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Streamline your sales process with Quotes

Posted 3 years ago in Advisors by Laura Cardinal
Posted by Laura Cardinal

Many small businesses win work by using sales quotes. They drive sales, which, in turn, generate revenue and build relationships with customers.

Yet many businesses don’t realise that quotes can also cost them business. Revenue can be lost by not following up on a quote, or by not turning quotes around fast enough.

At the same time, many businesses are unable to forecast capacity when quotes are successfully won and they realise they don’t have the people to do the work. Like many aspects of running a small business, there are always many moving parts.

Introducing Quotes

Today, we’re releasing Quotes in Xero. It’s now easy to create, send and manage your quotes workflow all the way through to customer acceptance. By making it easy to create a quote, you can quickly respond to an opportunity, anytime anywhere, keeping your business moving forward.

Then, with a couple of clicks, Quotes can also be turned into invoices so you can be paid for all of your hard work.

You can access and create quotes from the Sales dashboard. Here you can also see a summary of your quotes in progress including draft, sent, accepted and expired quotes. This makes it easy to track the status of a quote, follow up on the ones that have been sent but not accepted, and generally keeping your business moving.

The Sales dashboard also makes it easier to understand what work’s in your pipeline, so you can plan your resources accordingly – and can ask your advisor for any help in scaling your business up or down as your business requires.

Xero quotes interface

To save you time you can easily use an existing quote and copy it to a new one; you can also mark a quote as invoiced and set up reusable quote terms to suit your business if you need to be consistent or change them on the fly to suit a particular job – it’s up to you!

And similar to the way invoices work, the look of your quotes can be tailored by creating customised branding themes and email templates. Check out the following video to learn more about sales quotes.

This initial release makes it easy to create and track your quotes. We’re already busy working on more features for quotes, such as the ability for a customer to view and accept quotes online, the ability to copy a quote to a bill or purchase order, and more. We also released a ton of other great features today.

As always, for more information on using Quotes – and the other features in this release – visit Help Centre.

 

42 comments

Andrew
January 21, 2015 at 12.02 pm

Three years in the waiting …. very disappointed.

John
January 21, 2015 at 1.24 pm

Amazing, new awesome feature released at no cost and first comment is a complaint about having to wait for it… Trolls will be trolls..

Bill
January 21, 2015 at 1.26 pm

Andrew, Your positivity and kindness is always appreciated.

I’d like to say thank you to Xero for creating this feature.

Bev Poultney
January 21, 2015 at 1.47 pm

This is by far easier than the existing way I have been doing my quotes – The most annoying part for me is when you type in the date of the quote and the expiry it disappears and you have to resort to using your mouse and the drop down arrow to bring up a calendar … Apart from that this is a great start and I am really excited about using this as we are using quotes constantly… yay brownie points for xero

James
January 21, 2015 at 1.49 pm

Looks great! Thanks guys. Worth the wait.

Bev Poultney
January 21, 2015 at 1.54 pm

Andrew Hi – would like you to share why you are disappointed – for me it is a step in the right direction – it took a three attempts to use it and there although there are about 3 things that don’t work like I expected them to, but in time will be sorted I am sure. I would like the quotes to show in the balance sheet – good for forecasting …

Aaron
January 21, 2015 at 2.08 pm

Awesome work.
Two things so far.
1) it is not giving my customers their preloaded discount.
2) It would be good to have a print option. which marks as sent. (like the invoice)

After it is sent you can print it but some other my customers still want to be handed a quote.

Debbie Mayo-Smith
January 21, 2015 at 3.46 pm

This is stunning – especially for the trades!!!
How much more income generation can be gained using this along with smartlists too?

Derek
January 21, 2015 at 4.00 pm

Great to have quotes and you made January, well done but…
There is always a but. If I make a quote for a March delivery wouldn’t be great to have it in the March Budget, the budget would then become much more useful.

And. As we have been asked to use draft invoices and we have many of them, it would be good to have the ability to convert a draft to a quote. That has been acknowledged, do you have a suggested date?

Laura Cardinal
January 21, 2015 at 7.14 pm

@John @Bill @James – thanks for the positive feedback, we’re pretty excited too!

@Bev – glad you are finding quoting easier now. You are able to type in the date if you don’t want to use your mouse, try this format dd/mm/yy

@Aaron – the customer discount not loading is a bug – we’ll get a fix for that. In the list view of quotes, if you select the checkbox of the quote and then select print, you’ll see an option to mark as sent.

