Quoting software for manufacturing boosts efficiency, precision, and margin while decreasing costs.
Before quoting software, sales reps and customers would have to play an endless game of back-and-forth until a highly configurable product’s features and price were agreed upon.
Nowadays, the entire quote-to-cash process is automated in real-time. No more ping pong. Just pre-configured product rules doing the brunt of the work.
Quoting software shaves days–even weeks–off sales cycles. It increases productivity, quote accuracy, and customer satisfaction. For modern-day manufacturers in fiercely competitive markets, it’s a game-changer.
Join us as we discuss the basics of quoting software for manufacturing, including what it is, why it’s important, the benefits of using it, and how to automate the quote-to-cash process so your modern-day business can save time, money, and (wo)manpower.
- What Is Quoting Software?
- Why Is Quoting Software Important?
- Benefits of Quoting Software for Manufacturing
- Learn How to Automate the Quote-to-Cash Process
- Wrapping Up
What Is Quoting Software?
For starters, the quote-to-cash process includes all operations related to sales in your company. It begins when a prospect thinks about buying your product and ends when you are compensated for that customer’s purchase.
For decades, the gold standard for quoting software was Excel. But not anymore. Yes, Excel is a powerful tool, but it’s a one-trick pony. What’s more, it’s challenging to learn (beyond the basics), prone to human error, and terrible when it comes to version control.
Today’s quoting software is more than just a glorified spreadsheet. It automates the entire end-to-end quote-to-cash process. It makes it possible to dynamically price products in real-time. This is often with the use of a visual product configurator (more on this later!).
If you’d like to know more of the basics, check out this blog on what quoting software is.
Why Is Quoting Software Important?
For self-serve pricing, quoting software allows B2B eCommerce customers to quickly and easily build orders that fit within their budgets. Customers get accurate quotes–no matter the complexity of their product–without having to interact with a salesperson. Such is the preference of today’s B2B buyers.
Advanced pricing features are also available, depending on the software used. Discounts, batch prices, price explanations, and more can all be performed at the touch of a button.
The best quoting software will scrape competitors’ pricing from the web, combine it with a customer’s history, and use AI and machine learning to calculate the best price to charge while safeguarding margins.
How to Automate the Quote-to-Cash Process in Your Manufacturing Business
The best quoting software is CPQ software. It does more than simply generate quotes. It simplifies complex product configuration, handles complex workflows, and auto-generates everything from proposals to CNC cut sheets.
To get you started with automating quote-to-cash operations, you’ll need a CPQ solution that’s able to follow a multi-step process.
- Step 1: Automate configuration with a visual product configurator (a 3D visual interface).
- Step 2: Make more money with guided selling.
- Step 3: Automate pricing with dynamic pricing rules f, workflows, and approval loops.
- Step 4: Auto-generate and send sales quotes.
- Step 5: Auto-generate CAD and design.
- Step 6: Process the order.
- Step 7: Collect payment.
- Step 8: Allocate cash to correct accounts.
- Step 9: Analyze the data and create cash and budget forecasts.
Head on over to our step-by-step guide for automating quote-to-cash, where we share extensive information on each of the steps.
Benefits of Quoting Software for Manufacturing
Using quoting software comes with clear advantages. Here are just a few:
Sales Reps Have More Time to Strengthen Customer Relationships
An automated quote-to-cash process takes only minutes to pass through sales, engineering, and quoting instead of days or weeks.
The less time sales reps spend dinking around with spreadsheets, the more time they have to build relationships with clients.
Engineers Get to Do What They Do Best
This ties into the previous point–when the quote-to-cash system transpires in a matter of minutes, engineers’ time is freed up.
This means they get to dedicate more hours to high-value jobs instead of reworking several rounds of quotes from the sales team.
Increase Productivity Across Departments
It’s been known for some time now that sales reps spend only 36% of their time selling. As in, they’re not participating in revenue-generating activities over half the time they’re working.
And how productive do you think your engineers are when they spend hours upon hours reworking quotes until the customer is satisfied?
With automated quoting software that takes orders 24/7, productivity skyrockets company-wide. And with this increased productivity comes an improved bottom line without needing to hire new team members.
Increase Accuracy of Quotes
As humans, we make errors. It’s a fact of life. And when your multiple sales channels require special pricing workflows that include signatures, approvals, exceptions, and more, there’s plenty of room for error.
Using quoting software for manufacturing ultimately increases the accuracy of the quotes because you’re relying on automated, pre-configured rules, not humans, to crunch numbers and remember every rule.
Follow Consumer Trends to Ultimately Earn More
Mass personalization is finally becoming a reality, and businesses are leaning into automation to keep up with demand–quote-to-cash being one of those “automations.”
A recent Deloitte study estimates that 20% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for personalized products. Plus, 42% of consumers interested in customized products would rather be led by brands and choose from a selection of options.
Today’s buyers want your company to show them what to purchase as long as you tailor it to their needs. (If that doesn’t scream “Here! Take my money!” we don’t know what does.)
Wrapping Things Up
Having a streamlined quote-to-cash process in place for your manufacturing business isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. (That is, if your goal is to improve the overall customer experience while saving time, money, and other precious resources.)
Luckily, you don’t need to invest in multiple tools to automate quote-to-cash. Look no further than solid CPQ software as your staple quoting software for manufacturing.
Now the real question is: Will you choose innovation and adapt to the changing times? Or, will you stay stuck in your spreadsheet-loving, time-wasting, roundabout ways while competitors surpass your wildest business goals?
The facts are clear. The decision is yours to make. It’s up to you to choose the right path.