No matter whether you’re a freelancer or an enterprise-level company, the proposal you send says a lot about you. That’s why it’s important to build a winning business proposal that represents everything your organization has to offer.
But creating a stellar proposal can’t take days or weeks. Time is money, and it’s important to respond quickly to RFPs. Fortunately, modern proposal software makes that easier than ever before.
Today, we’re going to compare major players in sales proposals and document management. It’s Bidsketch vs Proposify from PandaDoc!
Cost: $19/month for Tall plan; $49/month for Grande; custom pricing available for teams of ten or more.
Ease of Use: 4.3/5
Customer Support Options: Knowledgebase, email, chat (limited hours), phone (enterprise only), account manager (enterprise only).
Platform Availability: Online.
Free Trial: 14 days.
Equipped with a document editor (similar to the PandaDoc editor) that can help users create proposals, quotes, and contracts in real time, Proposify’s ability to help users streamline their sales process has made them a leader in software-as-a-service (SaaS) proposal software.
The company’s slick design tools and savvy user interface has won over thousands of small business CEOs and enterprise-level sales teams. Using Proposify, users can create stunning proposals that look good on iPhone, Android devices, desktops, and more. The company converts each sales proposal to a landing page with a web link so that it’s simple to share and easy to sign.
This smooth workflow, combined with numerous creation tools, make Proposifiy an effective sales tool that is fun to use.
Cost: $29/month for 1 user; $79/ month for 3 users; $149/month for 8 users.
Ease of Use: 4.4/5
Customer Support Options: Knowledgebase, email support.
Platform Availability: Online.
Free Trial: 14 days.
While Proposify might come across as a slicker Bidsketch alternative, this software is no pushover. Bidsketch offers unlimited proposal creation, a straightforward setup process, and a variety of tools to help users succeed.
Fees and fee structures are a big part of what makes Bidsketch stand out. This proposal software goes out of its way to ensure that fees are easy to set up and place within the proposal so that users don’t miss the opportunity to get paid.
From its onboard CRM to standard integrations and proposal analytics, Bidsketch makes a strong (and tempting) offer for anyone looking to get started with a better proposal management solution.
In the Bidsketch vs Proposify debate, there has to be winners and losers.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the major components of each proposal software and see how they measure up against one another.
One of the most important elements for any proposal software is the document creation process. This has to do with how the proposal is compiled by the system and what users need to do in order to build an effective document.
Even though both companies create a similar end product and have similar tools, like a content library and custom fields, both Proposify and Bidsketch handle the document creation process differently. This is a major difference in the user experience.
Proposify utilizes a fully-built document editor, similar to our own PandaDoc editor, to help users build effective proposals. The editor is an all-in-one design solution that encompasses text, images, format, layout, electronic signatures placement, pricing, and more. It’s a combination of a desktop layout and a word processor rolled into a single tool. Users can add pages, lines, boxes, and rich media elements to create the perfect proposal.
Bidsketch takes a different approach when it comes to building proposals by using a setup wizard rather than a drag-and-drop approach to document creation and design. Users will choose whether or not they want to use a template or build a document from scratch, and the document wizard guides the user through each stage of the creation process.
With Bidsketch, document creation is broken into three main parts: Opening, fees, and closing. The software prompts users to add content in each section and then compiles all of the content at the end to create a visual representation of the proposal.
The key difference here is that Proposify’s document editor allows for real-time editing and document creation. There is a greater emphasis on design, and that allows users to create proposals that could easily be considered a work of art.
On the other hand, Bidsketch streamlines the process. It’s a no-frills approach that limits open-ended creativity in an effort to get the user from start to finish as quickly as possible. Depending on your design savvy and personal preference, that may be more important than spending hours laboring over an effective design.
While it would be easy to say that Proposify’s process is better because it’s flashier and has a better document editor, that’s not necessarily true.
If you’re looking for a more hands-on or real-time approach to document creation, or you really want to flex your creative muscles, Proposify is a winner here.
If you need something that gets the job done in a logical way and leaves little room for error, Bidsketch is more than capable of helping you cross the finish line.
Proposal templates and content snippets
Both Bidsketch and Proposify offer prebuilt templates that users can incorporate into their layout and design, but they go about it in different ways.
Proposify offers traditional templates — completely built, predesigned proposals that allow users to simply add important information and move directly to the sending process. This is a great way to send a great-looking design in minutes, and it’s useful when users are just getting started with the software.
