The formalization of the U.S. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act more than two decades ago changed everything. Suddenly, “wet” signatures were no longer the only valid way to bind a contract. This meant it was possible for people to sign documents wherever they were, as long as they had access to email.
Over the years, eSignature platforms have arisen to provide consumers and companies with the means to create and virtually sign legal agreements. Like all evolutions, those eSignature providers consistently upped the ante. Each new one that arose on the scene attempted to focus on an unresolved pain point in order to claim more market share.
At this point, companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals have dozens of eSignature partners to choose from. However, it’s become challenging to differentiate them, as they share many commonalities. For instance, most eSignature software portals include at least some form of document tracking, as well as basic templates.
Nevertheless, a handful of eSignature innovators have elevated their brands above the pack. And they’ve done it at a key time in history when more employees are working remotely than ever—and signing contracts remotely, too.
One clear leader in the eSignature marketplace has been PandaDoc. Developed, honed, tested, and feted with awards pre-pandemic, PandaDoc consistently provides “You’ve thought of everything” solutions.
Certainly, many of the services it offers at various price points aren’t novel. Yet the brand’s signature packaging and appreciated add-ons make the company a logical standout and easy choice for teams working with online contracts.
1. Real-time document editing
Changing contracts midstream is a part of a business. “Redact that.” “Modify this wording.” On paper, removing sentences and adding margin notations is effortless. Online, it can be difficult because the majority of eSignature providers don’t allow documents to be edited once they “go live.” This means that a salesperson must recreate and re-send a document with each iteration, a frustrating and time-consuming process.
PandaDoc is one of the only platforms to offer users the ability to edit their documents instantly. Not only does this foster tremendous collaboration between negotiating parties, but it speeds up what could be an otherwise clunky back-and-forth system. It’s a refreshing change from having to go back to the drawing board repeatedly.
2. Tremendous thought leadership
A welcome change from the sales-heavy articles on most eSignature companies’ sites is PandaDoc’s robust thought leadership information. From explaining the importance, value, and benefits of eSignatures to improving employee engagement with automation tools, PandaDoc’s content is crisp, insightful, and focused.
Though this might seem unimportant at first glance, it’s a testament to the brand’s willingness to share secrets and be a true partner with clients. Plus, the concepts are fresh and pertinent to modern organizations dealing with the realities of managing virtual teams without losing efficiency.
3. Wide selection of price plans
Like some of its well-known predecessors, PandaDoc offers a free plan. The plan includes not just electronic signing capabilities, but notifications and—surprise!—the choice to accept payments instantaneously. Of course, the plans scale up from the free option.
Whether users want to pay monthly or annually, they aren’t forced to invest tons of capital. Plus, they can upgrade or downsize plans as-needed. That’s a relief for upstarts and struggling companies that would rather not get locked into long-term subscription commitments.
4. Integration with common CRMs
PandaDoc’s overarching commitment to streamline workflows includes integration with numerous popular CRM systems for Business and Enterprise clients. Additionally, the platform provides Zapier integration for an extra boost of efficiency.
Though integration may be unnecessary for solopreneurs and just-born businesses, it’s nice to know it’s on the table. Even during Covid, many companies have scaled operations to meet changing consumer needs. Those working with PandaDoc were able to smoothly transition to working with different CRMs without changing their eSignature provider.
Knowing which electronic signature brand to trust can feel like an overwhelming task for leaders dealing with an ever-evolving marketplace. The good news is that PandaDoc has made itself a tough contender, and one worth a second look.
Even users accustomed to working with a different platform for their eSignature and online contract needs may want to give PandaDoc a go for a month. Nothing’s wrong with kicking a few tires, after all, just to get a sense of what you might be missing.