How Do eQuotes Work? A Step-by-Step Breakdown

Quoting is a complex and time-consuming aspect of B2B sales, and one that is critical to get right. Because quoting is vital to winning new business, mistakes mean missed opportunities. Erroneous quotes cause lost revenue or soured relationships due to perceived under or overcharging. When quotes are handled manually, managers find it challenging to track the quotes salespeople create, leading to pricing that is not advantageous to the business. On top of this, a quote takes a long time to put together and deliver to the buyer, who then must approve it and return it to the supplier—all of which introduce delays.

eQuotes use integration and automation to streamline quote building and delivery, improve the buyer experience, and reduce errors. This article explores eQuotes and how TradeCentric can bring the advantages of eQuote functionality to B2B buyers and suppliers, regardless of which eCommerce platform or eProcurement system they use.

What are eQuotes?

eQuotes are also called draft carts, a name that more clearly expresses how they work. A quote management system provides an interface for entering quotes. It may be a standalone platform or integrated into the supplier’s eCommerce store.

The supplier prices an order in a draft cart, which may be created by the buyer or by the supplier in response to an RFQ (request for quote). The quote management platform informs the buyer that a quote is ready by email, and they log in to view it. They can transfer the quote to their eProcurement system for approval at the click of a button.

eQuotes rely on integration between the buyer’s eProcurement system and the supplier’s eCommerce store. That’s where TradeCentric comes in. The TradeCentric Integration Platform as a Service integrates any eCommerce store with any eProcurement system, facilitating data exchanges between otherwise incompatible platforms.

eQuotes simplify the quote creation process for both buyer and supplier. Without an integrated system, buyers submit an RFQ, often by email. The supplier must then consult their catalog and create a quote document. When the buyer receives it, the details are manually entered into their eProcurement system and, once approved, manually re-entered into the supplier’s eCommerce store.

This is a lengthy process with many opportunities to introduce errors.

In contrast, eQuotes are:

  • Fast: Quotes are entered into a standardized quote builder interface, and the integration software takes care of data transfers between platforms.
  • Error-free: Once the initial quote is created, there is no need to rekey order details manually.
  • Transparent: Quote data is readily available to managers at the selling business and to everyone who is authorized to access quotes and orders in the buyer’s eProcurement platform.

With the addition of purchase order automation, the order can also be transferred back to the eCommerce store once approved. Other automation features such as electronic invoicing (eInvoicing) create a seamless procure-to-pay system.

Exploring the B2B Quote Management Experience with TradeCentric

An increasing number of B2B buyers ask for eQuotes. They recognize the benefits and expect suppliers to provide the necessary platform integration to their eProcurement and enterprise resource planning software.

You can choose from:

  • A standalone eQuotes solution that provides an interface for users to request quotes and view completed quotes.
  • eQuotes with PunchOut catalogs. In addition to the features of the standalone platform, buyers can PunchOut to the supplier’s eCommerce store to create an order.
  • eQuotes with PunchOut catalogs and purchase order automation. In addition to PunchOut catalogs, this option delivers a purchase order to the supplier’s eCommerce store or ERP once the quote is approved.
  • A complete sales order automation solution that adds eInvoicing for integrated end-to-end digital procurement that starts with a quote and ends with invoicing.