Long gone are the days of getting the job done by hand. Since the rise of personal computing, things like cost estimates are now easily automated. What once took hours, or even days, of hand-drawn equations and gauging intuition, the “art” of quotations can now be accomplished in minutes.
Nowadays, contractors can provide clients with detailed estimates based on recorded data and information over old-school guesswork. Among its advantages are speed, accuracy, and consistency.
Let’s take a closer look at what benefits tradies can enjoy with an efficient job quoting software.
Why Invest in Job Quoting Software?
- Efficient sales process
- Track accurate expenses
- Implement consistent procedures
- Project management integration
1. Efficient sales process
People love quality work. In fact, it’s more or less safe to say quality is favoured over quantity or speed. Still, of the potential thousands of online prospects seeking the same service, one might gravitate towards a tradie who is quick and consistent over one who looks good on paper.
Because management and accounting tools are centralised, the quicker you can generate business proposals and sales quotes. Similarly, the sooner you reach accurate estimates, the sooner you get to bid out other projects.
Ever given a client a little too much freedom? Quoting software that is rule-based can eliminate the chances of having to marry two concepts that just don’t go together. A good CPQ (configure, price, cost) tool will ensure that your clients only select compatible elements, which shortens your sales process dramatically.
Furthermore, when your clients have access to their quotes, or when you get to streamline them with a myriad of format options, the less room there is for miscommunication. The more accessible you are to your clients, the better.
That being said, consumers spend an average of 5 hours a day on their smartphones, which means that if your quotes aren’t optimised for mobile, you’re in a little bit of trouble. If your business isn’t accessible across various devices, there’s a 33% chance of your potential sales failing.
You are in luck, however, as most CPQ apps are omnichannel. This means you’ll get to stay on top of your projects 24/7 on any device.
2. Track accurate expenses
When it comes to numbers on a job, human error can be a nightmare. With a job quoting software, you can easily monitor labour, equipment, and material costs. According to these amounts, your cost estimates can be configured automatically.
Because some aspects of construction are outsourced, you’ll need to keep a close eye on fluctuating subcontractor and equipment expenses. After all, to establish the true cost of your projects, you won’t want to be caught off guard.
With projects undergoing constant change, the ability to track backorders, stored materials, and recent works is important. What some customers might not be aware of is that with every change in a customer order comes a change in price. Without a sales rep to inform them of this, smooth sailing might not be on your horizon.
That said, a cloud-based job quoting software can keep both parties in the loop in real-time. Customers can then configure orders without having to seek the calculations themselves.
3. Implement consistent procedures
Considering the impact of data on today’s modern industries, you’ll want to keep a comprehensive record of your past projects and customer information. The more you learn about what type of customer you service and what their preferences are, the better you can engage with similar future prospects.
You can also model future costs on archived projects with the automation tools and job quoting software can offer. The more accurately you maintain a database of prices, the easier it is to prevent mishaps and costly overruns.
4. Project management integration
Though it may primarily involve numbers, your quoting tools can be used in tandem with other software solutions. Your estimates can aid running projects by acting as a signifier for how on or off schedule you are. Are your job costs within budget? Are you lacking in certain equipment or materials?
Your estimator might even be of use to other various departments, such as to your technicians, who can refer to installation calculations. Your accountants might use it for timekeeping purposes.
An effective software might even make your correspondences smoother and more professional. The better you perform for a client, the greater the trust in you. To run your business professionally, you’ll need to constantly optimise the way you perform.
Though a whopping 97% of organisations vouch for project management as a key component to business and organisational success, only 2.5% of them complete projects with a 100% success rate.
With quoting software, you’ll get to happily eliminate a lot of unnecessary paperwork, and streamline your processes for maximum productivity. Here are the top trusted software you might want to consider integrating into your strategy.
Job quoting software to improve your business
If user-friendly is your schtick, then Scoro may be the job quoting software for you. Its user-friendly interface provides an overview of your client or supplier in a single spread. You can access contact details, files, messages, and all quotes, orders, and invoices without having to click out of your window.
Scoro aims to eradicate fragmented processes by providing teams with a centralised dashboard that displays vital information. It incorporates systematic billing through automation, budget comparison, and billable time tracking.
You can also keep track of your sales funnel visually, and get a breakdown of your project anatomy into unit prices, discounts, taxes, and margins in just a few clicks. To avoid clutter, Scoro allows users to turn services on a quote into tasks for particular teams.
Need to send out your invoice in a specific format and on a channel of your client’s choosing? Scoro links up with tools you might already have, which include online Google applications, Xero, and Zapier.