Bidsketch also offers templates, but the template builder relies on content snippets in order to create those templates. A Bidsketch template is, in reality, a collection of snippets put together in a particular order and then finalized in the proposal wizard.
That’s not as complicated as it sounds, because a snippet is just a section or a subhead within the proposal. Bidsketch users can select predefined snippets of text or create snippets of their own, then select them from the menu and use them to create flexible templates. Because Bidsketch doesn’t give users as many design variables as Proposify, you can always be sure that the template will format correctly.
Proposify offers a similar snippet feature within their content library, but it’s separate from the actual template design. To create a template with Proposify, you’ll need to create a page within the document editor and then save that page so that it can be reloaded later.
Just like Proposify, we like document editors for the real-time feel that they can provide — but there is a definite use case for going the other way.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with design choices, and small businesses operating on deadlines may not have the luxury of working with a designer to tweak every single proposal. Bidsketch removes that uncertainty by offering a consistent input and output every single time.
You might win any design awards with Bidsketch, but you will get a proposal that you can use without spending hours trying to figure out the interface.
Customization and branding
Both Proposify and Bidsketch offer unique ways to brand and customize sales proposals.
Each company offers a content library so that it’s easy to add images and store them within your account for easy use, but document customization goes beyond that. Users can choose background colors, add logos, change fonts and text sizes for proposals and outbound emails, and more.
Proposify allows users to set defaults and to make last-minute customizations at the end of the proposal creation process. This is great if you want to tweak something for a specific user in terms of look-and-feel.
With Bidsketch, you can make changes to the design of the document after everything has been compiled, but you’ll need to make changes at a global level in order to drastically modify most background colors or font styles on emails and sending.
It’s not that Proposify offers anything that Bidsketch doesn’t, but it’s easy to locate Proposify’s customization controls. They’re readily available when you need them, and that’s important.
One big standout for us was the option for Proposify users to send plain text emails rather than rich text or image-heavy emails. This may not matter for some organizations, but if you’re worried about sending proposals that might get caught by a spam blocker, it’s a great feature to have.
Analytics and integrations
In terms of analytics, both companies offer the ability to see how much time a user spent with a document.
Users are able to view a client’s activity, as well as the activity on the proposal itself. In Bidsketch, this information is attached to the proposal, while Proposify has a dedicated tab for it on their dashboard so that users can look over the details.
From the perspective of integrations, both companies offer native integrations to major services like HubSpot, FreshBooks, Xero, and Salesforce. Overall, Proposify has a wider selection of available connections. However, both companies offer Zapier integrations, which connect them to hundreds of apps.
Overall, Proposify has a larger selection of integrations and a wider selection of analytic data.
From the “Metrics” tab, it’s possible to see global proposal metrics or to drill down to specific proposals for further review. You can check close rates, view counts — including average time, length, and total number of views — for each proposal, and more.
Bidsketch can give you the basics for each proposal, but you won’t get an overall picture of your sales operation like the one that Proposify can provide.
Budget business, non-designers, and deadline-driven organizations: Bidsketch
Bidsketch comes equipped with similar features to Proposify at a better price point — especially for solo users. While Proposify is technically cheaper at the entry-level price point, Bidsketch offers unlimited proposals for just a few dollars more per month. At higher levels, this advantage disappears.
For businesses without the time or patience to waste on design, Bidsketch is a great fit. With a few minor changes, every Bidsketch proposal follows the same layout.
A Bidsketch proposal is consistent, polished, and it looks good as both a PDF and a landing page. As an added benefit, document creation is logical and leaves little room for error while walking users through what can traditionally be a complicated process.
Everyone else: Proposify
If you’ve got the time, energy, and manpower, you can build incredible proposals with Proposify. In the hands of the right marketer or sales rep, your proposals will look better than they’ve ever looked before.
The real question you need to consider is whether or not it matters at the end of the day. Sales proposals are like resumes in that regard. How far can you veer away from commonly accepted standards before your document begins to lose value from overdesign?
With Proposify, it’s easy to go overboard — but your team will have everything they need to build an outstanding proposal and then some. If you want maximum flexibility, great integrations, and are comfortable with an open-ended process, Proposify might be for you.
Better proposal design with PandaDoc
That wraps it up for Bidsketch vs Proposify, but did you know that you can create stunning sales proposals with PandaDoc, too?
Like Proposify, we offer a robust document editor to help you design your perfect proposal, but we also understand how important it is to automate your workflow and close deals fast.
Find out how businesses in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere around the world have used PandaDoc to accelerate their sales process.
If you’d like to give us a try, start a free trial! No credit card required.
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