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The Cost of Quotations #2

September 14, 2009

More on the cost of quotation. In the previous article I raised a question: is the creation of quotations actually selling? This seemed to me to be a good use of the LinkedIn Q&A so I asked the question. I got seven responses and most of them were consistent. Consistent in saying ‘it depends’.

In the opinion of a number of experts from around the Globe if Sales are merely pricing up a specification that is handed to them from a customer it’s administration, if they are adding value by offering more (or even less) than the customer request, offering lateral solutions, price bundles and alternatives then it’s selling. Interesting views and who am I to argue?

To put all this in context (in iQuote context of course) this research sets a challenge: how can we minimise the time it takes to perform administrative (non value add) quotations while also decreasing the number of quotations that add no value? I firmly believe that we are most of the way to achieving this. More on quotations soon but in the meantime here’s what the team is working on to add value:

  1. The management portal only reports Saved Quotes today however for every Saved Quote we get about 3 New Quotes (for verbal quotes and information queries). Look out soon for New Quote stats too.
  2. End User Cashback has been applied to the vast majority of PSG products where they apply. Nearly there.
  3. We are starting to use some iQuote power to make adverts more context-sensitive.
  4. The export now contains Bid Letter reference and Bundle code. We are also working on a Bid Letter uploader to make this process automatic (and open up a load of pricing possibilities).
  5. A Model ProLiants are being added.
  6. Something that we think users will find extremely useful and relevant to the early part of this post: a form that allows a sales person to enter a shopping list to validate (in case of error) but also to customise and add value to.
  7. It would be useful to stitch more than one quotation together (we call this quote concatenation) so this is being worked on too.

Apart from that we are doing some work with quote versioning, power sizing and a quotation health check system….it’s all go here.

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