A quote request, also known as a request for quotation (RFQ), is a type of procurement solicitation in which organizations and companies ask vendors or other outside businesses to provide them with a quote.
This quote consists of prices of goods and services as well as the terms and conditions of delivery.
When you receive a call or an email from a prospect asking for a price quote, the first thing you need to do is to carefully verify the quote details and then get to know the prospect. This will help you make important decisions about whether to or how to go about the whole quotation process.
Before you decide to make a quotation, ask yourself if you can provide the products or render the services in the quantities and timeframe requested. Also, ask yourself if you can charge an amount that is mutually acceptable to both you and your prospect and still make a profit. These questions will help you know if you can render a top-notch service to your prospect. Only proceed to create the quote after you have answered yes to these questions.
Once you’ve verified the quote details, the next step is the creation of the quote. When creating a quote, include your business details as well as your contact information. Outline the details of the goods or service and state what the cost covers. You can state that cost covers goods and services but does not include delivery.
If you offer a service, define the job proposal, outline the elements involved and also spell out the costs for labor and materials. Indicate when you will start the job and how long it will take for you to finish the job if your quote is accepted.
Once you’re done with writing the quote, revise the quote to ensure that all relevant details have been included in the quote. Also, indicate your payment terms and conditions that include when you require payment. It could be periodical payments, lump-sum, half up front and a half on completion.
When you have all these details in your quote, you can then send the quote to your prospect. Ask the prospect when you should follow up on the quote. This will tell your prospect that you’re serious about working with them. If you don’t get a convenient time to contact them, it’s the best practice to follow up with them in 5 to 7 days.
Once the prospect has accepted and signed the quote, it’s your opportunity to prove that you can match your words with actions by rendering a top-notch service. After the transaction with the prospect, send a small gift to them thanking them for their time. This will show your prospect that you really care about their business.
The overall manual quotation process is time-consuming and prone to errors such as lost or missing written quotation request, duplications, and users error. But an automated quotation system will shorten your quotation cycle, increase the efficiency of the process and also enable you to win new businesses.
Manual quotation processes such as answering customer questions, sending emails, and gathering information are tedious.
Also, manually conveying details from the quote to your internal reporting system eats up a huge chunk of valuable time.
Automating your quotation processes can reduce processing time by more than 50 percent, thus increasing the efficiency of the process.
Manual quotation exposes your quotation process to user errors and internal mistakes. Quotation automation eliminates the incidence of lost or missing quotes, delays in responses, user errors, lost sales opportunity and duplications.
It’s much more difficult to make a transparent quotation with the manual quotation process. An automated quotation system allows key departments and individuals to have access to crucial data and information from the prospect, right from when the quotation request was received to the fulfillment of goods and services. This also allows for better communication both internally and with prospects.
A loose and informal quotation process will ultimately lead to inconsistency in terms of how customers are quoted. Quotation automation enables you to standardize the quotation process and eliminates the incidence or miscommunication and oversight.
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