Favorite Integrator Sales Quote Software (Statistics)

By Brian Rhodes, Published Feb 23, 2018, 08:06am EST

What application do integrators use the most to issue sales quotes? Nothing? Spreadsheet? MS Project? Online software? Of the many offerings out there, which one has the interest of security companies?  

150+ integrators told IPVM what they software they use. Inside we examine answers, and reveal which quote creating software is used most frequently.

Sales Quote Software Statistics

The largest group of respondents cited using Microsoft products (most typically Excel or Word):

*** ****** **** ****** named ******** *** *** estimation ****** ** *** accounting ******** **********. *******, 23% ******** ***** **** use * ******** *******, it ** *** *** commonly **** ** **** than * *** ******, tallied ** *** '*****' category.

General ********* ****** ******** **** ****

*** **** ****** ******, 30% ** *** *********, mentioned ***** ******** ********* Office ********* ** ******** quotes. ******* ******** ***** that ******** ******** *** used ** ***** ****** the ******, ******* ** combination **** ***** ********* software. ** *******, ***** was ********* **** **********, but ***** **** ** actually **** ** ******** the ***** ***** ** the ********, ***** ** a ***-******** *** ****** viewable .*** ******:

  • "***** ********* ********* **** with ***** **** ********. Small ****** ********* ***** and **********. **** **** are ********* ** *** for ********* ****."
  • "***** *****, ** ****** Integrator, ** ** *** best ***"
  • "***** **** ******** **** sheets *** ******** ********** a ******** ***** ** PDF. *******, ********* **** beginners ****** ***** **** itself **** *********."
  • "** *** *****. ** is * ******** ****!"
  • "** **** *** *** quoting ****** **'** ********* within *****. ** ***** but *** *** ********* unorganized ** *** ********* rushes ******* *** *****."
  • "** ********* ******** *** quoting. ** *** ***** for ******* *** **** for *********. "
  • "**** **** ***. ******* at ****** * **** filled ******* *** ********** and *****."
  • "***** *********** *** ********** and ********* **** *** proposals. * **** ** because ** ** ******. What ***** ** * negative ** **** ****** from ********* *********** *** not **** * ******* appearance."
  • "***** *** ****. ****** but **** ** ********** tasks."
  • "********* ****** ***** **** but ***** *** ** too **** ********* ********** of *** **** *****. "

Heavily ********** '*****' ****** *****

*********** ********* **** **** 35 ***** ******** ********* or ******** ******** ** their *******, ***** ******* shows *** '***** ********' market ** ***** ****** customized *** **** ************ to ******** ******* *********** and ***** ******* **** ******* ********** ********, **********, ****** ********, and *** ** *** Software.

***** **** ** ********* were *****, ***** ********* multiple ***** ** ********* to ********, **, ** A/V ********** *******:

Quickbooks ********** ***** ******

** ******* ****, *** general *****/****** ****************** ******** ******************** ***** ***** ***** mentions. ********* **** *** managing ******** ********, ***** Quickbooks ** ****** ***** quotes ***** ******* ***********, but ** *** *** specifically ******* '****' ** terms ** *********** ** usability *** ***** ****.

***** ******** ******** * generally ******** *******, ******** several **** *********** ** drawbacks ** ***** *** book-keeping ******** ** **** issue ******:

  • "**********, **** *** ***** it ** **** ******. We *** *** ********** do ** ******** ** naming ********** *** **** gradually ***** ***** **** the *****, ** ** pretty **** ***** ***."
  • "** *** ********** ******* Quickbooks. ** **** ** because ** *** **** our ******* ** *** quote. **** ** ** highly ************."
  • "***** *** ********** ** in **********. **'* **** that *** ** *** financials *** ******** *** it's *** *** **** tool *** *** ***, or *** **** ******, but ** *****."
  • "**********. ** ** ****** for ** ** ** directly **** **** ** billing."
  • "**********. ** ****** **** a ******* ********** **** kind ** *** ******* management ******** ** * way **** ** *** adjust ******* ** ***** price ******* ***** ** repetitive *****."
  • "**********, (*** **) *****'* do * **** *** of ******** **** **** into * *** **** once **'* ***, *** navigating ******** **** ** Quickbooks ** **** ********** - **** ******* ***** parts **** **** *******/*******, which **'* *** ******** to *** ***, ******** jobs/parts **** **** ********, etc"
  • "********** ***. * **** it ***** **'* **** and **** ** ******* to ********."
  • "**********. **** **** ** but ****** ***** ******** better."

