Why Should Professional Services Use Quoting Software?
by Jeroen Graafland on August 12, 2022
Quoting potential new clients can be a pain. Depending on the services you offer, your sales team may be spending too much time on customized quotes, only to lose the deal when all is said and done.
Another pain point is accuracy. Quoting a project inaccurately can affect the trust level with potential new business, something nobody wants.
Then there’s the status of the quote: Is it signed? When can we get to work? Does the team know?
Quoting software handles the process of calculating, creating, and managing all the quotes for your professional service business. Here’s a look at what quoting software does and how it benefits professional service firms, specifically.
What is quoting software?
Quoting software is a tool that helps you create accurate project quotes for clients, based on your relevant project data.
For example, common quoting software will aggregate data like:
- Timeline– How many overall hours will the project take to complete? When can deliverables be realistically scheduled?
- Resources– Who will be working on the project and what are the rates?
- Materials– Are there any material costs that belong to the budget?
Rather than listing these out on an Excel spreadsheet, with quoting software tools, you can easily input your data and generate accurate quotes quickly.
Quoting software will also usually come with out-of-the-box integrations with your CRM, your financial backend, your project management, and more.
There are various quoting tools out there, some of which are offered as standalones and others as part of a larger project management solution. Professional services usually get into quoting tools when they’ve grown a bit and need to be able to quote potential customers faster and more accurately. That said, quoting software is a good fit for small businesses as well since they can zero in more on nailing their budgets and maximize their profitability.
In a nutshell, quoting software will automate the following:
- Calculate the price based on your data
- Create the quote in a proposal document
- Manage the secure signing, approval, and rejection of the quote
- Provide quote status updates
What are the Benefits of Quoting Software for Professional Services?
Quote super-fast (and close more deals)
Quick and efficient is the name of the game when delivering a quote to potential new businesses. Closing a deal and winning a project is often a matter of precious time. Sometimes the firm to submit its quote the fastest will win the job, regardless of whether or not a competitor is a better choice.
Time is money, and delivering quotes quickly and professionally is a good look for any professional service business. Quoting software that’s integrated with your current CRM will be able to generate accurate quotes from your data within minutes, provided you have entered all the relevant items.
Connecting your quoting tool with your project management software can make things go even faster, already able to pull data related to your resources, roles, rates, etc.
At the end of the day, getting your quote in the hands of your prospect the quickest can mean the difference between a lifelong customer and a dead end.
More accurate quotes
One of the biggest strengths of quoting software is the ability to generate more accurate quotes. You don’t want to have a deal on hold because of an error in the proposed budget. Instead of guesstimating and manually entering time, resources, and profit margins, quoting tools will dial-in on all these specific costs. This makes things not only more accurate for the client, but for the business as well, with clear benchmarks to indicate what the project really costs to bring to completion.
Additionally, sometimes service purchases are complex, and sales has to spend time manually crafting super-personalized quotes. This can be costly by way of both time and money, especially if you don’t win the deal.
Particularly when you offer multiple nuanced services or packages, quoting software can make these tailor-made quotes way easier on your sales team by providing templates and other efficient features.
Know what’s happening with all your quotes
Another way quoting software keeps things moving fast is that it manages the entire quoting process. You can be alerted when the prospect receives the quote and when they’ve approved or rejected it, without having to comb through your emails.
Quoting software will handle the signing of your quotes with electronic signatures, so you don’t have to go to an outside platform to obtain a secure environment for document signing. This not only keeps important financial information secure, it makes things easier on the prospect.
Plus, it will keep track of all your quotes, empowering you and your sales team to learn from quoting project budgets in the past. This helps you understand what it takes to earn new business and how much that new business is earning the company.
You can connect with your project management
To create even faster, more accurate quotes, quoting tools can connect to your project management data. Either that or a project management solution itself will provide the quoting software for you.
There are quite a few benefits to the quoting software + project management integration. For one, the sales-to-project handoff can go more smoothly, since both sales and the project side can see the status of the quote. Your team can get to work and start tracking time to the project as soon as the quote is approved and signed.
Also, you’ll be able to go faster with the quoting process because the data you need to complete it regarding roles and rates or past project contracts is all within your grasp. Quoting tools can automatically pull this information when needed.
Help increase project profit margins
Finally, everyone across the board in professional services needs to increase their project profit margins. It’s easier said than done, especially if you don’t have a handle on what your current margins actually are.
Quoting software comes in handy here because you can more accurately pinpoint how much the potential profit will be from the prospect. In certain situations with services, a large dollar-amount contract may be on the table; but at the end of the day, it may not be worth the effort if the project margin is too low. A quoting tool can help you anticipate your project profit margins beforehand, as well as arm you with the information you need to help move the needle in the future.
Final verdict for PSO’s: It just makes sense
Quoting software just makes sense for professional services, particularly those who use a powerful CRM for sales. Most of these software options are inexpensive or they’re included in a larger project management or PSA platform anyway. Quoting software tools like PSOhub help you generate custom quotes as fast as possible, with automation to handle their creation, delivery, and tracking.