How to create quotes for your business

Quotes are business documents created for the purpose of describing and breaking down the cost of a given order, job or service. They are sent in response to a quote request from a potential client or customer.

The fact that quotes are sent to potential clients makes the quoting process an important part of the sales cycle. Getting it right helps to close deals faster and getting it wrong can lose you valuable business in a heartbeat.

Therefore, you want to fully understand the quotation process, which is why we wrote this article. We’ll discuss why quotes matter, how to create a quote, and some helpful ways that you can configure your quotes to increase sales.

Why create a quote?

A quote is a vital element for any business as it’s almost inevitable that at some point a potential client is going to request a quote.

Quotes are a helpful tool for many reasons:

  • They’re a concise way for you to explain your price clearly and improve the relationship between you and the client.
  • They can offer legal protection, so give your client confidence that you are the right person to do business with.
  • Having everything in writing prevents confusion further down the line about the offer.
  • It prevents you from having to negotiate your price on the spot, allowing you to properly work out your profits and costs.

How are estimates and quotes different?

In basic terms, an estimate is a prediction of what you’ll charge for your service, whereas a quote is an actual formal offer. An estimate may be worked out in someone’s head in a few seconds, but a quote will require actual analysis.

For a quote, you’ll need to know as much as possible about your client’s requirements to determine things like material costs, taxes, labor costs, and anything else that’s relevant.

Another distinction is that quotes are often legally-binding once accepted. This is generally not the case with estimates.

How to decide what your price should be

As a quote can legally secure the price, you need to be certain that it’s accurate and that you and your company will make money.

Review the following points when creating your quote:

  • Do you know exactly what the job or order requires and what is expected by the client?
  • Can your company make a reasonable profit with the price you’re offering?
  • Do you have the capacity to deliver within the timeframe?
  • Have you accounted for every cost, including import duties, labor costs, foreign exchange rates, taxes, and more?

What to put in your quote

Every quote is different, but there are few things that should always be included:

  1. Your contact details, company name, address and so on, near the top of the page.
  2. A brief breakdown of the services you will provide.
  3. The individual pricing of each service and the total price.
  4. Information about applicable taxes.
  5. Timeframes for delivery of services or goods.
  6. An opportunity for the recipient to agree, like a signature field at the bottom of the page.
  7. The terms and conditions of your offer.

How to create a price quote using PandaDoc quoting software

PandaDoc helps to create business quotes in no time and in one place.

Just follow the steps below and you’ll have professional, error-free quotes ready to track, eSign and send out to clients within a few minutes:

  1. Choose “New Document” from your main PandaDoc dashboard.
  2. Pick a quote template from the list that pops up, or just use a blank page to start a new quote from scratch using our document creator.
  3. Build your quote with all the elements you like using our intuitive dashboard. Drag-and-drop them from the menu on the right directly into your quote, including things like price/service tables, custom fields, embedded videos, background images, drop-down menus, text boxes, and more. You can even add details by syncing with your chosen CRM using our powerful integrations.
  4. Start sending your quotes to clients from within PandaDoc with just a few clicks. They can even electronically sign the document on an iPhone, iPad or Android device and you can track the document status at all times.

Ways to improve your success rate

Here are some general tips that help to boost sales conversions:

  • Build the quote in a structured, concise way that is easy for the recipient to read and pull key information from.
  • Provide the requested quote within one or two working days and try to follow up shortly after.
  • Request feedback, even from people who reject your quote so that you can make future improvements.
  • Understand exactly what the client wants before sending the quote so that it’s focussed and speaks to the problem they need to solve.

Make more sales with professional sales quotes

Creating the perfect quote is not a simple task. Anyone can throw together their own quote, but for it to be accurate, persuasive, high-quality, and for it to win you more business can take a lot of time and effort.

However, following the advice in this article and making use of quoting software like PandaDoc, can help you to drastically cut the time and effort needed to reliably produce quotes for your business.