******* ****** ******* $* - $**/***** *** versions ********* *** ****** to **** *********, *** additional ******* *** ** added *** ********** **** access *** ******* *** inventory ********.

*******

******* ******** *********** ******** votes, ******** *** * security-industry ******** ******** ** WeSuite.  ******* ******** ***** that ** ** ****** complex *** ***** *** novices ** ****** ***** to *****, *** *** degree ** ************* ** confusing. ******** ******** ********** each ***** ********** ** that *****, ******** * quick ****** ** ******** allows **, ***** ******* may ** ********* ** too ***** ** *********** use:

  • "*******. ** *** ** tough *** *********** ** grasp, *** **** **** do ** ***** ** work **** ****. ** really **** *** ****** of ******** **** **** people *********** *** ******. It *** * *** of ************* ******* *** sometimes *** *** ******* can **** ** * bit ********. ****, ******* and ****** ******* ** the ****** *** *** expensive ** **** ** this ** ****** *********** work."
  • "*******'* **********, * ***'* personally *** ** *** is ***** **** *********. The ****** ****** **** our *** *** *** costing."
  • "** *** *******, *** it's *** **** *****. The **** ****** ****** is **** ****, *** the ********** ** *** quote ****** ** ********. It **** *** ***** for *** *************; ***'** stuck **** ***** ****** unless *** ****** ** all-new ********. *** ***-*** quotes, **** ** *** feasible."
  • "** *** *******. * like **. **’* **** can ****** ******* *** flexible."

******* ****** ** $**/***** *** **** *** the **** *******, *** local ** ***** ********** is ** ****** ** that *****. 

**********

******* ******* ********, ******** non-security ********, *** *** online ***** ***** ***** specific********** ********. **************, ********** ** designed ** '*** **' with *** ******** *** and *** ********* *** is ********** ** **** information **** *** ******* into ******.  ******* ******** noted **** ****** ** the ******** ***** **** and *** *** ******* reason *** ***** **:

  • "**********, *** ******** ***** package **** ***-** **** CRM *** ********** ********. price ** **********."
  • "********* ** *** ********** for *** ******** ***** lists. * **** *** built-in ******** *** ** is * **** **** forward **** ** ***** parts *****. ****** *********** with *** ******** ****** and ****-**** ******* ***** be ****."
  • "**********. ** ***** ** work **** **** ****** we *** *** ** fully ********* ** **** pictures *** ********** *** it ********** **** *** CRM *** ** *** custom ******* *** *** make *** ****** ******* ie. ****** ******* ***** build *** ****. ** creates * ************ ******* quote."

********** ******* ****** **** $~** ** ~$**/***** *** user **** ***-**. *** $45/month ******* ** ***** for *********** ** ***** enterprise-version *********, ********* *** databases, **** **** ** Dynamics *** ***! ** other ************ **** *********** and ********.

'Needs ***********' * ****** ****

**** *********** *** ******* unhappy **** *** ******** currently ***** **** ** their *******.  * *********** number ** ******** ******* express *************** **** ***** tool, *** ******** ** other ******* ************ **** ******* ********** ******** **** *** *** **** software *** ******** *****, the ******* ******* ** changed ***** ** ** the ****** ** ****** now:

  • "**********, ******. **'* **. We *** **** ** the ******* *** ***** backward **********. ******* *** other ******* ** **** point."
  • "***** *********** **** ****** fields. **** ** *** most ************ ******** *** quite ********* *** ******** for **** ****** ***."
  • "******* *******, ***** ***, Excel - ***'* **** them ** *** - looking *** ****** ********"
  • "** **** ** *** special ** *** *******, we **** **** ******* which ** **** *** ourselves. ** *** ******** mainly *******, *** ********* systems. ** ***'* **** it **** **** ** it ***** * ****** time ** ******** * quotation."
  • "********** ** *** *** a ******* ******* **** it.  ********* ******* *** the ***** ******* *********."
  • "*** ******* ** **** use ***** *** ****. We *** ******* **** other ******* *** *****'* found ******** ***."
  • "********** ******, **** ** because **'* ****, ***********, not ************."

