Quotes are more than just a tedious requirement of the sales process — they’re one of the factors with the potential to improve your win rate.
Forrester reports that quoting can even be a key driver of future sales because an intentional process creates a detailed history of proven sales and analytics you can reference in future conversations.
Thus, your quoting practices should not be an afterthought. Read on to review our top tips for creating, sending and executing better quotes.
- Apply a numbering system to track quotes. This gives your team a consistent field to search if you need to find a specific quote.
- Include detailed contact information for your company and the prospect. Make it clear for whom the quote is intended and specify how the contact can reach your team with questions.
- Add a quote creation date in the header and a “valid until” date in the footer. A creation date is for your records, while the second date adds some helpful time sensitivity. Accelo makes this easy with default expiration dates on quote templates.
- Use clear descriptions of your services and the value they bring. Help your prospects connect your offerings with what they’ll get.
- Specify quantities, if applicable. Even if you don’t offer products or charge by the hour, you may need to describe how many units of a given service are included.
- Make pricing exact. A quote should include actual prices, not estimates.
- Include applicable taxes and fees. Communicate about additional costs up front to avoid misunderstanding later.
- Detail terms and conditions — and keep them updated. People expect fine print, so be transparent about what yours is.
- Clarify a specific time frame in which services should be performed. Noting the expected date range can protect both parties from scope creep.
- Customize the quote with any special requests. Don’t forget to include any details you previously promised.
READ NEXT: How to Create a Quote in 5 Easy Steps
- Prep your prospect well. When you’ve put in the time and energy to develop a strong relationship, your quote will be more aligned with the prospect’s needs.
- Double (and triple) check your contact. Ideally, you want to send a quote to a decision-maker, but it’s most important to send it to the person you’ve been communicating with — or the person the prospect requested.
- Use quoting software that’s integrated with your CRM. Build quotes from the data housed in an integrated CRM so that your sales process, project work and other client work functions tie back.
- Personalize your email or notification. Because many people expect templated communication, a personal reference to a previous conversation can go a long way.
- Look back at successful quote communications. How did you phrase that quote email to a recent prospect that became a client? Experiment with changing up your template to see what works.
- Keep it concise. The focus should be on the quote itself, so make any additional notes short.
- Indicate that there are options. If you have other packages or types of services that would fit, remind your recipient that those choices are available.
- Proofread and verify calculations. A quote could become a commitment. Ideally, you should have multiple eyes on each one before it goes out.
- Send your quote within 24 hours. Stay top of mind, and use this opportunity to set the tone for how reliable you’ll be as a service provider.
- Send a separate email or a text to notify the recipient that you’ve sent the quote. You’ve put in a lot of effort, so making sure it gets to the recipient is paramount.
READ NEXT: 5 Quote Creation Best Practices for Professional Services Sales Teams
- Follow up. While this seems like a no-brainer, 48% of salespeople never do it. Automate internal reminders to ensure you never miss this step.
- Offer an opportunity to meet and answer questions about the quote. Conversations are more convincing than documents.
- Set up an internal workflow for revising and approving changes. 60% of customers reject offers four times before they commit. Expect negotiation!
- Be consistent about storing previous quote versions. To avoid confusion, ensure that you don’t have multiple versions circulating at the same time. Choose quoting software that allows you to add or override.
- Use a platform that allows digital signing and acceptance. With Accelo’s client portal, prospects can view and comment, then accept or decline. You’ll also be notified automatically when a quote has been viewed.
- Create a new client FAQ page as a supplemental resource. Some prospects will want to know more details before they feel comfortable accepting your quote.
- If a prospect rejects your quote, ask why. Your team can learn a lot from the people that don’t convert, which you can use to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of future quotes.
- Keep track of lost deals. A “no” today could become a “yes” at some point in the future. Record each prospect’s history in a CRM to stay prepared.
- Jump-start the contracting and payment process immediately after quote acceptance. It’s best to catch your prospect as soon as possible to execute a contract and get their project rolling.
- Convert quotes directly to projects using Accelo. Follow through on what you promised without manual effort! After conversion, your projects will reflect every detail you presented in a quote.
Accelo users love the quote-to-project conversion button. Read how a sustainable building consultancy uses it to ensure they execute accurately on bespoke designs.
Implement all of the above with a smart client work management platform on your side. Trial Accelo or schedule a demo to boost your sales quoting process.
Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.