9 Steps for Building a Useful Price Quote Template

By Danny Wong

Price quotes are among the most fundamental components of a sales unit’s library, yet too many sales managers treat quotes as a perfunctory measure that never needs to be innovated. In reality, creating an effective template that you can quickly fill in and share with buyers can provide a shot of adrenaline to the entire sales team. With proper planning and a thorough understanding of what the quote needs to accomplish, you can write a price quote template that speaks volumes to your clients and consistently converts sales.

1. Perform appropriate research.

Starting with some simple due diligence can set you on the path to building a business quote template that works flawlessly across hundreds of sales pitches. First, think about the overall design you want your quote template to have. Are there specific branding elements you need to include? What do you want your prospect to immediately take away from the quote upon first glance? When you go into the process with specific goals in mind, you will be able to determine the appropriate steps necessary to achieve them.

Also, take some time to research quote templates from other companies in your industry. See how they lay out information in their quotes, and how they convey pricing packages and product benefits. You may find certain elements that translate well to your own pricing structure, and also find specific design choices you want to avoid.

2. Start with an invoice.

For some small-business owners or anyone who has never created a price quote template, one of the easiest ways to create a straightforward quote template is to begin with an invoice. Since invoices and quotes often contain many of the same data fields, you’ll already have a head start on including some of the necessary information and formulas. Alternatively, if you’ve never created a price quote template or an invoice, start your template with what you know you need on the invoice.

Remember to include in your template some additional things that invoices generally don’t contain. For example, you probably want to put an expiration date to set a window of validity for the prices quoted. You also need to clearly specify that the document is a quote and not a full invoice, as well as ensure that any terms and conditions listed on the document are applicable to quotes, and not finalized sales.

3. Focus on readability.

In order for your quote template to be useful, the buyer must be able to scan it quickly and digest most of the information. They may need some time to think things over before making a final decision, but they should be able to get a summary of the value of the transaction, including the value that they will be giving up as payment, in a short amount of time.

As you test out quote templates, make sure the documents draw the reader’s eye to the most important sections first. A quote shouldn’t be read like a novel — with your prospect beginning at the top and reading every word in order. Information that will make their buying decision easier needs to pop off of the page at first glance.

4. Include spaces for relevant product details.

Remember that a quote doesn’t have to only be a rudimentary list of prices, amounts, and product line identifiers. You have an additional opportunity to leave your prospect with even more reasons to go through with the deal, or at least a chance for you to reinforce the sales work that has already been done. You can include tidbits about what they’ll gain from using the product or service, as well as details surrounding the scope of your work. Since this information can be presented directly alongside the prices you are quoting, it will connect the value proposition you have communicated to the specific amounts it will cost them. Your buyer probably isn’t just consulting a pile of quotes from potential vendors and picking the option with the lowest cost, so include some details that will remind them why your offering stands out.

5. Be consistent with discounts.

You need to display any discounts you include in a clear and readable manner, just like the standard pricing information on the quote. Prospects should be able to understand exactly what discount amounts are applied to which products without having to reach out for further clarification. Discounts also need to be consistent in order for them to have maximum impact.

When you offer discounts on multiple products, instead of a percentage off the entire order, ensure that the discounts are listed in the same format so the buyer can discern which amounts apply to which purchases. When you include ongoing discounts for a returning customer, place the line item in the same place on every quote so they immediately know they are still getting their expected pricing deals.

6. Build in opportunities for customization.

Your price quote template will likely need to apply to many different purchases for many different types of customers. Without customizable sections, you would need to design a new price quote for each customer order. That can cause costly delays and increase your odds of making a critical mistake.

The best way to guard against this is to build your template from the ground up with customization in mind. You will know what kinds of configurations your clients need most often, and how these configurations need to be displayed on the quote for optimum impact.

7. Include up-to-date contact information.

As people build a business quote template, contact information tends to be forgotten. This is one of the key differences between an invoice and a quote: Quotes need to have accurate contact information prominently displayed to make it easy for the prospect to reach out in case they have questions.

Remember to regularly check your template for accuracy. That way you make sure all pertinent information, such as phone numbers, email addresses, or points of contact, is up to date.

8. Use value as your guide.

In building your price quote template, you’re going to question many aspects of your design and its function. When you encounter a roadblock, just ask yourself, “Will including this element enhance or detract from our offering’s value proposition from the buyer’s point of view?”

Quotes exist to serve a very specific function, namely to lay out products and prices, and potentially serve as jumping off points for negotiation. However, they also need to reinforce the value of the purchase in the moment. If the elements of your quote template succeed in that, then you’re on the right track.

9. Leverage price quote software.

If you haven’t invested in sales technology, you’ve likely been using a spreadsheet or word processing software to create your templates. When you need to build multiple quote templates designed with numerous sections that can be easily customized, you should employ a price quote software. These solutions can help you build powerful templates that can be swapped out with multiple configurations. They also pull information for your quotes directly from your databases to improve your quote accuracy and automate some aspects of the quote-to-contract process. The more complex your quote templates need to be, the more helpful price quote software is in enabling you to create instructive and impressive quotes for your prospects.

Each of these nine steps is crucial to follow in order to produce a useful price quote template. Be meticulous about the template you create and be selective about the default information you include. That way, you save your sales reps hours every month and enable them to quickly surprise and delight prospects, who will be more empowered to select package options and quantities that suit their budget and needs.

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