Aspire Technologies Inc., which develops QuoteWerks sales proposal and quoting software for VARs and MSPs, is wrapping up its "best year ever," according to President John Lewe (pictured). Looking ahead to 2012, it sounds like QuoteWerks will place a larger spotlight on QuoteValet -- an online quote delivery and acceptance platform that creates a personalized Web page for customers. Here's the background.
MSPs and VARs use quoting and sales proposal software to help develop customer sales proposals. The market for such software has often lived below the media radar but it's filled with potential options such as Autotask VARStreet, BigMachines, CNet Channel Online, Quosal and QuoteWerks (though no two options are exactly alike).
Key MomentThe channel spotlight for such software and online services grew brighter when Arnie Bellini, CEO of ConnectWise, discussed quoting software at length during the IT Nation conference in November. Roughly 1,600 channel partners and channel leaders were in the audience. ConnectWise Capital has an investment in Quosal, but Bellini also mentioned how third-party options like QuoteWerks integrate with ConnectWise's PSA software.
- Yes, the ConnectWise-Quosal combo could create more competition for QuoteWerks.
- But ConnectWise is ultimately growing the market for such software, which could give QuoteWerks a long-term lift; roughly 25 percent of ConnectWise partners already run QuoteWerks, Lewe says.
Continued GrowthQuoteWerks' Lewe sounds upbeat. He says November 2011 was the best month ever for QuoteWerks, and 2011 as a whole is the best year ever for the 12-person company, though he didn't discuss specific financial results with MSPmentor.
Lewe positions QuoteWerks as "the other half of CRM. Everyone is always talking about CRM. On the flip side, your proposals and quotes, by definition, make you money. What do you do with your list of customers in your CRM platform? You sell them stuff." That's where QuoteWerks enters the picture.
Lewe began writing the software in 1993 when he was a reseller. At the time, he had accounts with Ingram Micro, Tech Data and other distributors. Lewe used to build Excel spreadsheets to try and organize his customer proposals. But ultimately he wanted a more organized, scalable way to proceed. Hence, QuoteWerks was born. Most recently, QuoteWerks has been busy integrating its platform with roughly a dozen different CRM packages.
Closer Customer InteractionsNow that the CRM integration work is largely done, QuoteWerks has been shifting its attention to QuoteValet. According to QuoteWerks:
- Rather than attaching a PDF file to the quote and emailing it to your customer, QuoteValet will create a personalized web page to present the quote on quotevalet.com.
- QuoteValet lets VARs and MSPs know when the customer has received and viewed the quote.
- Customers can change quote options dynamically and ask questions through the customized quote page. Plus, customers can electronically accept and sign the quote.