consider when looking for the perfect tool.
Product Quoting vs. Service Quoting
While many companies that are in the sales industry offer specific products for customers, others provide services only. These two sales industries, while similar, are also much different in the way they are set up.
When it comes to setting up quoting for your business, it is important to understand that products and services are typically viewed in many different ways. Because of this, you will need to define what your company sells and look for a quoting tool that will serve you well.
Many of the SRP software companies are set up to allow businesses to upload their products into the system to assist with the quoting process. This way, sales representatives can go through and click on specific products to quote, which makes the job much easier. But some even let you connect using eCatalogs.
eCatalogs are the middle point where businesses can go a step further in developing and streamlining their sales and purchasing processes. If you are a manufacturer or supplier you can give access to your eCatalog so your resellers have the latest product data, prices and can quote instantly to end customers. And if you are a distributor or reseller you can search and request access to a manufacturer’s eCatalog and quote instantly, without the need of importing or manually adding products.
In most cases, product quoting only requires someone to go in and choose the product and change quantities. With some SRP, the tool is set up to allow reps to click on associated products like accessories, if they are quoting them as well.
If your business does not sell physical products, but specific services, the quoting process may be much different. In most cases, services are not sold in specific quantities but have certain aspects or packages that are associated with the service.
You will need to ensure that the price quotation tool that you choose fits what your company does so that it works best for you. If your business sells both products and services, you may need to ask the software company to ensure they can accommodate your needs.
Check or ask if it’s Fit For Your Country
As with most businesses, it is important to ensure that whatever software you use, SRP software included, will accommodate you in whatever country you happen to live in. There are many of these software companies that only serve customers in specific countries, so it is better to know going in.
Additionally, much of the software is dependent on quoting various customers or clients in products or services they wish to purchase. In some cases, depending on your specific business, the software can adapt to various country needs.
If your company offers products or services all over the world, you will need to have software that can accommodate this. This is because if you are quoting someone from a different country, the quote should be in whatever currency you will be dealing in.
Even if you deal with only the currency in your home country, you will need to ensure that the quoting tool has various choices as far as options. This is determined by whether they are offering their software around the world or not.
It is also a good idea to check with the software company to ensure that there are not any specific tax or legal implications that would bar you from purchasing or using the software. If you do not ask, you could find yourself, or your company, in a heap of trouble, legally speaking.
How Easy It Is to Import Your Products
It is important to keep in mind that if you are looking for this type of tool to streamline your processes, you will need to ensure that you can do this promptly. There is nothing worse than purchasing something that is supposed to make your life easier but ends up being cumbersome on the front end.
In many cases, businesses have their products stored in an Excel spreadsheet, which in most cases is the easiest format. This is because Excel has a way of integrating with many different pieces of software.
Since you want your streamlined process to go well, it may be best to ensure that the software will allow you to import your products using your Excel spreadsheet. This is typically the fastest method to ensure there are no mistakes during inputting.
If the quotation tool cannot import products from Excel or other formats, you may need to check with the company to find out how it is done. If you have to manually input every product, and you have a large amount, this may not be the best product for your company.
Saving time is one of the most important reasons to purchase a tool that is going to streamline a specific process, so you need it to work for you from the very beginning. If it does not, then continuing your search for the perfect quotation tool is your best bet.
Check How Intuitive It Is
As you are searching for the best quotation tool, it is also vital to ensure that it is intuitive enough for even the least technically skilled sales agent. Since many people come to the workplace with various knowledge and skills, you will need processes in place that can be learned quickly and can accommodate a variety of skill levels.
Keep in mind that the idea behind a SRP software solution is to save time and money and help you and your partners collaborate. It would not be justified to spend money on something that requires additional funds to be used for training employees. This is something that would not make good business sense.
This is especially true if you are running a small business where the availability of additional funding can be tight. Also, if your employees have to spend additional time on training programs or even sifting through a manual to learn the program, that is time and money wasted.
Therefore, you will want to search for those tools that are more intuitive and allow for not only easy access but also a program that is pretty simple to learn. Asking the right questions in the beginning before purchasing software can save your company money and time.
All of this is not to say that some amount of training shouldn’t be required, because with new tools and software, typically comes some amount of learning curve. You just need to ensure that the learning curve is not out of the ordinary.
When looking for this kind of quotation tool, you will need to look beyond what their website states, because in most cases, only the highlights or best features are listed. In some cases, you will need to talk to an actual person to discover if some of the features exist.
Evaluate How it Looks
When it comes to evaluating the best tool for sending out customer quotations, many people want to know what the tool efficiently looks like. This is typically a good thing because the way a product looks through various functions can tell you a lot about its capabilities.
Software that looks like it was either thrown together, cheaply made, or looks like Windows XP, then the company does not take the time to invest in its clients. In most cases, the best software is created by developers and is carefully constructed within a platform that they have created and have User Interface and User Experience Designers in-house.
