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Tips for selecting quoting software

With a variety of quoting software packages found throughout the web, we understand that it can be difficult to analyze the differences between these quoting software packages in order to make the correct purchase based on your needs. We have provided this list of tips to help you find the right quoting software for you. This list of tips will give you a good basis for comparison of quoting software solutions.

Look for a money-back guarantee

A money-back guarantee is a software manufacturer's way of saying that they stand behind their product and are confident that you will be pleased with it. more...


Make sure that the software has a money back guarantee. Believe it or not, but some software manufacturers do not offer a money-back guarantee.

QuoteWerks does come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Not all companies and/or software is made equal

Software has revolutionized the way we do business in the world today. It has made it possible for business to become highly efficient. Part of the success of the software industry is due to the fact that it does not require a large overhead to write software and then sell it. more...


In fact, it is relatively easy to do. However, as it became easier to write software, more less qualified software companies have appeared that write lower quality software products. It does not cost much for a one-person operation to write quoting software and then make it available for sale on their website. On the surface, all software products listed for sale on a website often appear to be equal.

When you look a little deeper, you will clearly see the differences. Is the application stable and well written, or does it crash constantly? The best way to find this out is to request a demo version of the software. It is easy to write software, however it takes knowledge and experience to write software that works well and that is stable.

Does the company have a network of businesses that can help you install the software and integrate it into your existing systems? More established companies usually have a "Reseller channel" of local companies that have experience with selling and installing the software.

Companies have different update policies Some companies release updates every couple of months, and some companies make no changes to their software for two years at a time. If you purchase from a company that releases updates every couple of months you will benefit from the new features constantly instead of having to wait for years.

QuoteWerks is both easy to use and very powerful. The trick to that combination is that we do not clutter the interface with a lot of buttons and menus most users may not need. Instead, when you need a more advanced feature, you will usually find it in a pop-up menu or other non-distracting area.. QuoteWerks is known to be very stable. Our customers tell us that we are very responsive to pre-sales and post-sales technical support inquires. We believe in providing our prospects and customers with an exceptional level of service, and therefore all of our knowledgeable staff can handle both sales and technical support inquires so you do not get the run around. We have a network of QuoteWerks solution partners world wide to assist customers with the installation and integration of QuoteWerks. QuoteWerks is our flagship and only product so it receives our complete attention to detail and commands all of our resources. We are very proactive in releasing updates to our software. We release updates every couple of months that contain many significant new features which are usually found only in full version releases every two years by other software manufacturers.

Technical Support availability

Product technical support is also very important, especially voice support. Many companies now sell you a product, but you cannot pick up the phone and reach their voice technical support. We all know how frustrating that can be. Some companies expect you to leave a voice mail and say they will call you back in 24 hours. A true measure of a companies commitment to their customers is if they have voice technical support available to their customers. more...


So, find out what type of support (voice support, email support, newsgroup support) is available and included, and how much support (in terms of minutes, days, months, years) included in the purchase of the software. If voice and email support is included, find out how quickly will you receive a response. Don't assume anything here. Often, it can be days before you receive a response. One way to gauge the response time is to call or email with pre-sales technical questions to see how responsive the company is. Rest assured that if the company responds quickly to your requests before you have even purchased, you will most likely continue to receive that level of support once you have purchased. Is the support staff knowledgeable? Receiving a response quickly is not very useful if it is not accurate or complete.

We offer voice technical support. You can easily pickup the phone and reach us. Our customers tell us that we are very responsive to pre-sales and post-sales technical support inquires. We believe in providing our prospects and customers with an exceptional level of service, and therefore all of our knowledgeable staff can handle both sales and technical support inquires so you do not get the run around.

Is the company a software company or consulting company?

What is the focus of the company? Is the development of their product the primary revenue source of their business or is the software product just something else they do on the side? more...


If the software product that you are purchasing from them is not the source of their primary revenue, you can be sure that they will not be focusing all of their resources of the product. Not focusing all of their resources on their software product will by definition slow the development of new features and the responsiveness to product improvement requests.

