Salesforce Quotes Part 1 – Overview and Key Fields

In this episode of ShellBlack Whiteboard we look at Quotes and how they are used in conjunction with Opportunities and Products. Quotes can be thought of as a "presentation layer" of an Opportunity in that a User can create a PDF of the Quote and email it to a Contact straight from Salesforce. Shell covers the data relationships involved between Quotes, Opportunities and Products, how you can have multiple versions of a Quote against a single Opportunity, and what it means to "Sync" a Quote.

He then covers the standard fields available on Quotes and suggests some possible custom fields. Shell then walks through adding Quote Line Items (Products) to a Quote and how discounts are applied and calculated. Finally he shows how Tax and Shipping amounts are applied to a Quote to create your Grand Total.

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Transcript of video:

Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of ShellBlack Whiteboard, where we help you get the most out of the Salesforce platform. I’m Shell Black, your host, president and founder of, and Salesforce MVP. The subject for this episode is Quotes or quoting. It’s a presentation layer of Opportunitiies, so let’s get into it and talk a little bit more about that.

Why use Quotes? What happens when you have an Opportunitiy, people want to see options. They might say "Yeah, I’m interested in this, but show it to me, maybe if I buy the extended warranty. Show it to me if I do the onsite training. What are my options? Show me some choices."

Quotes is really a presentation layer of Opportunitiies and Opportunitiy Products. By a presentation layer I mean you can creates a PDF that’s very nice and formatted. And, there’s a template kind of like a page layout editor that we’ll cover in a different segment of how you can organize the information to present back to your client.

You can then create the PDF. You can save it as an attachment against the Quote. You can email it to your Contact straight from the Quote. It’s also auto numbered. It’s a read only field. It auto generates a number every time you create a Quote, kind of like Cases auto generates a Case Number.

This is really helpful if you’re sending lots of Quotes back and forth and someone says "Yeah I’m ready to buy." You can ask the question which Quote are we talking about, 237 or 238. We’ve had a couple of versions go back and forth. You can keep old versions of your Quotes that you’ve PDFd as attachments against the Quote module.

A little abstract, I’m going to slide to this side of the board and I’m going to give you maybe a visual representation of why Quotes might be advantageous to your sales organization. Our little blue coin icon represents our Opportunitiy in our org. It’s attached to a company.

From there I’ve got Quote one and Quote two. Quote one has three products, one product at $100,000; one at $10,000; one at $20,000. You add all three products together, that Quote is for $130,000.

Quote two only has product one for $100,000 and product two for $10,000. This Quote is $110,000.

Again, going back to our choices and options that we’re giving our client, they might say "yeah, I’m going to buy from you, but show it to me two different ways." So, we’ve got Quote one at $130,000 and Quote two at $110,000.

At some point you want to sync the Quote. What syncing does, it’s a checkbox on the Quote, and if you check that … so this one’s not checked, this one is checked … the products that you’ve associated to that Quote become the products that are associated to the Opportunitiy.

They’re only going to buy one option instead of this being, say, a $240,000 Opportunitiy. They’re not going to buy both. They’re going to buy one or the other.

So, we’ve got to tell the database what do we want to reflect on our Opportunitiy for our pipeline reporting. Do we want to reflect two Opportunitiies – that they can buy this and this? No. They’re going to buy either or.

So, by syncing the Quote to the Opportunitiy by checking this box, these are now in sync. If I make a change, say, to product three, that will make a change to product three as an Opportunitiy product and update my amount here. Any changes I do here will be reflected here.

Actually, conversely, if I update the products here that will sync to the Quote and also change my products here. So, I’ve changed quantity, the amount, add more products, these stay in sync. I don’t have to do double entries. That’s what syncing is trying to do – help you to do a lot of double entry on the numbers.

Okay. I’m going to slide back to this side of the board here. Let’s go through some of the standard fields for a moment.

When you create a Quote it’s a record in the database. You have a Quote Name, free form text, kind of like your Opportunitiy Name. We already talked about that it will be auto numbered.

