Build quicker, more accurate quotes and proposals to boost ROI
The faster you bid on jobs, the faster you can win business, do the work and collect payment. But you can’t just throw together a guestimate and expect to make money. To ensure the biggest possible ROI for your hard work and time, you have to know your costs and be able to figure in profit margin. And you need to be able to do that quickly. Time is money after all.
With an effective inventory management system in place (see section above), you already have one of the key ingredients for building quicker, more accurate quotes and proposals. Just as important are updated costs for parts and labor and professional, customizable templates.
Let’s explore how you can calculate ROI and increase profitability during the quote and proposal process with each of these building blocks:
- Real-time costs for parts and labor
- Effective inventory management
- Custom business proposal templates
Real-time costs for parts and labor translates to increased profitability
Have you ever put together a quote or business proposal and realized later on that your costs were outdated and now you’re going to lose money on the job? What a gut punch.
How you ensure your quotes or proposals will be profitable and boost your ROI is to have a system in place for constantly updating costs for parts and labor. You could try to use spreadsheets, but that would be very time-consuming and require a lot of manual entry. The technology industry best practice is to use a real-time price book like Etilize with access to top technology vendors — such as Ingram Micro, Tech Data or Synnex.
With a real-time price book, the information for every item is constantly being refreshed so that you can pull the items you need at any time and know the price is accurate. Plus, you can adjust the profit margin for each part so that the final cost that shows up on the quote or proposal guarantees you are making money.
Plus, many real-time price books allow you to add labor rates to certain items so that separate or combined (you choose) line items for parts and labor are attached automatically to your quotes and proposals. This requires a little upfront work to figure out time requirements for installation for each item but saves a lot of repetitive steps down the line.
Your business proposals and quotes will never be outdated, unprofitable or gut-wrenching again. How great does that sound?
Inventory management produces more accurate quotes
Once you secure items through a real-time price book, the next step toward building quicker, more accurate quotes is inventory management.
A big part of the business proposal process is impressing your client with your service, products and price. But you can kiss any goodwill goodbye if you end up trying to sell or install something you don’t have or quote too high of a price. But you also don’t want to hurt your own profitability. This is where inventory management and asset tracking comes in.
Accuracy is paramount on a quote or proposal to guarantee the highest rate of return. And with inventory, being able to track your assets — serialized or not — in real-time is how to guarantee that the most accurate information will be included on the quote, which in turn will help you calculate your ROI.
For example, say you have 20 routers that you purchased at a discounted rate from your vendor but still have 10 of the same router at full price in your warehouse. Your profit margin on the sale and installation of that router will change based on which group you pull that router from. If you’re trying to land a hot prospect, you could use the discounted routers in your price to make your bid look more attractive while not hurting your profit margins.
Without an effective inventory management system in place to ensure accuracy down to each and every item, you might be missing out on higher profits.
Custom business proposal templates key to boosting ROI
When it comes time to putting all of your information into a quote, you could try to throw together an Excel spreadsheet or Word document with your logo at the top and just do a little “SAVE AS” for each new proposal.
But you already put a lot of time into collecting all of the accurate parts and labor costs and inventory availability information needed to build a quote. All of your hard work could be wasted if your final proposal doesn’t capture all of the right information or looks unprofessional.
To ensure the highest possible profitability and boost your ROI, find a business proposal software that allows you to create customizable templates.
After a little set up on the front end to connect to your inventory management system, a business proposal software will allow you to insert the real-time cost of your parts and labor and specific — serialized or not — assets with very little or no manual entry. And less manual entry means your quote will be less time-consuming to create and more accurate. Just like how your field technicians can provide better and faster service the more they experience a similar issue.
Plus, you can customize the business proposal template to reflect your company’s brand with the right logo (not stretched out or misplaced), fonts and color scheme. You’re providing advanced technology services and products. Reflect that professionalism and expertise in your quotes and you’ll boost your ROI.