A Review of PandaDoc Online Documents with Jared Fuller: One Last Tool Episode 1
Announcer: Is your digital business efforts in need of a tune-up or major overhaul? If you’re ready to get your sales, marketing and service machine up and running, you’re going to need just the right tools. Welcome to One Last Tool, your pit stop for learning about all of the latest and greatest digital tools to get your business engine running on all cylinders. And now, here’s your resident technician, George B. Thomas.
George: All right. Welcome to One Last Tool, folks, and this week we have a great interview. As always, the One Last Tool podcast is brought to you by WP Inbound Machine. If you’re looking to take your normal WordPress website and turn it into an inbound marketing machine, then hey, check out wpinboundmachine.com. Without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s One Last Tool interview.
All right, ladies and gentleman, welcome to the first episode of One Last Tool. I’m super-excited because this is an area where moving forward we get to talk about a tool, its cost, its competitors, and even the community around it. Today is PandaDoc and we have the man, the myth, the legend, Jared Fuller here from PandaDoc. Jared, how are you doing today?
Jared: I’m doing fantastic, George. We got some craziness in San Francisco today, but all is well.
George: Well, I don’t really like craziness, but I’ll tell you the kind of crazy I do like and that is the tool PandaDoc. Let’s start at the very basics because there may be people out there that listen to this podcast that are trying to figure out new tools for their sales, marketing or business and they hear this PandaDoc and they’re like, “What is that?”
What is PandaDoc?
Jared: So, HubSpot and WordPress and these other things are content marketing systems, right, for sales. They help you deliver the right message to the right people at the top of the funnel. But there wasn’t something that existed for sales. So, what PandaDoc is is really a content management system for your sales teams.
So, you can create things like proposals and assemble content on the fly that speak to your buyer persona and who is trying to evaluate your product. So, really that’s how I like to explain PandaDoc. It’s that content management system to deliver content and get deals closed for your sales team.
George: Yeah. And I love it. We actually use it at thesaleslion.com. It’s super slick and there’s so much more that you can do with it than just proposals, but that is a good kind of what is PandaDoc.
How does PandaDoc work?
Like what do you have to do? Is it difficult? Is it easy? Talk us through that, Jared.
Jared: Yeah. So, most people when you’re thinking of a document, you think of going to the last version you sent, creating a new copy and manually changing everything. So, what we’ve done is we’ve unfolded and unmasked what this old document process used to be and we’ve killed the concept of the file because files are bad. Imagine if you built a custom website on a giant XML file. It would be a pretty terrible way to build a web application.
So, what we’ve done is we’ve turned documents into objects. And you have things like templates. So, you can create a document from a template. That changes the game to where you have these pre-configured templates and then you can go one level deeper and we have what’s called the library.
The library is for things like case studies, right? And you might have a case study for the different types of personas you sell to. You might have a competitive analysis. You might have different pricing tables. You might have videos. So, you can store these modular reusable pieces of content and then assemble them quickly inside of a document and deliver that out to a client for e-signatures.
So, I don’t want to say it’s easy because it’s not. Anyone that tells you that trying to change the way you do something is easy is full of it. It takes a commitment to a change to go the way we’ve done sales collateral is send a contract and hope they sign and we think that there’s a better way. So it does take an investment of time and initiative, for certain.
George: Yeah. And I’ll tell you, from somebody who has decided to use the tool and move forward with it, it was kind of a difficult decision to make, but the learning curve on actually using it, I was amazed how quick we could actually fire it up and just here’s the contract and let’s get it out and get it signed.
And the fact that it wasn’t, “Oh, I’ve got to print out this PDF and sign it and fax it back over or scan it in,” like that conversation was completely gone. And I do want to hit one thing that you said about the library. Because you may be listening to this podcast and think to yourself, “Man, I wish I could make my proposals and my contracts more human.” Folks, video, video, video. Man, using something like Wistia or YouTube to actually embed video right into your PandaDocs is amazing.
Okay. So, we know what it is. We know what it does. But we really don’t know yet, Jared…
Who is PandaDoc for?
George: Who’s the best fit to pick up this tool and start to use it?