There’s an Expiration Date field. It’s a date field. I think the intent of this is, this Quote is good for so many days. You put a date out there to kind of give your customer a nudge to make a decision.

The syncing checkbox we just talked about. It keeps your products, your amount, and your quantities in sync between one Quote and your Opportunitiy.

There’s a Status picklist on this. Some people use it, some people don’t. It has some out-of-the-box fields such as "draft, in review, approve, presented, rejected." It’s a field. You can update the picklist of these.

This is supposed to be a lifecycle field for your Quote, where it is in the process – it’s been presented, it’s been approved by management, it’s been sent to my customer – just so you can see where they’re at if you want to run a report.

Description field, just like other description fields in other standard objects. You can just go to town and write a small novel to your heart’s content.

Contact name. When you create a Quote, if you have a Contact Role that has the primary checkbox checked, that automatically fills in this lookup field. This is a lookup field to the Contact object.

If you have this field populated, it drives and pre-populates some other fields on the Quote, such as email, phone number, and fax. It basically looks over to that Contact in the database, grabs those fields, and presents them back on the Quote record. Again, so you don’t have to do the double entry. Same thing.

When you kick off a Quote, as long as your Quote is associated to an Opportunitiy which is associated to an Account, as long as the Account has the address fields in for Bill To and Ship To, those fields will auto fill in and auto populate on the Quote because it’s associated to it already.

Okay. Those are kind of the standard fields. I want to hit maybe a couple of potential custom fields. It’s got page layouts. It’s a standard object. It’s got record types.

You can do custom fields. So, I made some custom fields for you to think about how you might use Quotes for your organization. You might have a custom picklist for shipping location. This is going to come out of the Dallas warehouse. This is shipping out of the New Orleans warehouse.

Lead time, two weeks, three weeks. Give the client an idea of fulfillment time. Maybe a ship via picklist. Is it shipping by air? Is it by ground? Is it by courier? Terms picklist: net 30, net 15. Maybe you want to have a custom field that talks about the warranty: as is, 30 days, one year, whatever it might be. Custom fields, again, you can add this to Quotes. It’s a standard object.

The last thing I want to run through is products, and how you input pricing on products, and how that drives a subtotal section or a total section on the Quote. Because all these fields can then be put on a PDF and presented back to your client.

As you’re adding Products to a Quote, you have a list price. It’s kind of the default standard price of your product. A sales price, which you can enter up or down, change the price if you want to sell it for higher or less. A quantity. A subtotal. The subtotal is just the sales price times the quantity.

With Quotes you have a discount field. That’s a little unique. When you’re entering a Quote line item product, you have the option of putting in a percent discount. On this product we have $1000, we gave a 5% discount, so the total price is $950.

Product two, list price $100, we sold it for $100, we didn’t change that price. Quantity of ten, so we have a subtotal of $1000. No discount, so we’ve got the full $1000 here.

When you add up all the total prices, that’s going to start to show up here. So, subtotal is coming from this column before discounts. Discount, we put 5% here. We didn’t put a discount here.

Our discount here is a weighted discount across all products. I was trying to use some easy math here, but even though I put a 5% discount,the whole Quote, if you weigh all the products here, it’s a 2.5% discount. Our total price, this column all added up together, is $1950.

You’ve got two extra dollar fields on a Quote. They’re free form. They don’t calculate. Tax is not going somewhere and calculating. Shipping is not going somewhere and calculating. I guess you could with some custom code.

I put a little blue asterisk next to those two fields, because we’re literally just going to hand key those in. These are calculated. These are hand entered. I just threw a tax in for $100. I know that’s not right. Shipping, $50.

Our grand total is our total price plus tax plus shipping. This is our grand total on our Quote.

I’d like to thank you for tuning in. If you have any feedback on how we’re doing please let us know. You can hit us a couple of ways. You can reach out to me on Twitter. I’m at Shell_Black. Or, you can email us, if you want to send us some feedback,

Thanks for joining in, and I hope you enjoyed that segment on Quotes. We’ll talk to you again soon.

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