PandaDoc vs DocuSign: Sign On The Dotted Line

PandaDoc vs DocuSign: Sign On The Dotted Line

You just landed that client you’ve always wanted and now it’s time to seal the deal but there’s a snag: your new client is far away (probably in a different time zone), and he needs the agreement signed ASAP so that he can cross it off his to-do list. You obviously can’t teleport to where he is to sign and that’s how you find yourself in a pickle trying to decide between PandaDoc vs DocuSign.

Hence, the deep-dive into e-signatures. It’s an electronic way to get documents, contracts and agreements signed electronically from anywhere in the world. Relieved, you search online for e-signature tools, only to be bombarded with a dizzying array of alternatives and different plans to choose from. 

Image Credit: Undraw

There are a lot of e-signature tools online with more being launched as businesses adjust to the new normal; a more digital-inclined working environment. This means more remote workspaces, Zoom meetings and signing documents digitally.

READ MORE: Zoom vs Google Meet: Which Video Conferencing Tool is Best?

Where do you even start? 🤷🏽‍♀️ Which do you choose? 🤦‍♂️

To make the process a little easier for you, we will be reviewing two popular e-signature tools today: PandaDoc vs DocuSign. Both are well-known and trusted by users, and they are utilised by millions of businesses and organizations throughout the world.

Overview

Founded in 2011, PandaDoc is a software company that provides document building and automation as a service. They offer built-in electronic signatures, workflow management and CPQ (custom, price, quote) functionality that helps businesses efficiently and accurately create quotes for orders.

DocuSign was founded in 2003, it allows companies to manage electronic agreements via e-signatures. You can seamlessly sync it across all your devices; all you have to do is hold any device that can access the internet.

PandaDoc vs DocuSign

Both products allow you to sign documents electronically; however, they use different techniques tailored to specific corporate and individual needs. Both tools include the key features found in electronic signature solutions: legally binding signatures, templates, a document editor, audit reports, flexible signing, and document storage. As we take a closer look at the differences between the two in this breakdown, you can see which would be a better fit depending on your need and preferences. 

PandaDoc vs DocuSign: Features

1. Ease Of Navigation

Employees and clients accustomed to signing papers digitally will most likely require additional support when transitioning to e-signatures.  As an entrepreneur, you must ensure your customers have access to the information and assistance they need to sign paperwork quickly to prevent costly contract delays.

PandaDoc and DocuSign are both intuitive and easy-to-use tools perfect for new users. Both solutions also offer mobile applications. However, user reviews in Play store rank DocuSign as a clear favourite, with a review score of 4.5/5 stars, praising its user-friendly app. User review information is a little sparse on PandaDoc as no user has there are no current user reviews for mobile.

2. PandaDoc vs DocuSign: Integrations

PandaDoc lists over 30 integrations on its website with apps like Slack, PayPal, Canva, Zoom etc, It has geared its integrations at CRM solutions for automated payment and improved sales workflow. The options are a lot more varied with DocuSign, it offers over 350 native integrations for software ranging from document storage tools to productivity tools.

3. PandaDoc Vs DocuSign: Pricing

Both PandaDoc and DocuSign offer monthly subscriptions with a 15-30% discount for purchasing an annual plan upfront. However, PandaDoc’s pricing structure is slightly different. PandaDoc offers four packages: one free plan and three paid subscriptions. The Essential Plan is priced at $25/user monthly, while the Business Plan costs $59/user each month and custom pricing for the Enterprise Plan. Users enjoy a 24% discount for a one-time annual payment.

PandaDoc Free vs Paid Plans

PandaDoc’s free plan is pretty basic, but users get to enjoy unlimited document uploads and e-signatures on uploaded documents. Essential Plan subscribers enjoy the features of the Free Plan as well as other unique features. These other features include customized templates, a document editor that allows users to drag and drop any kind of content including videos. You can also create personalized orders and quotes, document analytics and 24/7 email and chat support.

Image credit: PandaDoc

Business Plan users can access features available on the Free and Essential Plan with other added features like Zapier, a CRM (customer relations management) software integration, content library and customized branding on emails to clients and approval workflows. Users can also enjoy bulk send and self-service forms; however, these benefits can be gotten for extra fees.

DocuSign Free vs Paid Plans

On the other hand, DocuSign charges $10 for individual users, $25 for Standard and $40 for Business Pro. There’s a custom pricing option available for the Advanced Option plan. The Individual Plan (1 user) offers basic fields, reports, workflows and a real-time audit trail.

The Standard package which allows for 5 users with a $25/user fee, comes with all the features of the Individual Plan but also provides automated reminders, notifications, personalized branding, team reports and comments. 

The Business Pro package allows for 5 users at $40/user monthly with a directive to contact their Sales agents if you want to add more users to the package. This option attracts an additional fee.  Business Pro also offers to collect payments, advanced fields, signer attachments, bulk sending, power forms (which allow you to send your client a link to a document), collaborative fields, in-person signatures (allowing your clients to sign documents on your devices) and advanced authentication. DocuSign offers no free plan but offers a free 30-day trial period.

