Interactive Quotes in Salesforce: What They are and the Benefits for Your Business

Date: July 2024
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Oksana Mikhalchuk
Head of Content
As selling becomes more complex, reps need more time to connect with customers. Research shows that only 28% of sales reps spend their week selling.
The shift finally happened in the 1980s with the introduction of early software prototypes for configure price quote (CPQ) applications, like constraint satisfaction engines—software tools used to solve problems defined by a set of constraints or conditions that need to be met. This trend gained further momentum in the 2000s, marking a transformative era for sales teams.
Around 2010, proposal generation dramatically evolved from traditional methods to digital methods. This advancement has enhanced accuracy and speed and significantly elevated customer satisfaction and expectations.
This article will discuss how CPQ tools enrich the sales quotation process with interactive sales quotes in Salesforce CRM and how your sales team can use them.

Traditional Sales Quoting Process and its Challenges

In the old-school quoting process, sales representatives manually gathered product information, pricing details, and discounts, often relying on static templates or spreadsheets. This manual approach was prone to errors, resulting in inaccurate proposals and wasted time on revisions. Collaboration between teams and customers was limited, leading to delayed response times and a disjointed customer experience.
Typical steps in a traditional sales quoting process include:
  1. Sales reps determine which products are the best fit and what configurations are necessary
  2. They consult pricing documentation or static systems for base prices
  3. They manually identify and apply eligible discounts
  4. Management often requires approval for discounts, causing delays
  5. Sales reps manually create and send the quote document to the customer
  6. They wait for client feedback and make time-consuming corrections and recalculations
  7. Finally, they send the final sales proposal to the customer for approval
This approach was inefficient and error-prone.
As companies grow, the need to close more deals faster while providing an excellent customer experience becomes critical. Old tools like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint couldn't support business growth and scalability in a competitive environment.
Key issues with the traditional quoting process included:
  • Manual entry and calculations lead to frequent mistakes
  • Revisions and approvals cause significant time delays
  • Difficulty in sharing and updating information in real-time
  • Manual approval for discounts slows down the process
  • Delays and errors result in a disjointed customer experience
Sales reps aimed to offer their customers the right products and deals, but the main challenge was making the quoting process more automated, predictable, and effective. Modern solutions like guided selling, automated pricing rules, and interactive sales proposals emerged as essential features to address these issues and streamline the sales process.
New Sales Quotation Process with CPQ vs. Old Quotation Process
New Sales Quotation Process with CPQ vs. Old Quotation Process
One way to streamline quote approvals and make them convenient for all parties is by making your quotes interactive.

What Is an Interactive Quote?

An interactive quote is a dynamic, engaging, and often customizable digital document provided to potential customers during the sales cycle. Unlike traditional static quotes, interactive quotes leverage technology to offer a richer experience, making it easier for prospects to understand the offer, engage with it, and make informed decisions.
Interactive quotes, also known as interactive sales proposals, usually offer the following features compared to static ones:
  • Real-time updates based on selected options or configurations to fit specific customer needs
  • Embedded videos, images, 3D models, and interactive elements to provide more detailed product information
  • Customers can request changes or updates directly within the quote, and all teams can promptly apply them
  • Chat or comment features that allow direct communication between the sales team and the customer
  • Integration with CRM systems to keep all communication and changes logged
  • Easy-to-use e-signature functionality for quicker approval and to close the deal faster
  • Real-time analytics to understand which sections were viewed the most and how long the prospect engaged with the document
Here are the most sought-after features of interactive sales quotes in Salesforce, usually available in CPQ software:
Product and Bundle Configuration
Modern CPQ apps allow sales reps to configure products and services accurately based on customer requirements. The system presents only compatible options, eliminating errors and inconsistencies. For instance, Sculptor CPQ for Salesforce enhances this process with intuitive drag-and-drop capabilities, enabling reps to quickly add products to a quote or configure complex product bundles.
Pricing and Discount Management
CPQ solutions automate pricing rules, discounts, and promotions. Sales managers can define and configure these parameters, which are automatically applied to the quote. This ensures consistency across all proposals and reduces the risk of pricing errors.
Interactive Quote Builder
This feature allows sales reps to create visually appealing and engaging proposals. Reps can navigate, filter, and add products and bundles, incorporate media and additional files, and customize the quote's layout to match corporate branding, creating a compelling sales pitch.
Electronic Signature Integration
Most CPQ solutions integrate with third-party electronic signature platforms or offer embedded e-sign functionality, enabling customers to sign quotes digitally. This eliminates the need for physical paperwork, accelerates the approval process, and speeds up deal closure.
Dynamic Proposal Generation and Real-Time collaboration
Sculptor CPQ facilitates seamless collaboration between sales reps and other stakeholders in the quoting process. Sales reps can generate interactive web PDF quotes that adapt in real time based on customer interactions. Both sales reps and customers can modify pricing, add or remove products, and instantly update the quote.
Please note that a few types of quotes imply similar, but different functionlities—dynamic and interactive. A dynamic sales quote provides the ability to update in real time based on changes to pricing, product quantities, or discounts. This ensures that the quote always reflects the most current information, reducing errors and streamlining the quoting process.
On the other hand, an interactive sales quote allows customers to actively interact with the quote, typically through a web-based interface, enabling them to select products, adjust quantities, and configure options or bundles according to their specific needs.
Quotes can be interactive in Salesforce, but this typically requires leveraging additional tools beyond the standard Salesforce functionality. You may need to utilize specific applications or features, such as Salesforce CPQ or third-party applications from the Salesforce AppExchange.
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Benefits of Using Interactive Quotes in Salesforce

