Everyone's digitizing their workflow these days, and simplifying how we ink formal documents is one sure way to eliminate loads of manual, paper-based processes. Businesses still rely on some ways of working that require face-to-face interaction, but are these really necessary?
It’s an old-fashioned thing, the handwritten scribble that confirms identity – a carryover from the 1600s and the English ‘State of Frauds’ act. But it’s still needed to kick-off projects, achieve compliance, make major purchases, finalize legal documents, or partner-up with a supplier.
Getting signatures on all the proposals, contracts, NDAs, and sundry forms that cross our desks is a chore. Digitizing it saves effort and admin, and dramatically speeds-up activity.
Choosing the right solution, though, is hard. With annual spending on e-signature services heading north of five billion USD, the market is bursting with options.
Anyone looking at all the superficially-similar products out there faces what psychologists call ‘tyranny of choice’. To unpick the critical differences and make it easier to find the one that suits your business best, we’ve put together a series of head-to-head comparisons.
It’s our gang vs theirs – but based on the findings of respected third-party reviewers.
You won’t be shocked to learn that we think we’re pretty good, and the competition isn’t short of fans either. High-fives from us to everyone in the e-signature game. It’s worth selecting a few and kicking the tires to make sure you find the best fit.
That’s just what software ratings site G2 has done. Here’s what their independent reviewers had to say when SignRequest faced off against PandaDoc.
Head to head: SignRequest vs PandaDoc
PandaDoc is one of the leading e-signature services. Similar enough to SignRequest to make a fair comparison, but of course there are notable differences. (e.g. overall the same but SignRequest has the more enthusiastic user base)
SignRequest 4.5 stars / 1127 reviews
PandaDoc 4.5 stars / 477 reviews
Based on independent user reviews from G2
A quick scan of the review summaries shows you that both solutions fare pretty well – 4.5 out of 5 on average. That’s a good result and proves each solution has a fanbase. So let’s dig a bit deeper into the numbers.
In the critical areas of usability and support – ease of use, ease of setup, ease of admin – SignRequest comes out on top, hitting the low nines vs PandaDoc’s mid-eights across the board.
We also win on our mobile offering, something we’d say is increasingly important as more e-commerce, computing, and internet use generally moves over to smartphones.
On that basis, SignRequest looks to be the simpler, less fiddly, more straightforward and convenient option. Those sorts of benefits have traditionally skewed to smaller businesses which don’t have big IT budgets or multiple systems requiring complex integrations. Does that assumption still hold true?
As enterprises simplify IT operations by migrating to the cloud and embracing automation, perhaps ‘ease of use’ is gaining traction as a USP.
Bigger company / smaller company
If we shift our gaze to the technology needs of larger organizations, SignRequest also edges ahead. Our enterprise API is rated 8.6 to PandaDoc’s 7.6.
You can discern a sudden drop in the ratings from the 9s and 8s seen in the usability categories, suggesting both companies may have some work to do on the API front – or that the bar is simply set higher in purely technical categories.
"What we can say for sure is that SignRequest looks to be in the lead."
We’re also a step ahead in the ‘Performance and Reliability’ category, a sensitive area for enterprise environments where system 'uptime' is a crucial metric of IT performance.
Larger companies seem to be signalling higher approval for SignRequest’s custom branding capabilities. Big businesses don’t spend millions on branding for nothing. They want as much flexibility as possible when it comes to reflecting their visual identities accurately in every system used to connect with customers and partners.
The price is right?
On the crucial issue of cost, PandaDoc’s pricing is dearer than SignRequest’s – nearly three times more expensive in the Professional and Business service categories. We’ll leave it to each company to explain the thinking behind their price schedules.
For enterprises, SignRequest has an on-premise solution for maximum integration and control over code. Our Business price plan enables multiple-team collaboration and includes access to the API, with prices starting at $0.25 per document.
Both companies offer a more extensive IT integration for larger organizations, which need to be scoped individually according to the requirements of each business.
What does free mean?
Both companies offer a free trial to test out their different service levels. Both PandaDoc and SignRequest trials offer 14 days free access to each price plan’s functionality.
Features versus focus
On ratings against specific features and security protections, G2 has both solutions pretty much neck & neck.
One thing the reviews don’t capture is the full list of available bells & whistles each company offers. We’ll admit that PandaDoc probably has us beat on that front. For any business that wants the ability to fine-tune customizations, or tweak and configure settings down to granular requirements, PandaDoc would likely be on the e-signature shortlist.
The question lies in the value endless customization can deliver. Do you really need all those extra features you’re paying for? At SignRequest we’re laser-focused on getting the core functionality and workflow of e-signing absolutely spot-on
For businesses that do need more power to customize and blend e-signature capability with other systems, SignRequest offers Salesforce integration as standard in its Business plan, as well as Single Sign On through Salesforce, Office365, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Dropbox.
We also offer an on-premise solution for those that want total control over their code.
You can see our full feature list on our features page.
Volume of reviews
In terms of sample size, SignRequest has attracted more than twice the number of reviews that PandaDoc has – 1127 to 477. How to interpret that requires some nuance.
Maybe one company has a larger footprint; maybe one company’s user-base is more enthusiastic about the product or brand, so more likely to participate in reviews. Perhaps G2’s popularity in the markets where each company counts its customers varies. At SignRequest we actively prompt users to provide honest feedback on third-party review sites. Maybe we’ve just done this very effectively.
There is some subjectivity here, but regardless of how you read the difference in volume, it's notable.
Big value in small differences
It’s not for us to tell you which solution is right for your company. Both PandaDoc and SignRequest are good solutions that fare equally well in the overall star ratings. It's only when you drill down that the differences – and the fit with your specific needs and objectives – begin to make themselves apparent.
If you love to slice & dice document analytics and want more options to tweak and customize fields, PandaDoc is worth a look. If you’re looking for an e-signature solution that’s simply great, SignRequest is probably the one for you.
We’re happy with the results. Values like ease of use, ease of setup, and ease of admin are at the core of our business. Punching our weight in the enterprise realm is gratifying too, testament to the work and innovations that allow SignRequest to scale to the needs of fast-growing international organizations.
Still need a nudge? Sign up for a free trial and give us a go. If you like what you see and sign up for a paid plan, we’ll even plant a tree for every new paid customer.
Find out more information about our partnership with Eden Reforestation Project