Faster Remote Selling Tools for Every Agreement Stage

Business-to-business sales processes are full of agreements. When all the people involved with the back-and-forth agreement process share an office, it still takes weeks or even months to finish the process. When multiple parties are managing the process remotely, it can take even longer. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic pushed global employees to remote work, Forrester reported that 98% of businesses have problems efficiently preparing, signing, acting on and managing agreements.

If sales reps are still manually completing agreement steps, they’re wasting a tremendous amount of time, increasing errors and sacrificing their own productivity. It doesn’t have to be that way. The move to a remote selling environment can be an opportunity to accelerate sales agreements by incorporating a modern digital system of agreement.

There are simple steps any team can take to improve its remote selling processes. But before you can get started, it’s important to do an audit of your existing workflows. Have an open conversation about what is working well and where roadblocks are slowing things down. You can see a complete list of analysis questions in the Step-by-Step Guide to Accelerate Remote B2B Selling, but here are a few basic ones to get you started:

  • How effective is your current sales technology?
  • What are your team’s most significant challenges?
  • What are the negative effects of those challenges?

With a better understanding of how your team currently operates, here’s a closer look at each of the four steps in the agreement process and how Docusign can help you get business done faster.

Prepare, Sign, Act, Manage - Agreement Process

1. Prepare

Today, 91% of sales contracts are prepared manually. When employees work remotely, contract generation can slow down further or even stop. With a disconnected system of agreement, data and documents have to be pulled from multiple systems of record and combined in a document that lives on an employee’s desktop or inbox. There’s no historical information about a current deal. Version control is a nightmare. The revision process is full of duplicate work and siloed copies of a document.

Docusign offers three solutions to improve agreement preparation: CLM, Gen and Negotiate. These tools cut down preparation time, reduce errors and improve satisfaction of all parties. With Docusign, remote sellers can generate agreements from preapproved templates, automatically populate those contracts with information from other systems and improve visibility for everyone involved.

2. Sign

An agreement that uses paper-based processes to complete agreements with multiple signers from several organizations can drag out for weeks or even months. If you’re using manual workflows at any point in your agreement process, you’re creating opportunities for your agreement process to break down. For remote sellers especially, signature roadblocks can be an enormous waste of time. The time spent collecting signatures and hunting down status updates could be focused on building relationships with customers, making additional sales pitches or organizing new projects to create value. 

Agreement signing goals should be to save time, increase efficiency and reduce costs. Overall, the broader objective is to make it easier to do business with you. Docusign helps any company achieve that with eSignature. To help companies assess the value of electronic signature adoption, Docusign created the ROI calculator

3. Act

The signing of a contract isn’t the end of the agreement process, it’s simply the start of a series of related post-sale activities to begin delivering value and collecting payment. Efficiently executing the terms that were agreed to requires a system of agreement that connects internal teams and provides customers with fast, easy follow-up interactions. To improve the action phase of the agreement process, a good first step is to analyze the customer experience. From there, your team needs to create a plan to unite all the information about a customer on one platform and allow all the members of your team to speak to them with a uniform voice. 

Improving post-agreement activity will produce better customer experience, more autonomy for sellers, increased compliance and more standardized workflows. By connecting agreements to the necessary business systems and internal teams, the Docusign Agreement Cloud improves visibility and streamlines action.

4. Manage

According to IACCM, today’s businesses lose an average of 9% of potential revenue because of contract mismanagement. At the heart of these losses is the inability to search the existing contract library to find language that can be advantageous for the business. Too many modern organizations still store contracts in several places (email servers, cloud storage folders, physical file cabinets, desk drawers, etc.) and diverse formats (hard copy, PDF, jpeg and more). All that variety makes it incredibly difficult to access and search these documents at scale. The most cutting-edge agreement platforms today include AI tools that can do the heavy lifting of contract analysis.

Docusign Insight is specifically designed to search digital contract libraries and analyze language across a range of different concepts. Using AI, Insight can uncover blind spots, risk areas and untapped opportunities hidden in agreements across your organization. It’s the intelligent way to analyze all your agreements.

To learn more about the most advanced tools to accelerate your sales workflows, download the Step-by-Step Guide to Accelerate Remote B2B Selling.