Sometimes in business it’s not about doing more of the same thing – rather getting more from the thing you do. The quoting process is an excellent example of this. In an ideal world all of the hard work you and your team put into creating quotes would be rewarded with a 100% acceptance rate. Unfortunately this is not going to be the case.
We see quote acceptance rates that sit between 25% and 65% depending on the service being supplied and the level of optimisation the client has put into the way they quote.
Now just think if you could push up your acceptance rate by 20%. All that extra revenue without any additional time from your team or additional increase in marketing spend. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Here are four areas we see customers invest in to achieve improvements like this.
Improvement #1 – Forming a closer bond than the rest
We have all experienced the situation when we talk to someone seeking out a price and are matched with the infamous “fast and furious quotes”. They take very little time to listen to our needs and quickly bash out a quote. No chat about what you were looking to achieve and any alternatives you may want to consider. Nope. Just the facts and not a lot of details with it either. You leave the call unimpressed and continue your search. The chance of that quote being accepted being next to nothing.
Next call and you find the person who does the complete opposite. They take time and listen. Samples are sent through or invites extended to visit them at the showroom or even to meet you on site. Colours are discussed when relevant and concerns raised that you didn’t even realise would be an issue. In the end you receive a quote that was custom crafted to perfectly suit the needs that were teased out in the earlier discussions. It takes you less than a minute to click “accept”.
Improvement #2 – Making your quote stand out from the rest
Usually your quote will be one of many the prospect is going to review when making a decision. So is yours going to stand out for the right reasons? Earlier we have talked about software you can now use to present your quote in a professional manner. But it’s not just about looking good – the detail needs to be there too.
Ideally it should include references to the problem the prospect wants to solve with enough detail to convince them that yours is the best solution. Pictures of similar installations or links to customer case studies that talk about you solving the same problem can all help. Customer testimonials placed on the quote itself will help give them comfort that they can trust you with their money and their intentions. Wrap all this in a professional looking document and things are looking up.
Improvement #3 – A friendly but polite follow up process
We all get busy. Other priorities replace what was a burning need that meant your quote had to be sent through super urgently. So now it sits there waiting. Eventually the time will come. But will your business be top of mind when the priorities return?
The business who kept up a polite but persistent follow up process has a greater chance than those who dropped away. Plus it shows that the business is important enough to them to warrant following up. Compare that to those who do not follow up at all or do the bare minimum. Did they want the business anyway? Smart businesses set the frequency and format of the quote follow up process to maximise their efforts. Anyway, just keeping in touch can bring up other opportunities that may replace the earlier need.
Improvement #4 – Only send quotes to those who are more likely to accept them
Let’s leave the best till last. This is true nirvana – only spending the time quoting people who are likely to click “accept” while avoiding the rest. Sound too good to be true? Well thankfully it’s not.
Here at ARK Advance our measurement systems allow us to follow the journey of the prospect from their very first click when learning about your business right through to the time they accept your quote. This allows us to see which clicks bring in quotes and which don’t. Knowing this allows us to spend less in the “declined quote” space and more in the “quote accepted” areas.
Sometimes fewer overall quotes, less marketing spend but the same amount of completed quotes. Or even the same spend, more quotes and proportionally even more completed quotes. The true double whammy.
Good luck with rolling in these improvements across your quoting process. Contact us today if you need to chat about how ARK can help.