A quotation is about presenting your solution, establishing trust and present a concrete offering. Sound simple enough, right?
But why are there are so many opinions when it comes to quotations?
It’s because everyone has their own view on what’s important. So how do we solve this?
It’s basically all about understanding the noise and the signal. How can we distinguish the optimal message for a specific receiver?
Should we focus on a short summary or is it really the details what will make the difference?
Should it present the vision or should it describe how we will practically solve the customer’s needs?
Should it present the product in itself or should we compare it with the next-best alternatives?
To sort this out we need a better understanding of the recipient. This post will introduce the first three questions.
Simple or Complex
We can describe the helicopter view of the solution. Describing something in simple words is not as simple as one might first think. To describe something really complex in a simple way can really be a challenge.
The alternative is to describe the product in greater detail. It might be the specific features of your solution that makes the difference.
So let’s assume we’re selling PET bottles filled with carbonated water. We can either describe it simple by just briefly explain the different machines involved. We will even skip the details about some parts of the process that are not really that interesting unless you’re the guy to actually maintaining these bits and pieces.
On the other hand, if you’re that guy who is responsible to meet that 97 % uptime criteria this is exactly what you want to know.
“Unless I know the manufacturer of that specific valve I cannot actually have opinion.”
To only read the simple overview would almost be an insult.
Qualitative or Quantitative
When you describe the product you can do it from a qualitative or a quantitative perspective.
The qualitative perspective focuses on what benefit the product deliver whereas the quantitative perspective focus more on what’s in the package.
Back to our bottle of carbonated water. The qualitative aspects would focus more on the end result:
“There will be an exceptional bottle of water for which the end customer is willing to pay a premium price”
The quantitative way of looking at it would focus more on the number of bottles produced per hour, the labor cost and the total cost of ownership.
Vision or Execution
We can either decide to describe what we want to achieve or how we’re going to do it.
If we focus on the vision there’s no need for nitty details.
If there is insecurity about how it’s going to be done it might be better to put some effort into describing the steps we will take to get there.
With a visionary view we will describe why our new fantastic bottle is needed to enable us to compete for future customers.
The execution view will focus on the project deliveries. How will we get this new production line up and running? What steps do we need to take and in what order do they need to happen.
This is the first post on optimized and targeted quotations. These are the first three steps to separate the signal and the noise.
You can read about the last two steps in this blog post >>Find out how Siemens create their quotes with Tacton CPQ