If first contact with a sales lead is like a first date, then sending out a sales quote would be the equivalent of getting down on one knee and proposing.
Now, putting your best foot forward on that first date is just the start. If you want to get a “yes”, you better be ready to put in even more effort.
Here are three tips on how you can use WORKetc’s sales and quotes module to help ensure you get that “yes” in the end.
There are tons of research online that make the same point again and again: you have make first contact with a sales lead quickly.
Calling a lead just 30 minutes after it comes in is said to make it a hundred times harder to make contact, according to Business2Community.
The same holds true for sales quotes. You should acknowledge requests for quotes and proposals as soon as you get them.
Xero recommends sending out that first quote within 24 hours after your prospective customer asks for it. Better still if you’re able to produce one on the spot while you’re meeting with them.
Doing this is incredibly easy in WORKetc. Simply click on the Create New dropdown menu—which is on almost every single page in WORKetc—and click “Quote”.
You can then start adding in whatever products and services your lead needs from your WORKetc product catalog.
Need multiple quantities of the same product or service? The pricing matrix can automatically adjust the total price based on quantity.
Any taxes or discounts you apply to the quote will also automatically adjust the quoted price.
With WORKetc’s highly customizable HTML quote templates, you can whip out a custom-made, beautifully designed quote quickly and send it to whoever asked for it.
And once you lock that lead in, you can turn that quote into a project and then an invoice with just a few clicks.
If the one asking for a quote is already one of your clients, you can even let me view the quote on the WORKetc customer portal.
Don’t clog up your message with meaningless jibber jabber.
When it comes to a quote, the price is most important to a customer so it should always be front and center.
By the way, whether or not you take that literally is up to you; WORKetc’s quotes can be customized so that the price is literally in the middle of the page in big, bold font.
That said, sales quotes are still marketing tools, so don’t forget to use them like one.
If you have a discount offer that you think will help you close the sale, for example, add it in.
This is especially true for any time-sensitive offers you might want to put on the table. You can add info on these offers right in the quote itself with a little HTML knowledge.
As I mentioned before, WORKetc lets you apply discounts to sales quotes exactly like how you would on an invoice. You can choose between three types of discounts:
- Amount Off – slash the price by a specific amount, e.g. $10 off
- Percent Off – slash the price by a specific percentage, e.g. 10% off
- Fixed Price – set the price to a specific amount, e.g. $20
One the flipside, you should also try to make sure to include details about any additional taxes that may affect the price.
Now, this can be a point of contention between different businesses.
In areas where including a sales tax in the quoted price isn’t required by law, some businesses would probably prefer not to include them to make the price seem lower than it is.
As an entrepreneur, I understand the logic behind it. Price perception can be as important as the price itself, so some businesses want their prices to at least appear lower than their competitors’.
But as a consumer, I hate receiving quotes that don’t include sales tax. It blindsides me and messes up my budget.
Unwelcome surprises like this can spell the end for any repeat business that you may have hoped for.
Remember when I recommended acknowledging requests for quotes as soon as you get them?
Acknowledging here simply means confirming the request.
You don’t have to send out quotes to every single person who asks for one.
That, in fact, is a big mistake.
See, not every lead actually deserves a quote. You need to really get to know your prospect’s needs first so you can confirm that you can fulfill them.
In sales speak, these leads are called qualified leads. These are the ones you’ve judged to have high chances of eventually becoming your customers, so you should always try to send out quotes to these leads only.
So if you run a pool construction business, for example, a qualified lead would be from someone who actually does want a pool built on their property, which is located within your area of service, within, say, the next month.
Someone who asks you to build a gazebo in a completely different country, on the other hand, would be the definition of an unqualified lead.
If you send out quotes willy-nilly, you run the chance of either having to begin a project that you can’t complete or getting a customer who would cost you more time and resources than you can spare.
This ties back in to how quickly you can get in touch with a new lead and asking them the right questions to find out whether or not you’re a good fit for their needs.
Fortunately, WORKetc has multiple ways of letting you get in touch with a lead fast.
You can turn any email into a sales lead without even leaving your inbox with the Gmail gadget and Outlook add-in. Even better: you can even create a new person contact, a new company contact, and a sales lead all at the same time.
You can also use WORKetc’s native iOS and Android apps to quickly create and assign leads even when you’re out of the office.
And since you most likely have a website, you can add a custom WORKetc web form to it that captures data and automatically turns them into leads. You can even have those leads be automatically assigned to specific people on your sales team.
All of this information then goes into a contact’s activity stream. Everything you do for a contact—from emails sent and received to completed projects, billed invoices, and support tickets closed—will also show up in that contact’s WORKetc activity stream.
