A Guide to Building a Winning Quotation Process

quotation process

In today’s competitive business landscape, a well-crafted quotation can make the difference between winning and losing a deal. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to create a quotation process that not only showcases your products or services effectively but also boosts your chances of securing new business. Let’s figure out the insights that will help streamline your approach and increase your success rate!

What is the Quotation Process?

The quotation process is a crucial component of your sales pipeline, encompassing the submission, approval, and acceptance of a proposal. This process typically varies among companies based on their incoming inquiry channels and the specific details required by potential clients.

The quotation may include additional elements such as product specifications, inventory allocation, and on-site client visits. For instance, while a quote for furniture might not factor in the cost of visiting a client’s premises, a quotation for installing a ventilation system likely would.

The quotation process generally follows these key steps:

  • Acknowledging the request for a quote
  • Developing and obtaining internal approval for the quote
  • Securing the customer’s acceptance
  • Converting the accepted quote into an order or contract

How Do You Make a Quote Step by Step?

Each business has its own way of doing things, so your quoting approach might differ from other companies in your field. However, most businesses follow a similar basic pattern when it comes to quoting. 

Step 1: Quote Submission

Many companies make it easy for customers to ask for quotes right on their websites. Here’s how it often works:

  • Some businesses use a simple “Contact Us” form. Customers fill in their info and write a message asking for a quote.
  • Other companies get more specific. They might have special forms for different products or services. These forms ask extra questions to help the sales team create a better quote.
  • For repeat customers, it’s even simpler. They usually just email the sales team directly to ask for a quote.
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Step 2: Confirming Receipt of the Quote Request

After a customer submits a request, a staff member acknowledges its receipt. If the client is a significant player in the industry, their request may receive priority treatment. However, typically requests are placed into a queue to be addressed in the order they were received.

With a manual queue quotation process, additional problems can arise beyond receiving incorrect information from the client. This is because there’s no real-time tracking in place. The lack of automated tracking can lead to inefficiencies and potential oversights in managing quote requests.

Step 3: Customer Acceptance or Rejection

At this stage, the potential customer evaluates the quote against their expectations and decides whether to accept or reject it. This decision often leads to negotiations.

However, the process can hit snags. Delays, errors, or confusion about who’s managing the quote, what the initial request entailed, or what negotiations have occurred can all cause problems. These issues may frustrate the potential client, potentially causing them to abandon the deal altogether.

A smooth, clear communication process is crucial to prevent losing promising opportunities due to avoidable misunderstandings or inefficiencies.

Step 4: Finalizing the Deal

When the customer accepts the quote, both parties sign a contract, and the company begins work on the project or sale. However, inefficient processes can derail negotiations, reducing the chances of reaching a signed agreement.

Companies should consider two strategies to address this: implementing automated systems and employing a skilled contract administrator. Automation streamlines the process, while a dedicated administrator ensures smooth progression and proper handling of all details.

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How do you Quote a Price to a Client?

A well-crafted quote can turn a potential customer into a sale, fostering strong client relationships. Here are key strategies to improve your quoting process:

Know Your Customer’s Needs

To create an ideal quote, thoroughly assess what the customer wants. Review all service details, product specs, budget constraints, expected costs, and deadlines. This comprehensive approach helps develop a quote that works for both parties.

Simplify Your Process

Aim to speed up your quote response time, freeing your team to focus on cross-selling or upselling to existing clients. To streamline your sales funnel:

  • Review and update your standard documents, pricing, discounts, and policies as needed.
  • Maintain consistent standards across all clients, industries, and market segments.
  • Ensure quotes align with each project’s specific requirements and client demands.

Why manual processes cause problems for your sales teams and how to resolve that with Atom8 B2B

Manual quotation processes can create problems beyond just inaccurate quotes, especially in organizations with complex systems, multiple approval layers, and dependence on key personnel. These issues can hinder deal closure and damage a company’s reputation. Here’s how:

  • Delayed Quote Reception: If the person responsible for handling quote requests is unavailable, response times can stretch, potentially losing business opportunities.
  • Process Bottlenecks: Outdated, complex systems often lead to errors, duplicate work, and misinformation shared with clients.
  • Enterprise-Wide Disruptions: Delays in the quoting process can ripple through other departments, affecting various procedures and overall productivity.
  • Human Errors: With multiple people involved in quote preparation, mistakes become more likely. These errors can go unnoticed, impacting the entire project.
  • Tracking Difficulties: Sales teams need a clear history of quote development to understand the final proposal. Manual processes often result in incomplete or confusing records of changes and decisions.
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Atom8 B2B offers a solution to these challenges by automating critical aspects of the quoting process. Sales representatives can now set and send quote prices directly to merchants, while the system automatically requests approval for discounts exceeding set thresholds. 

This BigCommerce Wholesale app also notifies B2B customers when quotes don’t meet requirements and monitors stock levels, alerting sales and fulfillment teams to potential shortages. 

By streamlining these processes, Atom8 B2B enables sales teams to focus on closing deals and improving customer relationships, rather than getting bogged down in manual tasks.

To Conclude

A well-crafted quotation process is essential for turning leads into satisfied customers. By understanding your client’s needs, streamlining your procedures, and leveraging automated solutions like Atom8 B2B, you can significantly enhance your quoting efficiency and accuracy. This not only saves time but also improves customer satisfaction and increases your chances of closing deals.

Ready to revolutionize your quotation process and boost your sales performance? Contact us today to learn how we can help you implement these strategies and tailor them to your unique business needs!

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