Comments (18)

We use iManage. Just works, handles all our stock, invoicing, quotes etc :) 

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Would anyone be able to share their experiences using Zoho One from an overall usage standpoint and if they have had success creating quotes? Appreciate your help!

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Hello. Thanks for the comment.  Zoho garnered two votes in our survey, and out of 150+ responses it isn't widely used.  

I'll email the specific people who responded to the survey with Zoho and post their replies here.

Thanks!

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We used Zoho CRM for about 7 years but not as an estimating takeoff tool though, we customized it mostly for assigning job numbers to quotes and tracking that job number through the various stages - Proposal - Negotiation Review - Active Project or Service Call - Closed Lost etc.. etc.. etc... It was great for keeping all the documents related to specific opportunities in one spot. It suited our needs very well for many years. The reporting features to measure an estimators performance were fantastic!

We then looked at using Zoho Projects to better track our projects once they became active in CRM. The idea was to set a project to active in Zoho CRM, automatically creates a project in Zoho Projects, and brings over relevant info. Seemed simple enough given that both were on the same Zoho Platform.......Wrong! 

Don't be fooled by their statements of "easy integration" between the many Zoho applications. Easy for developers maybe, not for the average I.T. guy that's for sure. We even went as far as to hire a Zoho Certified developer and he struggled to get this seemingly simple integration to work. Even when he was finished it was clunky and more often than not, wouldn't work.

We now use Bitrix24 which is less expensive, way easier to use, and is an excellent CRM and PM tool all in one. Still using Excel for takeoffs though. I would be hard-pressed to ever give that up!

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This is a great CRM with the caveat that you get out of it what you put in. As for quoting, I didn't think they had this capability.

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Currently using iTrade

Very happy with it.  Cheap, quick, simple.

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It's always amazed me why there is a lack of industry specific quote software. After 30 years in the game, I still have my trusted excel spreadsheet but yearn for a better option. We would never use the software to present the quotation. As a systems integrator our quotes are set out as a significant document include proof of concept, full methodology and SoR's - in part because of the NSI requirements in the UK, but also to support bids usually in excess of £100k. 

We do use a seperate CRM - Pipedrive to manage the workflow but an industry specific financial quote builder would be great. Something we can drop manufacturer price lists, links to data sheets, extended lead times, brief product descriptions and categories into that will also serve as a full BoM and pick list. Oh yes - sterling please and not $!!

A huge negative are companies like ADT who present templated quotations to their clients. These are the easiest things in the world to tear apart and customers hate the generality of them If we discussed a specific site risk, the customer wants to see it has been addressed within the proposal. I was always told a quote or tender should read like story, from survey to installation and should be specific and never generic.

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We use various tools.

 

For the actual quote, we use QuickBooks with a hard copy check list. We start by creating a design, then take that list to QB.Our checklist has cameras, mounts, power supplies, recorder, HDD, and about 40 other items. The checklist is not specific, but reminds me "do I need a mount for that camera" or in the rare case of HD, " I need a power supply"

 

Then we do a proposal in Pandadocs and bring the pdf quote in to show the line items.

 

I think we use an average of 5 to 6 programs a day for various tasks. And my office manager is sure to remind me every day...

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Do you insert the pdf from Quickbooks into Pandadoc? I've used Pandadoc for other proposals in our business but haven't looked at adding products/costs into it for this yet. 

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We save the estimate as a pdf to a local drive, and insert at the very end with a map/design. In the main tool bar in Pandadocs there is an option for attaching pdfs.

 

We also put the total project price in the proposal so it is a quick read, then they can see the details on the line item estimate.

 

We have moved to Connectwise Manage and are still exploring a couple options for creating estimates a little easier. This includes Connectwise Sell, D-Tools, and QuoteWerks

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WeSuite is a security industry-specific solution. It has the capability to handle take-offs, CRM, estimating, and it is integrated into Sedona and QB. Some other cool features include daily price updates with PSA, recurring revenue quoting, preventative maintenance quoting, quote approval process levels, and e-sign modules.

One caution, it's not "plug-and-play." Like most worthwhile solutions, you get out of it what you put into it. 

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   My two cents worth is that We Suite is how others described it here. If adequately trained and given time to master, it is okay but the quotes "do not tell a story."

