As a consumer aren’t you always impressed when the vendor you are buying from has made your purchasing process convenient, by offering online merchant services? Whether it’s ordering from your favorite pizza shop, booking a weekend getaway or shopping for the holidays, buying made easy gets you want you want quickly and is easy money for the vendor, creating a win-win for everyone. In fact in this day and age you would expect nothing less than e-commerce from vendors, and might probably think less of any vendor who didn’t offer the convenience of online transactions.
But not all business is transactional, meaning you can’t always order, pay and get your product delivered. Sometimes you need to request a quote, because your order has too many custom or unique elements. We often experience this when ordering products that require complementing services as well, like custom setup or installation for products such as kitchen cabinetry, flooring services, painting and so on. In these cases, each require estimates based on variables in your home that are unique to you.
These instances are consultative sales as opposed to transactional sales and require boots on the ground to provide accurate, custom pricing. One of the disadvantages of this kind of sale is it takes a time commitment for the vendor to provide pricing and estimates to the customer and more often than not, the customer is shopping multiple vendors to get the best pricing and services possible.
As the consumer, there are observations you’ll make in the buying process when selecting a vendor. Price and product quality and options are certainly at the forefront. What about the company’s image? The look of the truck outside the house or the salesman’s appearance and professionalism. They also play an important factor. I think we’ve all been discourage enough times by poor representation that it cost a vendor losing the opportunity to earn our business.
As the vendor, when competing for business, you need to do anything and everything you can to differentiate yourself from the competition. Time kills all deals, so as the vendor you’ll need to consider what you can do to shorten your sales cycle, especially in a bidding situation.
We already agree and appreciate the convenience of order automation, however, we’ve also determined that electronic ordering isn’t a solution for every business and industry, because not all transactions can occur online. But what about electronic quoting? Wouldn’t that be a valuable asset that could differentiate you (the vendor) from the competition and even shorten your sales cycle in come cases?
Providing accurate pricing options, quickly to your customers (even on the spot) in an electronic format could just be the advantage you need to win the sale. Here’s a few considerations.
- Automating your quoting process is the first significant differentiator in your sales process .
- Because the quote is a PDF document, prospects can share the document with other decision makers by simply forwarding it in an email.
- The customer has everything they need in a clean PDF format in order for them to review.
- Customers have the convenience of approving the document online.
- Throughout the sales process you can review how many times the customer has viewed the document or be alerted if they have even viewed it at all. This can help you gauge their interest and you can follow-up accordingly.
- Signed documents are automatically archived with the original quote and the customer profile.
- Your complete selling process is electronic and everything, including your customer’s approval is incorporated into your workflow.
- Your business is participating in an environmental conscience process.
These short tutorials provide you with an overview of 2 types of electronic quotes you can prepare for your customer in Mothernode CRM and ERP.
The download option lets you send the quote electronically with a link to download. Once the document is downloaded, the viewing activity is recorded in the quote. The feature is also available for other types of transactions in various Mothernode editions, including Purchase Orders, Sales Orders, Change Orders, Work Orders and Invoices.
The approval process allows your customers automatically approve the quote and proposal in addition to downloading it. Customers will receive a copy of their signed transactions and Mothernode users will also be alerted to when the quote was approved and a digital copy will be archived with the quote.
Want to learn more about how Mothernode CRM and ERP can benefit your business? Schedule a demonstration for your business today.