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Small Business Management
How to Set Your Sales Quote Apart from Your Competition
By Kelsey Jones
Sales quotes are an important part of your business. They help you acquire new customers andgrow your existing business with your current clientele. That said, it can be difficult to create the perfect sales quote, one hat helps you stand out from your competitors.
There are many aspects of sales quotes that play into a customer’s decision to sign a contract with your business. Below are some of the parts of sales quotes that are sometimes neglected; focus on thes to make an impact that impresses your clients. Whether your ideal client is a small-time B2C or a multinational B2B corporation, these sales quote template ideas will impress even the pickiest decision makers.
Aspects of Good Sales Quotes
1. Distinguish between a sales proposal and a sales quote.
Some people use the terms “sales proposal” and “sales quote” interchangeably. However, a proposal usually has more information and is sent before the actual sales quote, so focus on being wordy at that junction of the sales funnel. Then focus on clear and simple wording and formatting when it comes to providing the actual prices and what your services will entail.
2. Format the quote so it’s easy to understand.
Clear quotes are key to earning a customer's trust and their business. Besides providing good information, make it easy for the customer to digest that information through simple formatting. Many of the sales quote templates used by business software have a format that’s similar to an invoice; customers are used to that format and know what to expect. Furthermore, be sure that any discounts or changes to original quotes are formatted in bold or italics in order to reduce the possibility of confusion.
3. Be prepared to write a brief introduction..
Introductions are often included in a sales proposal, not the sales quote. However, a brief introduction in the quote could be helpful if you feel the quote would benefit from one, or if no formal proposal was sent, or if there’s been a significant lapse in time between the proposal and the quote. In an introduction, you can:
Recap your previous conversations and provide context
Link to any applicable information, such as product descriptions or the original proposal
Include your contact information so the potential customer can contact you with any follow-up questions
This would also be a good time to add any notes that you haven't talked about previously. This may include an additional discount you found that applies to the prospect’s contract. It could also be for a new quote option that includes a different product from what you originally discussed that might work better for the customer. When you're including something in a quote that wasn't part of what was originally discussed, it's important to call the customer’s attention to it and explain why it was included in the introduction.
4. Include all the pertinent information.
A well-constructed sales quote has all the information a decision -maker needs in order to approve the transaction. This may include several different scenarios with different prices based on different products or discounts that could apply to that customer’s unique situation. Your contact likely prefers as much detail as possible, so this means including any applicable information that would help them make their decision. Using sales quote software makes this process simple.
5. Be transparent.
Another aspect of good service when it comes to sales quotes is being transparent and honest. Don't try to create overly dramatic sales quotes that make it look like you're offering more than you really are, or give so much information that it becomes confusing to the customer.
List out your line items clearly and concisely. Proactively answer questions. A good quote will earn the right customer’s business, even if it's not pages and pages of information.
6. Deliver it quickly.
Another quality of a good quote is that it is done fast. Again, thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to create a quote and get it to a customer quickly using sales quote software. When your quote arrives to a potential customer fast, you benefit in multiple ways, including:
Your proposal is potentially read before your competitors’ quotes, which can improve your relationship with the lead.
When the customer has all the information in front of them quickly, it helps make the decision process easier.
While your initial proposal may be exactly what the lead asked for, there may be changes. Sales quote software will help churn out updated, accurate sales proposals and keep your sales cycle length shorter.
Less -Obvious Aspects of a Good Sales Quote
Sometimes it's not about the numbers. After all, “57% of sales quotes produced do not ultimately generate any revenue.”
Deals are lost for a number of reasons, many of which may never be explained to the salesperson. But building a relationship with a prospect client can go a long way toward gaining a new customer and additional revenue.
The process of guiding a lead through the sales funnel — the communication and all the interactions between the salesperson and the prospects — is important in relationship building and helps secure business.
More often than not, businesses and decision makers will sign with a company because the company’s people are great to work with and are able to meet their budget requirements. This is one area that small and midsize businesses can excel at because of their flatter hierarchy: Focus on providing high-quality, personalized service that meets your deadlines, and you're halfway to impressing a customer. Here are some of the additional aspects of a good sales quote that go beyond the document.
Use Soft Skills and Build the Relationship
Skills such as active listening, empathy, and adaptability are all important and make for a good salesperson. The arts of conversation and listening are just as important in sales as the products and services you're offering your clients.
Your sales team should be composed of people your customers enjoy talking to. No matter whether they’re introverted or extroverted, great salespeople can empathize with customers’ pain points and listen to what they have to say. Alternatively, salespeople who come across as rushed or in a hurry to finalize a deal will often scare the customer away. A good salesperson focuses on building the relationship, not just getting the sale.
Pay Attention to Delivery and Follow-Up
A good introduction sets your sales quote up for success, but that isn't the only thing that introduces your quote. Make sure that the delivery of your sales quote follows two rules:
It’s on time, as expected by the customer.
It's delivered by a method that is easiest for them to receive.
When you deliver your sales quote, it can be — and often is — over email. But sometimes your customer would like to go through it on the phone or in an in-person meeting. Therefore, after you deliver a quote, it's important to follow up to continue the relationship and see if the client has any questions.
If you don’t receive any feedback, it's time to evaluate your next step. For many customers, it can take a few follow-up attempts before they finally reply, as they’re busy with other obligations and a new business deal may take a back seat. Be consistent with follow-ups without being pushy or annoying.
Pitch Sales Quotes by Outcome
A good sales quote includes the outcome the customer can expect, not necessarily just the service itself. What this means is that customers are usually only interested in the end result, and not necessarily in the process to get there.
Spend your conversations leading up to the sales quote figures by explaining what your products or services can provide the customer. Instead of saying, “We offer XYZ products,” try an angle like, “Our XYZ products can decrease your turnover rates by 20% and potentially lower return rates by 35%.”
Craft a Sales Quote That Sets You Apart
The perfect sales quote includes iclear and concise information and reflects a genuine relationship built between the salesperson — and their company — and the customer. Losing a sale due to confusing sales proposals or quotes, slow delivery times, or a rushed relationship has consequences beyond the lost revenue.: You may also lose out on potential referrals or additional business opportunities with that client.
Once a lead is ready, the easier and faster a quote is created, the better. Using templates and software to create sales quotes is an easy way to present the information quickly and clearly so the decision makers can choose what works best for them. This helps transition the relationship smoothly, building a better experience for all involved.