My training was two days worth of slides presented by the We Suite Guru but no actual real time hands-on the keyboard training. End of week, "here's your lap-top, good luck"

   I find it to be a very interesting choice for companies that experience 50-65% turnover in their sales force each year and continually scratch their heads and wonder why? Some of these so-called 'super regionals' also install managers that cannot do what they demand of those that they manage which adds significantly to the never ending turnover...

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#2, great post. Training is definitely a week point for WeSuite. As for "telling a story," this speaks to the fact that it is not "plug-and-play." The user has to be able to go in and create templates and options. With the goal of clicking some buttons to get a custom looking proposal each time but without having to spend hours doing it is always a challenge for any software.

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We are a PSA owner/member.  We have been using WeEstimate by WeSuite for about a year and once its set up it creates great proposals. Our WeEstimate parts database synchronizes with PSA parts database daily endures that our parts pricing is very accurate on ever estimate.  Yes it has a little bit of a learning curve but once you do a dozen estimate it gets easier.  There is also a CRM component (WeOpportunity) which integrates really well with estimating tool.  You use a mobile app to enter customer contact information and leads/opportunities. This will sync with WeEstimate customer database on server. We are now producing more accurate and professional looking proposal than we were creating before. Prior to WeEstimate we did use Studio 360 by Schneider Electric but it is designed for building automation companies and not security.  We were also creating proposals in Word which was really much slower than how we are doing it now. WeEstimate creates about 80% of the proposal automatically and we just need to create a scope of work and cover letter.  It does give you the ability to setup multiple proposal templates base on how the proposal pricing needs to be presented to customer.  Once templates are setup (takes 5 minutes to create a template) just by checking a box I can change the proposal from lump sum to itemized pricing. We feel WeEstimate has definitely increased our productivity and speed at producing proposals and also the accuracy of parts and pricing help our jobs come in at the actual margins we originally priced to customer.  
We host the database and application on our inhouse VM but WeSuite does off to host the application on an Amazon server.  A rue WeEstimate cloud application will not be available for another year or so.  

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Surprised QuoteWerks isn't more widely used. They have strong CRM integrations [to keep track of quotes] and the flexibility to format your quotes (and sales orders, work orders, pick lists) however you like is pretty powerful.

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I had not looked at QuoteWerks before doing this survey result, but it does stick out to me as pretty powerful and looks slick.  The integrations to many CRMs was a key benefit to responders who use it. 

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I Agree, I used Qoutewerks for many years as a IT-Broker of Servers and networking hardware (in Sweden, Europe).

It was great to connect others excel sheet/databases to QW.

had like 25 different sources of information I built up.

Distributors like TechData and Ingram was online (see inventory of all warehouses in near-real-time).

and see the margins right away . 

Pull data sheet of from different product was a charm(online).

But as always with these sort of system you need to have time to learn.

See when your customers open the quote was like magic (online), often they emailed and said the quote needed to be updated =new revision (update purchase prices) and send away again.

sorry for my swenglish :)

/J

 

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At TIC Security we use “Paperless Proposal” this application won 2017 Security Sales Integration Top 30 Technology Innovations.  They customized it for our integration business and this has been an absolute blessing for my company. It is Cloud based / CRM / provides analytics / e-signature / shared cloud storage / price generation / proposal generation that you can send as a link or download into a formatted pdf or word document.  I simply send a link  - I can embed videos I took from site or from webcam, images, pdf, webpages, intro letter, capabilities statement, scope of work,  references, certificates, Price document with working cost folder that allows for commercial or GSA sales pricing.  Hell I talk a customer thru my proposal and what to look at and call out important items they may miss.

Best of all I get analytics  - I can see when the customer looked at it how long they looked at it, what they looked at, if they forwarded it, who they forwarded it to.  When they buy this also allows us to receive an e-signature and allows us to create a booking document that shows cost sell margin tax and location where we source the equipment or services from.   To book a job I click a button and send a link to operations. 

We can internally share documents the client cant see or allow operations to add close out documents and in turn receive e-signature when job is complete.   

I met the owner 3 years ago at ISC show at a small booth and it honestly stopped me in my tracks.  Having used SST Khameleon, the train wreck ADT has created, sales force debacle that SDI screwed all up, Gold mine, excel docs merged in word documents, pdf writers this is honestly the greatest thing in the security industry since the creation of the “Roller Ball Door contact”.   

I hope my competitors never use it......              

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