Meeting and Exceeding Sales Expectations Using Web2Print
One of the most important aspects of business is to meet the expectation of your customers. In print, it is never more important to be there when the need arises and your customer wants a price.
What your customer might not realise is that estimates and quotes are a skill and perhaps even a lost art. In the time it takes to deliver a price, even with all of the variables needed, the working day is over and it rolls over to the next day.
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
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?
In sales, the time and opportunity to be proactive and follow up is something that is always being crushed down to those final few minutes in the day. If you can get that time back then all the better.
2. Automating Some Enquiries Doesn’t Diminish the Customer/Client Relationship
One of the things that are universal towards sales people is a false concern about losing the consultative relationship – 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 the trust and goodwill that you need to keep the relationship going.
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 and while the buyer/supplier relationship does appear to have that balance of power, many buyers will support their supplier if it’s in their power to do so. 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 can understand exactly what goes into creating the print and think beyond ink on paper, 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, and they will rely on you to keep them informed.
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, reduce cost while opening your (virtual) doors for your customers, culminating in print ready jobs waiting for you when you return to work. While a massive leap forward, it is just the beginning of what is possible!
If you want your business to use that time being proactive finding new business opportunities while securing existing ones, RFQ is the solution for you. Over the coming months we will be adding to the already feature rich functionality and increasing automation from any B2B or B2C platform and/or ERP/CRM solution. Contact us today for a demonstration.