RFQ Functionality: How Does RFQ Work?
Request for a quote (RFQ) is an indispensable feature of an ecommerce stack that significantly facilitates buyer-seller interaction, especially during the early stages of the sales process. While generating a quote, the system pulls data from different sources (inventory, pricing, shipping) and checks it against specific pre-defined rules to arrive at a personalized offer.
Customers submit a request for quotation on a chosen product, typically through an RFQ form on the site, to see if they can negotiate a better price considering the circumstances (increased quantity, simplified logistics, and so on). Sales representatives, in turn, can respond to customers’ requests with detailed pricing and payment terms. To facilitate the buying process, RFQ can be strategically placed in multiple locations, such as a product page on the website, a customer’s dashboard, the wish/shopping list, quick orders and reorder forms. Sellers might either allow guest viewers to request a quote or ask them to register first to get access to the RFQ functionality. Ideally, RFQ can be customized to match the company’s business and sales processes.
In a typical RFQ workflow, after a customer’s request for quotation in the storefront, RFQ becomes visible for sales reps in the back office, where they can pick it up; convert a request into a real quote and send it back to the customer for approval; or approve the customer’s quote and convert it straight to order. Sales reps can assign different statuses to RFQs or open a discussion with the customer to negotiate the details further or clarify the remaining questions. Customers, in turn, can view statuses of submitted RFQs and respond to messages from the sales representatives. Again, default RFQ workflows need to allow for customization to fully cover the company’s business needs.