Interactive quotes make the sales process more efficient, accurate, and customer-friendly, and this is how:

Enhanced Engagement

Interactive web PDF quotes offer active engagement. Customers can customize their quotes by adding or removing products and modifying quantities, creating a more dynamic and engaging experience than passive, static PDF quotes.

Real-Time Updates

These quotes provide real-time updates, enabling customers to instantly see pricing adjustments and discounts without needing manual recalculations. Static PDF quotes, however, require manual revisions for any changes.

Collaborative Communication

Interactive web PDF quotes facilitate real-time communication between sales reps and customers through embedded chat or comment sections. This feature allows immediate conversations, clarifications, and negotiations, enhancing the customer experience. In Sculptor CPQ, you can set up a Chatter add-on to enable a comment section between sales rep and a customer.
Generate quotes, close deals, accelerate growth

Personalization and Customization

Customers can personalize their quotes by selecting specific products, quantities, and options that meet their needs. Static PDF quotes typically lack this level of customization and are often standardized.

Ease of Acceptance

Interactive quotes simplify the acceptance process with one-click electronic approval. Customers can accept the quote directly within the interface, eliminating the need for physical paperwork and expediting deal closure.

Insightful Interaction Statistics

Interactive quotes allow sales reps to track customer interactions, including visit times, duration, current activity, and browser/OS version. This valuable data provides insights into customer engagement, which static PDF quotes cannot offer.

Multi-Quote Proposals

In Sculptor CPQ, sales reps can include multiple child quotes within one parent quote, enabling customers to compare options and choose the best proposal for their needs. This functionality enhances transparency and provides a tailored approach for each customer.

How to Create Interactive Sales Quotes in Salesforce?

You can Сreate Interactive PDF web quotes and real-time collaboration with a customer in Sculptor CPQ.
What is CPQ
Interactive Bundle Builder
Let's look at how Sculptor CPQ for Salesforce enables customers to interact directly with sales reps on the sales quote, expediting the sales process and enhancing the customer experience.
  1. Navigate to Setup > Object Manager > Quote > Fields and Relationships.
  2. Add and position Description Header and Description Footer fields.
  3. Enter any necessary details in these fields. These will appear on both the web and PDF versions of the quote.
What is CPQ
CPQ Pricing Management
4. In the Quote Builder, click on the Preview PDF button. Alternatively, open the quote record and take quick action to preview the PDF.
5. Enter a value in the Number field on the Quote object.
6. The quote number will display on both the web and PDF versions, following the quote name and separated by a slash (/). You can save the quote as a PDF by selecting the Save PDF option.
7. You can share the quote as a private web page using the unique link provided, enabling editing and commenting as needed.
When a sales rep finishes creating a quote, they can send it to the customer as an interactive web quote link. The customer can view this link in any browser, including mobile ones.
What is CPQ
Interactive Quote Builder
The interactive web quote screen has three main elements:
What is CPQ
Parent and child quote combination
1. Product sidebar: Located on the left, customers can view and add products to their quotes by double-clicking on any item.
2. Quote content: In the middle, this dynamic space automatically recalculates and updates the total when the customer edits product quantities or when the sales rep applies additional discounts.
3. Embedded chat: Found on the right, this feature facilitates real-time communication between sales reps and customers. It allows users to ask and answer urgent questions about deal details and promptly accept the sales proposal using the Accept and Decline buttons.


Accurate and interactive sales proposals make it easier for sales reps and customers to collaborate on a quote and accept a sales proposal in real time, and efficient quoting processes are the keys to the company's growth and efficiency.
Configure Price Quote tools like Sculptor CPQ offer sales managers a powerful toolset to streamline proposal creation, enhance customer interaction, and accelerate the sales process.
By leveraging the features of interactive sales quotes and facilitating real-time collaboration with customers, organizations can drive revenue growth, improve customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive edge in their respective markets.

FAQ: Interactive Sales Quotes in Salesforce

A sales quote typically includes:

  • Details of the prospective buyer
  • A unique identifier for tracking
  • Creation date and quote expiration date
  • Detailed descriptions, quantities, and item numbers
  • Item prices, total costs, and any discounts
  • Payment terms, delivery timelines, and other conditions
  • The time frame for which the quote is valid
  • Applicable taxes and fees
  • For authorization by both seller and buyer
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