When the activity stream is used with custom fields, which can be used to add any kind of information to a lead, your sales team will have all of the data they need to qualify a lead in an easy-to-search database.
Plus, you can have WORKetc automatically send out notifications to those sales team members who have been assigned a new lead, meaning they can start qualifying those leads, sending them quotes, and turning them into actual sales ASAP.
The best part about the module is having all the information about the lead in that one place when preparing the quote. All the emails could be saved in worketc so there’s no worry about missing info. And the sales folk can add notes to let the quote preparer know that the client likes feeling like he got a discount off of us…even when he really didn’t. Which totally did happen to us, complained through the whole process that he ‘wanted a win’ so we upped the price and then marked it back down as a ‘discount’ (using the percentage off feature of the quote module) so we all got what we wanted.
First off- I love the blog post – but please write more of general sales tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way! We could all use the help as we work to grow and organize our business through WORk[etc]. Second – one thing really stood out to me in this article: “You need to really get to know your prospect’s needs first so you can confirm that you can fulfill them.” That seems to be the key to the entire thing. Working the sales process to ensure that it’s a good fit. I’ve found when we do this, our need for price breaks and percentages off to win the sale greatly diminish because there was a mutual trust built and the services are valued beyond a dollar amount.
In our line of work, it is particularly paramount to “get to know” your prospect, but more importantly to understand their needs (even if they don’t). Having background info and understanding the environment they are in is key when accepting a request for a proposal in the consulting world. WorkETC’s sales leads are a really great way to keep track of how old a lead is etc. We made custom stages for things like “proposal sent, waiting on client” so that we know whether we are supposed to be taking the next step or not.
You’re right! A full examination via fact-finding is required before giving a prescription in our line of work as well.
The biggest dichotomy in sales (and the capabilities of sales people) is: Tangible vs. Intangible
You’re right on for quick quotes for Tangibles (hard products). Your post really misses the mark for Intangibles (ideas). Intangible sales often involve a huge amount of fact-finding and goal-setting.
Even complex tangible products require more prospect input than they’re likely to give in an online form, even if they know you. A friend and client is one of the foremost designers of overhead loudspeaker paging systems. He simply won’t quote without at least seeing floor plan schematics and a learning about noise levels throughout the plant.
Like Cindy said, you have to “get to know” your prospect. That doesn’t mean ‘becoming their buddy.’ It does mean earning their respect, framing their needs, having them really think about what they ultimately want (goal setting), showing them the differences between buying apples vs. oranges, etc., etc.
Finally, for complex intangibles, I want to know how many are quoting (and why). And I want assurances that the prospect – all decision makers – will have input on the process and take the time with me personally to review our recommendations.
Sending out quotes for complex intangibles without due diligence is like a doctor giving out prescriptions without a thorough patient history and full examination.
In a new program we are launching, different companies are going to have different wants and needs. It is very important to “get to know” what each wants so that we can target their needs- to figure out if we can even meet them. We are starting fresh with this program using WorkETC to track everything and I think this will help us determine needs and create standardized proposals.
This is a great blog post; however I was a little confused at first based on the title and intro paragraph. It sounded as if it was a bad thing to bat someone right over the head with a quote, when they first inquired?
Here is our simple process
1. inquiry comes in
2. Determine type of urgency behind inquiry
3. Send out followup information, call or email or text message, gain clarity if needed
4.Take appropriate action: Create Project and dispatch contractor or ask more follow up if needed, or point customer to different company
5.Follow up with customer in 72 hours to make sure everyone has been in contact etc.
I think you have excellent service, but I also I think you need some improvement, especially your mobile app. Today, we all use mobile phones to do thing like this. I think your product is sometimes to widely developed, which is great thing, but sometimes we need simple tool as well. Any way, keep going on development of your unique service.
We have not yet used work etc to provide a sales quote to lock down a sales lead. For a lot of our business this would actually work really really well. I am going to make this a go for 2018.
We could add our list of Managed IT services to the catalog in work etc. Then based on what the potential customer needs we could build a list of services and offer them the quote. I know the details are highly customizable but I was wondering is the quote the customer receives highly customizable also? I mean could I get my designers to set up a really nice quote template in work etc?
I couldn’t agree more in the comparison with dating and sales. It is hard. I do wish the blog gave more tips for a sales pitch and better yet how to get them to come back after you “proposed”. We all know that our clients only want to hear what they need and how we can help but how do we make them not afraid of commitment and sign? That seems to be a struggle in every industry. I do like that we can easily send a quote through WORKetc and track all of our movements but this portion could be improved on the mobile app as well.