4 tips to transform your end-of-quarter sales process by going paperless

By Marcel Pitt - VP of Commercial Sales, Docusign.

In today’s tough economic conditions, it can be hard for large sales organisations to meet monthly and quarterly targets. Competition is fierce; and customers’ purse-strings are tight. So doesn’t it make sense to find ways to make revenue-raising easier?

One of the most obvious ways to streamline revenue-raising – and meet those tough end-of-month and end-of-quarter targets – is to abolish paper from the sales process. Yes, get rid of the paperwork.

Here are a few examples to show you why:

A large mining company in Asia has stringent paperwork that must be signed by various governments and third parties. Without the paperwork, mining operations slow down. Due to the remoteness of the mine and other factors, it takes up to six months for a contract to do the rounds of all the relevant parties – during this time, operations grind to a halt and the mine doesn’t meet its targets. This, in turn, sends negative signals to shareholders and investors, which further hampers growth.

Imagine if the mine had a digital solution in place, whereby the contract could be sent out to all parties simultaneously, and get signed and sent back within minutes? Operations would continue apace, investment would remain strong, and the mine would continue to produce and achieve its growth targets.

Or, consider a large financial institution that expects consultants to sign a certain number of home loans each month. When it takes 21 working days for a paper-based home loan contract to do the rounds of the vendor, conveyancer, solicitor, buyer and other parties, it can really slow things down. Particularly when, using paper contracts, more than 30% of contracts come back ‘not in good order’ (NIGO) – that is, they need to be sent back out again because one of the parties missed a signature, or didn’t provide other relevant information.

Imagine if the financial institution could digitise the mortgage document.

In fact, this is what one major company did. And the transformation to digital contracts has had immediate positive effects. Instead of a three-week turnaround, 48% of contracts are now signed, sealed and delivered in just one hour; 73% in one day. What’s more, absolutely no contracts come back with NIGO status – the digital solution simply doesn’t let a party send back a form unless it is filled in and signed in all the relevant places.

The digital transaction solution is helping this finance company achieve targets much faster. It keeps shareholders and management happy; and sales teams get to spend their time on new opportunities, rather than chasing and correcting paperwork.

4 tips to kick-start your digital transformation of sales processes

It’s incredibly easy to transform paper-based processes like mortgage documents or mining contracts into digital solutions, to make life easier for sales teams at end-of-quarter or other important times. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Focus on projects that provide quick wins

Instead of channelling all of your energy – and budget – into major digital transformation projects, shift some of the focus onto things that will give your business quick wins, right now. The obvious one is to turn paper-based processes into digital ones, particularly those processes that impact end-of-month and end-of-quarter results.

2. Demonstrate the cost savings

To get senior buy-in for digitising a process, do a quick cost-benefit analysis. Look at what an existing process costs the business – factoring in the tangible costs like paper, printing, postage, scanning, storage and managing the physical distribution of paperwork to all parties. Then ask yourself how many come back NIGO, where you have to go through the process again. Compare all this to the cost of a digital envelope, and you’ve got yourself a pretty compelling case.

3. Break bad habits

Often, the biggest hurdle to overcome is a behavioural one – sales teams or business managers are simply used to doing things a certain way, and will keep shuffling paper around until someone breaks their habit for them. Appoint a ‘Champion,’ – someone to help break the paper shuffle habit and rapidly educate team members on the benefits of digitising paper-based processes. They’ll quickly be sold on the digital transaction’s time savings, efficiency and security.

4. Think of what your customers want

It’s in every sales organisation’s remit to make a positive impression on customers. By digitising critical processes and contracts of sale – many of which, let’s face it, are painful to pore over and sign in all the right places – you are making life easier for your customers as well as yourselves. In fact, your customers are now demanding it.

To see for yourself how easy it is to remove paper from your sales process, sign up for a 30 day free trial.