Create Automated Quotes with Socket

As a customer, quotes don’t mean much to us. They are just pieces of paper filled with a list of items and the best prices a business can offer us. However, on the other end of the spectrum, quotes and leads are the bread and butter of almost every business. In a competitive world, price quotations help win customers without spending a whole lot on customer acquisition.

There are tons of enterprise software available for generating comprehensive price quotes, and they are often included as modules in modern CRM and ERP software. But like every other domain that uses software, quote creation apps are available online too. Socket is an easy to use, online quote creation app that promises to make your life easier by automating your quotation process. Interested to know how?

Overview

Overview

Overview

With help of Socket’s intuitive interface, you can build your own quote forms to specify what your quotes contain, and how the pricing is calculated. Within minutes you can easily configure a complex, automated quoting system without having to do any coding at all. Then just copy and paste the embed code the app generates for you to create a customer facing, instant online quoting system directly on your website.

Pricing

Starting from $49 to $749, Socket has a total of five different price plans. Most of the key features are intact in all plans but the number of quotes, quote forms, users who can create quote forms and the percentage of order transaction fee change with each plan. All plans come with a free 30 day trial and if you cancel the subscription before that, you won’t be charged.

Pricing

Pricing

You will have to submit your credit card information even to avail the trial account. However, if you are not willing to take the risk, try their fully functional demo quote system before making up your mind.

Getting Started

Dashboard

Dashboard

After a quick sign up process, you will land on the dashboard. The app informs you that there are three important steps and few activities associated to each step to kickstart the quote creation process. It’s good to see that the dashboard has a comprehensive analytics solution so you can stay on top of your business at all times. Taking the lead, I verified the default currency for quotes but skipped the logo uploading option.

Creating Items

Basic Details Section

Basic Details Section

Naturally, the first step is to create items that your business deals with. Thankfully, the process wasn’t as cumbersome as I expected and is pretty much straight forward. Just enter the name of the item, the vendor, number of SKUs available and a description in the Basic Details section.

Pricing Structure

Pricing Structure

Scroll down a bit and you will find the most important section of them all – pricing. Here is where things get interesting. In addition to a fixed and tiered price points, the app also allows you to add pricing based on configuration. If an item you are selling is a configurable product (say a model plane), and you wish to price the item based on options selected by the customer, use the User Selectable Options tab above.

User Selectable Options

User Selectable Options

From here, you can offer a variety of customization options for your customer. This could be anything – limited edition colors, size or material. The total price calculated for the item will include the base price you have specified in the Basic Details tab, plus the total calculated value of the options selected.

Created Items

Created Items

Then specify the tax information and item bundling (if any) plans and once you are done, save the item.

Creating an Automated Quote Form

After giving the form a name, enter a URL Accessor too. This is the name appended to the link where the customers can visit and get automated quotes from. This could either be created by you or you can use the one Socket creates for you.

Adding Items to a Quote Form

Adding Items to a Quote Form

Now you will come to the section that is divided into Available Items and Included Items. All items you have created so far will show up in the Available Items section. Just drag and drop only those items you want to be part of this quote form into Included Items section. This couldn’t have been any more easier. Kudos!

Add text and files to help the customer better understand your product and the company and save the form. All the heavy lifting ends over here.

An Online Quote

An Online Quote

Head over to the Quote Forms section of the app and hit the gear icon to get the embed code of the form you plan to use online. Once you paste the code, the customers who land on the link will be able to fill in details required by you and an email with the quote attached will be mailed to them.

A PDF Quote

A PDF Quote

The email contains all the items, pricing and fine print you have added earlier in a very professional format, complete with your company logo. And there are prominently placed Order Now buttons to close the sale from the PDF quote itself.

Final Thoughts

Without an inkling of doubt, Socket is a huge time and money saver for any business. It’s impressive that Socket even lets you track and manage leads, and funnel information into your existing CRM. And if you have a website that receives a lot of traffic, this could be the cheapest lead generation engine you are looking for all along!

The only problem I see with the app is their pricing. True, the app does have a gamut of features, but is a bit exorbitantly priced if you take into account the fact that it does one thing and one thing only. Even Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or Salesforce accounts don’t cost much in comparison! Since it’s targeted primarily at the enterprise customers who aren’t afraid to fork over for software, though, they should be fine.

Share Your Thoughts!

How do you generate quotes at present – using web apps or conventional enterprise apps? Quotes being sensitive business documents, how comfortable will you be to create and store them online?


  • http://www.fifthandmissing.com Jason

    This is definitely an amazing piece of invoicing/estimating software. I’ve played around with dozens of them Socket is certainly in a league of its own.

    The problem, as you mentioned, is the price. Will people/businesses fork over $29/month for the ENTRY level package?

    In spite of everything it has to offer, I know we won’t be any time soon.

  • http://www.appleumbrella.com Apple Umbrella

    really helping article for generate customer quotes. thanks

  • http://www.cocoamedia.co.uk Dave Fowler

    Been looking for a web app that just produces quotes for ages. We use Quickbooks Pro (desktop) so don’t need invoicing.

    I would live to be able to create estimates and have clients log in online and agree them or make changes / comments.

    Price is just too high though :o ( Anyone know of any open source alternatives?

  • Alban

    Price is just too high! They should reconsider their pricing for small businesses. Especially the limit on number of quotes.

  • George

    The monthly price is ok, its the % fee for online payments is the problem.
    We already have authorize.net dont want to pay more fees to socket after paying the monthly fee.

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