What is PandaDoc?
PandaDoc is an electronic signature software tool that over 20,000 companies use to create sales documents and close deals faster. Its proposal software includes the features found in basic e-signature solutions, as well as advanced features like templates, interactive quotes, version tracking, the ability to collect payments through documents, and CRM integrations. PandaDoc has built an Add-On Store which allows you to easily customize the active features in your account.
Table of Contents
- What is PandaDoc?
- PandaDoc Review Summary
- PandaDoc Pricing & Cost
- PandaDoc Features
- PandaDoc vs. Competitors
- Is PandaDoc Right for You?
PandaDoc Review Summary
PandaDoc was founded in 2011 by Mikita Mikado and Sergey Barysiuk. Today, PandaDoc has over 350 employees and is based in San Francisco, California. PandaDoc’s mission is to help sales teams build meaningful relationships with their clients and win more deals through personalized documents.
While PandaDoc can be used for any type of legal agreement, it does have a specific focus on supporting the deal process for sales professionals. Its core features include legally binding signatures, a document editor, a content library, multiparty signing, templates, audit reports, and notifications. In addition to these features, it's built tools specifically for sales teams – interactive quotes, redline & version tracking, the ability to collect payments through documents, and CRM integrations.
PandaDoc offers a uniquely valuable free plan that allows you to send unlimited documents. The free plan does have limitations, including being unable to use PandaDoc's built-in editor. Overall, PandaDoc’s paid plans are comparable in price compared to alternatives in the market. DocuSign, SignNow and Proposify offer plans with similar features at similar prices.
We found that PandaDoc is an ideal solution for sales professionals, and any organization that has a more complex document workflow. In addition, its free plan is a cost-effective choice if you are an individual or smaller business looking for an easy-to-use electronic signature tool.
PandaDoc Pricing & Cost
PandaDoc’s pricing ranges from $0 to $59 per user per month for non-enterprise customers. More advanced plans include features not found in cheaper plans.
- Free eSign: $0 per user per month
- Essentials: $25 per user per month
- Business: $59 per user per month
- Enterprise: Contact PandaDoc for a quote
Below, we will discuss the key features of PandaDoc. We will also include screenshots of the product to give you an idea of its design and architecture.
Templates & Editing
PandaDoc comes with over 450 templates that you can edit and customize for your business. You can use the document editor to add specific fields, pull in content from PandaDoc’s content library, and customize the branding and language of your documents.
When it comes to automating document flow, templates are incredibly useful. By reusing the same templates over and over, you save time and keep your content consistent.
PandaDoc provides over 450 templates that range from sales proposals to quotes to invoices. You can also upload your own documents and save them as templates. However, PDFs, images and MS Office files are not editable after you upload them. Docx files are editable in PandaDoc.
PandaDoc allows you to upload the following document types:
Except for the Free eSign plan, PandaDoc includes a document editor. Documents can be edited with blocks, fields, variables, themes & styles, and integrated with apps. This is useful because you can edit documents without having to reupload a new one every time.
The fields you can add to documents are:
- Text field
- Card details
PandaDoc comes with version control features that allow multiple people to work on the same document simultaneously while keeping track of the changes made. In addition, version control allows you to recover the last version of the document in the event that it gets lost or damaged.
PandaDoc’s “Version history” allows you to view the previous versions of documents, templates, and content library items. A new version automatically gets created and saved after anyone:
- Edits a document
- Sends a document
- Restores a document
- Redlines a document
Advanced Document Editor Features
PandaDoc’s document editor comes with a series of advanced features.
|CRM Integration||You can integrate with software like Salesforce, HubSpot and Pipedrive. With the integrations, you can automatically import data and autofill key information into your documents.|
|Pricing Table Block||You can enable recipients to edit the quantity of items purchased in your pricing tables. This gives customers more control over their orders and streamlines your sales process.|
|Variables||These are fields you can use multiple times throughout your document or template. Once you fill in its value, the rest of them will autofill with the same information. This information does not crossover all documents/templates. This feature is very time-efficient, especially if you have information that shows up often throughout your document.|
|Comment Section||This feature allows you to @mention anyone associated with a document. You can use this to provide real-time information and updates to everyone involved.|
|Restrict Editing||In PandaDoc’s Enterprise plan, you can prevent other users from editing, deleting or moving content blocks. This is useful for assuring unapproved changes will not be made to the document.|
PandaDoc’s Business and Enterprise plans include access to a content library. The content library can store all the content you frequently use in documents. For example, you can use it to store custom branding blocks. Adding these to your documents from your content library will save you time and ensure consistent branding, which improves company credibility.
