Speed up your quoting process while also looking more professional. Maybe you should look at online proposal software.
Are you creating custom proposals?
When you start copying one proposal to use it for another, you realize a couple of things (I hope):
- Business is picking up and being busy is always good
- Re-using your proposals probably won't help you stand out
- Anything that speeds you up is probably helpful
You may think you'd never do that, but I've seen it happen. More than once. From one-person freelancers to multi-staff agencies. And it surprises people because one minute there's time to create custom proposals and the next there's no time and people are quickly copying and pasting from one into another.
The perfect proposal is one that:
- Consistently articulates your value (you're not re-writing these sections every time)
- Customizes the context and solution for the customer (is unique every time)
- Makes you look professional and automates processes (like digital signature or integration with invoicing)
And the good news is that today you can get online proposal software to do all of this.
Here are five options
PandaDoc works for more than proposals. But it works great for proposals—with the included ability to see and manage the dynamics on your smartphone. It supports digital signatures and integrates with a host of CRM products. As you create your products or services, you can store them for reuse on other proposals. It starts at $19/month for solo users. At that price it limits your templates but not your proposals. At $39/month, your team can collaborate with internal workflow and manager approvals.
Proposify offers the same kind of digital signature and tracking/analytics features that PandaDoc does, but adds in a lot of drag & drop customizations that help you make your proposal look amazing. The templates that they bring to the table will help you look sharp immediately if you're not a designer. It starts at $25/month but limits, at that price, the number of active proposals to 5. The nice part is you don't pay more for the rest of your team to collaborate on those five.
NiftyQuoter doesn't limit you to the number of proposals or customers that you can actively work with at the same time for their Freelancer license. For $19/month customers get PDF generation, integration with many CRMs, and electronic signature support. They also enjoy a nice import/export feature that may speed up your initial templates by importing previously written proposal sections (like product or service descriptions). The price for team collaboration is $39/month, and it comes with the ability to lock out some team members from some proposals (which is needed sometimes).
Bidsketch was the first online proposal software I ever used and I worked with it for over a year. It was and likely still is fantastic. Like the rest, it supports digital signatures, allows me to create and store product and service descriptions in advance for use multiple times. And allows me to create optional offerings, which can create upsell benefits. It is a bit more costly at $29/month with a higher price for team collaboration—either $79/month or $149/month depending on team size.
Maybe the cleanest and fastest to use, Nusii is priced more than Bidsketch—at $49/month. But at that price you get more than you do with the others—like more than a single-user account, custom domain mapping, and no limits for templates or active clients. If you want online proposal software that doesn't feel like software, where usability is high, you may want to check them out —as the product was created by creatives for creatives. Turns out everyone likes easy to use software!
Comparing Online Proposal Software Packages?
If you're comparing the various solutions above, or any others, I recommend you download this free checklist. It will help ground your comparison so that you're clear on both what's important to you, and how these products compare when you look at features versus price.
Either way, I hope your proposals start looking great!