Specifically, you will want to evaluate what the tool looks like in action. This is because, in some cases, it will look one way for you, the business, and look entirely different for the customer or client. Because of this, it may be difficult to troubleshoot if the client is having problems with their end.
Additionally, it is important to know that the software has an “easy on the eyes” appearance for both the business and the customer. This is because it is one thing to be user-friendly, but something else entirely if you have a hard time finding what you are looking for.
Check How Long it Takes to Create a Quote
Since you are looking to purchase a software that creates price quotes to make your life easier, you will want to ensure how long many of the processes take to complete. This will help you to know whether or not it will save time along the way.
At this point, you should already know how long it takes to import or add your products or services into the software. The next thing you need to know is how long the process of creating a quote will take when it comes down to it.
In most cases, your sales representatives are not going to want to spend a lot of time on a cumbersome process that is going to take them hours to complete. Most likely, clients are expecting a quote promptly, so having a tool that works quickly is key.
Creating a simple quote should take no more than about five minutes from start to finish if the software is as intuitive as it should be. Whether your company sells products or services, once you have imported everything, this process should be simple to create.
Keep in mind that you will want to make sure of this before purchasing the product. In most cases, these types of questions cannot be answered by watching a video or checking out a website. These are areas you will need to discuss with the sales representative you are working with.
Make Sure You Can Use it From Your Phone
In this day and age where technology is in abundance, it is important to have software that can be flexible. Many times when it comes to sales representatives especially, they may be asked to send over a quote after they have gone home for the day, or they are somewhere without a computer.
Having either a mobile version of the tool or at least the ability to use the product via a phone, is something you will want to consider as well. This is because, again, you are attempting to streamline your process to make your life easier. Having a tool where a quote can be created on the go is a great perk.
The way businesses are managed today is much different than even just a few years ago. With so many people working from home from either a certain company or running their businesses from home, the business world has become more mobile.
Checking upfront before making the decision to buy a quotation tool whether they have a mobile version is important. Even if an app does not exist for the program, you still need to ensure that someone can at least access the tool from their mobile device.
Ask For a Short Intro/Demo Meeting
Most companies who offer software products will offer to set up an initial short introduction or demo meeting before attempting to sell you their tools. This is because, in most cases, they want to show you why you should purchase their software over other competitors.
If they do not offer an initial meeting, you should consider asking for it yourself as this is the best way to ensure that they can meet the needs of your company. These meetings will allow you to introduce yourself and your company as well as let them know what you are needing the software for.
Once you have been able to let them know your needs, they should be ready and able to show you a demonstration of the software tool in action. This will allow you to see if the tool is going to fit the needs of your business.
Through this meeting, it is also a way for you to see how much support they are willing to give their customers. Are they just trying to sell the product to meet quotas, or do they care about their customers? A meeting such as this can give you a good idea if your company and the software company are a good fit for each other as well.
Check That the Generated Quotes Include All the Necessary Information
Another feature that is important to make sure the price quotation software has is the ability to generate quotes that have necessary company information. This is because you want the clients to see that the quote and other information are coming from you and not a random place they have never heard of.
While you may be able to upload your company’s products or services into the software, you may want to ensure that you can also upload product images that help the customer understand what they are looking at.
Additionally, you will need to make sure that along with the products and images, you can also upload your detailed product descriptions and specifications. This will allow for less confusion of your clients or customers. This is especially important if you provide services instead of products.
Other important features that you will want to have included in your quotations are the company description and logo. This is how a client or customer identifies you from other companies. If the tool does not allow you to customize in this way, you may consider a different product.
Many companies like to include certain terms and conditions that are related to products or services that are being quoted. This includes information about limited-time offers, and/or products or services that may only be available for a specific timeframe.
While not a deal-breaker, you may want to consider the capability of including the sales agent’s name, contact information, and possibly a picture of her on the quote. While it may not be absolutely necessary, it may be a nice bonus to create a level of professionalism to the quote.
Ensure That the Software is Updated Frequently
Most people know and understand that software, whether web-based or not, can become obsolete after some time. This is why it is important to ensure that the tool is updated frequently.
Since technology is constantly evolving, there are many cases where what is created and relevant today, may not be as relevant tomorrow or a few months down the road. The software you use needs to have the ability to withstand updates that happen more often than not.
A reputable company will have developers who are constantly working on the software tools they have created to ensure they stay up to date with the latest technology. You will need to ensure that these updates are happening automatically and that they will not disrupt the functionality of the product.
Having the most up-to-date product will ensure that your sales team and your customers are always able to access the system and that few glitches occur. This can only happen if the system is receiving frequent updates.
Overall, finding the perfect quotation tool for your business starts with making sure you are asking the right questions when you are meeting with various companies. This requires more than a quick search of the internet and a little time on various websites. Finding the right tool for your business means you need to spend some quality time talking to a representative who can answer various questions for you.
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