If you transform your sales process and integrate electronic signatures earlier in the sales cycle, you can close significantly more deals in a shorter time.
If you’ve had to sign a contract in the last few years, chances are it’s been via electronic signature.
Industries such as human resources, legal, and finance, have used electronic signatures for the last decade. When it comes to sales, though, eSignature is often only used at the end of the sales process after the deal is closed to replace paper contracts.
What if we as sales professionals could use electronic signatures earlier in the sales process to close more deals? Transitioning to a fully electronic contract and signature cycle can help sales teams cut down on administrative tasks and increase efficiency.
Here are 9 reasons why you should use electronic signatures earlier in your sales cycle, and not just for the final contract.
1. Electronic signatures save time and shorten your sales cycle
With eSignatures, your sales force avoids losing time to filing documents, reentering data, searching for lost documents, or tracking down a contract that’s been lost in the mail.
Saving time on all of this administrative work means your sales team can spend more time with your customer!
It’s proven that you can shorten your sales cycle up to 400% with electronic signatures, which means more deals closed and faster paychecks.
2. Esignatures make customers happy
Hating paperwork is universal. It’s not just your sales team who dreads going through pages of text, your customers hate it too.
Sending electronic documents allows customers to complete transactions at the moment they decide to buy. This way, they can avoid the hassle of printing, signing, scanning, and sending a document back to you. Digital signatures and contracts will make for a smoother buying experience overall.
3. Digital contracts reduce barriers to conversion
It’s much easier to sign a document electronically. Printing out, signing, and scanning a physical document takes time and resources. Don’t add an extra hoop to jump through for your customers.
In almost any industry and sales process, sales deals that can be signed and returned electronically will be more successful simply because it’s easier for the customer to complete the transaction.
4. Esigning helps you avoid the “black hole” of sales
You work hard to create and send your sales document and expect to get it signed. But we found about 65% of the time sales contracts fall into the “black hole,” where sales teams don’t hear back from a potential customer even after sending the sales document.
With digital contracts and proposals, especially ones with document tracking features, you can avoid this black hole.
Document tracking helps you understand how many times a document has been viewed, providing an opportunity to follow up with a personalized message just in time to rescue your deal from the black hole.
5. Digital documents make it easy to identify and involve all decision-makers
In B2B sales, many decision-makers are involved in the purchasing process. According to Gartner, B2B buying teams now typically have 6-10 people.
With conventional methods of sending out paper contracts, identifying and then involving all these people in the process might get very cumbersome.
When you use electronic signatures, you can easily identify the right decision-makers for two reasons:
- You can have a look at who spends more time on your document
- Individuals without signing authority will typically forward your document to the right decision-makers
6. Electronic proposals offer the ability to update documents on the fly
PDFs and printed documents are permanent: it’s hard to update or change them if your team is presented with new information during the course of a deal.
If the prices or offerings change during the course of your sales cycle, you can easily make those changes to a digital document.
Esignature platforms make it easy to change and update fields in the contract or make other adjustments to your collateral. Doing so quickly will also help improve the overall experience for your buyer.
7. Electronic signatures increase your reach
Once you go digital, you can start sending proposals easily to any company around the world, without having to worry about postage, addresses, or time zones.
Electronic signatures also help you appeal to “digital natives,” the emerging generations of workers who have grown up using technology. Digital natives will be pleased to see fully digital documents incorporated into their buying experience.
8. Electronic signatures help deals close from mobile
Mobile device traffic drives more than half of all internet usage. A high-quality mobile signing experience could make the difference between closing a deal and losing it.
That means if you enable mobile signing for your customers and mobile tracking for your sales force you can save significant amounts of time.
This is exactly what modern electronic signature companies can do. They make it easy for people to create, send, and sign documents from anywhere.
9. Digital proposal management improves the employee experience
We bet your sales team hates wasting time with paperwork: printing, filing, sending physical documents just to collect signatures.
Several studies indicate that you can actually improve employee experience and reduce employee turnover if you use electronic signatures. Your sales force wants to focus on selling, not paperwork! If you want to keep them happy, let them use electronic signatures.
Electronic signatures benefit sales teams throughout the sales cycle
Are you still using the old-fashioned pen and paper to have your contracts signed? Think again!
Even if you have a small sales team, you can transform your entire sales process with electronic signatures and digital documents.
Use an eSignature tool to create a seamless customer experience and reduce administrative barriers to closing more deals.
Interested in exploring how a digital signature tool can impact your sales cycle? We can show you how!
[Editor's note: this article was originally published in 2018. It has been updated for 2021.]