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The Great Services Quoting Wave

The Imminent Services Quoting Shift

In prior years, companies focused on maturing the quote-to-cash process by improving customer relationship management (CRM) and implementing professional services automation (PSA). As organizations matured, they aspired to fully automate their quote-to-cash systems often relying on customization due to a technology gap around quoting professional services. 

Now, we’re seeing organizations shift focus and place greater scrutiny and precision on how they estimate, quote, and sell services. Internal and external pressures are contributing factors; organizations want to minimize revenue leakage and buyers demand easy buying experiences with accelerated request for quote (RFQ) responses.

The technology gap and greater focus have caused a wave of services quoting applications to pop up in the market: ZimitPSQuote, Workrails, Certinia Services CPQ, Kantata CPQ, and Provus.

Professional Services Quoting: Shifting From Amateur to Mature

In the past, most companies solved the professional services quoting dilemma one of two ways. (1) Invest in custom development of proprietary quote-to-cash systems or (2) quote manually using master spreadsheets. 

Both options ultimately get the job done, but not without imposing an oppressive burden. The cost, inflexibility or painstaking inefficiency serve to drain enormous sums of time and money from the companies and neither truly achieves the goal: fully automated quote to cash system

It’s Imperative to Change

Often, companies’ frustrations reach a breaking point and it becomes imperative to change. As alluded to above, spreadsheets deliver inaccurate quotes, frequently break, and prove cumbersome to coordinate, govern and standardize across a large organization. Or in-house quoting tools become too difficult to care for, requiring maintenance to meet a company’s changing needs and riddled with integration challenges. And such tools reveal their own fragility when the original creator is no longer available. 

In either case, the trouble of keeping the existing system in place becomes far greater than the cost of replacing it. After a certain point, if the sales process is not optimized, it doesn’t matter how efficient delivery becomes.

Considerations for Professional Services Quoting Options 

A quick web search for “professional services quoting apps” will yield a good list, but not all solutions were created equal. Organizations must therefore consider the following factors when narrowing down the list.


Professional services quoting apps form a relatively new niche in the market. And investment in novel technology can come with the risk of receiving an underdeveloped, immature product. Some apps suffer from a short development cycle. This results in bare-bones features or inflexible configuration options. Services organizations should seek out an app developed with experience and thoughtfulness.


The app needs to be flexible enough to configure and implement with various enterprise systems so it can unite your sales, delivery and finance teams. (After all, quoting is a team sport.) Some organizations choose apps from a single platform such as Salesforce to mitigate interoperability issues. Others choose to integrate. Whichever path you select, consider this: 

  • Ability to integrate with enterprise systems & integration complexities 
  • Reporting needs & how you will achieve an end-to-end view of your data  
  • Standardizing the way you sell across regions


In order for a tool to be worth investing in, it needs to work. It should support vital functions such as using quote data to create delivery projects, comparing as-sold to as-delivered, and providing early insight into pipeline resource demand and revenue forecasting. It should have the ability to scale with the organization as it grows and changes.

How to Evaluate Professional Services Quoting Apps

The factors above are a great starting point to narrow down the list of options. The next step is to evaluate the shortlist using our technical requirements assessment. It helps organizations grade professional services quoting apps against the required capabilities that a professional services quoting tool should have. Organizations can add requirements to the list or weight the requirements that carry greater importance in your organization.

Early Adopters Gaining Efficiencies and Seeing Better Data 

While services quoting tools are new enough to deliver a cutting-edge advantage in the market, they are not so new as to pose an untested risk. So companies are finding it’s an optimal time to adopt a professional services quoting tool. Here are the benefits you should expect: 

Gain Efficiencies 

  • Faster quote creation 
  • Simplified management of resource roles and rates across regions
  • Automated SOW creation using quote details (& save the SOW on the quote) 
  • Smart project creation (automated where it makes sense)
  • Automatic updates on the Salesforce opportunity 

See Better Data

  • Increased accuracy stemming from the ability to estimate using roles, rates, hours, schedules, tasks & more  
  • Real-time margin percentage based on the resource mix 
  • Early visibility into resource demand 
  • Compare as-sold vs. as-delivered, average rates or hours to deliver tasks & more 
  • Identify which products/services are most profitable and how that varies by region

Ultimately, organizations with mature services quoting are able to make informed decisions faster and optimize for the future.

“Forty-eight quotes were approved in 90 minutes. The team synced all the resource requests (192) and were ready to spin up all the projects. In the past, this would have taken three days. Our team did it in less than 2 hours with PSQuote.”

Jaclyn Todd, Associate Vice President of BishopFox

Don’t Wait, Start Quoting Services like a Pro

Let’s recap. Leaders in services organizations have been living with the limitations of their current services quoting solutions for a while. However, organizations can no longer afford to live with the status quo. But the good news is several professional services quoting apps are available. 

Companies using fully automated quote-to-cash systems (with embedded services quoting) will outperform those who aren’t. They’ll get their quotes out faster. They’ll be more accurate. The buying experience will be better for the customer. 

Don’t wait, get started today: 

  1. Evaluate apps; leverage the technical requirements assessment
  2. Select a product & find a great implementation partner 
  3. Design, test & deploy
  4. Enjoy the benefits of standardizing the way you sell services

Image credit: From Wallpaper Access, specifically this version, known as The Great Wave. Read more about the print officially titled “Under the Wave off Kanagawa” on the Met website.

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