Proposal Tools That Win The Job

March 25, 2021
Category:

Proposal software makes it easier to create beautiful, professional proposals. Proposal software is used by both freelancers and small businesses to create semi-custom quotes. Modular elements save time. The ability to add images creates a good-looking brand. Definitely use the trial versions before choosing a proposal app.

Panda Doc

I've used Panda Doc and like it because it allows you to use e-signatures, which are contractually binding. You can also add comments and negotiate directly within the app, but most prospective clients don't do this. They'll send emails instead. The drag-and-drop editor allows you to built documents from modules you've already created. This is true of all proposal apps, but a fatal flaw is that is can get tedious sifting though all the modules to find the right ones. Panda Doc, like most other proposal apps, will tell you when a proposal has been opened. It will also keep track of your win:loss ratio, which is handy for people who like to mentally flog themselves. The app's analytics have been improved, but I can't comment because I have not worked with the new version. Another new features is the ability to add optional items to a quotes. Nice for upselling and cross-selling.

Panda Doc integrates with Stripe, for credit card and ACH payments. It also integrates with QuickBooks Payments. For accounting, it integrates with QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks. The per-month cost for the Business Plan is $59 (less if you pay annually).

Proposify

Like Panda Doc, Proposify allows you to create a library of templates and re-usable modules. Its features include electronic signatures; CRM integrations with contact info syncing; analytics of opens, wins, and losses; time viewed. So far, so good. It's similar to Panda Doc. Also like Panda Doc, Proposify allows you to create interactive fee tables that make it easy for prospects to choose add-on services. The Proposify version seems powerful, with the ability to tailor pricing options to each customer.

Integrations include Stripe, Freshbooks, Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Xero, and Wave (a new accounting and invoicing software that I use), and more. In fact, Proposify has more integrations than Panda Doc. There is no monthly billing option. You will pay $49 per month, billed quarterly, for unlimited proposals for one company (which uses a branded URL). If you want to use workspaces, which allow you to have different companies, you have to move up to the Enterprise Plan, which is bound to be expensive because you have to get in touch for a price.

RFPIO

Disclosure: I have not used this app because it is not built for a freelancer's needs. RFPIO helps teams turn out proposals and statements of work (SOW's) more quickly and with fewer errors. It includes big project management and data security components. It also claims to be the first AI-powered proposal tool, which does not mean it is the best one. A key virtue for a small business is that the content library can be highly organized. It can import content from Word (including existing proposal templates). Proposals can be exported to Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Graphics, rich text, and templates are supported. Integrations include Google Drive, Pipedrive, and a handful of other apps... but no accounting or invoicing/online payments. There is no pricing information (Danger, Will Robinson, Danger).

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