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Quotations your prospects can’t resist

Written by Martin Ortgiess on . Posted in Exact Synergy

The main activities of CRM are to increase the interest of your target group into your brand, products and services and to deliver the best service one can imagine. Ultimate goal is to increase (or maintain) revenue. To increase revenue, the sales process needs to be managed. With the introduction of Synergy Enterprise we offered opportunity management to help you managing your sales pipeline. Now we are making the next step and are working on a quotation module.

Developing the quotation module, we have major 2 requirements: “Easy to work with” and “Fancy templates”.  These 2 requirements are based on the assumption that:

  • Account manager wants to spend as little time possible creating and maintaining their quotations.
  • A quotation is the business card of your organization and can be one of the first formal contacts between your organization and your potential customer.

As the requirements show, we believe that ease of working with quotations  and the ability to make the templates the way you want  is more important than providing a full set of functionalities.

In the quotation card you can fill in most important information, like quotation number, project and opportunity information. You can enter the products and services you want to offer and define the discount you want to offer.

Based on this information, the quotation can be printed. The idea is to print it to MS Word, PDF and MS Outlook email. In the first version we expect we can deliver one of these printing options. The templates used to print a quotation are maintained in MS Word.

This blog gives you some insight in what we are working on. Because this project is still work in progress, the functionality described might deviate from what will become general available. The quotation functionality is not yet available, but we plan to have a first version available in product update 244.

Comments (13)

  • Nick Seng

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    Working on it, boss. :)

    Reply

  • Steve Leong

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    Wow! Final goal is you will get a hug from customer = customer love it, cool!!!

    Reply

  • Frank Derycke

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    We are working allready 3 years with synergy/exact, and the only missing link is a good software for makine quotes.

    I have the analyse & the specifications ready for a customised software. Knowing you will bring out a software for making quotes, I like to wait, or if you are open for it, hand over my analyse.

    We are a resaler for industrial investment equipment. The principles are:
    – easy way to create a new item
    – on the quote: possible to make groups with a subtotal for each group, and mask detail prices for the group
    – optionally equipment from which the price is not in the total
    – from our Synergy database, linking extra information such as: full desciption (may be several pages), extra images, drawings with dimensions, refence list, …. . All this information from the items in the quote is printed automatically.

    Reply

  • Barry van der Meij

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    Hi Martin,

    Great functionality and a great improvement…..

    One thing I am looking for is the process after the quotation has been approved by the customer. Normally you would expect these quotations to become sales orders in Exact Globe so In my opinion this should be available. When customers do not use Globe as backend they cannot use it, so for that reason you should provide a standard web service which can post the sales order to any other system.

    Next thing I think needs attention is the way prices are calculated, Exact Globe offers a wide variety of price management options which are not available in Synergy. I think both having this functionality in Globe and Synergy is useless so maybe it is useful to use the Exact Entity Service to obtain price information from Exact Globe so you offer the right price.

    Customers also want to have insight in their quotation and my humble opinion is that the approval of a quotation should be possible via the customer portal or maybe even via a specific link which does not require authentication. The authentication issue for the customer portal would need a facelift then so customers can generate their own username and password instead of the current scientific usernames and passwords they get. This is needed to make it easy for the customer to log on.

    Last point I can think of is the way quotations for services will be handled, I think an integration with Time & Billing would be great so approved quotations will automatically be placed somewhere in a “to be planned” screen, similar to Exact Globe project functionality, a screen with two sections, the upper part should be the availability (just as it works in Time & Billing now) and the lower part should show the approved quotations which are not yet planned.

    Finale question is how this functionality will integrate with opportunity management so organizations can get a complete view on small quotations with items as well as big project opportunities which do not have a quotation. Combining these entities can or should provide an actual sales forecast.

    BR,
    Barry

    Reply

  • Vladimir Bataev

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    Point about time and billing taken, thank you.

    Reply

  • Michael van Schaik

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    Hi Martin,

    Frank & Barry bring up good points. What many customers working with Exact lack in the quote functionality is not just a “fancy layout”, but a tailormade document with free text explaining the added value or in the case of T&B a desciption and goals for the project. So more than just a list of items and prices, mentioning VAT and delivery terms.

    For good measure it would be great to be able to save the document and start a workflow for approval to a financial or technical manager, after approval forward it to process and send the quote.

    Reply

  • Marjolein Hoeks

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    I agree with Michael on the ‘more than just a list of items & prices’ comment. In trainings I gave to customers, this was something I often heard. They want to add extra info to make the quotation more fancy, like images (of the products they offer) and additional pages with extra info about the products they offer. Because this cannot be done in Globe, what they often do now is just make a PDF of the ‘list of items & prices’ and create a Word document with the extra info.

    I think another great additional feature would be to be able to export the list of items & prices to Excel. I am sure the customer that receives the quotation can’t wait to start calculating with the prices he received.

    Reply

  • Martin Ortgiess

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    Hi all, thanks for your great feedback.
    Your questions and remarks support the direction we are heading to.
    I hope with the explanation below, I answer most of your questions.

    in product 244 we aiming to deliver a first version of quotation management. This version will contain an quotation card where you can enter items which are maintained in Synergy. the price calculation is also based on the item prices maintained in Synergy.

    Fancy, or tailor made, quotations can be created. We will expand our current mail merge functionality so it includes the quotation information. This means you can make your quotation layout in MS Word, which will be stored in Synergy!

    Presenting the items per group incl. subtotals is on the short list. This is something we want to pick up in a next product update. The same goes for adding extra item information. We want to deliver a ‘from quote to cash’ process. This means that ‘promoting a quotation to a sales order in Globe’ and the ‘integration with time&billing’ are on our radar, but probably not product update 244.

    Reply

  • Barry van der Meij

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    Hi Martin,

    Clear answers, only thing I am still curious about is the relation to opportunity management. A quotation will allways be an opportunity but an opportunity is not allways a quotation.

    Guess these will be the same entity or fully integrated?

    Reply

  • Martin Ortgiess

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    The idea is that a quotation can be created from left menu, account card and opportunity card. when creating a quotation, you can link an opportunity and the system will ask if opportunity amount needs to be updated. when you don’t link opportunity, system will ask you whether you want to link opportunity. The items in opportunity and quotation are not shared.

    Reply

  • Robert Klein

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    Martin, great feedback from above. I enjoyed our conversation at Delft that Frank, you and I had. I feel we are on the same page and heading the right direction. Of course integration to Exact Globe is great, but a web service entity for standalone as suggested above is another need.

    Reply

  • Martin Ortgiess

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    Robert, great to hear we are on the same page! Of course all will come in small steps. integration with Globe is one of these steps. when we will look at that, i will take your and Barry’s feedback with me. Thanks!

    Reply

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