I’ve gotten so much feedback from a previous post on a sales quotation example (in fact it is the most popular post so far in the sales funnel) that I think it warrants going into this in a bit more detail. I thought it might be appropriate to have a series of posts detailing the various parts of a good sales quote. And the quote is often at the beginning of the sales funnel, so it is terribly important to your sales health.
All sales quotes should have the following components:
- Your contact information
- Your customer’s contact information
- Date you sent the quote out
- Your internal quote number
- Quote body
- Payment terms
- Shipping terms
- Your signature and title
- Reference to your Terms and Conditions
For this post, let’s talk about the “internal quote number” – other quotation items to be found in future posts.
You should have a system in place for numbering all of your quotations. I’ve seen many different ways of doing this, the most popular follow:
- Base it on your customer’s name. For example if you are quoting XYZ Forming, Inc. for the third time, you might call your quote number “XYZ003”. The benefit of this numbering scheme is that you know at an instance who the company is and how many times you’ve quoted them in the past. The problem is that you need to remember if you called the quote XYZ or XYZFORM. Sure you can set up rules to maybe limit it to three characters, but that causes problems with companies that have the same first three letters – it ends up being a mess and I don’t recommend this.
- Base it on sequential numbering. So on day one your first quote is 001 and three years from now you’re on quote 434. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this scheme, I like to build a little intelligence in my quote numbering layout.
- Base it on logical sequential numbering. Here is where I like to live. If a company has very discreet products, say iron and copper sheet quote could be numbered Fe001 and Cu001, respectively. I personally like to number based on the current fiscal year I’m in without regard to product class. So my first quote of 2008 was 8001 and right now I’m on 8178. That way I know at an instant approximately when a quote was released. I have a simple Excel file that I use to keep track of what quote number I’m on.
Please CLICK HERE to download a sample sales quotation for you to use as a template in your sales efforts.
What system do you use?