@Debbie – it’s great to see how happy you are. Getting quotes added to Smart Lists is something we’ll be adding in the future.

@Derek – We haven’t yet looked at reports or balance sheet entries so this is great feedback. We have a bunch of enhancements including converting draft invoices to quotes in our backlog which are currently prioritising. We’ll provide an update soon on what’s to come.

Laura Cardinal Xero
January 21, 2015 at 7.25 pm

Thanks everyone for all your feedback so far!

@John @Bill @James – Thanks for the positive feedback, we’re pretty excited too!

@Bev – Glad you are finding quoting easier now. You are able to type in the date if you don’t want to use your mouse, try this format dd/mm/yy

@Aaron – The customer discount not loading is a bug – we’ll get a fix for that. In the list view of quotes, if you select the checkbox of the quote and then select print, you’ll see an option to mark as sent.

@Debbie – It’s great to see how happy you are. Getting quotes added to Smart Lists is something we’ll be adding in the future.

@Derek – We haven’t yet looked at reports or balance sheet entries so this is great feedback. We have a bunch of enhancements including converting draft invoices to quotes in our backlog which are currently prioritising. We’ll provide an update soon on what’s to come.

Ryan
January 21, 2015 at 8.16 pm

Thanks Xero, Thanks Laura! =)

Will we be able to send ‘online’ quotes in the future instead of pdf’s?

I used to use a ‘draft invoice’ as a ‘quote’ and really liked the online quote presentation to a client – looks very professional compared to an email with pdf. Often pdf’s get stopped in peoples individual or company spam/trash filters – being able to provide an online link got around this all to often hurdle (costs to revenue if people aren’t getting their quotes).

We followup all our quotes however resending or explaining whats happened or getting people to check their spam folder is boring and hardly professional or streamlined. Sorry – writing this has reminded me of the old pdf attachment issues I thought we’d left in the past.

‘Online Quote Link’ pretty please, Laura =)
(I’m sure it’s on it’s way?)

Ryan.

Laura Cardinal in reply to Ryan Xero
January 22, 2015 at 6.16 pm

Hi Ryan – Yes, agree that this is a great professional way to present a quote and we’re currently working on this functionality. Thanks!

Di Crawford-Errington
January 21, 2015 at 9.42 pm

Fabulous! Thanks @Xero

Laura Cardinal in reply to Di Crawford-Errington Xero
January 22, 2015 at 6.27 pm

Thanks Di 🙂

Phil
January 22, 2015 at 12.05 am

Great feature, thanks. One question: will this be available in the app too? It is something that would be great to be able to prepare at a customer site and then send them immediately.

Laura Cardinal in reply to Phil Xero
January 22, 2015 at 6.19 pm

Hi Phil (and @Stacey) – That would definitely be great. A mobile version of quotes is our backlog and we’ll update with timeframes as we know them. Thanks!

Chris Dixon
January 22, 2015 at 1.09 am

As expected, a basic quotes process! Nothing wrong with that at all, but it leaves me wanting more, as usual! Such as the ability to generate a repeating invoice from a quote, and an online link for the customer to accept the quote. But it does plug a gap in Xero functionality so thanks folks.

Laura Cardinal in reply to Chris Dixon Xero
January 22, 2015 at 6.23 pm

Hi Chris – Thanks for your feedback. We were so keen to get this out to you that we decided to release the core functionality first and enhance afterwards. We’ve many exciting things in the pipe, so stay tuned for more. Cheers!

Ryan
January 22, 2015 at 1.34 am

Much anticipated and much appreciated! It’s like you’ve delivered us a whole new piece of software. I’m a Xero accounting partner, and this is a feature almost every one of our clients will use. Thanks @Xero.

Laura Cardinal in reply to Ryan Xero
January 22, 2015 at 6.26 pm

Awesome News Ryan! Thanks for the feedback.

Nick
January 22, 2015 at 2.20 am

Really excited to have this feature! A lot of my clients will benefit from this. Question…is there a way to have the quote convert into a prepayment? Some of my clients would like to send out a quote and when it’s paid they receive it as a prepayment and then spread the income out over a period of time by allocating the prepayment to invoices.

Laura Cardinal in reply to Nick Xero
January 22, 2015 at 6.24 pm

Hey Nick – It’s not possible to do this on the quote but you can continue recording payments as Prepayment transactions (see: http://help.xero.com/au/BankAccounts_Prepayments) and applying them to the invoices created from the quote. Thanks!

