Category: Act! Tips
Written by Ken Quigley
June 24 2022
At one point or another, we've all done it. We've prepared a quote in Word or Excel because it was readily available, and there are templates to make it look easy. The problem is when this approach creeps into your everyday quoting practice, it can prove much more of a hindrance than a help.
Here are the four main reasons you should not let your salespeople quote with MS Word or Excel:
- Professional Appearance: Excel or Word documents are a poor representation of your company. If you want your first impression to a prospect to be that you’re using the cheapest means possible to quote them, an Excel or Word document will do it. Now compare this to the beautiful, branded quotes a system like Link2quotes or QuoteWerks can generate, and it's easy to understand why a prospect may choose your competition over you.
Remember, in the pre-sales stage, you're not just selling products & services, but the company itself, and MS Word & Excel files do little to inspire confidence or comfort with prospects.
- Saves Time: A professional quoting system supports easy access to products, pricing, and other presentation assets, and generally makes it easier & quicker to prepare a quote compared to manual methods like Excel or Word.
What’s more, most quoting systems that are integrated with your CRM will also create the Opportunities automatically while you quote, so you have a more complete pipeline when you're done. Creating quotes with Excel or Word typically means you have to duplicate all the product and pricing information into an Opp in your CRM afterward, and this generally doesn't get done.
In the rare cases where the sales rep is diligent enough to do so, they frequently forget to close the Opportunities after the sale, leaving the pipeline a wasteland of expired data.
- Flying blind: A professional quoting system should provide you visibility on your sales KPI’s, wins vs losses, quote totals, weighted totals, projected income, average deal size, you name it. It is also useful for tracking progress towards quota and stoking friendly competition amongst the sales reps.
What's more, sales managers cannot make informed decisions without this data, and Word and Excel files don’t offer much here. Nor are these file types especially useful in gauging prospects’ interest. A professional quoting solution like Link2quotes provides click-thru feedback when quotes are viewed, and this helps sales reps plan their follow-ups, as well as assess the viability of an Opportunity.
- Shared resources & processes: Using manual methods like Word and Excel forces all sales reps to come up with their own data sources, templates, product descriptions, pricing, cover emails, and everything else. It may seem simple at first, but such a manual unstructured quoting process actually makes it harder to train new sales reps, leading to delays in their productivity and more mistakes.
A professional quoting system should be easy-to-learn, guide new users through the sales process, and provide the structure and resources to minimize mistakes. Let’s be honest, rookies that are left to guess are a risk to the company, so build them guardrails with a well-structured quoting system that provides tools like the following:
- A product database to easily find the price and description of what they need to quote
- Contextual help in the program where ever the user goes
- CRM integration that pulls the contact information into the quote and records all history of the quote to the Opportunity
- See all quotes in one place, and plan individual or batch follow-ups on those quotes
- Includes shared quote templates, images, videos, and email cover letters that make learning, using and adapting to the company's quoting process easier and faster
- And work from anywhere on any device. Link2quotes is an online service, so create, track, and manage your quotes from a PC, Mac, Tablet, or even a phone wherever you have Internet
If you're an Act! user, the obvious choice for quoting is Link2quotes, the only quoting solution made exclusively for Act! users.