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SharePoint vs OneDrive vs Better Proposals: Does Microsoft Really Know Best?

Since the 90s, Microsoft has been the dominant player in the computer operating system market. Whether you subscribe to the idea that it was the case of right place and right time, questionable practices, or the combo of both, it doesn't change the facts.

Microsoft is the household name for software around the world and their office productivity suite, Microsoft 365, now controls half of the market. Both SharePoint and OneDrive are part of Microsoft 365. But just because a lot of people use them, doesn't mean they're the best place for your business documents.

What we'll cover

  1. What's the difference between SharePoint and OneDrive?
  2. SharePoint vs OneDrive vs Better Proposals

SharePoint vs OneDrive: What's the difference anyway?

While they are technically two separate products, there's some crossover between the two that leaves many people unclear on what the difference is. If you're not one of them, feel free to skip over this part.

Both SharePoint and OneDrive are centralized document storage spaces. However, SharePoint's main purpose is to be an intranet platform, whereas OneDrive should be used for storing personal files.

SharePoint vs OneDrive vs Better Proposals

Round 1: User interface

Most of the confusion users have when it comes to SharePoint and OneDrive comes down to product design. Microsoft 365 is supposed to be an all-in-one solution that you can use both online and offline. For organizations with multiple users, this means you get to create, modify, sync, store, and share files across devices. However, the user interface setup takes some getting used to.

Microsoft 365 OneDrive user interface

OneDrive file search and sharing

Even if you enter OneDrive, the search bar at the top of the page isn't isolated only to OneDrive files. Instead, your search results will include all the files inside your Microsoft 365 account. This means all the files you uploaded, as well as all the files your colleagues shared with you.

While this can be useful to an extent, it can also get very messy pretty fast. For instance, if your team sends a lot of proposals, those Proposal_Working_Version files pile up and you end up spending more time than you'd like to searching for the right one.

Similarly, going to your Recent tab will not show you only OneDrive files, but all the files across Microsoft 365 that you've recently accessed. And the same goes for your Shared tab.

SharePoint file search and sharing

Unlike OneDrive, the SharePoint search bar is isolated only to SharePoint files. That said, SharePoint functions on the premise of being a centralized place for sharing team files or company-wide files via Sites. Another thing to note is that SharePoint automatically creates a Site for every team in Microsoft Teams, as well as separate file spaces for each channel.

In practical terms, this means all files you share in a Microsoft Teams channel automatically go to the team's SharePoint page. Anyone with channel access now also has access to the file. However, if you share a file in a Teams private message, it goes to OneDrive.

Better Proposals files and sharing

All of that sounded like a bit too much with files running all over the place? Or maybe you just don't like the potential of ending up with a huge, messy document database? Then Better Proposals is the place to be.

Better Proposals Document view

In Better Proposals, all your business documents are stored in the same place. There's no switching back and forth between interfaces because everything is handled with Folders. So how do you share team-specific files? Easy - just add team members into a Team, set up permissions and you're good to go.

Round 2: Document creation

Since both SharePoint and OneDrive are part of Microsoft 365, both interfaces include an option to create a document online rather than uploading it. However, the document you end up creating is in Word or another Microsoft app.

This means the same old, plain A4 format, formatting nightmares, and overall unimpressive documents your clients have seen a hundred times before. What's more, while you can set up document templates, what you can't do is automatically populate information. This means manual entry, and manual entry means more room for error.

With Better Proposals, there are no local files to sync. Everything you do is completely online and saved into a single company account. What's more, thanks to our Editor, the formatting and spacing is handled for you.

Better Proposals document editor

When it comes to data entry, Better Proposals also has automatic input fields. This means you can reduce manual entry to a minimum and send your clients the perfect document every time. And if they need you to make some changes, they can contact you in real time thanks to our live chat integrations.

Oh, and one more thing. Remember that plain A4 format comment from before? There's none of that with Better Proposals. It's web-based, which means your documents are just like a website - responsive and look just the way you intended them to, no matter the device you open them on.

