Henry Ford once said, “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.”
As your sales team configures quotes for customers, you want them to remember Ford’s quote. Your team should focus on pinpointing solutions to customers’ problems as cost effectively as possible.
When customers vaguely know what they want but need help clarifying exactly what product and specifics they need, your team can provide valuable insight to them—giving them the most for their dollar.
Here are five selling tactics that can help your sales team can turn quotes into sales, from conversations about high-tech details to using a 3D product configurator to seal the deal.
1. Clarify First. Your team should be using their active listening skills in order to incorporate all of the relevant details the client wants into the quote. Industry expert Geoffrey James writes that sales teams’ selling tactics should use a Request for Quotation (RFQ) not merely to give a price but to begin a conversation that builds their relationship with the client.
“You can also ask qualifying questions so that you can identify and/or confirm their role in the decision making and approval process, as well as whether they’re looking at competitors,” writes James. Ensure that your sales team knows how to ask insightful questions and lay out the quote to highlight specific, clear solutions to customers’ problems.
For example, someone who sells data storage solutions might ask open ended questions about their client’s possible expansion plans. If they learns that yes, the customer does plan to open a second branch, your sales team can configure a hybrid storage system and highlight how it can grow along with the client’s business. They could also discuss disaster recovery plans and other strategies that ease client worries, improving chances of getting the sale.
2. Consider Budget. Your sales team should help their customers pinpoint what their budget will be for the project right from the start. If your salesperson throws in every possible feature but the kitchen sink to impress a client but the quote is twice as much as the client’s budget, the sale is doomed.
When your salesperson starts off with a budget range and asks thoughtful questions about the customer’s challenges and goals, they’re starting from an informed position. Depending on the client and what they discover, their selling tactic may include offering an “anchoring” price that includes top of the line features and has a slightly higher price point. This makes the middle-of-the-budget offering that includes the customer’s “must haves” and a couple of “wants” look like a great deal.
For example, if a client creates water filtration systems, perhaps your sales team begins with a presentation of a very sophisticated filter designed for higher flow rates. Next they discuss the features and price point of a smaller, stackable vessel that will suit their customer’s needs but lacks some of the bells and whistles available with the first option.
3. Use Visual Configurators. Your team should utilize the latest technology to give customers improved visualization and real-world views of what the final product will look like. As a selling tactic, use a 2D and 3D configurator to walk your customer through a configuration, share product details and options, and show the results in a multi-dimensional view in real-time.
Visual configurators are not merely flat, spin and zoom images but allow customers to view their order from different angles. Your sales team can add new items, reposition items, change colors and inspect it from multiple angles.
For example, if your sales team is working with a liner service company that needs customized equipment to transport wind turbines, offering them a clearer view of what the equipment’s specifications will look like can help your team close the deal.
The 3D configurator allows your salesperson to be of extra value to the customer by showing them how to configure a jack-up trailer with individual hydraulics added to each axle. Such detail can reassure the client that the trailer is able to handle the weight of the turbine and won’t fail or damage the costly equipment. 2D and 3D configurators allow your sales team to give their customer exact measurements from different angles to ensure that the solution is designed to their specifications.
4. Incorporate Details. Don’t make your team give quotes in a spreadsheet—spreadsheets are not a good selling tactic. Customers expect a bid that includes pertinent details, is easy to understand and has room for complex details. A rudimentary spreadsheet or flat computer-generated sketch is simply not going to cut it.
In addition to a visual rendering, outlining the details of the quote allows the customer to see that everything they want in their product is included in the price. Your team will lose the sale if a client thinks a feature is in the quote, only to find out later it was not—and the price is going up.
In the example of the wind turbine transportation, your sales team would want to include the equipment’s weight bearing capabilities, bolsters, bogies and other ancillary features—details that help your product stand out and give your team a better chance to get the order.
5. Offer Discounts Carefully. When your team gives a quote, is a discount part of their selling tactics and repertoire? When discounting prices you need to compute the real cost of discounts to your company. Consider the negative fallout if other customers find out that some clients were given a discount and others were not. New clients that accept discounts will also expect them as returning customers. On the other hand, if a discount makes motivates them to become a customer and refer other clients to your company, that could be well worth the discounted price.
Customers may be wary of whether discounts are truly discounts, or are just inflated prices that are later reduced to appear like a good deal. Don’t feel pressured into giving them. Having customized quotes that prove value and key differentiators are enough, says industry expert the Sales Hunter. Know your audience and have your sales team gauge how the customer will react and how the sale will be impacted by a discount before offering one.
When your team receives a RFQ, they should know to give the customer more than just a price. Quotes are a starting point for having revealing conversations so the team can hone in on problems and solutions. They can use 2D and 3D configurators to show customers various angles and how the product can be fully customized to meet their needs.
Like Henry Ford said, showing customers how much they can get for their dollar is a strong strategy for success. If your team incorporates details and keeps the client’s budget in mind, they’re well on their way to having the deal be signed, sealed and delivered.
Learn more how an advanced Configure-Price-Quote solution like a Product Configurator can be used as a selling tactic that helps turn quotes into sales.
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