By Mary McGuire, Senior Product Marketing Manager, DocuSign

A document generation solution automates the creation of quotes and sales contracts, giving your team more time to focus on selling, decreasing turnaround times, and creating shorter sales cycles. Yet recent research found 87% of agreements are still prepared using manual processes. If your small or medium business is still generating documents manually you’re missing an opportunity to get to revenue faster. But how do you choose the right one for your growing business? Here are some things to look for when evaluating document generation solutions.

1. Ease of set-up and ongoing use

Many document generation solutions on the market involve dedicating resources to implement and maintain, even for the most standard agreements. As a growing business, you may not have dedicated staff to manage and support new technology. And if you have to rely on professional services to get started automating document generation, it can increase your total cost of ownership while your sales team continues to create contracts manually, delaying sales.

Choose a solution that allows your team to get up and running without a services engagement or ongoing support so you can immediately impact sales cycles and ultimately, the bottom line. Consider more intuitive solutions that allow your team to automatically generate professional, customized contracts with only a few clicks from your CRM system. 

2. Instant and error-free contract creation

Manually generating agreements for signature typically involves working across multiple vendors and internal departments which is time consuming, slows down deals, and introduces the opportunity for error. Look for a document generation solution that allows reps to automatically include or exclude content sections based on business rules or CRM data such as deal size, product selection or country of sale. Sales reps no longer need to identify and insert the right content for the right situation, saving time and eliminating risk to the business. Consider a solution that offers the ability to create templates that can support multiple business needs and document variations, eliminating the need to create and maintain a significant number of contract forms.

3. Agreements that look professional and properly-formatted 

Copying and pasting data from paper or a separate software platform results in agreements that will look messy without additional formatting effort. If you want to compete with larger companies, you have to look and act bigger than you are. The sales contract is the first impression your business makes with your customer so it has to look professional.

Many document generation solutions integrate with popular CRM tools such as Salesforce to automatically pull customer data into your contracts. This can save time and eliminate errors, but it can also mess with contract formatting. Look for a solution that supports dynamic formatting – so when customer, product and pricing data is merged – it seamlessly matches the original Word document’s formatting—even preserving tables and other custom elements.

4. Single source for contract generation and signature

Once you are up and running with an automated document generation solution and can send out professional, customized agreements, the contract still needs to get signed. You want the signing process to also be as simple as possible for your customers. A simpler, more modern signing experience drives customer loyalty and higher business impact. Look for a document generation solution that is integrated with both your CRM system and a reliable, easy-to-use e-signature solution for a seamless experience throughout the agreement process.  

What is the mobile experience for signers? Agreements that are easier to view, read, and sign on any mobile device are completed faster, have higher completion rates and offer a better user experience. Trust is critical. The best e-signature software will meet and exceed the most stringent US, EU, and global security standards. 

DocuSign Gen is integrated with DocuSign eSignature to deliver a world-class signer experience. Accelerate your sales process by automating the generation and signature of customized agreements from Salesforce with DocuSign Gen for Salesforce.