More Print Quotes Lead to Greater Profits

Any experienced fisherman will tell you they’ve thrown more hooks in the water than the number of fish they’ve pulled out. That’s just how it happens.

Same goes in business. Generating proposals has to happen in order to land customers. Not all proposals reel in business, but the more hooks you have in the water…

OK, you get the picture.

Technology solution providers and managed print providers alike face the challenge of keeping up with requests for competitive quotes, pushing out new quotes to prospective customers, and ensuring the accuracy of the entire process. The tools most channel professionals use to develop quotes are basic and not automated, and may not utilize the most up-to-date industry metrics for costs. Complicating matters is the fact that the quote and bidding process is typically labor-intensive for solution providers. In fact, an average of seven people can be involved with the preparation of a single quote within a solution provider organization, according to research by eXalt Solutions and Everything Channel.

Do the following statistics sound familiar?

Solution Providers receive on average 42 requests for quotes per month. These quotes take an average of 17 hours each to prepare, and because product information is typically scattered in an unconnected fashion, 10 percent of the time required to complete a quote is spent searching for and downloading reference material. Multiple revisions to quotes are commonplace, and nearly 10 percent of all quotes and proposals are issued with errors, according to eXalt Solutions and Everything Channel.

What if you could generate more managed print quotes, faster, and more accurately? Would you make more money? The short answer is: Yes.

Let’s use a very basic example with a consistent, per-quote value of just $1,000. The addition of just one extra quote per day can add $48,000 in annual revenue based on a 20 percent win rate at a per-quote value of $1,000 (see chart).

Source: eXalt/Everything Channel survey 2007

When we look at numbers like these, it calls to our attention the new managed print quoting tools that Xerox has developed for its PagePack 3.0 offering. These new print usage assessment tools — OneQuote, QuickQuote and CompleteQuote — can assist partners in turning around accurate print assessments and formal bids in as quickly as a day or two. This makes it easier to get more print bids out faster, without sacrificing resources needed to maintain the progress of other bids.

A key advantage of the new Xerox quote tools is accuracy. The PagePack 3.0 quote tools utilize actual costs coupled with proven industry cost averages to build detailed and accurate quotes in very little time, shortening sales cycles and ensuring margins.

Paul Herman, Director of Services Platforms for Xerox’s North American Reseller Channel, puts it this way: “Traditionally, there’s been only two things, the quick, down-and-dirty managed print vs. non-managed print bid. Just a one-to-one comparison you hoped you could sell. Or there was the full bore assessment with the ‘I’ll get back to you in 30 days’ number that would include a floor plan and fleet estimate, etc.,” explains Herman. “But with these new quoting tools, you can get a solid quote in two days based on industry data that makes managed print a compelling proposition.”

The three flavors of Xerox’s new PagePack 3.0 quote system work like this:

OneQuote: OneQuote is designed for quickly outputting a basic single-device quote in less than two minutes. OneQuote factors in device specifications and end-user usage data to provide profitable quotes when all that’s needed is a new machine.

QuickQuote: QuickQuote delivers detailed quotes for deals with up to 200 printers in just less than two days. With QuickQuote, Xerox partners can generate custom print proposals using a Web-based database that makes quoting fast and accurate. Bob Melso, vice president of DocuSense, a managed print provider in West Chester, Pa., has begun using the QuickQuote system and credits the online Xerox quote database with shortening the length of time it takes to generate reliable quotes.
“We can just download the data and go with the proposal,” said Melso.

CompleteQuote: At the high end is CompleteQuote, an automated quote platform for deals with between 15 and 500 printers. CompleteQuote applies actual costs to an advanced quoting process that takes into account customer print usage data, customer site floor plans, and all the peripheral costs involved with a large, networked print environment. Quotes that took over a month to generate can now be produced in two weeks using CompleteQuote, said Herman.

Having the ability to generate more quotes in a shorter period of time is a proven way to increase revenues. But there’s another advantage as well. A professional-looking quote can help you stand out in the bidding process, said Philip Woerner, president of Premier Technology Group, a Xerox partner in Charlotte, N.C.

“The new quote tools give us an opportunity to provide a more professional proposal to the customer. The presentation looks good. It’s easier to read and follow the costs that are involved,” said Woerner.

Interested in learning more about the new Xerox quote tools? Enroll as a Xerox partner right now: