But are they all created equal? Absolutely not.
Most people struggle to create their own proposal documents, which leads to depressing numbers and lost sales. Fortunately, proposal software exists to streamline the proposal-writing process and drive more revenue than ever before.
In this article, we’ll discuss what proposal software is, why it’s beneficial, how to evaluate these kinds of apps, and the 10 best proposal software solutions available.
Let’s start with a definition.
Proposal software, or proposal management software, is any app or platform designed to help salespeople develop proposals and automations to guide prospects through the funnel while keeping all the related documents in order.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a salesperson, freelancer, or independent entrepreneur, you probably create proposals on a regular basis. This is a time consuming process. The best proposal software reduces the time and frustration it typically takes to craft winning proposals.
Also of note, most proposal software solutions are cloud-based and accessed for a fee. But of course, we’ll talk more about this in a later section of this article.
Proposal software can be incredibly beneficial—especially if you work in sales. Here’s why:
To make sales, you have to earn your prospects’ trust. And nothing says “trust me” less than a hastily slapped together proposal creation in Microsoft Word. It just looks unprofessional and hurts your brand integrity.
And if your proposal looks unprofessional, why would a prospect believe their future relationship with you will be any different? Answer: they won’t. Fortunately, proposal software will allow you to brand your proposals with your company’s logo, color pallet, and more.
It may sound silly—and it probably is—but a professional, branded business proposal looks better than a jury-rigged one and will help you close more deals.
Proposal software will also help you save time—time you could spend on revenue generating activities that actually boost your company’s bottom line.
Ask yourself, “how many hours do I spend on the proposal process every month?” Probably way too many. This is because you’re using tools that weren’t designed for the job. MS Word is fantastic if you’re writing a novel. If you want to win new business, you need something else.
The best proposal software has the tools you need to create professional proposals quickly, allowing you to move on and complete other important tasks.
Proposal software will allow you to brand your proposals and make them look more professional. It will also help you create them quickly. What does this mean for you? That you can earn more money in less time and boost company profits!
The ultimate goal of every sales rep, freelancer, and entrepreneur is to grow revenue without sacrificing time. This is exactly what proposal software will help you do.
Proposal management software offers access to your company and its stakeholders alike. Both parties can view and edit documents, make suggestions, and streamline their processes, making it a hub for increased collaboration.
Accessibility is crucial for all, especially when you’re in the middle of settling a contract or negotiating a proposal. Proposal management software ensures everyone can access documents and data at any time, making your clients feel more secure in their decision to partner with you.
If efficiency is one of your team’s priorities — and it really should be — then anything that can make your process more efficient should be on your radar.
The right software, like the options we’ll discuss below, lets you maximize your time and ultimately enhance your bottom line by taking care of the form and data-driven aspects of your workload so you can focus your energy more purposefully.
While each proposal software we’ll discuss has its unique features, there are some that necessarily cover the entire spectrum of offerings. These basic features are often what make proposal management software so useful to industries and businesses everywhere.
Most software companies start with these features and expand on them, creating something new that appeals to a more niche demographic.
One of the best things about proposal management software is that it can keep your piles of paperwork in order with ease. Document management lets you group together forms for various processes so you can send them to your clients all at once. And when you update these forms, you can replace old versions immediately.
Plus, when your clients send you important documents, document managers let you clearly label and file them away so you can find them again in seconds.
Time is money, and your management software’s automatic processes allow you to make the most of both. While your software handles those necessary operations like automatic proposal generation, setting up appointments, and approving submissions, your team can focus on projects that require creative thinking and personal connections.
Creating personalized, branded forms for your contracts, invoices, and other documents is time-consuming, even if you know exactly what you need to say. That’s why most management software comes with templates you can customize to your preferences, streamlining your process without sacrificing professionalism or style.
Knowing your analytics helps you understand what makes leads convert and areas where you can improve your conversion rates. Good proposal software tracks metrics like proposal views, web traffic, and clicks constantly so you can evaluate them at your leisure.
If you use other software in your sales process, like customer relationship management (CRM), being able to integrate your programs should be a top priority. Integration helps further streamline your processes and ensure your entire company is on the same page, regardless of which programs they specialize in.
Today, working in the cloud is essential to proper team management, especially when your company operates out of more than one location. The cloud syncs your work in real time, allowing people around the world to stay up to date as soon as there’s an update to report. Cloud-based solutions also reduce the risk of data loss, since many of them feature automatic saving.
Here’s the truth: there are A LOT of different proposal software available. How do you choose the right app for your needs? We suggest looking for a few specific things:
Now that you know what proposal software is, why it’s valuable, and how to choose the right app for your business, let’s talk about a few specific options available to you.
Here are the 10 best proposal software solutions:
First up, we have PandaDoc, a popular tool that allows users to quickly create contracts, forms, and other important documents, in addition to branded proposals.
PandaDoc includes a massive template library. Each template is easily customized with brand logos and color schemes using the solution’s signature drag and drop editor. Once your proposal is just right, upload it where it needs to go with a single click.
One of our favorite things about PandaDoc is its extensive integrations list. For example, you can connect PandaDoc to a powerful CRM software like Nutshell and automatically pull customer details into your proposals to make them feel more personal.
Other important features inside PandaDoc include:
All in all, PandaDoc is a fantastic proposal software and should definitely be on your list. Fortunately, it’s not an expensive app to use. Pricing ranges from $19 to $49+ per user / per month depending on the features you need access to.
Proposify is another popular proposal software that’s perfect for large sales departments that close a high volume of deals on a monthly basis. Is that you? Then check this out…
The Proposify solution comes with a full-fledged template library, each of which can be customized to reflect your company’s unique branding via a drag and drop editor. This means that every proposal your team sends out will “look the part.”
Like PandaDoc, Proposify also integrates with other popular tools, allowing users to quickly source data from CRMs like SalesForce and HubSpot to create personalized proposals.
Where Proposify really distinguishes itself, though, is in the permissions department. Sales managers have the ability to pre-approve templates, images, fees, and other content to make sure that reps never send outdated and/or inaccurate information.
We can’t wrap up this section on Proposify without mentioning the app’s analytics suite. Check your dashboard to learn how prospects interact with your proposals, which sections are most viewed, and insights into why certain deals didn’t go through.
One of the reasons why we recommend Proposify for large sales departments is because it’s a pricier piece of software than the other options in this post. Paid plans start at $49 per user per month. Pricing for the Business Plan, which is recommended for teams of 10 or more, is available upon request.
If Proposify is best for large companies, Prospero takes the cake for small operations, such as those run by solo entrepreneurs and freelance professionals.
The Prospero template library contains numerous eye-catching templates each geared toward a different profession. Are you a photographer? There’s a template for that. Graphic designer? There’s a template for that. Writer? You get the idea…
Each professional template can be quickly customized by adding your brand’s logo, personalized pictures and videos, custom tables, and more.
If a potential client wants to move forward, they can do so by signing your proposal electronically, which will help you close deals faster. This is important since many solo entrepreneurs and freelancers deal with cash flow issues on a regular basis.
Finally, Prospero integrates with Stripe, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and other tools to simplify processes and help its users keep track of their money.
You can get started with Prospero for $8 to $10 per user per month.
Another popular proposal software is Better Proposals. Their name sounds promising, but can they actually deliver? In a word, yes!
This easy-to-use proposal software is stuffed to the gills with helpful features, some of which include an all-in-one editor that makes proposal writing a breeze, professionally designed templates that can be customized to your exact specifications, a content library that will allow you to store previously used pieces of content for quick retrieval, and more.
And we can’t forget to mention this little gem: instant notifications. Better Proposals will update you when your proposal is opened, forwarded, printed, etc. With these details, you’ll be able to follow up with leads at the perfect times and win new business.
Better Proposals will run you somewhere between $19 and $49 a month / per user, though you can save as much as 35% by signing up for an annual plan.
Last but certainly not least, we have Qwilr, a truly unique proposal software.
What makes this app different from the other tools we’ve covered? Qwilr will not, we repeat WILL NOT, help you create amazing PDF proposals. Instead, Qwilr proposals are designed as beautiful, interactive, and mobile-responsive web pages.
Qwilr includes a template library, which can be customized extensively by adding personal branding elements, video greetings, product demos, and even Google Maps. It also supports eSignatures and connects to payment systems like Stripe and Xero.
Like some of the other proposal software in this post, Qwilr integrates with a variety of CRM solutions, allowing users to automatically pull prospect information into their proposals.
Qwilr is used by major brands like HP, Zendesk, and DropBox and is ideal for B2B sellers. Sound like you? Then sign up for one of Qwilr’s two plans: Business, which will cost you $66 a month for three users, or Enterprise, which goes for $490 a month for 10 users.
If you’re a freelancer or small business owner looking for a proposal software solution tailored to your needs, Bidsketch might be just what you need. Bidsketch streamlines the proposal creation process, allowing you to create professional-looking proposals quickly and efficiently.
One of the standout features of Bidsketch is its user-friendly interface and pre-built proposal templates. These templates cover a wide range of industries and services, making it easy to find a starting point for your proposal. Once you’ve selected a template, you can customize it with your branding, images, and content using Bidsketch’s intuitive editor.
