Your success as a managed services provider (MSP) depends on how well you manage your time. The more time you spend providing services and closing tickets, the more revenue you generate. So, taking time to manually generate quotes — visiting multiple distributor sites for the pricing and warehouse availability information, combing through internal pricing databases, and aligning the quote with internal processes and standards — can eat into the time you could be using to deliver billable services.
In addition to saving time, quote management software also solves another problem that plagues MSPs: human error. Automating the quoting process minimizes manual data entry and transcription errors. In addition, quote templates give you control over the look and format of quotes that leave your office. Quotes will be accurate and positively reflect your brand.
Quote management software doesn’t only have value for larger MSP practices. There are just as many, if not more, quote management software benefits to smaller MSPs — these tools take some of the pressure off managers and employees with max+ workloads.
Once you decide to streamline your practice with quote management software, you’ll face the decision of which solution to choose from among the many available on the market. To help you evaluate your options, we invited quote management software vendors to provide information about their products so you can review their features and determine which one is right for you.
The companies that provided information on their products are:
- Accelo: Accelo
- ConnectWise: ConnectWise Sell
- Quoter Software Inc.: Quoter
- Aspire Technologies Inc.: QuoteWerks
In the coming months, we’ll be adding additional solutions from vendors that didn’t make the deadline for this first comparison post.
Note: XaaS Journal product comparisons aren’t about rating products or choosing “the best.” And they aren’t paid listings or ratings that some websites publish. Our objective, as always, is to provide MSPs with unbiased resources to help them make the best decisions for their businesses.
We also recognize that each MSP’s business is unique, so different businesses may derive the greatest value from different quote management tools. We’ve organized information by features so it will be easier for you to compare and contrast those that are the most important to your MSP.
For more details provided by the vendors, download our “Overview of Quote Management Software” spreadsheet.
Building quote management software to your business processes most efficiently will almost certainly require integration with other business applications, such as professional services automation (PSA), customer relationship management (CRM) and accounting systems. Automatically sharing data with other applications will eliminate the labor hours to manually find or enter information, and it also helps prevent costly errors.
The integrations for these quote management software, solutions, by vendor include:
Accelo: G-Suite, Gmail, Exchange Server, Office 365, Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, Salesforce, HubSpot, NinjaRMM, Continuum, SolarWinds, JIRA, Kaseya, QuickBooks Online, Xero, Expensify
Note: Accelo also has email integrations that help sales teams track accounts and broaden visibility.
ConnectWise Sell: ConnectWise Manage, Autotask, NetSuite, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ConnectWise Manage, Autotask, NetSuite, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Avalara AvaTax, GreatAmerica Leasing, PayPal ProFlow, Authorize.net, Dell Premier integration, HPiQuote
Distributor integrations: Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Synnex, D&H, Accutech Data, Arbitech, BlueStar, Digitek, Jenne, Scansource, WestCoast
Note: ConnectWise Sell integrates into invoicing tools which then integrate to accounting packages; ConnectWise Sell does not integrate directly into accounting packages.
QuoteWerks: ACT!, ACT! For Web, Autotask, ConnectWise Manage, GoldMine, Google Contacts, Maximizer Desktop, Maximizer CRM Live, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Outlook, SalesLogix / Infor CRM, SugarCRM, and Zoho (coming Spring / Summer 2019), QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, Reckon Accounts Desktop, Sage 50, FedEx, UPS, Great America for Leasing, ConnectBooster, and more than 80 credit card gateways and 50 ACH/eCheck gateways
Distributor integrations: Accutech, Arbitech, ASI, Blue Star, Comstor/Westcon, D&H, Dell, Dexxon Digital Storage, Dicker Data, Digitek, EET, Ingram Micro, Jenne, Northamber, Printer Essentials, ScanSource, Supplies Network, Synergy Micro, SYNNEX, Tech Data, Westcoast
QuoteWerks also has third-party integrations to additional CRM, PSA, accounting and ERP solutions that take advantage of the QuoteWerks API.
Quoter: Autotask, ConnectWise, Kaseya BMS, Salesforce, Hubspot, AgileCRM, Base, Highrise, Infusionsoft, InsideSales.com, Nutshell, One PageCRM, Pipedrive, Zoho, Freshbooks, QuickBooks Online, Xero. Etilize, Zapier
Distributor integrations: Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Synnex, D&H
As you compare quote management software solutions, you’ll also find that pricing models can vary substantially:
Accelo: Plans start at $16 a month. You’re free to sign up for a paid plan, and you can mix and match any Accelo product or combination of product modules as you see fit. The only limitation here is that you can’t mix and match ServOps with individual modules.
ConnectWise Sell: There are three pricing tiers, charged annually:
- A basic plan that has a maximum of three users
- A standard plan with unlimited users
- A premium plan with unlimited users and the most product features
QuoteWerks: Pricing is based on concurrent users and the edition of the software you need. Most MSPs will need either the Professional or Corporate Edition of QuoteWerks. Pricing starts at $269, one-time.
Quoter: While most SaaS products are priced per user, Quoter moved away from that model and offers three main plans with unlimited users, which differ only in features and quote volume.
- Basic plan starts at $99/month
- Standard plan is $199/month
- Pro plan is $299/month and includes the Manager Approvals feature and reporting.
On a month-to-month commitment, the first month is $129/month + $495 onboarding, for a total of $624.
Sales Team Support
The value of using quote management software doesn’t end when the quote is sent to your customer or prospect. These solutions can include automatic upselling and reminders that standardize sales follow-ups.
