From their early adoption of cell phones and laptops, to contact management software, to web conferencing to customer relationship management – sales organizations have a history of looking for and aggressively adopting any technology that can help to improve the efficiency and speed of the sales process.

Today’s sales cycles benefit from advanced collaboration, analytics and mobile technology to efficiently get the right information to the right people in order to reach a purchase decision. Yet often when the sales cycle is all but finished, sales professionals are forced to rely on outdated technology, standing in front of fax machines to laboriously send contracts and wait for signatures. Using this manual technology, which dates back to the late 1800’s (believe it or not), or its physical equivalent of obtaining wet signatures using courier services, can significantly delay deal closure, increase business risk and negatively impact the bottom line.

Leaders in sales performance have seen the promise of electronic signatures and are quickly outpacing their competition. These are not the 49% of sales leaders that, in a recent Aberdeen study, said that their sales performance is consistently tripped up by it taking too long to “seal the deal” or finalize contracts or signatures (“E-signature and integrated sales technologies”, Aberdeen, 2016).

Among the leaders in the other 51%, are those who have effectively adopted e-signatures to accelerate sales cycles. Aberdeen found that e-signature users grow revenue at a 41% greater rate year-over-year and have reduced proposal and contract errors at four times the rate of e-signature non-users. These benefits are enabled by e-signature’s ability to streamline critical sales functions and remove risks arising from human error. Top sales teams are using the power of e-signatures to speed quote to close to hours and days, not weeks.

What can e-signatures do?

Electronic signatures are trusted, legally valid and enforceable in industrialized countries around the world. They can be used to create secure, end-to-end digital document processes that start with the initial quote and help automate the entire sales cycle. Using digital workflows sales reps can create, send, and track quotes and contracts inside the CRM system they are using today. Customers are able to easily sign and return documents with a few clicks. Many e-signature users have seen reductions in their time to signature of more than 90%, with many signature cycles now measured in minutes rather than days or hours.

Using e-signatures to “seal the deal” results in an array of benefits, including increased productivity of the individual rep, lower mistakes and errors, the flexibility of mobile access, a reduction in environmental impact, improved security and greater customer satisfaction.

Global technology company Ceridian adopted e-signatures and has realized benefits throughout their organization including

  • 80% faster quoting cycles
  • 40% increase in the number of sales proposals process
  • 15% improvement in cost margin
  • A reduction in contract errors due to greater visibility and standardization
  • Improved insight into contract workflows
  • A single integrated workflow for managing customers from opportunity to contract

Additionally, e-signature solutions work with turnkey integrations to the leading business systems you use every day. Whether it is Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, NetSuite or other leading business application, e-signature solutions integrate directly into these systems to streamline the signature process. Signers are enabled to sign from anywhere, desktop or mobile.

Now, signing and sealing the deal are just part of what you are able to control from the interface you use to manage your sales process. No need to learn a completely new process or complicate your day to day activities.

Benefits where you might not expect them

E-signature has a way of delivering benefits in ways that you might not expect. In a recent TechValidate survey of users of Adobe electronic signatures integrated with Salesforce, 89% rated their e-signature application as better than average at delivering ROI in comparison to all the applications they use with their CRM system. 93% of respondents said it outperformed their initial expectation for delivering real business benefits.

On top of these organizational benefits, the most understated benefit is the vastly simplified signing experience for your customers. Most organizations have initiatives for improving customer experiences and reducing the use of paper, and e-signatures deliver on both of these. Global airline KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines adopted e-signing and greatly accelerated their global contract processes. But more importantly, they enhanced the experience of their current and prospective partners.

“We can see where our contracts are at all times. The added visibility strengthens client relationships and frees up time for us to focus on other critical activities,” Joost van de Bunt, Business Development Manager.

Accelerate deal closing with e-signature

With e-signing, you will no longer see sales cycles delayed due to chasing down signatures or correcting errors. Documents go straight to the intended signers without having to wind their way through mailrooms or courier services. Most importantly, you are able to monitor who has the document, who has opened it, who has signed it and where it is sitting. With this valuable information, available from any device, you are able to quickly check status and get the contract moving again. Signatures no longer take weeks and even months, but hours or even minutes.

Additionally, e-signature technology takes care of security and privacy and meets, or even exceeds, the standards for regulated industries such as pharmaceutical, healthcare or financial services. Your management and your legal department will be able to rest easy knowing that e-signatures have the highest levels of security, compliance and availability.

E-signing keeps signatures moving and ensures you can track and manage signed documents no matter where you are. There is not a sales cycle out there that can’t benefit from getting to signature faster. And with the right e-signing solution, your customers will thank you for the experience.

Peter HaldemanToday’s post is by guest author Peter Haldeman, Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Partner Integrations for the Adobe Document Cloud. Adobe Sign automates document processes and brings trusted e-signatures directly into Salesforce and associated applications.

Going to Dreamforce? You can find the Adobe Sign team at Samovar Tea Lounge in Yerba Buena Gardens Tuesday through Thursday, October 4-6, and in the Dreamforce Cloud Expo at booth #1842. Learn More.