Comparing Document Automation Software for Small Business


Posted 1 week ago in Small Business Tips
by Danine Pontarelli

Would your job be easier if you could automate contracts, quotes, and other crucial documents with a few clicks? Small businesses could benefit from the time-saving functionality of such a software. But, when it comes time to evaluating the options, things can get a little…messy.

For a small business, the cost to invest in a software solution is always a major factor, but your teams need more than cost-effective software, they need features. The whole point of implementing the system is to bring something of value to the table that boosts productivity and potential. What makes a document automation software valuable to your business? It depends on what you need! In this post, we’ll dive in to a few document automation products that Technology Advisors has vetted for its own customers.

There are pros and cons to each product, but we like each of them for their own reasons. We chose to work with these solutions because they were flexible enough for our smaller customers while still offering the robust features those customers deserve.

 

FlexiDocs

FlexiDocs highlights “full creative control” as one of its shining features. It allows users to design templates in various formats (Excel, PowerPoint, or Word) without restriction. The platform also gives users the ability to select multiple records from their CRM and combine them into a single document.  This allows users to combine data from Quotes, Accounts, Contacts and customer tables (like inventory) to create a completely personalized document. FlexiDocs can review a field’s value and change the content of the document based on fields in your CRM. This allows the user to insert things like personized terms and conditions based upon products or the industry of the customer.

FlexiDocs does not have eSignature pre-built into its application, but it can be combined with products like DocuSign and Adobe Sign to enable that functionality.

The staff at Technology Advisors vetted this product for our customers and we feature more information about it on our website. The customers who use it are all small or medium sized businesses and they seem to be enjoying its capabilities.

Pros:
Integrates easily with SugarCRM & Salesforce
Supports proposals designed using Excel, PowerPoint, or Word
Dynamic price calculations
Conditional information pulled based on CRM data

Cons:
Requires third party tool (ex: DocuSign) for eSignature
No online document editor
No document analytics

Price: Pricing starts at $59/month for 100 merges, but there is also a “freemium” edition that offers 20 merges per month. Merges can be per company or per user.

 

PandaDoc

PandaDoc offers integration with a variety of CRMs, marketing automation systems, and even Google Drive. Its automated CPQ is crucial for companies with a complex quoting process. One feature that helps prevent errors is the ability to lock pricing tables. Once these tables are locked by an administrator, they can no longer be edited in the template. PandaDoc also has the ability to merge information from your CRM into the pricing table, which is another way to prevent any data entry errors from adding the wrong item or wrong price, or missing line items altogether. Our users like the product for this reason, and because the CPQ feature makes the transition for new sales reps easier by guiding them through the quoting. PandaDoc offers automated workflows to sequence when documents are sent based on preconfigured rules, too.

This is another product we vetted for our customers, and we currently use PandaDoc in-house. It’s a staff favorite and we think it’s well-priced for small businesses that want document automation with added analytics benefits. You can learn more about PandaDoc on our website and even request a free trial if you want to test it out.

Pros:
Easy integration with 22 different systems
eSignature & Analytics capabilities
CPQ features
Ability to embed images in documents, such as product images

Cons:
User interface can be complex
Only supports PDF creation

Price: Starts at $19/user/month for individual plans. It’s $49/user/month for the business plan.

 

XperiDo

XperiDo is a document automation software with dynamic fields and unlimited documents per month, regardless of the plan you’re on. A Microsoft Word extension facilitates template building without coding, and the platform can do some unique tasks, like generate QR Codes.

We like this product because it fits the bill for many of our SugarCRM users on a tight budget. It gives them the power to create the documents they need while remaining competitively priced. The barcode and QR code features are nifty bonuses. If you use SugarCRM and are interested in XperiDo for Sugar, you can learn more and request a free trial through our website.

Pros:
Integration with SugarCRM, Nucleus, & MS Dynamics CRM
Unlimited documents
Can print documents
Creates dynamic images, barcodes, and QR codes

Cons:
Requires third party tool for eSignature (DocuSign or Sertifi)
Does not offer CPQ or credit card processing
Limited document builder through Microsoft Word

Price: Starts at $11/user/month for SaaS standard version with five users. DocuSign connector is additional fee.

 

QuoteWerks

QuoteWerks was a desktop installation until recently. The product now offers Cloud-based quoting and proposal software which lets users prepare their documents in Word, PDF, or Excel. The system allows users to view when the recipient views their quote and offers special integrations like FedEx/UPS and Cisco.

Technology Advisors vetted QuoteWerks in years past, when it was a desktop tool, and we are glad to see they now have some Cloud functionality! The annual subscription is unique from competitors and seems to be a draw for most companies who reviewed the product. Users have complained that not all fields integrate, and dashboard notification options are limited.

Pros:

Integration with 55+ software solutions including Salesforce, SugarCRM, and MS Dynamics, Google Contacts, and Outlook
One-time purchase, no subscription or setup fees
Comes with eSignature

Cons:
Product is based on older technology
Must be installed on each machine using it
No Workflow automation
Integration can be complex
Engagement analytics require an add-on

Price: Standard license for one user: $199, Professional license for one user: $269. See full pricing breakdown on their FinancesOnline page.

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