Also, some companies release products that are not well document and that are confusing to setup specifically so that they can require that you pay hourly consulting rates to them to setup their product for you. It works for them, they gain extra revenue, but you pay the extra price for their lack of up front effort.

We are a software company. We focus on developing an intuitive, easy to use, well documented product that does not require paid consultant time just to install or use. We have a 790 page user manual, tons of tutorial videos, and you can reach us on the phone (included) for technical support, so you don't have to pay us to learn our software.

Ask for a demo version of the software

Make sure that you can obtain a demo version of the software so that you can verify for yourself that the product functions as advertised before you have to part with your money. more...


This avoids the time consuming hassles of obtaining, and then returning products, just to get a look at them. Most people evaluate demo software when they can find some time in their schedule to look at the software, so it is also important that the demo version does not expire, gives you at least gives you a couple of weeks to evaluate it before it expires, or the ability to easily extend the trial.

QuoteWerks offers a completely functional demo version that only limits the number of quotes and the size of the quotes that can be saved. If the demo expires, you can contact our sales team to extend your demo.

Call their Sales line

It goes without saying that if you cannot reach the companies sales team by phone, then you certainly won't be able to reach their technical support team by phone. more...


When you can't reach a company by phone, it makes it very easy for them to release a substandard product because once they have your money, they can just ignore your emails. It is much harder to do that over the phone.

You can reach our sales line by voice just as easily as you can reach our technical support team by phone.

What does the software cost?

Beware of high priced software that costs significantly more than competing software. It is logical to assume that the price of competing software with comparable feature sets should be similar. more...


Most commercial desktop software retails for around $249 per license. If you find desktop software for sale that costs much more like $400 or $800 per license, it usually means that the company bases it's business practices as more of a consulting company as opposed to a commercial software company, and they want/need the higher price because they are not selling as many units as a commercial software company is. Consulting companies by definition usually bill out all their employees by the hour (often $100 per hour or higher) and are used to charging high prices for their skilled labor. That is a good arrangement for them, but not for their software customers. Software that stores it's data in SQL server databases will generally be priced higher than $199 per license because the added complexity of SQL server costs the software manufacturer more to educate their technical support staff, and maintain the integration.

Also, is the software sold as a one time fee or as a monthly subscription? Can you cancel at any time or do you have to commit up front to pay 12 months at a time? Some companies require that you pay setup fees when you purchase their software. How does the company count the number of licenses of their software you are required to purchase? Do you have to buy a license for every machine the software is installed on? Do you have to buy a license for every user that will ever use the software? Even for a bookkeeper that might use the software once a month?

QuoteWerks is cost effectively priced starting at USD $199 for a single-user. It is a one time purchase, not a monthly subscription. Our licenses are sold per concurrent user, not per named user, so if you have someone that only occasionally uses QuoteWerks, you don't have to buy a license for them. You will be hard pressed to find a product that costs less, and that delivers so much.

Closely examine advertised features

Features contained in software can be implemented in many different ways. If you are looking at two different quoting software packages and they both say that they have a XYZ feature, you should use their respective demos to see exactly how those features will work. more...


Although the same feature is advertised in both software packages, the feature may require additional steps to use, or may not work the way you assumed it does in one or both of the packages. Sometimes the biggest difference between software packages is not the advertised features, but the way in which the advertised features actually work.

Find out if the software requires other software to function

Some quoting applications are written in Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel that require you have licensed copies of Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel installed before you can use the application. more...


This can significantly increase the cost of the software, and it increases the amount of setup and maintenance time required. It is very rare for commercial grade software to be written in Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel.

QuoteWerks does not require any other software to function

Make sure that the contact management integration meets your needs

Just because different quoting software packages all claim contact management integration with ACT!, ACT! for Web, Autotask, ConnectWise, GoldMine, Maximizer, MS CRM, Outlook, Outlook BCM, salesforce.com, SalesLogix, SugarCRM, etc. does not mean they have the same level of integration with these contact managers. more...