32% of marketers believe visual images to be the most important type of content for business. Without visual stimulation, consumers lose interest or, at the very least, forget to pay attention. Qwilr is a quoting solution that goes beyond the numbers and takes advantage of visual impact.
Instead of producing unappealing PDF proposals and invoices, Qwilr translates your quotes into interactive, all-device webpages. Aside from its stunning templates, it also employs a reciprocal pricing tool, Quote Block, that allows clients to interact with your pricing.
By giving our clients the option to select the services and products they want, your business gets the opportunity to upsell. Perhaps Qwilr’s most exciting feature is its capability for tracing not only who is viewing your material, but how it’s being viewed. You’ll be notified as to when your documents are first viewed, how many times they’re opened, and which sections your customers gravitate to most.
Come things like pricing, clients like to be in a position of control—so why not put them there? Proposify is a highly interactive quoting software that allows clients to chime in on documents and invoices in real-time, which saves you the effort of making too many major revisions.
You, too, will get instantly notified as soon as a client opens, browses, or signs off on a quote. Better yet, Proposify will record consumer behavior, along with other metrics from past quotes to help identify and track large-scale trends.
Proposify also boasts a fee library, where you can easily save product, services, and pricing details for whenever you need them. Effortlessly reuse customised templates and work towards standardising your process.
Suitable for all business sizes, ServiceM8 provides you and your client access to quotes and invoices whether in-office or on-site. Fresh out of cellular data? Not to worry—you can even SMS documents to clients who need them.
ServiceM8 is heralded for its smart quoting software, which allows users to price quicker using preset labour rates, standard parts, and job-specific items. Instead of starting from scratch, you’ll get to the bigger picture much more swiftly. To estimate job profitability, you can even opt for their Job Costing add-on.
For clients you service who are constantly on-the-go, ServiceM8 can email or text an online quote acceptance link. A built-in question form also allows them to make last-minute inquiries before finalising a quote.
A little unsure about costing? You can draft multiple Quote Options and attach them to a particular project for your clients’ review. When accepted online, the project page will automatically restore the chosen file.
Upon project completion, you may be keen on getting your hands on that paycheck as soon as possible—and you can. Powered by payment processor Stripe, ServiceM8 allows users to scan credit cards and also links up with Apple Pay. Simply capture signatures on mobile to sign off on anything from site audits to checklists and you’re good to go.
For a more personal touch, Xero allows you to craft quotes using contact, inventory, and pricing information you’ve already previously set up. You can do so on the spot, thanks to Xero being optimised for mobile.
Managing costs is easy with Xero Expenses. You can scan receipts automatically and assign them to specific projects. Tracking your submitted, paid, and approved costs also happen in real-time, allowing your entire team to plan ahead and make more informed accounting decisions.
Handling foreign clients? Xero integrates with multi-currency processing and keeps everyone up to date with push notifications.
Once billable, Xero instantly turns your quotes into invoices, which can be replicated or set up to reoccur. Better yet, Xero’s pay now options drastically reduce the time between sending invoices and receiving compensation.
Powered by Intuit, QuickBooks is first-rate accounting software that 98% of customers can attest total satisfaction to. Naturally, what with job and labour costs, expenses, and income to track, QuickBooks removes the hassle of multiple pages by centralising information onto a single dashboard.
With all your data accessible on a single spread, you can manage project profitability easier and more accurately. Working a mobile project? You can hook QuickBooks up on your smartphone and track your billable miles with GPS.
The moneymaker, of course, is QuickBooks’ invoicing and payment tools. Because you can link up directly with your bank and credit card, or other accounts such as PayPal, transactions are just as accessible without having to leave the app.
Have a little paperwork to sort through? Just snap a photo of your receipts and QuickBooks will match them to existing expenses. They’ll even sort them through tax categories, perfect for when it’s time to send out an invoice.
For total accuracy, QuickBooks allows you to create partial invoices that you can share with clients mid-project. Improved collaboration makes your estimates far more precise.
On the whole, with QuickBooks, you’ll get to grow your business through intelligent funding. Loans and taxes aren’t all that exciting—but being able to view costs upfront means no surprises.
Becoming a go-to contractor in today’s booming industry trickles down to one key factor: the customer experience. You’ll want, at best, to aim for total satisfaction, and an enhanced consumer journey entails prices your clients can work with. You can choose tools that are both immersive and interactive, and equally straight-to-the-point.
Job quoting software is now fundamental in streamlining your quote-to-order process. The more intuitive these tools become in a marketplace infiltrated by custom products, the easier it is to manage customer expectations.
A good tool won’t only benefit your customers, but create a more efficient buying and selling experience for your entire team as well.