The Best Proposal Writing Software

1 month ago
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Writing proposals is a key part of running a B2B (and sometimes B2C) micro business. If you’re not from a sales background yourself and you don’t have sales pros dealing with the new business side of things for you, then it’s going to fall to you to learn proposal writing and master it.

 

There are lots of courses and advice pieces on the theory behind proposals and we’ve touched on that ourselves here before. But what we want to talk about today is software. While software can’t do the whole thing for you and certainly can’t sell you, it can deal with things like:

  • Make your proposals look great
  • Help you manage the process of dealing with queries
  • Handle digital sign off
  • Even handle billing in some cases

I learnt how to write proposals when working for an agency in Manchester. And I still write all my own today. But let me be honest – I have the design capabilities of a goldfish. So my personal main motivation of signing up for proposal software was about design.

I tried a few different proposal writing tools and settle on Nusii in the end. But I found 3 brilliant bits of kit in my research that it’s well worth me sharing with anyone looking for software or an online tool that can help you to write better proposals.

 

Proposal Software in Summary

We’ve detailed here four online proposal tools specifically:

  • Nusii
  • Better Proposals
  • Proposify
  • BidSketch

Here’s the summary of key points.

 

Nusii

Online proposal writing tool
£ 23 Per Month
  • Custom domain
  • Entirely online tool
  • Online client signatures
  • Can be used to report
  • Accept payments through tool
  • PDF exports
  • Multiple currencies
  • Multiple users on some plans

Proposify

Online proposal writing tool
$ 19 Per Month
  • Custom domain
  • Entirely online tool
  • Online client signatures
  • Can be used to report
  • Accept payments through tool
  • PDF exports
  • Multiple currencies
  • Multiple users on some plans

Better Proposals

Online proposal writing tool
£ 15 Per Month
  • Custom domain
  • Entirely online tool
  • Online client signatures
  • Can be used to report
  • Accept payments through tool
  • PDF exports
  • Multiple currencies
  • Multiple users on some plans

BidSketch

Online proposal writing tool
$ 29 Per Month
  • Custom domain
  • Entirely online tool
  • Online client signatures
  • Can be used to report
  • Accept payments through tool
  • PDF exports
  • Multiple currencies
  • Multiple users on some plans

There’s some more specific information about each of these tools below.

Nusii

Like all of the other software we’re looking at here, Nusii is an online platform for writing sales proposals and reports.

 

 

Nusii’s key features:

  • Online based 
  • Have your proposals show on a subdomain of your main domain (so when you send someone a link to their proposal it shows up as something like proposals.mywebsite.co.uk/dkjdjdkdj
  • Easy PDF exort
  • Ability to save different “blocks” that you can quickly add to proposals. So if you have a block tha covers some of your own case studies and similar, you can drop this into proposals. Really helps with speeding up writing bespoke proposals, allowing you to write custom ones but drop in content that is consistent easily
  • You can accept payments through Nusii
  • Integrates with several platforms (more on that below)
  • Invite other team members depending on which package you’re using
  •  Can easily be used to write reports too
  • Online digital signatures and proposal acceptance
  • Ability for prospective client to request clarification within the system
  • Unlimited users on some of its plans
 
In terms of its pricing:
nusii proposal software pricing
 For £23 per month you can have one user and up to 5 active proposals. At the other end of the spectrum the £99 business accounts allow 50 active proposals and unlimited users, alongside integrations and reminders too.
 
Nusii integrates with the following platforms:
nusii integrations
The Stripe integration is particularly useful, allowing your customers to pay online too if you so wish.
 
Another element I really like about Nusii is this bit which you see on your dashboard immediately as you login:
nusii proposal software acceptance rate
Success rate, for me, is a really important sales metric. I only get to the point of writing a full proposal for about 1 in 6 of my enquiries (having qualified out a number on budget, objectives or just service fit). So I look to keep my acceptance rates over 90%.
 
On the whole, Nusii is really very flexible for small sales teams and good value for money.

