time - moneyMany cabinet dealer owners today are very disconnected from what their employees actually go through on a daily basis to survive the craziness of the kitchen and bath industry.  Take quoting and bidding for example.

When business is down, owners usually feel it’s not an issue that employees spend hours putting together quotes for prospects.   We’ve even heard owners describe feelings of satisfaction that salespeople are busy for a change.

The problem with busy, however, is it doesn’t always equate to more sales revenue.  Or worse yet, everyone on the sales team will be slammed, but the jump in sales revenue is tiny in comparison to how busy everyone is.

If you’re nodding your head that this scenario reminds you of your operation, your sales team is maxed out in the minutiae of quoting tasks and opportunities are slipping by at an alarming rate.

Here’s the top 8 signs your quoting process is losing you more money than you may realize:

  1. When you ask your salespeople about the kitchen sales process they use for quoting and anyone answers something along the lines of “design IS the process” (this is usually said with a roll of the eyes or some sort of condescending attitude to imply you’re an idiot for even asking).
  2. The sales team tells you their closing rates or, worse yet, they give you the data to feed your reports.  (Hint: you’ll always hear what you want to hear, regardless of the reality of the situation).
  3. Your salespeople reach maximum capacity seemingly overnight and complain of being overloaded.  (Hint: no matter what your operations manager or sales managers say, your quoting process is so convoluted and manual that it doesn’t scale as demand picks up).
  4. Every salesperson quotes things a little bit differently. (Hint: If a prospect can get two different quotes from two different salespeople on your team, for the exact same kitchen, you’re losing money).
  5. Excel is used at any point in your quoting process.  (Hint: the Excel templates are usually built by the salesperson, most likely at another k&b business they came from before you hired them and without a doubt contain some sort of error.  And even if they were built by your sales manager who grew up as an installer and Excel guru, the salespeople have copied the template so many times by now that errors have been introduced).
  6. You leave it up to the salesperson to determine any portion of the quoted price, and therefore the discount.  (Hint: your salespeople have the control and you have only the illusion of control.  Either way, you effectively have no control).
  7. Designers manually figure anything on the quote. (Hint: this means they’re making mistakes and you’ll never know about them.  It’s not malicious, errors just get buried in paperwork).
  8. Any report on sales you ask for has to come from accounting.  (Hint: by the time it hits your accounting system, it’s too late).