Still using Word or Excel?

Many of our customers started out creating quotes and proposals in Word and Excel. After upgrading to QuoteWerks, They've realized tremendous gains in productivity.

I currently use Word or Excel to create my quotes. How will using QuoteWerks be a better solution?

Many of our customers started out creating their Quotes in Word and Excel. We speak with many prospects that create their quotes and proposals using a spreadsheet (like Microsoft Excel) or a word processor (like Microsoft Word). When most business professionals are first asked to create a sales quote for a customer, naturally they use the tools that they are already familiar with such Word or Excel. At first glance, using Word or Excel is a quick way to create a quote. As you get further along in the quote generation process you very quickly discover how inefficient and error prone the process is.

Using Word, everything you do is a manual process. Manual processes are inefficient and prone to errors. Because Word and Excel are equally inefficient in creating quotes, we will focus on the inefficiencies of Word vs. QuoteWerks.


Microsoft Word/Microsoft Excel


1. Creating a new quote begins with a blank page or a previously created template.

In Word/Excel, you have to manually type in the customer's name, address and phone.
Using QuoteWerks, the process is much simpler. Using a new blank sheet, you click on a button to immediately pull all the customer information into the quote.
2. Next, using Word/Excel to add the items that you are selling to the quote you would have to manually look up the product name, part number, cost, and price from each vendor's price list, and then manually type in all that information. Once that information is entered you will need to manually remember to enter the markup that your company charges on this item. In QuoteWerks, simply scroll through a list and select the items you want to include in the quote. All of the description, part numbers, cost, price and details are automatically copied into the quote.

A single click will also locate the vendors with the lowest costs on the selected items. Required items are automatically added to the quote. All the item costs and prices will be automatically summed and subtotaled.

The price is determined based on the customer, and you can see what the customer has paid for the item in the past. If your cost is lower, you can choose to keep the profit or pass it on to the customer as a discount.

You can choose from bundles or products or use the Configurator. It's also possible to refresh older quotes with the latest or best prices. In all, nine different pricing methods are supported, including line item types like subtotals, hide prices, etc. Required items are automatically added to the quote.

3. If you're using Word/Excel, you have to manually add up all the items for a subtotal. With Excel, you would have to have created a formula, or you would have to verify that the formula is adding up all the line items that you want it to.
With QuoteWerks, all the extensions, totals and taxes are automatically calculated which ensures there are no mistakes caused by incorrectly adding up the numbers.
4. To format the quote for the customer you would need to pay attention if the quote spills onto two or more pages because if it does, more manual formatting will be required. You'd also have to make sure your costs were not being displayed to the customer. Then you save the quote so that it can be e-mailed later.

Next, you'd have to open up another Word/Excel document to create a cover page, manually entering the customer's information again. When finished, you'd save that separately too.
In QuoteWerks output formatting is already pre-designed to your needs, so choose the format that you want, choose a cover page, type in your cover page notes - the company name, phone number and other information is automatically completed. Select any additional literature that you would like to include with this quote and also choose which product specification sheets you would like to send with the quote.
5. To send the quote to your customer using Word/Excel, you'd have to start your email software and manually type in the customer's email address, find your quote document, cover page document, literature documents, and spec sheet documents and attach them. Then, send the email.
In QuoteWerks, simply click on the email button from the preview window to send the quote. No need to retype the customer's email address since QuoteWerks already knows what it is.
6. Using Word/Excel, you need to manually create a reminder somewhere to make sure and follow up on this quote.
Using QuoteWerks, a follow up call is automatically created for you in your contact management software ensuring that you will remember to follow up with the customer.
7. Using Word/Excel, if you need to make a change to the quote and re-send the email, you have to repeat all the previous steps to compose the email and locate all the attachments. In QuoteWerks, you can make a change to the quote, and if you need to re-send the quote, you can just open it up again, and click on the email button.

As you can see, using QuoteWerks instead of Word and Excel yields tremendous efficiency savings!

More reasons to use QuoteWerks instead of Word and Excel

While the above step-by-step comparison clearly demonstrates how inefficient Word/Excel is at creating quotes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Consider the additional issues:

Accuracy issues
Errors can very easily be introduced into the quote when accidentally mistyping a number, or changing a totaling formula, and now you have a calculation error which may be difficult to track down.

Using Word/Excel, you will need to manually keep track of a unique quote number sequence, and if you make a mistake, you will then have two quotes with the same quote number. This shortcoming is especially prominent in an office where there is more than one sales person creating quotes.

With Word/Excel, there is no standardize list of products and services. QuoteWerks supports multiple price lists that you can easily search. You can also define many of the properties of the products to include markup, pictures, spec sheets and more.

With QuoteWerks you have a standardized look for your Quotes. With Word/Excel each sales rep can generate a different looking quote presenting a non-unified image of your company. Also with Word/Excel, as the quote spans across pages, etc you will need to spend time cutting and pasting descriptions, and re-applying border lines, etc.

Centralization and Reporting
To find an existing quote in QuoteWerks, you can search the database by customer, quote number, and more. In Word/Excel, you have to remember the file name and go find where you saved the file.

In Word/Excel, you cannot create reports based on all of the information in the quotes. For example, you have no way to report on how many quotes each salesperson is creating each month, how much potential income these outstanding quotes represent, how many of the quotes are getting converted to orders, how many of XYZ product are quoted, and how many have you sold, what prices has the XYZ product been sold for over the last 4 months, etc.

If you have remote sales reps in the field with laptops, they can email you their Word/Excel document quote, but trying to keep track of revisions and the most current quote is near impossible. With QuoteWerks the sales person can create a quote on a laptop, and then synchronize it with the main office, keeping track of revisions, the current quote and allowing for reporting.

Administrative issues
With Word/Excel, you have no security controls over the quote document creation or editing. You can't control the markup, you can't control who can view/modify/delete sales reps quotes. QuoteWerks has a myriad of security controls ranging from feature and menu access to individual document rights.

Accounting Automation
When the quote becomes an order, how do you get it into your accounting software? With Word/Excel you have to manually re-enter it.

Lack of specialized quoting features
QuoteWerks is more flexible and more powerful in many ways. QuoteWerks has richer content, pictures, spec sheets, supports more pricing methods, links to other software such as your contact manager, and more. It focuses more on the assembly of the quote with a Configurator, required items, price comparison features, price refreshing, links to external pricing data sources, etc. QuoteWerks has built-in automation for assembling the quote, additional literature, spec sheets, etc and then automatically emailing it. QuoteWerks also includes much more flexibility in your ability to create reports to retrieve information about your quoting and ordering including commissions. QuoteWerks can refresh prices on an older quote with a single click. You can't do that with Word/Excel.

There are more shortcomings in using Word/Excel to create quotes, but you get the idea...

Do any of these quoting difficulties sound familiar? QuoteWerks can overcome all of them!

Sales Quoting and Proposal Software Solution

If you’re still manually creating quotes & proposals with spreadsheets and word processors (Word and Excel), and spending hours gathering product information from multiple sources, it’s time for a better way. QuoteWerks is a powerful quote and proposal automation solution that enables you to sell more, close faster, and increase profits.

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In Summary

There are many reasons to use QuoteWerks instead of Microsoft Word Or Microsoft Excel to create your quotes.

Download the QuoteWerks Demo Version today and take QuoteWerks for a test drive.

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