So here’s the deal with Bidsketch – we like it. It has some kinks, and we see room for improvement, but overall, we definitely recommend it. It gets the job done, and we’d even say, well.
At 11 Online, we’ve streamlined MUCH of our business and operations via apps and services, and so we wanted to do the same for our client proposal process. We do not believe in reinventing any wheels, especially when there are so many great applications out there that exist solely to help us run a smooth operation.
Overall, Bidsketch is exactly what we need. A simple, user-friendly application (for both us and the end-user, our clients), that allows our clients to view and accept our formal business proposal for work within a couple of very simple clicks.
The pre-formatted templates are probably worth the cost of admission by themselves. Seriously, no reinventing the wheel here. If you are a digital agency or freelancer of any kind, I bet Bidsketch already has populated their proposals and templates with some sort of service that you provide. It’s great. And easy, and fast, and professional. Saves everyone time.
When we first set-up our Bidsketch account, we took the time to set up and personalize our templates, and later down the road, we haven’t had to think twice about it. Awesome time-saver.
We also can send an email to our client to review and accept the proposal by proxy; it’s great, and again, totally professional.
Now the honest part:
I think the user interface has a lot of room for improvement. Quite frankly, it sucks. Green, bland, with very few if any opportunities for deep customization.
But, it hasn’t really impacted our clients very much, so for the time being it’s good enough.
It’s a clunky user experience at best. A few clients have had trouble figuring out the agreement part of the application – “Where do I agree to the contract?” is something I’ve heard before. It’s fairly straightforward for me to set up a proposal, but it can confuse clients.
Bidsketch has a lot of room for improvement in the integration department. We would LOVE the ability to interface between Bidsketch and our accounting app, Wave. Though Bidsketch has 18 Zapier integrations, at this time, there isn’t one for Wave, and that’s annoying. If I could automatically create invoices when clients agree to a Bidsketch proposal, boy would that make my day.
Users are for-all-intents-and purposes forced to send proposals ONLY through Bidsketch. Yes, technically you can send the proposal to yourself first and get the share link – but why can’t we see it without sending? I’d at least like the ability to style the proposal emails.
Now, back to the good stuff:
The ability to turn around a professional, branded, and client/project-specific proposal in under an hour rocks.
We love being able to see when our proposal has not only been accepted (or declined) but also simply viewed. This helps us know where our clients are at all times throughout our bidding process, and this is an awesome benefit.
We also think that having the structure and process of using a professional proposal system definitely helps lend us credibility – receiving such a WOW proposal and template as basically a 1st/2nd impression with our clients is pretty sweet.
After several proposals sent with Bidsketch, only one of them has ever NOT been accepted — and a 90+% success rate pretty much speaks for itself (to be fair, most of our new business comes from referrals – as Ace Rothstein says, we’re “juiced in”).
So, in closing, if you send proposals for your business, we recommend Bidsketch with some reservations.
What do you think of competitors like Proposify? Or do you use a different solution entirely? Let me know in the comments.