Meeting and Exceeding Sales Expectations Using RFQ in Your Web2Print Solution
Your customer wants a price for a job – and they want it now – sound familiar? In print, it is never more important to be there when the need for an RFQ to be completed arises.
What your customer might not realise is that estimates and quotes are a skill and perhaps even a lost art. There are a number of variables that someone who isn’t in print won’t know about. It can take time to put together quotations, and they may not understand why.
The delay is not just frustrating for the customer. It is hugely time consuming supporting the skilled manual process behind the magical façade to the customer – and limited only to business hours. There’s little contingency for urgency or time zones which is often be the daily life of the modern buyer.
What you need is the availability to deliver a price 24/7 – 365 days a year in as automated way possible. This frees up the valuable human effort within your business away from the repetitive, mundane, time costly traditional processes that limit the number of quotations you can send. Historically the more quotes and estimates you do, the more people you need to do the job.
While RFQ is clearly not the first solution to automate the requirement for a complex print price, it is the first to accurately separate all the variables in the client’s local language, giving a breakdown of process and associated pricing with margin for any job. If you want to dissect this even further those variables could be coming from your own MIS (subject what MIS you have). Unlocking this functionality will guarantee accurate pricing to the client.
Let us just be clear on the basic principle that precedes the development of an RFQ: Estimates and quotes are a costly gamble to win business. Remove the obstacles and risk by replacing an automated process where you can control the pricing to win work as competitively as you need. After implementation, you are instantly saving your business time and money by adding a process that is truly scalable!
Here is what you need to know about fulfilling RFQs when quoting for print products.
1. Your Time is Precious – So Automate What You Can for RFQs
Often with buyers need to obtain a minimum of three quotes. The odds are good, but a request to quote doesn’t guarantee that you will win the business.
So that you are spending your time on quotations and tenders that are more likely to convert and allow you to be as proactive as you have always wanted to be (but didn’t have the time) why not try to automate those jobs that you could quote for in your sleep or could be merely speculation?
The time to be proactive is sales is always being crushed down to those last few minutes in the day. If you had the opportunity to spend more time on vital follow up, wouldn’t you grab it with both hands?
2. Automating Some RFQ Enquiries Doesn’t Diminish the Customer/Client Relationship
It’s a universal fear of sales professions, but ultimately a false concern is losing the consultative relationship. It’s time to get over it! Automation adds value and gives opportunity to discuss other projects. Do you really need to be there for every little transaction? Sometimes buyers are either too busy to have that friendly catch up that they really want to have, but can’t right now or they’re plugging away at their laptop way after the cleaners are gone. They have to get a quote, they have to make an enquiry, but you are closed when they need you most!
Those touch points, although impersonal are ones that a busy professional needs once in a while, and if you’re the one to give it to them – you will earn their appreciation and trust. Ultimately, it will create a better relationship than the one you think you have and might lose.
3. Nobody Minds Follow-Up Questions… Until They Do!
One of the things about non-print professionals buying print (i.e. the typical buyer) is that they don’t always know what variables within a job are important to know for the quote and which ones aren’t. Nobody minds that because really, it is an opportunity to bring someone else into our world and show them the wonders that is print and what it can offer.
However, when the estimator needs to know about a specific variable and asks that question to the buyer the chance of losing that sale becomes higher. With every question (time delay or possibility of error) that comes back risks the loss of momentum and growing frustrations of waiting for an answer… to then get another question!
Vital information can be lost in email chains and the opportunity to be able to come back with a neat and timely quote diminishes fast.
Is this the one pain you wish you could make go away? Find out more about RFQ.
4. We All Need A Little Understanding
If you asked some of your best customers what makes them want to continue buying from you we would bet that the answer would be that they feel you understand their needs. The second thing they would say is that they think you provide good quality products for a fair price.
When a supplier can make their customer’s pain disappear by meeting their expectation, it builds trust and goodwill. It’s not about repeating the cliches that people buy from people. People buy from people that they trust. We build trust by delivering what we say we will. Show your customer you are looking out for them and understand their needs. Your customer may be travelling or doing some late night work so can’t call you to ask for a last-minute quote – make it easy for them to get that quote.
In so many businesses now, software is being introduced and implemented that is not always completely understood or bought into. So when it comes to an ERP/CRM solution, if you can help to make the quotation process easier for them through technology, it’s all the better for you and your business. (find out more about software integrations)
5. So Make Sure Your Customer Understands You
Understanding works both ways. While the balance of power seems to be with the buyer, many will support their supplier if they can. It’s all about goodwill – if they’re good to you, maybe there will be some reciprocation.
When your customer starts to understand and really understand print, it makes the buying process so much easier. Print doesn’t have to be that mystic commodity. If the customer understands exactly what goes into printing, they will become a much more active participant in the process. With the addition of automation, you get the time back to keep that interest alive. Many buyers/marketers may not realise some of the latest effects or technologies that could make their campaigns stand out. They rely on you to keep them informed – so don’t keep it to yourself, share the knowledge!
RFQ In Conclusion
Your team are pros at what they do. They’re tenacious, they are good at building rapport and have that drive to take things through from enquiry to sale. But those enquiries/quotes/estimates can bog you down and just highlight you’re closed when you’re needed most. This could slow down your growth to win work. With a little understanding and alternative thinking, you can free up time and reduce cost while opening your (virtual) doors for your customers. This culminates in print ready jobs waiting for you when you return to work. What a massive leap forward and it is just the beginning of what is possible!
It is all possible using Web2Print. Read our Guide to Web2Print.
If you want to be proactive finding new business opportunities while securing existing ones, RFQ is the solution for you. Contact us today for a demonstration.