The types of content you can add into your content library are:
- Single pages
- Single content blocks
With PandaDoc’s Business and Enterprise plans, you can add custom branding to your documents and emails. With this tool, you are able to:
- Upload your own logo
- Edit footer text in emails
- Change the button color in email notifications
- Remove PandaDoc branding in the subject line
PandaDoc allows you to change the default language used in emails and your recipients’ interfaces. While PandaDoc’s system is entirely in English, they offer support for other languages including:
Document workflow is the creation, editing, sending, signing, and storing of your documents. Effective document workflow improves your company’s productivity, as well as internal and external communication.
PandaDoc’s document workflow is incredibly efficient and easy to use. Valuable document workflow features offered by PandaDoc include real-time notifications, different signing capabilities, integrations, and an API. The only feature it lacks is a progress bar of how close to completion your documents are.
Sending Your Documents
When you are ready to send a completed document, PandaDoc allows you to:
- Edit a personalized message to the recipient
- Set an expiration date
- Add a first and recurring reminders
- Set forwarding options (can allow signers to forward documents for signature)
- Set renewal dates and notifications (Enterprise plan only)
PandaDoc’s Business and Enterprise plans include advanced features for document sending. These include bulk sending and in-person signing.
|Bulk sending||PandaDoc’s “Bulk send” feature allows you to send a document to up to 1,000 people per hour. This is a time-saver, and reduces the possibility of errors due to document recreation.|
|In-person signing||PandaDoc’s Enterprise plan also unlocks in-person signing. In the mobile app, you can choose to deliver the document in-person. If you have multiple in-person signers, the screen will update for the next person after the first signer finishes. This saves time because the person doesn’t have to log into their email, find the document, and sign it.|
Real-time Notifications & Reminders
After each document is sent, PandaDoc will send you web and mobile notifications about its progress and status. You can also set your notifications to email you about document delivery fails, documents being opened, documents being completed and comments being posted.
As you can see above, PandaDoc’s dashboard also includes a timeline of all actions made in each document. It also indicates whether a document is:
- A draft
- Needs approval
- Waiting for payment
Overall, we found Pandadoc’s document signing process to be effective and efficient. PandaDoc also offers some advanced features, such as recipient analytics, that is not found in competing software solutions.
When you open a document and click on the “Start” button, PandaDoc will bring you to the first field you need to sign, fill in, or initial. The PandaDoc interface uses arrows to guide you to subsequent fields that you also need to complete.
It’s important that after you have executed your documents that you can easily access them in an organized database. PandaDoc’s system includes key organizational features absent from some of its competitors. This includes a search bar and the ability to filter documents by status and when they were modified. You are also able to create custom folders to organize your documents.
As shown on the left side of the image above, PandaDoc provides shortcuts you can use to quickly navigate to different document categories. Besides status, you can also view the documents that were just created by you, those with upcoming renewals and those expiring soon.
PandaDoc tracks client behavior in the documents that you’ve sent to them. This helps you understand the performance of your documents, as well as how engaged each client is. The data points PandaDoc shares are:
- How many times a client has viewed the document
- How many times a client has viewed each page
- The total time a client has spent on the document
- The total time a client has spent on each page
- When a client last viewed the document
- If they downloaded the document
PandaDoc integrates with Zapier, which can be used to connect with the software tools listed below:
- Google Drive
- OneDrive / Microsoft
PandaDoc's Enterprise plan includes an API that unlocks the opportunity to create a fully customized document workflow. Examples of customizable processes include e-signature and document creation. For example, a software developer on your team can use the API to create a new document the moment a prospective customer is added to your CRM.
