Are you aware that your offers are a flagship of your company?

As a central building block in the sales process, offer management therefore plays a crucial role. Professional offer management helps you gain market share and stand out from the competition.

But which steps must be taken into account when establishing an optimal quotation process and how can these be optimized so that quotations also become orders?

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The preparation phase

Of course, the preparation phase varies in intensity from industry to industry and from company to company. Depending on the complexity of the company’s own products, offers can have 200 items, reach a value of EUR 10 million and more, or contain individual product components. This requires very different approaches.

When an inquiry is received by the company via a digital channel, an invitation to tender, by telephone or face-to-face, the first step is to gather all the information that is relevant for processing the offer. In addition, stakeholder expectations and requirements should be gathered, and the competition should be analyzed in detail.

All this information should be stored in a bundle so that all team members can access all data at any time. Provided that the feasibility analysis is positive, one must continue to think about the project planning and define all milestones in order to have the process under control. In the best case, project management software is used here to keep an eye on the project at all times.

The offer preparation

There are many tools that support the creation of quotations – up to Word and Excel tables, which are unfortunately still used in many companies. Optimally, the quotation is created directly in SAP, because when it comes to an order, the sales order must be entered in SAP. In this way, chaos in the structure as well as the article and material numbers can be avoided.

When creating the quotation, all information from the preparation phase must be available. Make sure that number assignment, version and status management and reporting are included in the header data of the quotation. In the best case, multilingual text modules can be used for text processing.

A CPQ solution (Configure, Price, Quote) can be particularly useful for companies with complex products. With the help of this solution, the quotation can be created in CRM and then transferred to the CPQ solution, where it can be configured and calculated. The finished quotation is then returned to the CRM. You can find out how this works in the webinar with our partner camos:

The communication to the customer

So how does the offer get to the customer? In the past, offers were printed out and sent or faxed to the customer. Today, things are different – customers expect the offer to be made available digitally. The trend is moving more and more in the direction of an offer portal. In this case, only the url to the portal is sent to the customer. The customer registers on the portal, if he or she is not already registered, and can view the offer directly as well as add comments, make changes or place an order straight away.

An offer portal also has many advantages from the company’s point of view: It offers the possibility to provide supplementary information as well as image and video material. It also enables better tracking (e.g.: which passage was read by whom and for how long?).

The Closing

Even after communicating the offer to the customer, it is incredibly important to stay in contact with the customer. If the customer does not sign immediately, you need to take action. By mail, chat, phone, teams session or by an on-site visit – it is incredibly important to get or stay in touch with the customer.

In this context, a CRM helps enormously to get an overview of follow-up activities and the current status of the offer. Here, release workflows and reminders provide support to ultimately bring the offer to closing and make both you as a company and the customer happy.

All in all, the more professional the offer and the process, the higher the chances of winning.

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Podcast episode #18: Winning bids with professional bid management

Want to learn more about bid management? Then our podcast episode #18 is perfect for you.

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About the author
Stefan Eller
Stefan EllerManaging Director itmX
Stefan ist Visionär, Innovator und CRM-Evangelist der ersten Stunde. Bereits seit den frühen 90er Jahren bewegen ihn die Themenbereiche Marketing, Vertrieb und Service. Des Weiteren begleiten ihn die Themen Integration und User Experience seit Beginn seiner Karriere.