What is Bidsketch (and Can it Help Your Business)?Claude Harrington 12.15.2015
No matter what industry you’re in, drafting proposals is most likely a part of your business. In fact, in many cases proposals play an important role in soliciting new business. From the aesthetics of layout and design to the specifics of facts and figures, a proposal can often represent the written equivalent of a first impression. And yet despite the recurring importance of proposals, most of us tend to stick with a single template we trust. Is this naïve on our part? Are we missing an opportunity to impress partners and potential clients? Bidsketch thinks so, and believes that they have created a uniquely dynamic solution.
So let’s take a closer look at Bidsketch and see what they have to offer…
First, a little background: Bidsketch was founded by a software developer named Ruben Gamez. At the time, Gamez was the Senior Web Development Manager for Oasis Outsourcing, the largest privately held Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in the United States. While there, he helped build and manage a custom proposal system that was used by Oasis to win large business deals.
In 2009, Gamez decided to take his passion and expertise for closing deals to the next level and started Bidsketch, a company dedicated to removing the pain from the proposal process. And over the past six years, that’s what Bidsketch has done by creating easy-to-use software that helps companies publish custom client proposals quickly.
Below are a few things about Bidsketch that piqued our interest:
Bidsketch vs. Traditional Proposals: Bidsketch boasts that proposals created with their software are approved 18% more than traditional proposals. I must admit that when I first saw that number I was a bit skeptical…and then I tried the software. What struck me was not just how clean and customizable everything was (if nothing else, Bidsketch is more user-friendly than most software of any kind), but what I soon started to notice was that it changed the way I thought about proposals. Creating a proposal started to feel less like plugging in a formula and more like concocting a recipe; with many ingredients at my disposal, each there to help me prepare the best dish possible. And that, really, is what a proposal should be. Your best dish on the page, as opposed to merely filling in a series of blanks.
The Art of the Up-Sell: For proposal creators, Bidsketch’s emphasis on customizability makes it easier to create comprehensive documents. That’s why, it would stand to reason, there’s an 18% greater success rate. But if you flip that perspective and look at that customizability from the POV of proposal recipients, that’s where you can potentially start to see an ever greater payoff. That’s because Bidsketch lets you mark certain fees as optional, thus giving clients the opportunity to accept or reject various amenities while reviewing. This is a great, low-pressure way to try and up-sell clients: click yes if you want to add X, no if you’d prefer to stick with Y. No harm, no foul and, according to Bidsketch, 32% more profit with optional fees.
Reduce (time), Reuse (content), Recycle (success): Although the design and objectives of every proposal will differ, you’ll often wind up using similar content. As such, Bidsketch enables you to save elements (be it text, image or video) for future re-use. These elements can then be implemented as is (or revised) within the five-step organizational process that goes into creating each Bidsketch proposal:
- Preview (here you can also add a cover page, like in the image below)
Measurable Feedback: Lastly, because Bidsketch is an online platform, it is able to track your proposals and provide users with analytic feedback. Not only can it tell you if a client has opened the proposal (it can even notify you, if you like), but it can also arm you with deeper information like how long the client spent reading the proposal and whether or not it was printed.
If you think that any of the above might be valuable to your business, you can visit here to sign up for a 14-day free trial with Bidsketch and see for yourself.[starbox]