Steven
January 22, 2015 at 4.34 am

This looks really interesting.
Quick question about creating invoices for a quote…
We will usually take a deposit for work. So x% of the total value of the work up front, but this would not be tied to particular line items in the quote.

Would raising an invoice from the quote, but not marking it as fully invoiced until we complete the work and raise the final invoice work?

Laura Cardinal in reply to Steven Xero
January 22, 2015 at 6.25 pm

Hi Steven – Yes, that will work. You can create multiple invoices from the quote and can change the account and/or amount within the invoice to suit. Cheers!

Allan Fefergrad
January 22, 2015 at 7.08 am

Great stuff Xero team. Our clients will be so excited!!

Laura Cardinal in reply to Allan Fefergrad Xero
January 22, 2015 at 6.26 pm

Thanks Allan – Appreciate the feedback 🙂

Stacey
January 22, 2015 at 5.29 pm

I have the same questions as Phil, will this be available on the app?

I know of a few tradies that only use the app.

Anton Gerner
January 22, 2015 at 6.34 pm

Hi Laura,

Well done!

I’m interested to know if the add-on developers will be able to link into the quotes module through the Xero API? Would be fantastic if you could see current quotes within Xero that were created with external software.

Charles Klvana
January 22, 2015 at 6.56 pm

Hi Xero, Great work on bringing out the quoting ability.A much needed feature.

But what’s with the complete inconsistency with the rest of Xero and Purchase orders?

1 – On the sales dashboard, the menu from the new button has this order; Invoice, Quote, Repeating and CN. Whereas on the purchase dashboard the new button has; Bill, Repeating Bill, CN and PO. Why not have the sales as the same order as purchases?
2 – Only a SEND button to finalise the quote? Why not just use the approve button same as POs?
3 – When viewing the quotes register, there “buttons” to accept, decline, print, send etc are completely different than the buttons in purchase orders, or anywhere else in Xero for that matter?

These little details are breaking the usual intuitive nature of using Xero which has always made it such a pleasure to use.

Manu Media
January 23, 2015 at 7.55 am

Great new feature, I used it for the first time today, can’t wait for new features to be added to my Xero software!!!!!!!!!

Chris Doms
January 23, 2015 at 8.09 am

Great to see this feature available, and will be nice when it’s fully fleshed out. A little bit of feedback for my $0.02:

1. I agree with Charles above, the interface is weirdly inconsistent with the rest of Xero. Why a “send” button where on every other Xero screen it’s approve? Just copy the PO or Invoice interface and have the option to Approve and Send.

2. Along the same lines, make it easier/more streamlined to print quotes instead of emailing. I know Xero wants to be on the cutting edge, but think about how people are actually doing business in the real world. Think about the last few quotes you received in your personal life – a mechanic’s estimate, a quote for painting your house, etc. I almost guarantee this was given to you as a piece of paper, and it will likely continue this way. In the real world of doing business people don’t want to say “OK now check your email, my quote should be there”, they want to hand you the quote, or personally deliver it from a sales point of view.

3. Having quotes available from an app will leverage quotes functionality enormously, and should (in my opinion) be the next thing on the list. A tradesperson, cleaner, parts supplier et al being able to show up on-site, look at the work to be done and preparing a quote in front of your eyes without resorting to a carbon pad would be amazing.

All up this is a great start and at least now I can tell my clients that quotes are available, which was a major hurdle in getting people onto Xero. I look forward to the feature being expanded upon, and hopefully tidied up a bit.

Chris Doms
January 23, 2015 at 8.27 am

Just to expand on my point about printing quotes, I’ve been having a play and the workflow to getting a printed invoice is a bit silly. This needs to be streamlined – my suggestion is just to copy the Approve/Approve and Send workflow from Invoices and Purchase Orders. This is the workflow to getting a printed quote:

1. Create your quote and click Save at the bottom right.

2. This takes you to the Draft Quotes screen, which is useless because there are no quick commands from here. Click back into your quote.

3. Clicking Print here will print a DRAFT quote, which is useless to most people. Instead you have to click Options -> Mark as Sent (even though it hasn’t been sent yet).

4. Finally you can click Print (which then brings up a dialog which forces you to click Print again for some reason).

So starting from a completed quote, the number of mouse clicks to print it is 6 instead of one. This took me 27 seconds to get the PDF, and keep in mind it’s another 3 mouse clicks and 10+ seconds to open the PDF and print from there.

