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How to Create a Quote in 4 Easy Steps

5 min read
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B2B commerce has rapidly shifted from focusing on customer expectations to growing business goals. These changes have led to significant challenges but also created lucrative opportunities to thrive for those who shift strategies with these changes—which is why configure, price, and quote (CPQ) software matters for enterprise businesses today.   

For forward-thinking organizations with complex products, complicated pricing, and manual processes, CPQ can be a meaningful change.  


Understanding the purpose of a quote 

At the heart of every successful business interaction lies effective communication. Whether you're a sales professional, a consultant, or an entrepreneur, your ability to articulate value and solutions is paramount. Quotes are documents that facilitate this communication, enabling you to communicate pricing details and solution offerings in a structured and professional manner.  


What is a Quote? 

A quote is a document that provides potential clients with pricing information for a specific product or service. It outlines the costs associated with a purchase and presents the client with a clear understanding of the financial investment required. Quotes are often generated in response to specific clients requests and are essential tools for transparent and informed decision-making. They serve as the initial point of negotiation, paving the way for further discussions and agreements. 

A quote is a concise document that centers on the financial aspects of a transaction. Its primary function is to provide a clear breakdown of the costs associated with a product or service. This includes itemized pricing, any applicable taxes, and a total sum. Moreover, quotes outline the payment terms, including due dates and acceptable methods. A quote is a monetary blueprint that helps clients understand the financial commitment they're entering into.  


The difference between quotes, estimates, and invoices 

An estimate in pricing is typically a range or a best guess of how much something will cost. With a quote, you get more certainty for your customers and your company. A quote can be referred to during negotiations, carrying more weight than an estimate. 

On the other hand, while an estimate comes at the beginning of the process, an invoice comes at the end. An invoice is created to document the transaction between the selling organization and the buying party. It’s used to collect and document payments. 


Significance of accurate and well-crafted quotes 

The purpose of a quote extends beyond numbers; it fosters transparency and ensures that clients can make informed decisions. By explicitly stating the financial implications of a purchase, quotes empower clients to assess affordability and budgeting. Additionally, quotes are a foundation for negotiations and discussions, enabling businesses to position their offerings within a quantifiable context. 


The importance of creating effective quotes in various industries 

Enterprise deal-making often requires complex configurations during the quoting process and an array of unique pricing rules at a scale not even considered a few years ago. As organizations mature, that complexity only grows—and it’s a significant hurdle to success for sales teams today.    

Many companies across industries have outgrown their existing quote configuration and generation systems. They can’t keep up with the number of moving parts during the sales process, nor can they integrate with downstream processes like contracting. The result needs to be a more cohesive quote generation without errors, inconsistencies and outdated information that impacts efficiency and customer relationships. 

A CPQ tool can provide predictable and even expandable revenue. Well-crafted quotes help all channels sell more, sell bigger, and sell anywhere. And, for the most complex products, pricing, or channels, CPQ boosts sales effectiveness by allowing you to create the best quotes possible for the quote to cash process. 


How to Create a Quote with Conga CPQ 

Generating quotes with our CPQ offering is quick and easy. 

  1. Selecting and adding products: In your Conga CPQ catalog, you can review categories and add products to your shopping cart. 
  1. Configuring products: Choose the attributes for a product (e.g., color, size, weight) specific to the quote. You can also add and remove options for a bundle (e.g., multiple products that are grouped, such as car shopping or cell phone shopping).  
  1. Adjusting prices and fields: Define the quantity and selling terms for the items in the cart (e.g., adding a coupon code to or changing the quantity of products). 
  1. Finalizing the cart: Once you check out in the shopping cart, your proposed quote is ready to send to your prospect or customer. 

For step-by-step instructions, check out our Conga CPQ product documentation. 


Tracking and managing quotes 

Contracts are the physical output of the deal that starts with your proposed quote. When your CPQ process feeds into your contracts, you achieve significant efficiency, revenue, and customer satisfaction gains because you’ve automated the process and removed the risk of contract errors.  

Tracking and managing quotes that flow seamlessly into a contract makes the process easier for both sides, allowing you to close deals and get them on the books as fast as possible.  


Using CRM for quote management 

With a CRM, you can compile data with an omnichannel mindset, pulling in data from the website, phone, email, and marketing efforts. CPQ picks up where the CRM ends by making complex product, pricing, and business rules available to sales reps and partners in real-time. As a result, they always have the information, guidance, and tools they need to quickly and accurately configure, price, and quote a deal. CPQ also directs the behavior of reps and partners to achieve more substantial business outcomes.  


Analyzing quote metrics and performance for improvement 

Making decisions about the future of your company is stressful enough. If your data is not accurate and up to date, it can make the decision process even more complicated. It’s imperative that key stakeholders have access to clean and well-processed metrics for decision-making.  

While having clean data sounds simple, it can be more time-consuming than expected when trying to aggregate all your information into one single source of truth. The data can include products, services, pricing, rules, account information, and templates. One of the biggest issues experienced is having data split across multiple systems or platforms without communication. Finally, data maintenance can take time and effort.   

Certain CPQ tools run off a single data model, using the same database as contract lifecycle management (CLM), billing, and order management tools. A single data platform lowers the risk of data inconsistency between quotes, contracts, and invoices. This is why we built Conga CPQ on a single data platform. Tying end-to-end data in a fully closed-loop system is worth its weight in gold. 


Best Practices for Creating Quotes 

CPQ software allows you to improve selling efficiencies by automating a large part of the revenue lifecycle—improving win rates and driving higher margins. With CPQ, you can provide faster, more accurate quotes to prospects.  

High-quality quotes should always be driven by the following tenets:  

  • Maintaining consistency in formatting and branding 
  • Providing clear and transparent pricing information 
  • Responding promptly to customer inquiries or modifications 
  • Keeping a template library for efficiency and consistency 


Your quote is often your first chance to show a prospect the value of your organization. It’s the first tangible piece of content they can use to make an informed decision, which is why it’s so important to do it right. Creating a system within your organization to generate consistent, well-crafted quotes will set your company up for long-term success. Check out our Conga CPQ product page to learn more and schedule a demo with one of our solution experts.

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