How e-signatures eliminate bottlenecks in your document workflows

Regardless of industry, most businesses have experienced the frustrations of managing a document workflow. After doing all the tedious editing that goes into creating a document, you print it out and mail it, or schedule an in-person meeting to get a client’s signature, only to have them request a change that starts the process all over again. It’s enough to give even the most experienced sales professional a headache. 

Managing the life cycle of your document is a full-time job, and it’s easy for your document workflow to bottleneck as you’re interrupted by the equally important duties of prospecting and selling. But when businesses incorporate eSignature software into their workflow, they can prevent bottlenecks, spend more time closing deals, and provide their customers with a seamless transaction experience. 

Bottleneck triggers

Bottlenecks in your document workflow are more likely to happen if you’re not using electronic documents, but they can happen even with the top electronic signature software if it’s mismanaged.

Here are four of the most common bottleneck triggers:

  1. Time-consuming document creation
  2. Trying to create professional-looking documents in Microsoft Word or by converting a PDF is tedious and time-consuming. Ensuring the information in your document matches what’s in your CRM can take hours of careful data entry and cross-examination. The more customers you have, the more time you’ll spend on contract, quote, and proposal documents. You then open yourself up to the risk of backlogging your most qualified leads simply because you can’t send docs out fast enough.

  3. Lengthy back-and-forth negotiations
  4. Once you’ve finally created your document, it’s time to send it! Unfortunately, in-document errors happen, and that leads to negotiations. The errors must be rectified and negotiations countered. Depending on the client, this process could last weeks or months. While you’re attempting to close one deal, many of your other prospects are left waiting for a document. Suddenly you’re facing some serious document workflow bottlenecks.

  5. Snail mail
  6. Not only does the process of printing and mailing slow down your sales cycle and bottleneck your document workflow, but it also affects your cash flow. When you only give your clients the option of physically mailing payment upon completion of your document, you run the risk of having to hound them to send the check, monitor where it is in the postal system, and constantly check your mailbox. If you’re sending paper documents via USPS, the corrections and negotiations mentioned above will only exacerbate this delay.

  7. Inability to meet with the signer in person
  8. Sometimes people feel under the weather, the distance between the rep and signer is too great, and other circumstances come up that prevent you from closing deals face to face. For some clients, this isn’t an issue, but for more traditional prospects, the absence of a sit-down meeting can result in the deal being postponed or even canceled. Postponement is almost worse in this case because until you can arrange a time to meet, you have to continue nurturing this prospect without the promise of a payday.

Why you (and your clients) will love eSignature software

Ease of use

The more difficult you make the signing process for your clients, requiring them to print and mail back or scan documents, the more likely they are to abandon the deal altogether.

To boost your close rate, it’s critical that your digital signature experience be seamless so that clients can easily sign documents when it’s most convenient for them.

Customers will appreciate the flexibility of going paperless: They can sign a document while working from home or when they’re out and about on their mobile device versus having to use pen and paper. The intuitive nature of eSignature software provides the familiarity of a traditional document with an added layer of functionality.

Advanced insights

Your e-signature solution will facilitate an open, real-time, and secure client/rep collaboration. You can eliminate guesswork with document analytics that notify you the instant your prospect opens, views, comments on, and completes your document.

Using this data, you’ll be able to predict any questions your prospect might have based on the amount of time they spent on each page, like the terms and conditions page, for example. They’ll be impressed with your proactivity and the customer service that seems perfectly tailored to them and their questions.

Comprehensive security

eSignature software will facilitate your entire document workflow and prevent bottlenecks. It’s equipped to handle everything from ID/document collection to form filling and payment collection. Ultimately, the goal of every customer/rep interaction is to close as quickly as possible, and electronic signatures are the most critical component of this process.

The eSignature software can ease your prospect’s concerns over the security of their credit card credentials. By presenting them with a password-protected digital certificate of completion, the software assures them that the contract is complete and their e-signature is legal. (Signed proposals, quotes, and contracts are protected by e-signature laws.)

Conclusion

The disconnect between today’s digital world and pen-and-paper document workflows has made it nearly impossible to deliver the easy, secure closing experiences that today’s customers demand. When buyers are ready to buy, there’s not a moment to lose. Used in tandem with electronic documents, eSignature software removes the obstacles of closing a deal.

eSignature software not only eliminates bottlenecks, but it also transforms your document workflow. You’ll provide your customers with a world-class experience from proposal to close while pushing more deals through your pipeline.

Gone are the days of tedious document creation, annoying your clients by following up with too much pressure to sign, and obsessively checking your mailbox to see if you’ve received a signed document or payment. eSignature software makes sure every deal you propose gets sealed in a timely and efficient manner and that you always have the bandwidth to meet your quota.

This article is originally published on Apr 27, 2020, and updated on Jun 01, 2020
AUTHOR
Emily is a content associate at PandaDoc. If she’s not busy creating content, she’s probably out for a jog or listening to a true-crime podcast.

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