Bidsketch also offers features that enhance collaboration and communication. You can easily share your proposals with team members or clients for feedback and track changes with versioning and commenting capabilities. Additionally, the software provides analytics to help you understand how prospects interact with your proposals, allowing you to make data-driven improvements.
Bidsketch offers three main plans, as well as a basic starter plan, priced based on the number of users and features included. The starter plan, which doesn’t include electronic signatures, starts at $15 per month. The other plans, which include electronic signatures and various other features, range from $23 to $119 per month when paid annually.
Nusii is another proposal software solution that caters to freelancers and small businesses. It offers an easy-to-use platform with customizable proposal templates, making it simple to create visually appealing proposals that align with your brand.
While Nusii may not have as extensive a template library as some other options, its templates are thoughtfully designed for various industries, ensuring that your proposal will look professional and polished. You can easily add your logo, images, and personalized content to make each proposal unique.
One of Nusii’s strengths lies in its user-friendly interface, allowing you to create proposals efficiently without the need for extensive training. The platform’s simplicity extends to the proposal-sharing process, making it easy to collaborate with clients and gather their feedback.
Nusii also provides integration with popular payment and accounting tools like Stripe, FreshBooks, and QuickBooks, streamlining your invoicing and payment process. This integration can be especially beneficial for freelancers and small businesses looking to manage their finances effectively.
Nusii offers several plans, which range in price from $290 per year to $1290 per year as well as custom plans. A 14-day free trial is also available.
If your business is looking for a solution for responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) and other requests for information, consider Responsive. Responsive (formerly known as RFPIO) is a specialized proposal software designed to streamline and optimize the process of responding to these types of requests.
Responsive enables your team to collaborate seamlessly on information request responses, ensuring everyone is on the same page and providing consistent answers to key questions. The software centralizes content and knowledge, allowing you to store and manage responses, case studies, and other crucial information in one place.
The platform’s AI-powered features further enhance efficiency, automatically suggesting the most appropriate responses to request questions based on previous successful submissions. This time-saving capability allows your team to focus on refining responses and tailoring them to each specific request.
Responsive’s analytics provide insights into your request performance, helping you identify areas for improvement and refining your strategy for future proposals. With features like version control and real-time collaboration, the software ensures your team can work efficiently to submit winning RFPs and other documents.
Pricing for Responsive is typically available upon request, tailored to your business’s needs and size. Though it may be more specialized, the benefits this proposal tool brings to your information request process can make it a valuable investment for organizations that deal extensively with RFPs and other information requests.
Loopio is another specialized proposal software solution for RFP management, particularly suited for businesses handling complex RFPs and security questionnaires.
Loopio simplifies the process of responding to RFPs by providing a centralized platform for organizing content and automating repetitive tasks. The software allows teams to collaborate efficiently, ensuring that subject matter experts can contribute to specific sections of the response.
With Loopio’s intelligent search functionality, finding relevant answers and content becomes a breeze, speeding up the proposal creation process. The software’s answer library stores approved responses, allowing your team to maintain consistency and compliance across different RFPs.
Loopio also has features for version control and audit trails, which is crucial for maintaining accurate records and tracking changes made during the RFP response process.
Loopio offers scalable pricing plans to accommodate businesses of varying sizes and needs, and pricing is available upon request.
Another powerful proposal software option is GetAccept, which offers a comprehensive suite of proposal features.
At the heart of GetAccept is its document creation and customization capabilities. With a diverse range of proposal templates, you can craft compelling proposals that leave a lasting impression on your clients. The intuitive drag-and-drop editor allows you to add multimedia elements like images and videos, making your proposals visually captivating and impactful.
Another standout feature of GetAccept is its document tracking and analytics. Real-time notifications keep you informed when clients open, view, or interact with your proposals. Armed with this data, you can time your follow-ups strategically, increasing your chances of converting leads into customers.
Pricing for GetAccept varies depending on your specific requirements, and plans range from $15 to $79 per month.
Proposal software will give you a professional edge, save you loads of time, and help you generate more revenue for your company. The trick is choosing the right solution.
For example, PandaDoc is a viable option for most people, especially those who already use Nutshell, as the two applications integrate seamlessly. But those working for large brands may prefer Proposify, while freelancers and solo entrepreneurs should consider Prospero.
Better Proposals and Qwilr have their merits, too, and definitely deserve consideration.
We encourage you to do your research. Read this post again, as well as online review sites to get a feel for each app. Then sign up for a few free trials to get hands-on experience. Finally, choose the solution that suits your workflow best and don’t look back. Good luck!
Whether you’re building your first sales process or overhauling an existing one, these Nutshell-approved templates will give you a great head-start.
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