Closely examine the advertised contact management integration features to make sure that they meet your needs. For some quoting software packages, the extent of their integration may only be to retrieve the contact name and address information from a contact record in the contact management software. While other quoting software will do more like writing back forecasted sales/sales opportunities, schedule follow up calls, etc in your contact management software.

QuoteWerks offers extensive integration with most of the leading contact management software packages

Make sure that the software supports the pricing method that your company uses

Make sure that the quoting software supports the particular method of pricing that your company uses to sell your products. more...


Companies sell their products based on many different pricing methods. Some companies discount from list, others markup from cost, sell based on volume, customer price levels, etc. If your quoting tool does not support the pricing method your company uses, that would be a deal breaker.

QuoteWerks supports a very complete and comprehensive range of pricing methods.

Make sure that you can customize the printed output (your quotes/orders)

Make sure that the quoting software allows you to customize the look and feel of the printed quote. The presentation of your printed quote to your customers represents your company so it is very important that it looks professional, and includes exactly the information that you want to include on it. more...


Some quoting software has pre-defined quote templates that you cannot customize at all. Others allow you the limited ability to modify some of the aspects of the printed quote like changing your company logo. Some quoting software charges extra for a module that lets you customize the printed look of the quote. Some quoting software requires external software in order to modify these quote templates. Some quoting software allows you complete and comprehensive control over the look of the printed quote including the ability to create formulas that calculating things like monthly leasing figures, and more.

QuoteWerks has pre-defined layout templates and a built-in visual layout designer (no extra charge) that allows you to modify them extensively, and to create new layouts. The layout designer supports the ability to create custom formulas

Make sure that you can create and customize sales and other management reports

Make sure that the quoting software allows you to run reports on all your quote related data like a list of all the outstanding quotes, or all the outstanding quotes per sales rep, commission reports, etc. more...


Since you will be using the quoting software to store all your product information, and all of your quoting and ordering information, you need to be able to retrieve useful reports using all this information.

Some quoting software does not include any ability to create or run management reports. The inclusion of reporting features is an indicator of a mature and complete quoting software package. Some quoting software has pre-defined quote templates that you cannot customize at all. Others allow you the limited ability to modify some of the aspects of the printed quote like changing your company logo.

Some quoting software charges extra for a reporting module that lets you run these reports. Some quoting software allows you complete and comprehensive control so that you can create reports to filter on whatever information you would like, and you can also customize the look of the report including the ability to create formulas that calculating things like monthly leasing figures, and more.

QuoteWerks has pre-defined report templates and a built-in visual layout designer (no extra charge) that allows you to modify them extensively, and to create new reports. The QuoteWerks report filter builder allows you to create reports that contain only the data that you want in the report. The layout designer supports the ability to create custom formulas.

Find out how the software e-mails quotes

Many quoting software packages advertise that they can email quotes, but often the emailing of quotes is implemented very poorly. more...


Some send the quote in the body of the email as simple text so the formatting is not preserved resulting in the information floating around instead of aligning with columns, rows, etc all of which looks very unprofessional and unimpressive when received by your customer. Some quoting software e-mails quotes as a Rich Text Format (RTF) attachment. The RTF format preserves all the formatting of the quote, and when received can be viewed and printed by any word processor application.

Some quoting software e-mails quotes as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (PDF) attachment. The PDF format preserves all the formatting of the quote, and when received can be viewed and printed by the free Adobe Acrobat reader that can be downloaded from Adobe's website ( www.adobe.com ).

For the method of sending the e-mail, some quoting software has no built-in email functionality and relies on automating external e-mail software like Microsoft Outlook. Of course, if Outlook is not available, it cannot be automated, and you will not be able to use the quoting software's e-mail feature. Also, generally speaking, it takes around 20 seconds just to load Outlook if it is not already running which is undesirable. The upside to automating Outlook is that the e-mail will be sent using your existing email software, so there will only be one software packages sending your e-mails instead of two different software packages.

Some quoting software has their own built-in SMTP e-mail client. The upside is that a built-in quoting software e-mail client using the SMTP mail protocol is much faster and more reliable than automating an external e-mail system.

