Build a better RFQ inbox

Brendan Shannon
May 26, 2022
min read
Data and Insights

5 tips on how aircraft part suppliers, distributors, and MROs are building a better RFQ inbox.

One of the benefits of working with software that lets you customize your workflow is that you’re able to learn multiple perspectives about the best way to manage sales. Working with hundreds of users has helped us find workflows that drive sales and make sales rep’s lives a lot easier. 

A common theme among companies looking for more sales seems to be the following: “There’s just too much stuff to get through.”

When companies have too much on their plate, it creates a few problems: RFQs aren't organized, the wrong RFQs get prioritized, valuable RFQs get missed, quotes don’t get logged into the ERP, etc. At the end of the day, money gets left on the table.

Here are five ways suppliers, distributors and repair stations are driving sales by building a better inbox:

  1. Auto-ignore RFQs from companies you don’t want to work with.

Everyone gets them. You know who they are by heart. 500 RFQs/year and not a single PO, but you still have to sift through their RFQs. They clog up your inbox and keep your team from getting to the high-dollar RFQs or your Tier A customers quickly. 

Creating a rule that automatically ignores these time wasters is one way make RFQ management more efficient. By auto-ignoring them, you clear your inbox of the junk and your sales team is able to focus on RFQs that have a higher chance to close. 

  1. Auto-assign RFQs to the right salesperson’s or team’s inbox.

“All our RFQs come into a sales inbox and we pick them out one-by-one.” It’s a tale as old as time (or at least as old as emails - 1965 or 1971 depending on who you ask). Reps spend time scrolling through an inbox waiting to see something for them, then have to open up another screen to answer it. 

By having RFQs automatically routed into a salesperson’s inbox, they are able to open up a single screen, see everything assigned to them throughout the day and spend less time scrolling and spend more time selling.

  1. Creating inboxes for your Tier A, Tier B, and Low Priority customers.

“I want to see all my airline customers’ RFQs at once.”

Well, now you can. Sales teams create multiple inboxes for their Tier A, Tier B and Low Priority Customers. By automatically routing your airline RFQs into your fancy new Tier A inbox, you’re able to quickly answer RFQs with the highest priority, first. Same for Tier B customers. 

Low Priority seems to be popular for the “sometimes buyers.” You don’t want to ignore them, but they aren’t going to be sending five PO’s this week either. Route these customers to Low Priority and once your other inboxes are clear at the end of the day, you can go check out this one and decide what you want to do.

The goal: if your team is able to easily swap to high-priority RFQs at the click of a button, your team can spend more time focusing on those that really matter and creating those closing conversations sooner.

  1. Autoquote low-dollar RFQs to spend more time focusing on the high-dollar ones.

There’s an argument to be made that a lot of salespeople in aviation are more like data entry specialists. They spend all day pecking at their keyboards moving numbers from one screen to the other. This leaves them little time for following up on quotes, calling customers, hunting for new business and golfing!

Companies utilizing Autoquote are able to send dozens, if not hundreds, of quotes each day without lifting a finger. Whether it’s a specific product line with fixed pricing or any PN under $500, reps are seeing POs roll in while they are off whale hunting, working on that sale that is going to increase the stock price. 

“But Brendan, my customers expect customized quotes with a human element.” Listen, you’re not losing out on any POs for nuts, bolts and o-rings if you don’t talk about their middle child’s first baby tooth. Are you really going to spend time writing out a personalized note on a $150 order when you could be writing that note on a $75,000 order?

Let Autoquote take care of the small stuff so you can focus on the big stuff.

  1. Identify and easily follow up on high-priority customer quotes.

“We don’t.” 

That’s the number one answer I get when I ask people to walk me through how they follow up on their Customer Quotes. The biggest reason for this is bandwidth. They are too busy with other tasks and they just don’t have time. 

But while these sellers are working on other things, another vendor is calling that customer, knowing they have their quote in hand with competitive pricing, tag, trace, cert, photos and all the fixings. From there, they are able to start negotiating on price and close the deal. 

By using filters and a bulk follow-up tool, sales teams are able to quickly identify high-dollar customer quotes and follow up on up to 20 quotes at a time. Being able to send 100 follow-ups in three minutes helps teams stay engaged with their customers and close more deals while the competition is elsewhere.

Putting it all together.

To wrap it all up, it looks like this….

Automatically ignore the junk RFQs that are giving your reps headaches and clogging up their inbox. Route the right RFQs to the right people every time to remove all the needless scrolling. Create inboxes for your top customers to improve organization and easy access to where the money is at. Autoquote the low-dollar RFQs to give your team more hours in the day to focus on the big stuff. At the end of the day when your inbox is at zero, take a few minutes to go and follow up with your customers. 

The results will be an inbox full of high-dollar RFQs from your top customers for your team to work on and hours and hours of data entry eliminated from your team’s schedule. 

So, the question for you is "what are you gonna do with all those extra hours and POs?”

Don’t have a Rotabull account yet? Get to know Rotabull and learn what your team can achieve. 

Brendan Shannon
May 26, 2022