Business proposals lay out all of the deal details that your prospect needs to know, giving them reasons to get excited about working together. But creating a winning business proposal isn't easy. It needs to be detailed enough to pique your prospects' interest, but concise enough that they read the whole thing.
The point is, creating the perfect proposal is a delicate balance, especially if you’re still using a word processor to build them from scratch.
Proposal software is the solution you didn’t know you needed. It’s the best way to gain control and visibility over your closing process, all while increasing efficiency, streamlining your sales cycle, and maintaining consistency from propose to close. But perks like that come at a cost – proposal software often has a monthly subscription fee that could be prohibitive to growing businesses and smaller sales teams.
But we think everyone should be able to unleash the power that proposal software holds.
What is free proposal software?
Free proposal software is a type of application that allows you to create, send, and track proposals without having to pay. It’s the best way to get prospects on board for your projects without breaking the bank or committing to a serious contract or subscription. Because after all, it’s hard to know if the software you choose will even work for your business if you aren’t able to try it out.
Benefits of free proposal software
If you’re still creating business proposals from scratch or even building from previous proposals, free proposal software is about to change your life. It takes all of the manual lifting out of proposal creation and puts you back in the driver seat so you can focus on the only thing that matters – closing the deal and getting your prospect on board. Here are some of the many benefits of free proposal software:
Is your proposal process slow and full of bottlenecks? It doesn’t have to be. With the right proposal software, you can leverage free proposal templates to create proposals within minutes, not hours. Plus, with deal approval workflows, you can collaborate on proposals and keep deals moving without the roadblocks of manually collecting input from multiple departments.
As you already know, first impressions are everything. Your prospects, competitors, and anyone else that comes across your company will develop an opinion of it rather quickly, so if you want to get their attention and give off a professional appearance, you need a cohesive brand identity. Free proposal software can help. It ensures that the logos, fonts, colors, and any other important brand details match across all of your sales docs so that you don’t have to dig up your company style guide every time you write a proposal.
Whether your sales team has 5 people or 50, visibility is crucial for keeping your operation running smoothly. If you don’t know what’s going on with your deals – where they’re at in the pipeline, who’s responsible for what, and when to step in to keep them moving – you risk losing them.
Unlike some of the other sales tracking tools that track deal progress in the early stages, some free proposal software gives you visibility after sending your proposal. That way, you can get a better idea of what your prospect is thinking once they've opened it, and you can even set notifications to tell you the ideal time to reach out to answer their questions, clear any objections, etc.
As a sales leader, managing multiple reps can be stressful. Especially if you don’t know what they’re working on, what’s going into their proposals, and what they’re sending off to prospects. With free proposal software, you can get some peace of mind by setting up a library of approved, up-to-date content that reps can pull from, ensuring that all of your pricing, timeline, and technical information is always accurate. Plus, you can gain control over your proposal process by delegating permissions, responsibilities, sign offs, and more, so that deals don’t get stuck under a pile while reps wait for approvals.
Best free proposal software 2022
Choosing the best free proposal software for your business requires careful consideration about your company’s processes, pain points, and goals, so it’s tough to say which option is best. In order to keep things neutral, we’ve rounded up some of the best free proposal options in 2022 so that you can choose the best one for your situation.
While we don’t want to toot our own horn, we really think Proposify deserves the top spot here. Why? Well, for starters, Proposify Free is actually free. There’s no mandatory commitment, signup fee, credit card requirement, or anything like that. It’s completely free to sign up and start using, and you can upgrade your plan if you want additional features, users, or documents.
But beyond the price (or lack thereof), Proposify is the most robust free proposal software out there. It comes packed with all of the features you need to create, send, track, and close proposals:
Create. Start your proposal from one of the many industry-specific free proposal templates, customize them using the intuitive editor, and store frequently used information in a central library for reps to pull from.
Track. With Proposal analytics, you can keep track of your proposals even after you hit send. You'll see how prospects interact with your proposals in real time, set up notifications to better time your follow ups, and be able to view the status of all proposals.
Close. Proposify free helps you build a consistent, scalable closing process that makes it easier to get prospects on board. With interactive pricing tables, esignatures, payment integrations and a suite of other features, you can close with confidence.
The point is, Proposify is a robust free proposal software solution, and depending on your business’ needs, could be a great way to upgrade your operation.
Pandadoc is another fully-featured proposal software that has really made a name for itself in recent years. This platform allows reps to create, send, and track proposals, giving them better control over their process. However, the one main downside is that the free version is pretty limited. While you'll still be able to use eSignatures and accept payments, you won't actually be able to use the flagship proposal software. In order to do that, you'll need to upgrade to the essentials plan, where you'll get access to templates, a better document editor, additional support, and more.
Qwilr is a bit unorthodox compared to some of the other options on this list, but its unique platform is trusted by thousands of sales professionals around the world. Unlike Proposify, Pandadoc, and the other free proposal software solutions, Qwilr's proposals are presented in the form of an interactive web page. This unique style can help reps stand out to their prospects, but it can also hold them back if their prospect just wants a simple PDF, because there are known to be formatting issues. That aside, Qwilr offers a 14-day trial that doesn’t require a credit card or contract, so you’re welcome to try it out before committing to anything serious.
Better Proposals is a straightforward proposal software solution that offers access to hundreds of templates, a simple editor, an approved content library, and other common proposal software features. It even offers premium features like document analytics and “Proposal A.I.” that can help you tailor your proposal and follow ups to your prospects.
While the 14-day trial is totally free and doesn’t require a credit card, you won’t get access to all of the features (like removing the company’s watermark from your proposals) unless you upgrade to a higher-level plan.
Bidsketch is a solid proposal software solution that aims to cut your proposal creation time in half. It offers a suite of proposal templates along with an interactive interface that makes creating proposals both easy and fast. It also has a cool chat feature that helps you communicate next steps to clients and create a direct line of contact in case any issues arise. But on the downside, the platform is lacking in integration support and requires a credit card for the first trial — which isn't a dealbreaker for everyone, but we don't blame you for preferring an entirely free proposal software solution.
Now that we’ve entered yet another new year, it might be time to upgrade your closing process and jump on the wave of proposal automation. But if you’re not ready to commit to a subscription, free proposal software can help you get the ball rolling and figure out whether it is right for your business. We hope this free proposal software roundup gives you some ideas and options to consider as you explore the world of proposal software.