01 Jul 2018
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Bidsketch – Winning Proposals In Minutes!
It depends on your line of work but I thought I would start a series on tools I use in my day to day business tasks. The aim is that you can learn from my experiences and get yourself a realistic look at these tools. This saves you time and shows a tool being used in a practical environment. Many tools offer a free trial but by the time you work out how to use them your trial is over. To kick things off with this series we are going to look at one of the best tools I have come across for writing service proposals.
In my industry, it’s commonplace to write proposals for new website projects, branding projects and more. So over the past years as digital proposals have become more prevalent we have tried a few tools. We started out with a tool called panda doc and whilst it was a good platform had some drawbacks that really meant it wasn’t for us. So we went on the search and found Bidsketch an affordable platform that offers a great free trial and many features I had been looking for.
When you first land on their website you notice that everything looks a little spartan and the focus is on giving you a sample proposal in exchange for your email address. As you scroll down the page you start to see whats really important and that is the benefits of the platform. Whilst many competitors bamboozle you with features Bidsketch keeps it lite with just 4 key benefits showcased. These key benefits are as follows:
Proposal software that saves you hours
Faster turnaround with electronic signatures
A proposal process that clients love
Know what clients do with your proposals
These are exactly the philosophy of Bidsketch and from my experience are bang on. You see I used to spend hours writing a single proposal but now each proposal takes me 20 minutes or so. The proposal gets sent to my client who can download a pdf, print the proposal or sign it online and send it straight back. This not only saves me time as the author but my clients time when it comes to moving their project forward.
Taking it further
So I took my discovery of this platform further and signed up for a free trial and went through the learning curve (Surprisingly not as big a curve as expected). You log in and go through a setup process which is fairly well documented and somewhat foolproof. Could it have been easier maybe but it certainly wasn’t difficult?
Once your setup you see a dashboard that contains a few sections such as drafts you have created and proposals you have recently sent and most importantly a selection of help videos at your fingertips.
Looking across the top of the screen you will see a few links proposals (the dashboard I just described), Clients ( a page where you have your proposal contacts stored), Fees (this is kind of a repository for your products and services), Sections (just like fees this is a list of predefined text blocks you can use in your proposals) and templates (the end process when you combine the fee and section blocks together is a reusable template for writing proposals).
The interface is a little simplistic and I’m sure could be improved visually however it is extremely functional and does exactly what it was invented to do. When it comes to writing a great proposal Bidsketch is a great tool to have in your toolkit. It won’t teach you how to write better proposals but it will put that content together to create the perfect digital proposal.
Overall I love Bidsketch as a platform the benefits and professionalism of the proposals it creates have already paid off for my business. In saying that there are a few pros and cons of the platform which I have outlined below.
- The platform interface looks dated and can be a little difficult to understand depending on your technical level.
- The training provided is good but not quite as in-depth as some may need. It’s easy to learn if you have a good technical mind.
- Only has plans available in USD which can cause issues when the AUD is weak against it and causes the platform to be pricey.
- Creates great proposals built on reusable fees and text blocks.
- Saves on average 2-3 hours per proposal when writing them.
- Tracks open, downloads and prints and provide clear details.
If your looking for a way to improve your proposal game why not give Bidsketch a try.
(Disclosure some links on this page may provide a financial incentive to me for you signing up to trials and paid accounts)