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What is a sales quote?

Sales quotes are essential business documents. Whether you run a one-person business or an enterprise that employs hundreds of people, it’s likely that quotes are an integral part of your sales process.

But there are vital differences between each type of sales quotation. The reality is that by changing your approach to (and understanding of) quotes, most sales reps can streamline their workflows and boost conversion rates.

In this article, we’ll look at the different types of quotes. We’ll also provide you with a winning writing formula and give you some practical tips for boosting the effectiveness of your document workflow.

What is a sales quote?

A sales quote is simply a document that states a price for goods and services. Quotes can be fixed and may include detailed item-by-item breakdowns. Alternatively, quotes may provide an estimate for a project.

Generally speaking, quotes fall into one of the following categories:

Estimates

Because projects will often involve variable costs – like labor and products with market-dependent prices – and may have an unforeseen duration, quotes will often provide potential customers with an estimated price. The expectation is that while there may be variance in either direction, the actual cost will not differ too significantly from the estimated cost. An estimate may be included as part of a broader proposal.

Fixed price breakdowns

A fixed price quote provides prospective buyers with an exact figure for the cost of a project. These types of projects will usually involve products with relatively stable prices, well-defined labor costs, and a fixed deadline.

RFQ (Request for Quotation) response

A request for quotation (RFQ) is a document that companies send to multiple suppliers asking for a quote of a package of services or products. Quotes created in response to an RFQ are unique because they are written in a specific format outlined by the sender. RFQs tend to request fixed-price quotes because they are primarily used to evaluate vendors immediately before purchase.

How to write a sales quote

Use the following structure to write your sales quotes:

Introduction

The introduction section provides you with an opportunity to briefly connect with your potential buyers. Frame the quote by mentioning any previous interactions. You may also want to quickly describe why you are a well-suited choice for the project.

Company details

List your company and contact details (address, email, phone number, etc.) and clearly show who the quote is for.

Price and time-frames

Provide both a figure for the total price and an itemized breakdown of product costs and labor. You should also include time frames in this section if applicable.

Legal documentation

Include any necessary legal documentation at the end of the quote. This section may include contracts, payment terms, warranties, T&Cs, purchase order templates, and more.

How to improve your quote workflow

Below are some quick tips for improving the efficiency of your quote process. A quoting software like PandaDoc provides all of these tools out of the box:

Make use of templates

Using well-tested templates to create quotes can save a significant chunk of creation time.

Build a content library

Use a content library to drag-and-drop commonly-used elements like important legal clauses and pricing tables into quotes.

Include electronic signature fields and payment methods

Electronic signature fields make it easy for potential clients to approve quotes. Payment options also have the same effect by removing the need to make lengthy bank transfers.

Use collaboration tools

Quotes and proposals usually require input from numerous people, along with approval from management. Using a single dashboard with communication tools and automation features can speed up the collaboration process significantly.

How to write a sales quote with PandaDoc

Follow the steps below to create a sales quote using PandaDoc:

  1. Open your PandaDoc account (or sign up for a free trial if you’re not a customer).
  2. Select “New Document“.
  3. Enter “Quote” into the search box and pick the template that best suits your needs. PandaDoc offers a variety of templates to make it quick and easy to get started.
  4. Edit the template by changing the text or add new content by dragging and dropping blocks and fields on the right into the document.
  5. Next click Create doc, review the information, customize your message to your recipient and click Send!

Conclusion

Quote creation and management are much easier with SaaS tools. A tool like PandaDoc can help you streamline your quote and sales cycles, boost client engagement, cut down on approval time, and increase conversion rates. What’s more, transitioning from a “legacy” system to a fully paperless solution takes very little time.

To give PandaDoc a go, sign up for a free 14-day trial today.