Round 3: Document management

Tracking, storing, and control are the three main ingredients of document management. However, when it comes to OneDrive and SharePoint, only the file storing part is not debatable. While both let you control who has document access, the information that gets tracked isn't great for business development.

SharePoint and OneDrive tracking and analytics

SharePoint lets you see how many people viewed your Site and how many views the documents on those sites have. OneDrive, on the other hand, lets admins see user activity. This includes employees' last activity date, as well as actions taken on documents.

Now, while this is useful for micromanagement, it tells you nothing about the documents themselves. In other words, when a deal falls through, you have no indication of what went wrong. So, you end up manually going through the entire document and looking for problems.

Better Proposals tracking and analytics

While Better Proposals also tracks document and user activity, it's done in a slightly different way. What our tracking puts emphasis on is the quality of your documents and business growth.

Every time you send a document through Better Proposals and a client opens it, you get insights into how it went. This is because we track: 

  • The date and time a client opened the document
  • The pages they’ve looked at and in which order
  • How much time they spent on each page
  • Whether they forwarded the document and who they’ve forwarded it to
  • What pages they chose to download
  • Their IP address
document tracking

By knowing in which order clients look at your document sections, you can figure out the most important parts of your documents and improve them if necessary. And if a client spends a lot of time on your pricing page, it may be time to simplify it.

And if you want an overview of company performance, you can also run a report. This will tell you which templates work best, what your conversion rate is, and how many documents each team sends.

Round 4: Signatures and payments

While SharePoint does have a signature workflow you can use, there's a catch. The person you want the signature from has to have their own digital signature certificate. In other words, there's no built-in digital signature feature.

What this means is that you have no guarantee that the signatures you collect are legally binding. And if you want to collect payments, you'll have to use an entire different platform.

With Better Proposals, you can both get legally binding eSignatures from clients and collect payments from the same platform. All you need to do is add a signature block to your documents. And when it comes to payments, you can set them up through our GoCardless, Stripe, and PayPal integrations.

Better Proposals digital signature

Round 5: Pricing

Microsoft offers two plans that include SharePoint and OneDrive. The first one, aimed at small and mid-sized businesses, starts at $5/user/month. Larger companies wanting to use SharePoint will have to go with Microsoft 635 Business Standard plan at $12.50/user/month. Both plans are billed annually.

sharepoint and onedrive pricing

Better Proposals has three plans, one for individual users, one for small teams, and one for large teams. The pricing is $19, $29, and $49 per user per month respectively, and all plans include legally binding eSignatures, payment integrations, CRM integrations, and live chat integrations. And if you decide to go for annual billing, you can get up to 35% off.

Better Proposals pricing

Depending on the size of your business and what you're looking for in terms of document management, Better Proposals might just be the more affordable option when all the costs add up. For example, if you need clients to sign documents, going with Microsoft 365 means you need a separate digital signature software subscription as well.

Round 6: Support

If you ever tried contacting Microsoft's support, you already know the chances of getting a human response are slim to none. In most cases, the best you can hope for is a canned response that partially answers your question. As a matter of fact, you have a better chance of other users giving you a solution than Microsoft's support team.

At Better Proposals, whatever you need an answer to, our support team is only one live chat message away. We have someone there for you around the clock, no matter the plan you're on.

Final thoughts

The more you look at OneDrive and SharePoint, the harder it is to consider either one of them a document management system. While they're both great as collaborative cloud storage, there really isn't much more to them.

If you're looking for a place to store your tax returns for future reference, OneDrive will do the job. If you want a centralized place for your company policies, both OneDrive and SharePoint are good options. But if you create, send, and need your sales documents and contracts signed, Better Proposals is the way to go.

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Patricija Šobak's profile image
Patricija Šobak puts her talent in spotting questionable grammar and shady syntax to good use by writing about various business-related topics. Besides advocating the use of the Oxford comma, she also likes coffee, dogs, and video games. People find her ability to name classic rock songs only from the intro both shocking and impressive.