Sales quotes are an essential part of the sales cycle.

They provide prospects with an interactive experience that helps them compare available packages and plans to see exactly how different products and services can help them grow and scale their business.

Despite how vital quotes are, many businesses still rely on manual processes to prepare personalized quotes for potential customers.

These outdated processes result in clients being misquoted and prolong the sales cycle because your sales reps have to waste time on paperwork instead of focusing solely on revenue-generating activities like selling.

In this blog, we’ll examine some of the most common issues we’ve seen with manual quoting processes and look at how quoting software can help mitigate these problems.

1. Trouble configuring products and services

Product configuration is like a jigsaw puzzle.

Your customers hand over pieces to their problems, and it’s up to your sales team to put the puzzle together and solve the client’s problem with customizable solutions, experiences, and products.

It’s not an easy task for sellers as many businesses lack streamlined product configuration processes.

This inefficiency means sales reps must turn to various documents and other departments (for complex configurations) to determine what offerings to recommend to a prospective customer.

Instead of managing your offerings across multiple platforms, you can use quoting software to build, preset, and close deals all in one convenient location.

With tools like PandaDoc, you can control what’s sold by pre-configuring the exact set of products and services your team will take to market.

Quoting software can improve your time-to-quote by making it easier for reps to create stunning, accurate quotes to share with clients, collaborate with them in real time, and close deals instantly.

2. Pricing errors

Any good salesperson will tell you that misquoting a customer could create challenges and potentially cost you a business deal.

If your sales reps rely on spreadsheets and pricing lists to build quotes, you increase the likelihood of incorrect product and pricing information being sent to clients.

All it takes is one outdated spreadsheet or formula slip-up to compromise the reputation of your business.

When you automate your quoting-building process, you can eliminate the risk of miscalculations.

Quoting software makes it easier for you to manage and keep your product catalog up to date, and assign the right pricing structure and billing frequencies to all your products and services, whether flat, recurring, or volume-based.

3. Excessive discounting

While we’re on the subject of pricing, we should talk about excessive discounting.

When reps have quotas to hit, sometimes they’ll do anything to close a deal, including offering a discount without considering how it’ll impact your business’s bottom line.

The lack of proper discounting rules to determine if and when reps should offer a discount could be eating away at your profit margins.

Approval workflows can help standardize discounting and pricing policies.

If you’re using PandaDoc, for instance, you can track what sellers can and can’t do when building a quote, including offers and discounts.

With pricing approvals, you can set up conditional rules that alert stakeholders based on the document value, line item discount, total discount, or line item total discount.

This workflow ensures that a sales manager or director signs off on a discount before it reaches the prospect.

4. Missed upsell opportunities

Manual quote processes take your sales reps’ focus away from selling.

Because they’re so busy trying to locate the optimal mix of offerings and accurately quote a customer, they miss out on opportunities to maximize sales impact.

In today’s market, you can’t afford to have reps leaving money on the table.

Advanced quoting software can help you maximize every opportunity by guiding your sales team through the quote-building process.

It’ll help them identify customers’ needs and provide the right mix of products and services, even making recommendations on specialty or add-on features that might benefit the customer.

5. Slow quote response times

Nobody likes to wait, including your customers. While the quoting process shouldn’t be rushed, it also shouldn’t take weeks to respond to a single RFQ.

Once your team has the right product and pricing details for a prospect, they need to transform that data into a good-looking quote quickly.

Integrations will tremendously help the quoting process as they can help cut document creation time in half. Most quoting software comes equipped with simple connectors and integrations.

For example, PandaDoc seamlessly integrates with the industry’s leading CRM tools, including Salesforce and Hubspot, as well as top productivity, storage, and payment gateway tools.

CRM integrations, in particular, can automatically pull customer information into quotes and update CRM information.

6. Poor user experience

Traditional quoting processes often result in static, boring black-and-white documents that make your business look out of touch with the times.

If you want to stand out, your document needs to go beyond the basic terms and conditions and provide clients with an interactive experience.

Not all quoting software offers this capability, but PandaDoc is an exception. Here’s what we mean.

In PandaDoc, you can present buyers with a custom combination of product imagery (images, videos, or gifs), descriptions, and cost breakdowns of the services your team recommends for their particular needs.

As buyers review the document, they can select and deselect different options, see the savings opportunities, and ultimately decide what works best for them.

Suppose they select an add-on feature from a checkbox or dropdown menu.

In that case, the document will automatically adjust to ensure your customer sees the right information, thanks to conditional content.

The software also features other tools, like electronic signatures and payment gateways, so you can easily create legally binding documents and collect payments all at once.

A smarter quote-building workflow for sales teams

If manual processes are slowing down your sales team, it might be time to rethink your quote-building process.

Streamlining your quoting process eliminates bottlenecks and unnecessary steps for your customers while improving your sales deals’ speed, accuracy, and size.

With PandaDoc CPQ by PandaDoc, your sales team can quickly build, preset, and close interactive, error-free quotes that adapt to your client’s needs.

Start a free 14-day trial today and see how PandaDoc can make a difference in your quoting process.