4. PandaDoc vs DocuSign: Customer Support

PandaDoc and DocuSign customer support comes via web forms and a chatbot on PandaDoc. DocuSign limits its customer support to web forms and a paywall option that allows users to pay out-of-pocket for additional benefits such as faster response times, live agent support, and so on.

Image Credit: istock

As a paid plan user on PandaDoc, you get access to 24/7 email and customer support. Free plan users can only contact a sales agent.

One of the key customer support services PandaDoc offers is onboarding services available in three plans options, depending on your team’s needs. The plans are Starter, Operation Excellence, and Sales Accelerator.

DocuSign has a slight advantage in this area; you can access real-time customer service for an added fee. Panda Doc doesn’t provide phone support at all. So, if you prefer talking to customer support, choose DocuSign.

5. Training

Both PandaDoc and DocuSign offer resources to help users make the most of their services and troubleshoot issues. When it comes to training, both tools offer written and video DIY content to help users teach and familiarize themselves with the e-signature tools. They also periodically offer live training in the form of webinars that you can register for in advance.

PandaDoc offers limited on-demand training when compared to DocuSign University, which offers dozens of lessons in multiple languages. DocuSign launched the DocuSign University as a free online learning resource to help users build the knowledge and expertise they need to fully enjoy the platform’s services. For a non-English speaking team who will likely need a lot of help getting to know their way around the platform, DocuSign is the obvious choice.

6. PandaDoc vs DocuSign: Unique Features

DocuSign is more powerful than PandaDoc when it comes to its mobile app with DocuSign users tagged at about 5 million installs while PandaDoc comes in a far second with 10,000 installs. The difference in numbers might seem to be mere vanity metrics. DocuSign unlike PandaDoc, allows users to upload files and add fields to documents. These capabilities increase efficiency because they allow you to maintain your document workflow without having to switch to DocuSign’s version. Based on the higher number of installs for DocuSign, these added features are an advantage.

Templates

Though both tools offer set templates and allow users to create their own, PandaDoc takes it a step further. PandaDoc offers a library of standardized templates that users can customize. This saves valuable time and helps businesses keep their document design consistent. 

Library

PandaDoc also offers a content library that allows you to store content you frequently use in your documents. The content library allows users to store content like legal statements and custom branding elements e.g. logos, banners etc. This feature allows subscribers to save time in the document creation process.

PandaDoc also offers more flexibility over DocuSign when it comes to editing proposals/contracts with features like online editor, content sharing and content locking. PandaDoc’s online editor allows users to create an instant editable document. It has added benefit that helps users make any necessary changes in real-time even after the document has been sent.

DocuSign doesn’t have a content library but it has better features in its document editor than PandaDoc. It has key shortcuts, more field options to place in documents and the ability to navigate a document by page among others. 

Document Analytics

Analytics are the backbone of any business, this feature helps organisations fine-tune their business strategies to meet their customers’ needs.

One interesting feature PandaDoc has that DocuSign doesn’t is recipient analytics. PandaDoc includes analytics that let you track your recipient’s behaviour when interacting with your documents – how much time they spend reading the document, how long it takes to sign an agreement. PandaDoc shows real-time recipient activity with your document (i.e when your documents are opened, viewed, completed or signed.)

This information can help you understand how your documents and agreements are performing and which parts your clients engage with the most. Sales teams use this information to understand customer behaviour and close more deals. 

Security

When it comes to sensitive documents, the security of your information and that of your customers is of paramount importance. PandaDoc and DocuSign offer various security protocols to keep your documentation safe. However, DocuSign scores a slight edge in terms of the number of security measures it provides.

PandaDoc is hosted on Amazon’s AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud platform a comprehensive and widely used cloud platform worldwide. PandaDoc protects all data uploaded with AES-256 encryption and sophisticated encryption keys management.

On the other hand, before sending documents for signing on DocuSign, the platform verifies the identity of the signer, record all document actions, use tamper seals, and more. DocuSign platform also offers 2FA (two-factor authentication) login which PandaDoc does not.

For most entrepreneurs and small businesses, PandaDoc’s security measures are sufficient. If you work in a sensitive or highly regulated industry, your organization will appreciate the added protocols offered by DocuSign.

Key Takeaways

When choosing an e-signature tool, security is one big issue to consider; slick tabs won’t matter if your sensitive documents are vulnerable to hacking. After security, intuitiveness and ease of use is also other deciding factor. The attraction of e-signatures is their promise to help you get your documents signed faster and with ease. So, having to deal with a clunky interface sort of defeats the purpose. Once you’ve verified that the service provides satisfactory security and is easy to use, consider the type of work it was designed for based on its features.

The biggest difference between DocuSign and PandaDoc is its user focus: PandaDoc is specialized for sales teams, and DocuSign isn’t. This explains why PandaDoc includes features such as a content library, interactive quoting, and recipient analytics. 

Furthermore, PandaDoc integrates with third-party apps such as payment gateways like PayPal, and CRM platforms like Salesforce for a full sales management and automated payment system.

However, DocuSign’s platform is more robust and targeted to a more diverse user base with access to more integrations, increased document editing capabilities and an online learning resource designed to help non-English speakers benefit from using the platform. As a result, non-sales teams with employees in other countries are likely to have a slight preference for DocuSign.

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