QuoteWerks has a built-in e-mail client that uses the SMTP mail protocol, and can also send e-mails using Microsoft Outlook, and e-mails quotes as either an RTF or PDF formatted attachment.

Find out if the quoting software integrates with any accounting software

Once those quotes are accepted and turn into orders, you will need to get them into your accounting software. more...


If your quoting software does not integrate with your accounting software, you will have to print out these orders, and then have the accounting department re-type the orders into the accounting software.

If your quoting/ordering software integrates with your accounting software, you can eliminate this unnecessary re-typing of information into the accounting software.

Some quoting software does not offer any accounting software integration, others offer integration with a variety of accounting software packages. Also, some quoting software packages offer generic order exporting in delimited text file or xml file format that some accounting software packages are capable of importing.

QuoteWerks offers optional links to QuickBooks and Peachtree accounting software. It also offers generic text file and xml file format exports.

Find out if the quoting software has security features

If more than one person will be using the quoting software, you may want some security features that limit what tasks certain users can perform. more...


You may also want to limit who can view, modify, or delete each users' quotes. If security features are important to you, make sure to find out if the quoting software has any security features, and find out exactly how those security features work. Some quoting software packages have no security features at all, some have limited security features, and some have a comprehensive suite of security features.

QuoteWerks has a comprehensive suite of security features allowing administrators to control which menu options are available to each user, which users can view/modify/delete each users' quotes, and a variety of misc. security rights. QuoteWerks also has a built-in approval process. This enables the administrator to require approval when certain thresholds are met (like margin for the document or even a certain item is below a specific amount) the quote will require approval before it can be sent to the customer.

Find out if the quoting software can use external sources for product data

You will be using the quoting software to quote products and services. Most quoting software packages require that you import your lists of products and services into the quoting software's product database. more...


While this is a logical requirement, if you can find a quoting software package that lets you link to an existing product database source instead of having to import a static copy you will benefit by not having to maintain product information in more than one place. While most quoting software packages will let you just enter product/service information "on-the-fly" in the quote in addition to selecting items from a product database, some quoting software packages require that all products that you quote must be in a product database. Some quoting software has specific links to vendors product databases that the vendors publish to the public.

QuoteWerks can link to any ODBC compliant data source for product information so you do not have to import the product information into QuoteWerks if you already store it somewhere else. QuoteWerks also has links to PC Industry Distributor databases such as D&H, Ingram Micro, SYNNEX, and Tech Data. This link is useful in that you do not have to import data that is already in their databases, you can just use it.

Find out if the quoting software can access real-time product data

Usually the products that you quote and then sell are purchased from vendors or distributors. These vendors and distributors usually change their pricing regularly. The quantities of the items that they have in stock fluctuate daily. more...


It is very important to have access to real-time pricing and availability information so that you have all the tools you need to get product to your customer fast and as low priced as possible. Having access to real-time pricing gives you the ability to deliver last minute price savings to your customer. Having access to real-time availability gives you the company the ability to know if the product will ship today, or if it will be backordered. Since a backordered product cannot be shipped to a customer, knowing that a product is backordered before placing an order will give you the tools you need to make a good purchasing decision.

QuoteWerks has a Real-time Data Module that retrieves real-time pricing & availability from IT/AV Industry distributors Accutech Data, Arbitech, Bell Micro, BlueStar, D&H, Dexxxon Digital Storage, Digitek, Ingram Micro, Printer Essentials, Supercom, SYNNEX, Tech Data and more.

Find out if the quoting software can submit electronic orders

The process of ordering products can be tedious, time-consuming, and error prone. more...


Your quoting software order will already contain all the product part numbers, quantities, pricing, and ship to location - yet when placing an order you would need to call your sales rep and read each part number, quantity, price, warehouse, and ship to location to him/her during which errors can be introduced.

QuoteWerks has the ability to submit electronic orders online to D&H, Ingram Micro, SYNNEX, and Tech Data.