I would love to see this process improved.

Kate Bendewald
January 24, 2015 at 12.06 pm

Love the quotes feature. Please work quickly to allow clients to accept and SIGN quotes automatically. 3rd party add ons are more costly and still a little clunky. Thanks Xero.

Marg
January 24, 2015 at 7.11 pm

Agree with workflow comments as it was a bit confusing throwing in a status of Draft as I too manually marked it as Sent just to get rid of DRAFT before sending it…at the next quote I took a leap of faith (but just emailed myself) to see if DRAFT disappeared when I did Send and it did. It should suffice to just have Quote and then it acquires a Sent status once sent…anything else is just an unsent quote.
Additionally I would like to ask that the Quote Title be copied across to the invoice and would be the leading line in Description with quote lines below. Currently the Quote Title doesn’t come across so you have to cut and paste from the Quote to the Invoice.
Finally thanks Xero, a lot of my clients will benefit from this.

Matthew
January 26, 2015 at 8.33 pm

Pretty poor effort after 4 years in the making – despite all the fawning responses above.

What about Delivery Terms, where we can add DDP, FOB, EXW etc. There should be a separate register of all INCOTerms such that these can be applied.

What about Schedule – delivery date etc.

When it comes to customisation/functionality, Xero is pretty poor. The terms box at the bottom should be a reference to another module where I can have any number of different Terms that I have pre-populated – I would then select the required Terms to be included. Xero expects us to create a different template for every different set of terms! This is the same with bank accounts. I should be able to just select a bank account and associated instructions to appear on an invoice, based on what I have loaded into a separate module in Xero.

Laura Cardinal Xero
January 26, 2015 at 10.13 pm

Hi All,

Thanks so much for all your comments;

@Anton – Thanks Anton. Building the API components is currently in our backlog, so stay tuned for updates.

@Charles – Thanks for your feedback. We’ve taken the time to research and understand a sales orientated workflow, this allowed us to depart from our pattern for PO’s and invoices. As we monitor our users behaviours, and take on feedback – we’ll seek to improve patterns further accordingly across all areas of Xero with a view to improve productivity.

@Manu Media – Thanks!

@Chris, @Marg and @Matthew- Appreciate your feedback and great suggestions! We’re going to continue enhancing our quotes feature and as mentioned in response to Charles above are constantly looking to improve and streamline workflows across Xero. Please keep the feedback coming – It’s invaluable.

@Kate – Thanks for the feedback.

Cheers,

Laura

brandon
February 4, 2015 at 7.17 am

hey glad its here!, happy that you can mark quotes as accepted and keep track, however will xero add a feature that enable us to add documents that can be sent to client automatically ?……such as proof of insurance this is a big thing for us Arborists…

Maybe give us the option to save the document permanently into quotes so that it gets sent out every time with all quotes, and /or maybe we have a threshold ….if there are five quotes all over $1500 then those quotes get the document sent with them and quotes with the lower value do not etc…… this would really help……would save time having to going my documents file on the mac and send a separate email to the same client……this could be a nifty way to add additional marketing into the customers in box with out it hitting the trash box……….. sound good?

neil
February 24, 2015 at 7.35 am

Getting into working with quote. A few suggestions:
– Would be great to partially invoice an accepted quote;
– How about a “Statement” type listing of quotes in each category (Draft, Sent, Accepted, etc)
– Would it be possible to pull the title and annotations from the quote through to the invoice?

Toby Hazlett
March 19, 2015 at 2.18 pm

Hi Xero. My thoughts are bittersweet when it comes to the new quote system. On one hand i am happy that xero are finally starting to take their clients seriously and attempting to provide something for us. The other is why not make it good? I find the quotes addon quite terrible and clunky and i have now abandoned using it altogether and going back to just creating my quotes in the invoice and saving as a draft, then when client goes ahead with quote i approve it. The quotes area needs a great deal of work to make it more user friendly until i start using it again. I had my hopes up when i saw this feature but they were dashed once i realised how terrible using it was. C’mon Xero we know you can make this better lets get the ball rolling for 2015

Adam
March 19, 2015 at 11.04 pm

can u attach photos to the quotes?

Paul Dodd
March 24, 2015 at 8.28 am

Are there any plans to open up the API so that I can export my quotes from Streamtime to Xero? I already have this as my quoting system, would be perfect to have those financials inside Xero!

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