Jared: So, the best person is someone definitely in sales. But the persona that we kind of speak to and talk to here is someone that’s in sales and marketing or really cares about sales and marketing alignment, right? You have all of this great stuff at the top of the funnel on your website. All that aforementioned content I talked about–case studies, testimonials, competitive analyses. But they’re not broken down for personas for the sales team. Right?
Sales teams don’t do a good job of sending links and links seem super impersonal. Right? They don’t feel like that rep is providing the value to help you make an informed purchase the same way that a proposal can. So, it’s people that believe in sales and marketing doing a better job of utilizing content to help a buyer complete their journey.
So, it’s that person that’s the director of sales and marketing is the person that’s going to go, “I’m the change agent that needs PandaDoc in my org,” and the person that’s going to love you the most are your reps. The campaign I’m running inbound this year for PandaDoc is called Love Your Sales, right? It’s all about loving your sales reps and giving them what they need to enable them with content to help them get those deals closed.
George: Love that. And I love my sales guys too because they tend to make money, which is always a good thing if you’re in business. Now here’s the thing. With some tools, it’s pretty evident. Like in the what is PandaDoc, we kind of talked about the problem it solves, but I want to give you a chance to still answer this question.
What problem or problems does PandaDoc really handle for those folks that are going to use it?
Jared: I like to speak to the way that reps go through their day without PandaDoc. The way you go through your day without PandaDoc is as follows. You have a client conversation, whether it’s early in the funnel or late stage and you promise them something. You say, “Hey, I’m going to send you this.”
What happens? You get busy. And then you move on to your next call and your next call. You say, “I was going to send it to you at the end of the day,” and then at the end of the day you’re rushing to get out your proposals, your follow-ups, etc. and guess what? Your client is going home, they’re not going to read it. If they don’t open it in the first hour, your chances of it getting opened at all go down by about 70%.
So, what do we solve? We solve the ability to go, “Hey, I’m going to kick this over to you right now. Are you in front of your computer? I want to make sure you got this.” And ensuring that they received it because you could track if it was opened, how long they’ve stayed on each page. That’s what we’ve changed, that commitment to not having to follow up the next day or send an email like this. I guarantee you’ve all done this. “Hey, Suzanne, I’m so sorry I didn’t send this to you yesterday.”
Right? We’ve all done it. It makes you look unprofessional and you lose trust. With PandaDoc, you can do this in less than 60 seconds once your account is setup. You can get that right to them and then be on to the next thing and you’ve matched your word. You haven’t lied or misled them that you’re going to follow up when you said you would.
George: Yeah. I totally agree, Jared. That makes it super quick. And the fact that I love too because as sales folks, marketing folks, we’ve all been there, I wonder if they’ve opened the proposal yet. Well, there’s no wondering with that. You can see all sorts of analytics. So, it definitely covers that problem.
So, you know, the listeners of the podcast, they might be sitting here and they’re thinking, “Man, this tool sounds awesome. We should get this,” but they’re in fear and the fear is that it’s going to melt down their credit cards. So, maybe talk about…
How Much Does PandaDocs Cost?
What does that look like if you want to get involved with using the software.
Jared: Yeah, definitely. I’ll speak to two things, cost and value. So, the cost on PandaDoc is pretty straight forward. You can go to PandaDoc.com/pricing. And our most popular plan, our business plan, starts at $39 per user per month. That gives you access to all the integrations, unlimited documents, unlimited templates.
So, that’s where kind of our starting point is that our most popular plan kind of covers all of the use cases. What I try to drive the value on is helping you increase close rates. That’s the exercise you should go through to go, “Is this cost worth the price? Right? Is my value great enough?”
Look at your closing rates. Is it 20%? Is it 21%? And run the numbers and look at what would it mean to drive my closing percentage from 20% to 25? Wow, okay. Over a quarter, what does that mean? That’s where I’d like to focus people on. If it’s not going to make a significant impact, if you feel that, “You know, my closing rates, they’re already good enough. That’s not going to make an impact,” then the cost is probably too much. If not, though, then I think the value overcomes it pretty easily.
George: Yeah. I love that. I’ll tell you, the next question, I love this next question. I feel like this is going to be the next question that makes everybody on the interview nervous. Right? Anybody that comes and does the interview, they’re like, “Oh crap, you put that question in there,” but I’m going to ask it. It’s really a two-part question. So, the first part of it is: If I want to do something like PandaDoc, what are the competitors? After you talk about the competitors, maybe what makes PandaDoc better than them?
