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Produce accurate quotes for HubSpot

Getting your quotes incorrect can have serious consequences. As the world becomes more complex, with tighter deadlines, and more data flying around the internet, so competition tightens; consequently, accurate quoting in the modern business arena is more important than ever.


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EFRAT VULFSONS

a year ago | 4 min read

Whenever anyone, whether they be an individual or a company entity, produces a contract, it’s binding. If you discover after you’ve signed it that it’s not advantageous, you’re stuck with it. There’s an amusing quote from the famous American comedian Groucho Marx, who said:

“When I die, I wish to be cremated. One tenth of my ashes shall be given to my agent, as written in our contract…”

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But there’s a serious side to that statement. Getting your quotes incorrect can have serious consequences. Obviously if your price is too high, your potential customer isn’t going to want to trade with you, if the quote isn’t sufficiently profitable, your company could end up doing the work for nothing, or worse still, at a loss.

As the world becomes more complex, with tighter deadlines, and more data flying around the internet, so competition tightens; consequently, accurate quoting in the modern business arena is more important than ever. Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven CPQ, or Configure Price Quote software, enabling efficient HubSpot quoting and integration with other popular CRM (customer relationship management) software platforms, ultimately allowing sales teams to close deals with confidence.

AI simplifying complexities

The concept of CPQ is simple enough but involves the consideration of a rules-based architecture processed by AI to deal with the often complex interdependencies of quotation management.

First, let’s take a really simple example of producing a quote manually for a company that manufactures, say, wooden broom handles. With such a basic product, quoting for the supply of such items could be performed as if it were in the 1950s, whereby an accounts clerk works out the cost of producing, say 1000 pieces of wood, each turned on a lathe, with a length of four feet and a diameter of one and a half inches. The labor and machining costs would be considered, the total divided by one thousand and the price per broom handle is created.

The configure part of the process is deciding the dimensions of the wood, the price is the cost of production, and the quote is then sent to the potential customer through the post!

But let’s fast forward to modern times and imagine now that the same company is quoting for vacuum cleaner parts. Suddenly, everything is much more complex. Various enterprise software platforms collate the requirements for dozens of models of vacuum cleaners with differing electrical standards and regulations for international markets. This means that potentially hundreds of interdependencies for quoting accurately now need to be considered. For example, if the price of silicon chips increases, how does that affect the final cost price of a circuit board? CPQ software simplifies all this by offering simple fields with drop-down menus and the inter-relationship between the component in question is specified to other components pertinent to the quote.

At a glance dashboards

The CPQ software operator might enter a screen that shows several fields; perhaps:

Widget A [size = x mm] [cost to acquire = $0.85] can only be used in [cleaner model number xxxx].  The components comprising the assembly of Widget A would also be listed in the CPQ, with similar parameters of cost, compatibility and time to assemble etc. Thus, if the price of the smallest component changes, or it becomes unavailable, all the operator need do is log into the CPQ platform and input the new price or change the model number compatibility, and a new final quote for the finished Widget A will be displayed on a dashboard within seconds.

By having this dashboard with an at-a-glance breakdown of interdependencies and variations, the sales team can control their quotes down to the cent, knowing that they are spot-on accurate, then click a mouse and the quote goes off to HubSpot to be e-mailed to the customer and all the relevant actions taken as they would with any other product in the company’s CRM database.

However, like any software package available in the commercial marketplace, there’s always an alternative platform hot on its heels, able to do the same job quicker and more efficiently. Whilst the days of CPQ platforms for CRM integration are certainly not yet numbered, the amazing power of Open Ai’s ChatBot GTP is likely to have an influence on how sales teams quote. If a sales manager can just talk into their computer and say:  “How much should I sell the Model A Widget for if the price of silicon chips increases by 12 percent?” and within seconds the answer is given as a simple dollar amount, that’s going to be something that CPQ software manufacturers are going to want to integrate.

Communication breakdown

Finally, on a lighter note, let’s not forget that as the demographic of the world of work changes, so must the way in which we communicate. People are living longer and working to a ripe old age sometimes; the gap between the youngest person in an organization and the oldest can now be over five decades!

The way that language is interpreted by the youngest and oldest employees in an enterprise is becoming markedly different, and soon we may have to develop a ‘workspeak’ that bridges this gap. Imagine a quote that a 70-year-old sales manager sends out to a 20 year old potential buyer – the email includes a thumbs-up emoji and a period at the end of the final sentence. Recent research has shown that Generation Z employees find periods to be cold, almost aggressive, at the end of messages – such tiny nuances could make the difference between that quote being rejected in favor of an identical one from another supplier.

Perhaps it’s not only quotes that we need to get right nowadays, but also the way we express them when we send them to potential customers.

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EFRAT VULFSONS

A colorful, agile, creative and sharp content strategist with an extraordinary passion for the written word. I obtained experience in a wide variety of niches as part of my SEO and Marketing experience, parallel to my opera singing career. During my time as a freelancer I have worked with dozens of


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