After speaking with numerous manufacturers’ reps in the Mid-Atlantic region, one thing is for certain: the quoting process is no easy feat. Especially, if you do not have quote management software to streamline the process and lighten the workload for you. In our conversations, we’ve gathered the top 5 headaches manufacturers’ reps encounter in the quoting process.
When you have a product that everyone wants to negotiate the best price for, your team can suffer from quote overload. Too many quotes? How could that possibly be a problem? More quotes mean more opportunities for business! Yet, somehow, you’re falling behind in providing quotes that are fast and accurate. Timelines work against you, documents stack up, and in the shuffle, things are overlooked, forgotten, or incorrect. More time is spent on repetitive tasks and less time focusing on what the customer needs and when they need it. And if we’re honest, a whiteboard is not sufficient enough to track the status of every quote and due date. This, ultimately, backfires and impedes the efficiency and quality of the quoting process.
Nowadays, the demand for delivering quotes in a moment’s notice can make or break you. Unless you have a highly efficient system in place or an army of estimators to back you, many manufacturers’ reps run the risk of slow delivery and inaccurate quoting, resulting in missed opportunities.
If you had to take a guess, how many spreadsheets do you open daily to produce a finished quote? We’ve spoken with many manufacturer reps who still, to this day, produce and manage quotes via an excel spreadsheet, racking up hundreds of documents to find, update, and send out.
These spreadsheets are unreliable and often contain errors and typos that cause the bid to be incorrect. Equipment descriptions and pricing calculations are copied and pasted into quotes, resulting in an exhausting, repetitive process that steals what little time you have. As if that wasn’t enough, multiple hands are in and out of these spreadsheets. Modifications are made without your knowledge and mistakes are not as easily caught, which makes this system even more fragile than it already is.
Sales reps need to track their wins and losses for every quote and managers need to know the status of what is closing and what is not. Yet, somehow, in the hustle and bustle of shared spreadsheets, management reporting takes the back burner and falls behind in the ever-increasing pace of day-to-day tasks. Not long after, someone needs to know the status of a particular deal at that precise moment, but the information takes too much time to locate only to find that it was never updated.
The hassle of searching through countless documents leaves you begging for a central location to store this information. If manufacturers’ reps are going to function at their best, the status of every job needs to be updated with real-time reporting in one place, such as a job calendar.
Could you imagine playing Where’s Waldo, but instead of trying to find a bright red, striped shirt, your target is to find a single manila folder among thousands? Can it be done? Yes, but not without some serious delays. Especially, if that one manila folder was misplaced.
Many traditional manufacturers’ reps continue to store information regarding a job in folders across the office. There’s also a lack of consistency in naming files, which can be confusing at best. When a customer calls demanding answers, the salesperson and/or estimator must then hunt down that particular job folder. Not only does this cause disruptions in the office if the folder cannot be found, but the customer is also left waiting which earns you a bad rap.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Communication is key” in the workplace? This is a concept that cannot be overlooked when producing quotes that bounce across several organizations and departments – i.e. sales, contractors, estimators, etc. However, many manufacturers’ reps have lost their team collaboration all together.
They work against themselves unknowingly by following the same-old, manual system that is defective, inefficient, and costly. There is a lack of evaluation and brainstorming that happens after every bid. Collaboration is critical to bring other ideas into the fold and address the inefficiencies within the bidding process.
Fortunately, AccuQuote solves all of these headaches and more. Let us show you how.