Accelo: Sales personnel have the ability to set up tasks and reminders to reach out to clients, and you can set automatic triggers to send sales outreach emails and similar tasks.
ConnectWise Sell: “Optionality” inside Sell allows for options to be displayed and accepted on a single quote — for alternative offerings or for additional items on the quote. Also, the Etilize integration returns suggestions for upselling that can easily be added to the single quote.
QuoteWerks: QuoteWerks has a Configurator, Required Items, and Optional Items, built into QuoteWerks and set up by the QuoteWerks administrator within your organization. You can also add a Product Content Subscription, powered by Etilize, which enables the user to automatically see upsell or cross-sell Items, add-ons and more.
Quoter: Quoter’s Item Option feature allows users to create configurable options for their sales teams to automatically calculate the price of the Item based on the options selected.
Tracking Customer Activity
Quote management software can also provide you with new visibility into when your customers view or sign quotes.
ConnectWise Sell: This software’s online quote deliverable tracks every time a customer views (and approves) the quote. It also has an area that a customer can submit questions/comments, which go directly to the sales rep.
QuoteWerks: QuoteWerks offers QuoteValet for a monthly subscription that notifies users every time a customer views a quote or selects interactive options. There is a built-in Collaboration feature that enables communication between the sales rep and customer on the quote. QuoteValet also facilitates quote acceptance/signing, and even accepting payments.
Quoter: This solution helps you keep track of communication with customers, and knowing the right time to follow up with an email tracking feature. Also, Quoter’s quote acceptance feature notifies you by email when a Quote has been accepted or ordered through Quoter.
Accelo: This quote management tool features simple dashboards for tickets and to view all raw data.
ConnectWise Sell: ConnectWise Sell is integrated to Microsoft PowerBI, and with the predefined reporting pack, it provides insights such as recurring revenue per month, largest quotes, sales by product, revenue by month, sales by manufacturer, sales by distributor, and more.
QuoteWerks: QuoteWerks has a built-in reporting tool that enables customers to generate their own reports. There are sample reports that provide the basics that most customers need. QuoteWerks customers have used Microsoft BI and other dashboard or reporting tools by leveraging the company’s open database.
Quoter: Users can access real-time reporting through the Sales Leaderboard and Items Report. These reports help VARs/MSPs understand not only how their sales team is performing, but how the products and services they sell are performing.
We gave each vendor the opportunity to highlight the newest features of their products:
Accelo: “We recently opened up beta testing for four different partners, including HubSpot, Practice Ignition, Google Analytics, and Office365 to make it easier for users to work with their favorite tools. We want to get feedback from our users and want them to know that we are dedicated to making a platform that they want to use.”
ConnectWise Sell: “Recently, we added the Output Grid Layout Editor, which gives Sell users much more flexibility in controlling the information that displays on the customer-facing quote documents (both document and online quote). This can be done in all packages.
“We also added in the ability for people using both Sell & Manage to truly automate the Contract Renewal Process. Sell’s Quote Demand feature tracks when an agreement in Manage is about to expire and creates a quote demand with all of the agreement’s billing items already on the quote. We’ve also added new features that allow for the tracking of shipments on Cisco orders with Tech Data.”
QuoteWerks: “In version 5.4, released January 2019, we added a bidirectional datalink enabling more information to be exchanged between the CRM/PSA and QuoteWerks. We also added the ability to add surcharges and discounts based on the payment option selected at the time of quote acceptance. Overall, QuoteWerks v5.4 added over 65 new features. “
Quoter: “Our Manager Approvals beta is being released at the time this comparison is being written. Administrators can create Approval Policies and Rules to control how your organization is quoting. This will allow our Partners to truly embrace our philosophy of having everyone in
their organization quote by ensuring manager approval should certain conditions be met.”
What Makes Each Quote Management Software Solution Stand Out
In addition to providing a list of integrations and quote management software features, we asked vendors to share what makes their products stand out in the marketplace. Here are their responses:
Accelo: “We’re focused on providing a platform that is easy, automated and customizable for users. We streamline the process by offering a product that can be tailored to a company’s liking — making it easier for them to work.”
ConnectWise Sell: “ConnectWise Sell is a cloud-based application that can be accessed from anywhere, and has strong proposal capabilities — making it possible to create and send all kinds of quotes (hardware/labor/contract) from one single application. Really tight distributor integrations make it easy to build customer quotes from information from distribution. Tight CRM/PSA integrations, specifically ConnectWise Manage, make the sales handoff easy. What really makes Sell valuable is its ability to grow with partners, through the different package offerings.”
QuoteWerks: “The four main pillars of QuoteWerks are Integrations, Price, Support, and Robust Features. QuoteWerks is a time-tested, integrated, affordable solution. QuoteWerks integrates with more solutions than any other quoting tool on the market. We also provide flexible deployment and onboarding options. With QuoteWerks, you will see an ROI with your investment”.
Quoter: “Whether it’s a sales rep or an engineer, we empower everyone within your organization to quote quickly and easily by offering unlimited users, removing bottlenecks and increasing the number of closed deals. We are also 100% cloud-based, and work very hard to keep our software very easy to use, but also very powerful. In house, we have extensive experience working with VARs/MSPs and are committed to making Quoter the market leader in the quoting space.”
While you’re considering which quote management software to integrate into your operations, also think through your current quote processes — which aspects need to be improved and how you’ll train key personnel on your new system. Pave the way for smooth user adoption and implementation to put your business on the path to getting the greatest value from your new application.
XaaS Journal also wants to hear from you. If you want to see additional information in our product comparison or more insights on how to get the greatest ROI from a quote management tool, reach out. We welcome your feedback.