Find out if the quoting software data can be synchronized

If you have multiple office locations or if your sales staff have laptops and would like to create quotes on laptops while out in the field, you will need a quoting software package that supports the ability to synchronize or import/export these quotes. more...


Some quoting software packages have no ability to synchronize / import / export their quotes. Some quoting software packages can synchronize quotes in either an automated or manual process.

QuoteWerks offers several synchronization features that vary by QuoteWerks edition. Remote users can export their quotes and e-mail them to the main office (using the built-in e-mail features) where they can be imported. The remote can also initiate the synchronization of all changed quotes when the remote connects with the main office. Updated pricing and product information can also be synchronized to the Remote

Find out if the quoting software supports international currencies

Many quoting software packages are written in the USA. As such, they are not always designed with the international community in mind. more...


Some quoting software packages cannot be used in countries where the decimal separator is a comma. Some quoting software packages can automatically retrieve the currency and decimal separator information from the Microsoft Windows regional control panel. Other quoting software takes international support a step further by allowing you to quote in your base currency and an alternate currency at the same time. This is very useful for when you create sales quotes for customers in other countries and you want to present the quote to the international customer in their own currency. Canadians have different sales tax requirements than Americans, including GST, PST, and HST. Some quoting software supports the Canadian sales tax requirements, and others do not.

QuoteWerks allows you to quote in both your base currency and an alternate currency at the same time. Canadian sales tax is supported.

Find out if the quoting software has a Configurator

A Configurator is software that will guide the user through a step-by-step process of selecting items to include on the quote. Based on the items selected, the Configurator may then offer new choices based on the last choice made. more...


For example, if you select a 17 tire rim, the next step in the Configurator would only show you 15 tires that would fit on the 17 rim that you selected. Configurators are extremely useful for making sure that all the correct items are included in a quote, and they make your sales force highly efficient. Some quoting software packages contain Configurators and some do not.

QuoteWerks has a built-in Configurator as described above.

Find out how flexible the line items in the quote can be

At a basic level, all quoting software packages will be able to add product and service line items to the quote. more...


The more comprehensive quoting software packages will also support the ability to add subtotal, running subtotal, % discount, % charge, and comment type of line items to the quote. If you are used to using these types of line items in your quoting, it will be difficult to do without them.

QuoteWerks has a comprehensive list of line item types as described above.

Find out what database format the quoting software stores it's data in

All quoting software will need to save it's quote and product information into some type of database. Some quoting software packages store their data in industry standard database formats like Microsoft Access, and SQL. Others store their data in proprietary formats that no-one else can read or modify. more...


The advantage to storing data in industry standard database formats is that it allows you to externally access the data that is in these databases. This is useful for creating applications that can enhance the quoting software's functionality by reading and writing to the quoting software's database directly. This is also useful if you need to create reports using external reporting software like Seagate Software's Crystal Reports. Additionally, since you can view and modify the data from external applications, it makes it possible for you to export or extract your data in the event that you no longer need the quoting software and want to get your data out, or maybe you want to copy the data that is in the quoting software into some other software package. The problem with storing data in proprietary formats is that no-one else can read or modify that data - including you, the owner of the data. You lose data flexibility and data longevity when you select a product that stores their data this way because your data is held hostage inside of their proprietary format that you cannot get to or export when you no longer need the quoting software. As a patch, some quoting software packages that store their data in a proprietary format offer a utility that collects all the information in this proprietary format and then saves it to an industry standard database format that you can then view or export. This is a less than perfect patch because it means that your data in this database will never be real-time. You will always have to run the utility to have it update the industry standard database with the proprietary database information (your quotes).

QuoteWerks data is stored in industry standard Microsoft Access 2002/2003 databases in the Standard and Professional Editions or a Microsoft SQL 2008/2005/2000/7 databases in the Corporate Edition.

If reviews have been done on the product, find out when the reviews were published

When a software company posts reviews of their product on their website, check to see when the review was published. more...


Sometimes the favorable review is so old that the publication that published the review no longer exists. In other cases, the review might have been published years ago when competing software did not exist, and therefore the reviews can be misleading.