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How to Streamline Your Manufacturing Quoting Process

Angelica L. Cox

Receiving a request for a proposal is always a good thing, right?

It means someone is interested enough in your product to ask for a quote and it's key step toward closing a sale. If one request is good, then hundreds must be even better.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

If your quoting process looks this:

  1. Quote received by a sales rep.
  2. Sales rep checks 5 spreadsheets and an email chain to get the correct price information.
  3. Sales rep digs out an old quote to use as a template for the new one and manually creates the quote.
  4. Sales rep finds the correct manager to sign off on the quote.
  5. Sales rep sends the quote out to the client.

Then you are quickly going to get bogged down with more than a few quotes to handle. If you try to push your sales rep to produce quotes more quickly, you're likely to see an increase in errors. And incorrect quotes delivered to clients is not good for business. 

Learn More: Four Red Flags That Your Sales Quoting Process Isn’t Working

So how can you make steps 2, 3, and 4 more efficient so that your sales team can get quotes out as fast as they receive them?

The solution is a centralized system that manages all of your product information, price logic, and quote templates. 

Let's take a look at steps 2, 3, and 4 and see how a CPQ (Configure Price Quote) software system can reduce or eliminate these holdups (and increase your bottom line).

Eliminate Spreadsheets and Out-of-Date Prices

Price information and price logic are especially difficult for manufacturers because of the variety of products and the many different specifications that each product can be delivered in. Add to this volume discounts and other price logic and getting the right price on the quote can be difficult. Especially if all that information is held in spreadsheets.

A CPQ will eliminate your spreadsheets because it becomes the central, canonical source of all product and price information. You only need to enter the product details once and every member of every team will instantly start using the same information. Even better, the CPQ will automatically add the correct volume discounts or any other price logic you set to each quote.

Automatic Quote Creation

A good CPQ system is not only a place where your sales information is stored. It can also use all that  information to create professional quotes. Your sales rep will be able to find the client from the integrated CRM, select the products and quantities, and the CPQ will automatically generate a quote. 

A CPQ generated quote will have all the correct price logic applied and include a full bill of materials if needed. Human errors are eliminated which means better quotes and more closed deals.

Eliminate Sign-Offs by Eliminating Errors

Quotes are required to be signed off because people make mistakes. Multiple reviews and sign-offs create a lot of overhead for your business. The sales rep has to stop what they do best, i.e. sell, and go and find the person responsible for sign-offs. If they aren't there, then the sales rep can either break the rules, go further up the management chain or make the client wait.

None of which are productive options.

Even with a tight review and sign-off process, errors can still make it through.

If you have a centralized and reliable software system, errors are eliminated. Think about how much time your sales team spends on reviews alone. What would it mean for your business if your sales staff could put an extra 10-20% into finding new sales instead of double and triple checking quotes?

Verenia - A Sales Person's Best Friend

Here at Verenia, we produce world-class CPQ that improves quote quality, reduces errors, saves your sales team time, and most importantly: drives your bottom line.  

Get in contact with a CPQ specialist and find out how you can get your sales team into the 21st century.

 

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