Guide to the quote tool
Beginning a quote
To begin the process of creating a quote you will either start on your customer record on your CRM as in the graphic below – or if you are a stand alone user simply log on to stock in the channel and start adding items.
On our site you can begin by adding items and then associate the basket with a particular customer (which then brings in the customer specific prices you have set up for them) or can start by setting up the new customer.
This makes it an effective tool to quote in high turnover environments – since you can simply begin your sale by providing the prices to the person you are talking to without have to set them up first.
Those using our API will have a button added to their CRM on the accounts and contacts screen. When you want to create a hardware quote, simply click on it. Clicking on the button sends up the customer details of the client / contact you currently have open in your CRM.
We offer a regular process that automatically synchronises your customer database with Stock in the Channel – so that you can quote directly from our site. However if you prefer not to upload your customer database then the button above can simply upload the clients one by one as you create quotes.
Making a list of items to quote for
Clicking the link on the previous screen in your CRM brings up stock in the channel. When you arrive at Stock in the Channel the customer (and his pricelist) will be active. You can now add items to a basket and at any point save the basket as a quote.
Before saving a quote you add items to a basket. By default the basket is auto fulfilled, so it works out the cheapest way to buy the goods including delivery charges. You can however manually select suppliers and these selected supplier prices will be used to work out sell prices.
Delivery costs from your suppliers are clearly displayed.
If you have added items for which you do not have a supplier, they are broken out in the basket – if you wish you can force them into the quote by manually adding a supplier.
Baskets can be saved and for regular orders you can simply return to the basket and create quote or order on the basis of it.
Sell prices are automatically selected either specifically related to the customer or general sales prices – but this can be overridden – either on a one by one basis or by setting a basket margin.
Creating the Quotes
The items in the quote can have a manual sell price set by you. You can choose who to source the items from – by default our solution shops all available suppliers and puts the cheapest available items into the quote – saving you money as well as time!
The quotes are sent back to your CRM so you can deal with them in there, Stock in the channel also retains a record of the quote.
At any time you can return to a quote and mark them as lost, put them on hold or edit them, in which case a new quote is created as a revision to the old quote.
The change in cost prices since the quote was created is clearly displayed – showing current cost and the cost at the time of the quote, and the percentage change with red and green arrows depending if it went up or down.
Of course you have the PDF and if you have an integrated solution all the information from here is also stored in your CRM – for follow up.
Example quote pdf and full product information
Our system creates a PDF of the quote to send to the customer. It can be fully personalized. Basically, you insert the database driven content such as name and phone number into an HTML document as tags, and the resulting file produces the PDF.
Additionally we provide a link to an, again fully customizable, online datasheet that gives full details of the product.
See example: http://www.stockinthechannel.com/DataSheets/Details?spid=4347826&cid=4
Converting quotes to orders
Our system allows you to convert a quote to an order. Here you specify payment information and can even take credit cards if you wish.
At its simplest this gives you an orders inbox, where purchasing can click through on the order and mark it as complete. Also there is a button that tells you the best way to fulfil the order from your various suppliers.
However, one of our other specialist services is complete order automation – which allows the fulfillment of orders with a few clicks, sending purchase orders to distributors as described above.
Interaction with your CRM
With our MSCRM integration, after a quote is created the following can happen:
1) Notes are added to the account or customer with detail of the quote
2) A sales opportunity is created – with possible follow up settings
3) The quote is emailed to the customer – this can be in history if you automatically send the email using one of your CRM templates or can be in activities if you don’t automatically send the email and let the salesperson personalise it.
4) The PDF of the quote is stored in various places in your CRM