Any business owner will know how important it is to have a streamlined and successful process for sales quoting. In this article, we’ll outline a step by step process for improving the speed and accuracy of sales quoting, to ensure inventory is managed effectively.
What is sales quoting?
When sales transactions involve the exchange of a service or, for instance, a large batch of product, this may require a sales quote. This is essentially when a customer wants to know the estimated price for the service or products before the payment is made.
For example, a manufacturing business may need a large amount of raw materials from a company who produces that product. Let’s say that particular product is sourced from overseas, and therefore would require more than a simple up-front sale. This is when a sales quote is required, to give the customer an idea of the total costs involved in gathering the required products.
There is no one way to design your sales quote process, and there are many options for doing so. However, there are a few core steps that you may like to weave into your own systems to ensure the process runs smoothly.
Step 1: Attracting the customer
The first step toward designing a sales quote is attracting the customer. How you go about this will vary depending on your type of business, but marketing and advertising your products and services is an indispensable step in the sales process.
Step 2: Building a relationship
Once you have the customer’s attention, it is important to build rapport with them and a certain level of trust. Doing so will help you when it comes to the negotiation step later on in the process. This is also an opportunity for you to get to know them as a customer, and get an understanding of their needs and whether or not you will be able to supply them with the products and services they require.
Step 3: Identify requirements
After building trust with your client you can both work on establishing your mutual needs and requirements. What time frame are they working with, and can you work within those limitations? Do you have the resources and finances to attain the types and amounts of products they are after?
Step 4: Your pitch
Once you have a strong understanding of your customer’s needs, you can establish what you can offer. Make sure your pitch ticks all of the boxes, and be sure to proactively address any risks that may come up in your presentation.
Your pitch should also cover your estimated costs – that is, your quote price. Be sure to lay out exactly what each cost is for and be as transparent as possible. This will ensure the customer knows they can trust you, and that everything is above board.
From this point, either the customer will accept your quote, reject it or alternatively, try and negotiate a different price. If the latter occurs, try and negotiate the best price possible for the business, and meet the customer half way. This will ensure you maintain a good relationship with the client and will help your prospects for more business in the future.
By using a set process for sales quoting, you’re not only keeping up customer satisfaction but also ensuring your processes are streamlined for better inventory management.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.