Legal & Security
Electronic signature software must come with specific legal and security compliances. We’ve listed those compliances below, and indicated the features offered by PandaDoc.
|Feature||Offered by PandaDoc|
|Secure Document Storage||Yes (Amazon AWS, SOC II Type II SSAE 18)|
|Two Factor Authentication||Yes (Contact PandaDoc)|
|International Law Compliant||Yes (GDPR, EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S Privacy Shields)|
|Audit Reports Feature||Yes|
Audit reports track the important activity and changes related to your documents.
PandaDoc attaches an audit trail to each document that you can view even before a document is completed. Examples of information included in the audit trail are:
- Document status
- The actions each person has taken inside a document
- Location of where the document action took place
- Time stamps that record the exact minute each action was taken
Proposals & Payments
Some electronic signature software includes features built specifically for sales teams. PandaDoc is one of these products – it has several features for proposals, payments, and contract renewals that are outlined below.
PandaDoc offers an extensive sales and quotes template library. Example templates included in this library are:
|Sales Proposal||Service Quote|
|Sales Invoice||Construction Quote|
|Sales Receipt||Building Quote|
|Simple Sales Proposal||Freelance Quote|
|Sales Commission Agreement||Catering Quote|
|Sales Contract||Photography Quote|
In these proposals, PandaDoc allows you to include forms that can capture and store data in PandaDoc. This is helpful for capturing client data – it also improves data accuracy and streamlines communication between you and your clients.
PandaDoc allows your recipients to make payments from within your documents. For example, you can embed a “Card details” field directly into your document that captures credit card information and processes the payment. Another option is to use the Zapier integration to unlock payment with PayPal and Stripe ACH.
PandaDoc does not currently offer a way to set up recurring payments. To do this, you would have to integrate payments with Stripe, Authorize.net or Square.
With the Enterprise plan, PandaDoc offers automated contract renewals. Before sending a document, you can set how many months from the document’s completion or a specific date a document needs to be renewed. You can also notify yourself a set number of days before a renewal is supposed to happen.
This feature is useful because it helps you stay on top of contracts that are about to expire. This is important for maintaining and upselling current customers, which is cheaper and easier than generating revenue from new customers.
As you can see below, PandaDoc is available on mobile and tablet for both Apple and Android.
While you cannot create documents using the apps, they do include features such as:
- Document access
- Document status updates
- Document activity updates
- Inbox for documents to sign
- Profile and settings
Mobile App Advantages & Disadvantages
PandaDoc’s mobile app does a great job showing you where the fields are in each document. The app notes how many more fields need to be filled in, and includes a “Next” button at the bottom of the screen that helps you navigate from one field to the next. Applications without this feature can be difficult to use on a mobile device.
Another advantage of the mobile app is swipe signatures. We found that signatures were easy to complete – clicking on the signature field pops up an enlarged version of the field for you to sign. You are also able to zoom in on a document without downloading it.
One disadvantage of PandaDoc’s mobile app is its handling of embedded videos. While you can watch embedded videos in the document, the video does not take up the full screen. This makes videos difficult to watch.
PandaDoc vs. Competitors
The top PandaDoc competitors are below. Of these, Proposify has a similar focus on enabling sales teams. The best option for you will depend on the features you need for your document workflow and your budget.
Is PandaDoc right for you?
PandaDoc is an e-signature tool that, depending on the plan, works for individuals, SMBs, and large companies. All of PandaDoc’s plans are comparable, if not better, than most of its competitors from Docsketch to DocuSign. Overall, its system is efficient and user-friendly.
If you are an individual or smaller business looking for an easy-to-use, affordable software tool, then we highly recommend PandaDoc’s free plan. If you are part of a sales team, or work at a larger company that has a more complex document signing process, then we would recommend evaluating PandaDoc’s paid plans.
To learn more about PandaDoc, try it for free today.