QuoteWerks v4.6 beta with QuoteValet integration first impressions

First things, first…

What’s in QuoteWerks v4.6?

The headlines are:

  • Peer Reviews and Approvals
  • HTML email
  • Microsoft Word merging

And what is QuoteWerks ‘QuoteValet’?

QuoteWerks QuoteValet is the new online quote delivery and acceptance vehicle for QuoteWerks sales quoting solution – it allows the QuoteWerks user to publish their sales quotation to a website for their prospect to review, select options and (hopefully!) accept by digitally signing the document.

The background to QuoteWerks v4.6 beta

We know that Aspire Technologies (authors of QuoteWerks software) have been working hard on the QuoteWerks v4.6 release for some time now. As resellers, and also end users, there have been rumours since early 2010 and we’ve been getting more tangible teasers for a while. There have been partner webinars, the public launch at ConnectWise IT Nation, but we finally got our hands on it this week!

It’s actually quite unusual for Aspire to release a build so early. I guess because of the very significant steps that the software is taking in this build, and maybe a little to do with us (and no doubt other QuoteWerks partners) putting pressure on them to get our hands on it, we’re very pleased to have been invited into the beta testing program.

So what’s the QuoteWerks v4.6 beta like?

As a release it really is sound. One of the very good things about working with Aspire is that the QuoteWerks software releases are always sound, ‘solid’ builds.

There’s no documentation apart from the one-pager notes on the QuoteWerks.com website, but the new features are so intuitive to use that it didn’t take a lot to get the basics – I had my first quotation published to QuoteValet within a few minutes of installing the software.

What it lacks is the complete end-to-end in terms of workflow. The development team has obviously get step 1, 2 and 3 in and nailed, but then it stops – steps 4 and 5 are clearly ‘in the pipeline’.

As an example of what I mean by this, I can create my quote, set optional groups of items and individual optional items, include comments, subtotals, etc and publish the document to QuoteValet. I can then view the quotation on QuoteValet, email my prospect that the quotation is available, my prospect can change the options and approve it, but then… oh… it kind-of stops. I get a confirmation, but then the QuoteWerks convert to order / invoice doesn’t really work too well.

As I said initially though: it’s early in the release cycle and it’s a sound build. I personally am very encouraged by what I’ve seen.

So how good are the QuoteWerks v4.6 new features?

Let’s go though them individually…

Peer Reviews and Approval

The ability to send out a sales proposal document for peers to review and agree. Plus, setting thresholds on a user-by-user basis for document approval and not allowing certain actions to be taken if the criteria are not met without approval. Awesome features, plus there’s the consideration for group shared profiles so I don’t have to repeat the setup for every user individually when setting the rules.

From my point of view, as a QuoteWerks Solutions Partner reseller working with increasingly larger businesses, the concept of document management and QuoteWerks workflow management are increasingly talked about in proposal meetings. These features give the team much more ability to collaborate and Senior Sales Managers much more control.

HTML email

I can now have different fonts, embed images in my auto-signature, apply URL links to text and format emails much better. Great feature and I’m glad to have it in there, but sorry – in my honest opinion, it should have been there years ago.

Microsoft Word Merging

Rather like a Word Mail Merge, macros are inserted into the Word template document which QuoteWerks replaces with information from the current document. This is powerful stuff… I need to play with this some more, but already I can see this being incredibly useful for creating even better looking quote proposals.

And finally… QuoteWerks QuoteValet… 🙂

This is the one that we have been really waiting for!

It’s looking really very slick. Very slick indeed. I was sat working through the release on a Sunday and just sent a quotation to an existing client. They are also obviously working a Sunday because within 2 minutes I could see that they’d not only viewed the quote, but also accepted it as well.

Anecdotally: even though it was a dummy test quote, typically they had gone with the cheaper option that I’d put forward to them and not chosen either of the ‘optional extras’ that I’d proposed… BUT if only they’d accept something within 2 minutes every time I put a proposal together for them! The amount of time and money it would save!!! 😉

We don’t know if beta tester slots are still available, but contact your QuoteWerks reseller or Aspire Technologies direct to find out.

Have you got the beta?

If so, then I’d love to know what you think:

Where do you see the usefulness of the new features?

What features are you most looking forward to getting working within your business?

Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below…

Thanks, Steve.

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