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Relationship-building is probably the most important aspect of a sales rep’s job, especially in business-to-business (B2B) sales. Nearly 84% of B2B relationships start with referrals from existing customers, making it vital for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to provide the best experience possible.
Creating quotes or estimates is the kind of task that might seem unimportant—it happens every day, multiple times a day. But those little tasks add up enough for many companies to use Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tools to streamline their quoting process and improve their customers’ experience.
Quoting tools like QuoteCX can be the key to incredible growth for SMBs, improving the sales process for everyone involved through three key characteristics:
1. Consolidate and configure information
Small-to-midsized businesses are often built on a combination of manual quoting processes and something called “tribal knowledge:” information that is only known by specific employees and isn’t documented anywhere.
While both of these can work well in the short-term, they can pose a lot of risk in the long-term. Storing all your pricing data in Excel spreadsheets not only takes a lot of manual input every time prices change, it also runs the risk of sales reps using the wrong spreadsheet when calculating a quote. If you want to create a complex quote using customer- or product-specific discounts, it just adds more manual labor. And if the only person who knows how to edit the spreadsheet is out on sick leave? It can take days for quotes to get created.
Implementing digital quoting tools can help SMBs document and configure their product and pricing information all in one place, making it easy to update prices, discounts, and other product information. This makes creating complex quotes simple and ensures that sales reps are always working with up-to-date, contract-compliant prices for every quote.
2. Eliminate inaccuracies and human error
Having a personalized human touch is a big factor in why customers seek out SMBs, but people sometimes make mistakes. The business analysis company Dun & Bradstreet reports that:
29% of SMBs have accidentally undercharged customers due to incorrect pricing
32% of SMBs have lost customers because of inaccurate data
17% of all businesses have had their reputations damaged by poor customer experiences
Smaller businesses tend to be less susceptible to this kind of damage than large enterprises, but when it hits, it hits hard.
Quoting tools can help eliminate errors by automatically calculating prices based on pre-configured product and pricing information and then generating a branded professional-looking quote or estimate, ready to be sent out. This not only builds trust for potential customers, it also reduces the burden on sales reps, giving them confidence in their quoting that shows through in their work.
3. Boost collaboration between teams and customers
The more complex a quote is, the more important it is for team members to work together, especially for SMBs. Having sales and accounting teams collaborate with customers is one of the best ways to avoid errors, build confidence, and ensure a good customer experience.
Problems arise, though, when passing drafts of quotes or estimates back and forth. Having multiple versions of the same document can get confusing and having to set up meetings or work through emails can cause delays and frustrate employees and customers.
Digital quoting tools allow multiple team members to review and approve quotes before they’re sent to customers, improving accuracy, consistency, and communication. Version control features ensure everyone is on the same page, while electronic signature capabilities make it easy for customers to sign and return quotes.
The more complex a business’s processes are, the more difficult it is for that business to grow. If it’s time-consuming to generate 5 quotes, then it becomes exponentially more time-consuming to generate 25 quotes. Manually creating quotes can be a major burden on company growth; if sales reps spend a lot of their time on manual tasks, they can’t use that time to follow new leads or build new relationships.
By implementing quoting tools like QuoteCX, small-to-midsize businesses can lift a lot of weight and stress off their shoulders, giving them more time and space to meet customer needs, improve customer relationships, and scale their business fluidly.