Tips to Make Quote Management faster and seamless for field service businesses

Its a familiar story; you are pumping out the Quotes but you dont have a great close/approval rate.  All that work that is slipping through; you can only watch potential revenue and cashflow slip through your fingers!

What is going wrong?

 

There can be any number of reasons this is happening, lets talk about a few and our Top Tips to help mitigate and streamline the process.

Not enough detail

If a customer doesn’t know how much is involved or cost is hidden in big ticket items then they don’t see the value of what you are providing and may think you are padding.

  • Tip:  Getting granular shows the customer that its not a simple 2 hr job with some parts, its more involved.  They can then feel like the cost is justified.  You dont have to list out every nut, screw or pipe but clearly label products and services covered.

manual quoting

Hiding information

No one likes a surprise, nothing worse than finding an invoice doesn’t match a Quoted amount.  If there is any chance of run over costs then include any disclaimers for over-runs in your Quote terms.  Definitely explain why something is included in the Invoice that wasn’t in the Quote.

  • Tip:  Honesty is the  best policy if you want to retain a happy customer

 

Quotes look a bit dull

Not everyone has graphic design skills or time to create a pretty or compelling quote document.  We wrote recently on the impact poor looking quotes can have on your approval rates.  

Customers want to see pictures, descriptions and break down of line items.

  • Tip 1:  Find a template that works best for you so it becomes repeatable and the team aren’t inventing the quote format every time.
  • Tip 2:  Ensure the team use the same item codes, descriptions for line items
  • Tip 3:  Add photos of product items

See below for how we do it at FieldInsight.

Draft and Issue of the Quote takes too long

We all know the faster you can get something in front of a customer, the chances of them keeping you top of mind against all other quotes they may receive is higher.

  • Tip 1:  If you can draft/issue the quote in the field then you should attempt to do that.
    Its hot in the customers hands and if its a reasonable price they may approve it straight away!
    Wouldn’t it be great if you were driving to the next job and you got your approval from the last job quote?
  • Tip 2:  If your quotes are for large projects, installs or service/maintenance cycles then having a template that contains all the relevant line items and information can be -reused.
    This helps reduce the time it takes to complete a Quote in the field so you can attempt to get it out within minutes (in the field), hours or days rather than weeks (for the office).

Chasing approvals

You spend the time/effort getting the quote out. but are you actively following-up with the customer to get the approval?  Do you know how many quotes you issued and which ones are outstanding or have been approved?

  • Tip 1:  Diarise a follow-up for any questions the customer may have about the Quote and use that a general nudge for approval.
  • Tip 2:  Have a system/process or software that manages whether a quote has been opened and whether an answer has been provided
  • Tip 3: Use follow-up reminders prompting customers that an approval is approaching deadline or overdue
  • Tip 4: Report on Quotes generated and status’ so you can actively follow-up

Last thing you want is to have received an approval and not realise it and not scheduled the work.

  • Tip 4:  For approved Quotes, get it in to the Schedule ASAP; create the Project or Series of Jobs required to complete that work, assign the Technicians based on skill level
  • Tip 5:  Manage the customers expectations on when the work will start and what is involved
  • Tip 6:  Order relevant inventory items and stock the vans

Doing the work

You have won the work – WOO HOO but the next challenge is ensuring you schedule the work, order the parts and assemble the team to complete.

  • Tip 1:  Raise and manage purchase orders
  • Tip 2:  Capture all the parts and timesheet hours from the job details
  • Tip 3:  Manage the customers expectations
  • Tip 4:  Generate that invoice as soon as the work is completed (from the Field if you can)
  • Tip 5:  Take the payment in the field – see how we do it with at FieldInsight with our partner integration with eWay

Did you make a profit?

Job done, you are feeling pretty chuffed but a little doubt sits in the back of your mind…..did I make a margin/profit on that Quote?  Its really hard to know if you have quoted the job to be profitable….have you covered:

  • hours for all staff involved (labour of varying skill levels)
  • products to be used

Not knowing where you may have run close or under (or over) could mean the difference between thousands of dollars leaking out of your business every month.

  • Tip 1:  Manage your costs and staffing against the Quote and Purchase Orders
  • Tip 2:  Ensure you know the charge out rates for your staff and mark-up on product items
  • Tip 3: Capture all timesheets and expenses at the job level
  • Tip 4: Review your P&L for every Quote
  • Tip 5: Run a performance report across all Jobs to ensure you can see where you may be losing money on Quotes and determine why.
    Rectify for future quoting.

Our Solution

Here at FieldInsight we understand pulling all this together is hard and that is why we have implemented an integration to a specialised Quote Management platform called QuotientApp.quotient app fieldinsight integration

This integration helps bring Quote management seamlessly in to Job Management so you can:

  1. Have visibility to every quote that is generated, sent and tracked
  2. Manage the approved Quote in your Job Management software
    • Raise/manage Purchase orders
    • Performance of the quote (cost management)
  3. Manage the jobs and technicians seamlessly so nothing gets missed
  4. Generate your invoicing at the end (or milestones depending on size) to keep the cashflow
  5. Run a performance report (P&L) at the job / quote level to review margins/profit or loss and reasons why

We hope all the Tips outlined above help – print it/laminate it or even better build a process around it that gets your Quote Approval process closer to 90%!

 

If you are looking for help in Managing Quotes seamlessly with your Job Management software then get it touch
with the team!

We would love to show you how we do it.  www.fieldinsight.com and Request a Demo.