Better Proposals

Better Proposals is another online offering and actually, is similar to Nusii in a lot of ways. That said, the entry level pricing is lower.

Some of the key features of Better Proposals include:

  • The ability to save content blocks (like Nusii) that you can reuse in various proposals
  • Digital signatures
  • Very easy to use creator (making design changes is really quite intuitive)
  •  Custom domain setup (like Nusii has)
  •  Up to 3 users (not as generous as the unlimited offering of Nusii)
  • Payment integration
  • Integration with project management tools

Price wise, the entry level offering here is lower than the Nusii one with largely the same features. But the upper tier pricing has the user limits that Nusii does not have, arguably making it a more accessible option for sales teams with more than 3 people in.

better proposals pricing

Better Proposals currently has more integrations than Nusii. On the payments front, you can integrate with Stripe, Paypal and GoCardless. You can also integrate with 16 CRM systems include SaleForce, Zoho and Pipedrive. It also integrates with a host of project management tools and live chat platforms.

 

On the whole this is a solid offering. I think it’s the best option for freelancers and very small teams/micro businesses. If your sales team is made up of more than 3 or you need more than 3 people in your business to have access, then Nusii’s unlimited user offering may make it a better bet.

 

Proposify

Proposify is again an online sales proposal platform. It has a more “enterprise” feel to it than some of the others though has a small team/freelancer offering too that has some excellent features.

One of things that’s most impressive is the additional level of reporting you get versus other proposal tools. You get information here not just when a proposal is accepted, but when it is viewed, how many times it has been viewed and even how many minutes have been spent viewing broken down by section.

proposify metrics

This is really impressive and very useful at trying to anticipate where there might be questions or objections before the prospect gets back in touch with you.

In terms of pricing:

proposify pricing

The pricing is per user, so if there is more than one of you who needs access this could soon add up.

The other thing to be aware of here is that the “standard integrations” list included with the Grande Plan ($49/month) does not include integration with arguably the biggest CRM – Salesforce. So if you use Salesforce and want to integrate, then you’re going to need the enterprise plan.

But it’s feature rich, contains a lot of the features already present in both Nusii and Better Proposals and offers more insight in that period between the prospect receiving your proposal and actually getting back in touch (or you getting back in touch with them).

 

 

Bidsketch

BitSketch is another sales proposal tool that feels geared towards the multi person sales teams. They do have an entry level offering and actually it’s very generous in terms of allowing unlimited proposals. BidSketch is another tool that really plays on its enhanced Analytics, offering insight about view times much like Proposify.

In terms of its key features:

  • Custom domains
  • Unlimited proposals on all accounts
  • Analytics
  • Upsell features
  • Some particularly slick looking templates for you to start with
  • Digital signatures
  • Integrations with a number of platforms including Salesforce and Basecamp:
bidsketch integrations
The pricing starts at $29 per month:
 
bidsketch pricing
The main difference here between the middle and top tier pricing is the number of users. All levels come with electronic signatures and unlimited proposals.
 

Is it worth investing a proposal writing tool?

Sales proposal platforms will not fix fundamental issues with bad proposals. So actually, if you’re struggling with proposals overall and you feel it’s the content that’s an issue, hold off for the time being. Don’t spend on software.

 

Perhaps look at some basic sales proposal writing training or similar (a separate post may follow in the near future looking at options and resources for learning the fundamentals).

 

But if you’re actually, like me, reasonably happy with the content of your proposals and find you’re already able to close sales, then a tool could help. The main benefits of tools:

  • Time saving on the design side. Design, for me, is a massive faff!! The content blocks elements are a great time saver too
  • Electronic signatures which are absolutely fine in lieu of a purchase order and are much quicker than the latter
  • Slicker looking proposals more easily accessible without sending files back and forth.

So in short, a proposal writing tool is a winner to just make your proposal writing process quicker and slicker. But don’t spend the money until you’re confident with what you’re actually in your proposals. They’re not a silver bullet.

 

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