Many businesses make significant investments in sales and marketing automation to accelerate the acquisition of new customers and revenue, only to leave the most crucial part of the process—actually gaining binding customer agreement—completely manual, time-consuming and labor-intensive. Could you really have made strategic investments in automation only to leave the crucial, deal closing part stranded in the world of pen and paper? The good news is that whether or not you have the ideal sales automation system in place, you can quickly and cost- effectively deploy electronic signature technology to obtain sales orders, contracts and other agreements signed faster. For organizations with existing systems, electronic signature technology can actually accelerate the return on investment for customer relationship management (CRM) or sales force automation (SFA) systems. What if you could shave days or even weeks off of every order or contract you sent for signature, as well as gain unsurpassed visibility into the contract life cycle? Plus, book revenue faster? Isn’t that what you expected from sales automation in the first place? This brief discusses the role of electronic signature technology in accelerating the most crucial piece of the sales cycle—getting a deal signed, closed and committed. If a prospect gives one of your sales representatives a verbal “yes,” how long does it take to get the actual order sent for signature—not to mention getting it returned? Assuming the quote has already been provided, a bit of verbal negotiation has taken place and the subsequent updates have been made, does the order now need to be printed and faxed or sent via next day delivery? How often are faxes or overnight envelopes lost or sent with errors that require the process to begin all over again? Or faxed so many times that the document is in effect illegible? Is it enough time for a competitor put doubt in your buyer’s mind? Is it enough time to push the order out past the deadline for that crucial month or quarter? Very likely, the answer is often “yes.”
If you find yourself sitting next to the fax machine the last day of the month, quarter or year, take a look at how electronic signature technology is already giving other sales organizations significant competitive advantage by ensuring that sales orders get to and from their customers in the shortest time possible—electronically. In addition, the most robust technologies for electronic signing provide real- time audit trails which show whether or not a document has been reviewed or forwarded and when. Integrated with a CRM or SFA system, the audit trail data can provide unprecedented pipeline visibility. See Figure 1 below for a sample audit trail. Figure 1. An order was sent for signature at 5:01 pm on 9/13/2009. The order was viewed and signed, then received at 7:17 pm the same day. Traditional delivery methods including printing, faxing and next day delivery would have added up to 48 hours or more to complete the signing process.
Accelerate Sales with Electronic Signature Technology
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About Electronic Signatures With an electronic signature, documents can be securely signed online, without printing, faxing or mailing. Electronic signatures can replace pen-and-ink on any kind of agreement from real estate contracts to loan applications to commercial contracts for any kind of goods or services.