Proposals/Quotes
  • 23 Jan 2023
  • 6 Minutes to read
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Proposals/Quotes

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A Quote is the output of the CPQ process, and as such, shared with external entities such as Customers or Partners. In Mobileforce Quotes and Proposals are used interchangeably to refer to the same output.

A quoting process in Mobileforce CPQ starts with a customer/opportunity (typically stored in a CRM) for which a quote is being created. Mobileforce can access and read relevent customer and deal/opportunity information from the CRM, and use it to automatically pre-populate the quote, thus saving a seller valuable time. The seller then creates a quote by following the Mobileforce CPQ process, that is visualized in the user interface through the main tabs. Once initial quotes (or quote templates) are created, they can be duplicated to enable rapid creation of new quotes.

The simplest quote consists of a series of line items, each of which represents a product being sold, together with appropriate discounts. More complex quotes consist of multiple line item tables that include both products and services, marketing and legal add-ons and even timelines.

In Mobileforce CPQ, the seller creates a quote through the CPQ process. The seller then initially shares the quote with internal stakeholders, such as Managers, Directors, and VPs, for the purpose of obtaining approvals on specific components of the quote, such as discounts or bundle pricing. The internal stakeholders are organized via approval groups, and collaborate on a quote. Internal stakeholders may also modify quotes, typically changing the discounts or adding and removing products.

Once internal approvals are obtained, then the seller shares the quote with the Customer, who can also provide feedback on quotes. Customers typically do not modify quotes, they only provide comments. However, the seller can review their feedback, modifying the quotes as necessary and resubmitting the modified quote to the customer for signature.

The interaction centered around a quote, between the seller and the customer, can also be formalized via e-signatures. Mobileforce provides built-in e-signature mechanisms that both the seller and the customer can use to sign off on the quote. Additionally, if stronger signature tracking, audit, and legalizations are required, then Mobileforce also integrates with 3rd party document signature vendors.

Once a quote is signed, it can be locked to prevent modifications, and the information can then be written back to the CRM. Mobileforce also supports CRM-specific customizations such as writing line items back to the CRM (if the CRM supports line item objects), updating CRM activity, updating quote fields in CRM, and updating pricing as well.

Additionally, audit-tracking can be enabled through versioning of quotes within Mobileforce.

Quote Object

A Mobileforce quote object includes the following fields in addition to the common fields. For more information about common fields, see CPQ Setup and Admin Topics)

image: An (optionaly) URL address of an image to display and associate quote.
layout: The URL address of the form layout that describes the UI to use when configuring this quote. The layout uses XML to specify the attributes and line items for the quote. The XML layout is based on the schema described for the Form Configurator.
layoutId: The identifier for the desired Form Configurator layout, which must match the form ID stored in the XML document specified in layout field.
expireDays: The number of days after the quote is created that it can be opened. Mobileforce closes the quote if it exceeds this value.
approvedTemplate: The email template that is sent to the owner when their quote is approved.
declinedTemplate: The email template that is sent to the owner when their quote is declined.
canceledTemplate: The email template that is sent to the owner when their quote is cancelled.

Quote UI Layout

The quoting workflow can be completely customized (by an admin role) using the quote UI Layout, which is described in Add Quote UI Layouts

Quote Status

All quotes have a status. The built-in statuses are described in the table below

Status Locked? Closed? Description
Open No No For newly created quotes or quotes that need approval
Pending Approval Yes* No The quote is in the middle of an approval process
Approved No No The quote has been approved
Declined No No Approval of the quote was declined
Closed Won Yes Yes Quote is closed. The associated deal was won.
Closed Lost Yes Yes Quote is closed. The associated deal was won.
On Hold Yes Yes Quote has been put on hold.
Expired Yes Yes Quote has expired.

Locking Quotes

When a quote is locked, Mobileforce changes the status of all input fields that are set as lockable (the default status) to read-only.

  • When a user sets the status of a quote to closed (for example, Closed Won or Closed Lost), it is locked for all users.
  • When a user sets the status of a quote to Pending Approval, it is locked for all users except for approvers.

It is possible for a quote to be extended to added additional statuses. For such statuses, the quote will be locked but not closed.

Closing Quotes

When a quote is closed, the form is uneditable, and Mobileforce disables all rules, save operations, document generation, and approval requests for the quote.

The only operation allowed on a closed quote is Reopen. Reopening a closed quote will reset its effective date.

Quote Lifecycle

We now describe the lifecycle of a typical proposal in the Mobileforce CPQ application, from initial creation to saving the quote to the associated CRM.

NOTE:

The business rules for your organization may add or remove stages from the lifecycle listed below.

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Create Proposal

Proposals can be generated from either an existing opportunity, deal, or ticket in the source CRM, or they can be created new within the Mobileforce CPQ application. Users add additional customer information as needed.

For more information, see Creating a Proposal.

Build Quote

Once the initial information for the proposal is created, the user will build the terms of the quote additionally doing the following:

  • Add line items to the proposals, adjusting the quantity and applying discounts as needed.
  • Validate the proposal to determine if any errors exist and ensure that the quote follows the rules for your CPQ and CRM applications. (optional)
  • Generate an initial quote/estimate document for the customer to review. (optional)
  • Save the proposal (at any time) to work on it at a later time (optional).

For more information, see Creating a Quote for your Proposal.

Approval Process

Once the quote is complete, the user can submit the proposal to the designated approver, if required by the business rules.

The approver is notified of the proposal. They can then review the proposal and approve or decline it with comments, sending it back to the user for processing.

For more information, see Submitting a Proposal for Approval and Reviewing and Approving Proposals.

Sign Proposal

If the proposal is approved, the user can digitally sign the proposal, and so can the customer if they are available. All digital signatures obtained this way are automatically included in the proposal documentation.

For more information, see Generating Signatures for your Proposal.

Generate Proposal Documents

Once the user has signed the proposal, they can generate the final proposal document(s) and send them to the customer for review, and signature if required. Typically this takes place via email outside of the Mobileforce CPQ application.

For more information, see Creating Proposal Documents.

Save to CRM

Once the customer has reviewed the documentation and signed off on the proposal, the user can save the proposal to the CRM, which updates the applicable CRM modules with information from the proposal, and attaches the quote to the deal, opportunity or ticket.

For more information, see Saving Quotes to your CRM.


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