We're asked why we don't have a billing and shipping address on the inbound quote request form, and why we don't show both addresses on a quote.
Less Friction = More Profit
Our goal is to make the quote process as frictionless and profitable as possible. It's proven that the more you ask on a form, and how you ask for that information can substantially increase or decrease your conversion rate.
We've designed our form to be as frictionless and as clear as possible regardless of what device a customer is using. Part of this process has required editing things down substantially. For example, our notes field is intentionally a link to open a field, and not a field, as we don't want to visually overwhelm the prospect with another giant field.
The initial quote request is often times the first point of contact for that customer, and is by no means a committed transaction. If far more effective to incrementally get the customer through the sales process one step at a time. If each step is silly simple, and requires minimum cognitive load, your chances of a conversion increase sharply.
While it may not seem like much to ask for two addresses, when you put that quantity of fields on a form, it looks and feels more daunting than it actually is.
It also shows that you value the persons time that is requesting the quote when you make it super easy, and quick to make that request.
It's all about timing
It's our belief that the early entrants (looking at you Quickbooks :) to the business software market capitulated the idea that a billing and shipping address were required based on how they designed their software. ie: You're creating a quote that is likely to be converted to a sales order, and so it'd make sense that every document have a place for that info on the quote so that you can click a button and convert that quote to a Sales Order. The issue is that if a rep does 10 quotes a day, and only 20% of them convert, they wasted several minutes per quote entering both addresses in when it only really mattered on 2 of the quotes.
Less important these days, especially with B2B eCommerce catalogs
Our goal is to get the customer to take some of the burden on for completing the transaction. It's also what customers want. Hence our magic Proceed to Checkout link on quotes. It's much quicker and easier for them to put in their billing and shipping once at checkout, and confirm it without needing to explain, or duplicate that effort.
The same holds true for the sales rep. They are prompted to enter both a billing and shipping address once they start converting a quote to an order. They have either received a PO with the requisite info, or are likely on the phone with the customer completing the order. If the customer already has an account in BigCommerce, we'll put all of the customers addresses at the reps finger-tips.
Can we do it though?
Yes. We do have a way to show billing and shipping on a quote. It is a feature we charge for, and typically discourage users from using. It's counter-productive more often than not. That said, it got built because there are use cases where it makes sense. Those cases are the few exceptions, and not the rule. Please contact us for details.
If you charge for shipping and have a high variability in shipping that isn't well managed with a rate carrier like ShipperHQ, then require a zip code (our default), and keep/change the form Address label to read "Shipping Address". This pairs well with our advanced custom shipping feature.
The shipping address is what both the freight quote and tax estimate will be based on, and is the more critical of the two addresses.
If you offer free shipping, and the address isn't really all that necessary for a quote, then hide the address altogether! It shortens the form, and lowers the cognitive load tremendously.
We've fielded millions of quote requests since 2015, and continually work to optimize the process from both the customer and sales rep side. We firmly believe based on our experience, and data that this process provides the most optimal return on you and your customers investment of time and energy.