Who Are PandaDoc Competitors?
Jared: Yeah. So, there’s an e-sign component of PandaDoc, right? So, electronic signatures makes closing the deal a lot easier. There are tons of people in this space, DocuSign, HelloSign, EchoSign, those are kind of a dime a dozen. That’s just a feature of PandaDoc. The problem with those guys, it’s like putting a sheet of glass on top of a PDF. Now, imagine your client says, “Hey, Jared, I’d like to see a few changes to this, can you do X or Y?”
I’ve got to go back to my original document, make all the changes, download it as a PDF, re-upload it RightSignature, send it back out and then they go, “Oh, sorry, I meant Y.” That back and forth nonsense is eliminated in PandaDoc. So, all of our documents you can actually edit live right from within HubSpot CRM or any other. So, that’s one of our biggest differences is that we are a document tool, not just an e-sign tool.
Now, there are a couple other people out there that do kind of proposal generation from CRM like Octiv, formerly TinderBox, is a pretty cool tool. I have nothing against them. But you have to integrate with DocuSign. So, you have to pay for another tool. There are more SMB-focused tools like Proposify, but you can’t do that document generation from HubSpot CRM. They have a pretty cool little proposal editor, not a bad company.
But what we take as a more holistic approach to rethinking how documents work, so I think our product is really more of a platform to enable your sales team than just a small proposal tool. You can do quotes. You can do contracts. Heck, you can even do your employee on-boarding, right, sending out legal documents, you name it.
That’s the full value of PandaDoc. We’re not corner-cased into a specific use case for documents. We really can handle anything that is external-facing, something that needs to be delivered to someone that’s not in your company, PandaDoc handles 100% of those use cases.
George: Yeah. I love the flexibility or another word might be how versatile the tool is. I definitely agree that’s one of the better parts. Folks, you just got a plethora, a list of lists of competitors if you wanted to actually waste your time and look at them, as a PandaDoc user, I would say you should really at least try all this, give it a test run. It’s super-awesome.
Now, with that said, another maybe not easy question is what problems may people run into or a better way to ask this is what are the major hurdles that you’ve seen as you guys have developed PandaDocs out that people may run into as they start to use the tool and is there any type of like educational academy-type structure to help them get through those hurdles.
Jared: Yeah. So, I think that honesty in sales is something that’s really starting to become super important. So, I love that you asked this question. Because most people will say, “Oh no, getting started is super easy,” and what I would say the hardest part is something that’s very similar to like a CMS migration. Your content exists in another format. It’s in a Microsoft Word document or it’s in a Google doc, right?
Typically you’re not really in love with that document. It’s typically just like lots of text and then like a signature line. It kind of looks like crap. So, the biggest problem is getting that content and rethinking how you want to utilize and modularize your content. So, that’s one of the reasons that I started the partner program here was to work with experts and kind of sales enablement – George, like yourself – that can actually help people rethink sales content because you have to take a different approach with a completely different tool.
It’s something that requires, you know, a little bit of brain power. It’s not easy. But whenever you make that commitment, you make that change, you’re going to see it pay off in spades and your revenue coming in the other side.
George: Definitely. So, Jared, if people want to learn more about PandaDocs, where would you send them?
Jared: Our website is a great place to start, pandadoc.com. Feel free to hit us up on Twitter as well if you want any direct questions for myself. You can hit me up on Twitter @fullerfreedom. But I think our webpage is just a great place to start. Play around with the tool yourself. Like I said, we also have a partner program where people like George and The Sales Lion are helping clients start to get into sales enablement. So, I would say utilize your partners as well. They can be super helpful in putting in a strategy that can increase the time to ROI and increase the time to productivity.
George: Well, folks, this is how we roll at One Last Tool. We’re in. We’re out. There’s no fluff, only tools every week where you can learn. Hey, hit us up on iTunes. Leave us a rating or review or you can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s a certain tool that you would like to dive deeper into, have us look at, review for you. Let me know. Again, that’s email@example.com or on Twitter @georgebthomas. Until next time, folks, go out there and use that One Last Tool.
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