Google “make a quote” and you’ll see that for most people it’s about finding just the right words for their next wedding toast or graduation speech.
@@But for us—salespeople—making quotes is way bigger than lovin’ and learnin’@@. It’s about driving business. (Nothing against getting married or graduating from school! We just know that someone listening to that toast or speech has made a quote or two like the kind we’re talking about—weddings and college ain’t free.)
For us, finding a “quote maker” isn’t about finding the right word, but finding the right tools. So, move over poets, playwrights, and philosophers—there’s a new way of thinking about the perfect quote.
It’s a D.I.Y. world
Homebrewing, pickling, city people raising chickens to ensure every egg they eat is (extremely) locally sourced… It’s “the maker movement.” And while some of it can be silly (check out Portlandia), in principle it makes sense—why pay for something when you can do it yourself (DIY).
We like the maker movement, but frankly we don’t really see a 100% fit for it in B2B selling. (No business needs a sales quote written on handmade paper using a locally sourced bird-feather quill dipped in un-endangered-squid ink.)
But we definitely think the DIY philosophy extends to generating quotes: it’s your business, your brand, your customers. And it’s your quotes in their hands, and those quotes do more to drive business than just about anything else, so you need to make each quote yourself and ensure each one is both targeted and timely.
DIY, meet CPQ
Making it yourself doesn’t mean starting from scratch every time. It means using “CPQ to DIY.” And using technology to make your quotes and proposal isn’t a sell-out (which it might be considered if you used tech to make your beer)—it’s a shortcut.
You’re making each quote yourself, but you’re using a platform that enables a repeatable process, which saves time. And, over time, the process improves your efficacy as each quote you send builds on the strengths of the one that preceded it.
Also, in business (unlike homebrewing) it’s rarely a one-man shop. You need a way to make quotes that’s easily embraced by every rep you have. Yes, they’ll be doing it themselves—targeting each quote to a prospect, plugging in the proper products, services, and pricing, etc.—but the right technology will make it feel effortless.
To pick up where we started, for a successful B2B company making quotes requires neither the erudition of a poet nor the elbow grease of a hipster: it usually requires only the right tool.
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