While pretty much every sales team operates a little bit differently, most of them want the same thing: To close more deals, more quickly.
One of the best ways to do that? eSignatures for sales. Salesforce reports that best-in-class businesses are 21 percent more likely to incorporate eSignatures into their sales workflows and that those who do observe a 6.4 percent annual improvement in customer retention—compared to a 1.3 percent decrease among non-adopters.
Today, we’re going to simplify the process of preparing for, implementing, and garnering adoption of an eSignature solution so that sales organizations can get back to doing what they do best: Closing more deals, more quickly.
Preparation: Gather Requirements to Find the Right eSignature Tool for Your Sales Squad
After years of working with organizations of all sizes to implement the best eSignature sales solution, we’ve learned that the best way to prepare is to understand your requirements.
So if you’ve already started shopping without a grocery list, we recommend taking a step back to find out what your implementation team, your business leaders, and your sales team—who will actually be using the solution—need to succeed.
The first requirement any eSignature solution must meet is budget. This is a simple one—does it, or does it not, fit into your budget for sales software? Don’t forget to account for upkeep costs and labor in addition to the sticker price.
Next, you want to make sure the eSignature solution you’re considering doesn’t just provide delightful transactions but that it also meets strong legal and security measures should those transactions ever come under scrutiny.
The good news is, you don’t have to choose between usability, security, legality, or compliance as long as you choose the right eSignature sales solution. At HelloSign, we strive to balance a delightful user experience with extra-strength legal and security features for everyone from small businesses to enterprise organizations.
Budget, legality, and security requirements met? Last but not least, you want to make sure the solution is efficient and effective for your sales team!
Don’t decide on an eSignature tool for sales without consulting the very people who will be working with it on a regular basis—sales. Do they need a solution that can handle medium to high transactions and complex, nuanced sales workflows? Unless your IT team has the time to build that from scratch (tip: they don’t!), you’re looking for an eSignature provider with an API. Preferably, one that’s well documented and complete with a developer-led support staff—because why not kill two birds with one stone by meeting IT needs, too?
If the sales workflow is a little more straightforward and you aren’t looking for extensive white-labeling needs, consider an eSignature that lives on a mobile or web-based app. This kind of eSignature tool is super easy to learn and comes with all the features you need right out of the box, so you’re onboarded in a snap.
Already using Salesforce? That’s no problem either—at least for HelloSign, anyway.
With HelloSign, sales folks can stop toggling between CRMs, eSignature solutions, and other sales tools. HelloSign for Salesforce is embedded within Salesforce Sales Cloud, so your team can send contracts for eSignature in just a few clicks without ever leaving Salesforce. And unlike other outdated and overbuilt eSignature platforms, HelloSign has the fastest and least complicated implementation process.
If the eSignature software you’re shopping is affordable, meets your legality and security needs, and helps your sales team close more details more quickly—congrats, you found the one! Now, it’s time to implement!
Implementation: How to Smoothly Integrate Your New eSignature Tool
Companies that transition their paperwork flows online save time, money, and—most importantly—keep up with startup competitors who are probably already using digital tools to close sales.
These simple steps will help you get your eSignature implementation project off the ground and your contracts online as smoothly as possible.
Step 1: Assign an eSignature Solution Owner and Create a Detailed Timeline
One major reason implementation projects go over budget, over time, or just don’t go over well is a lack of ownership. So before you even get started with implementing your new eSignature sales solution, make sure someone on your team is committed to the ongoing success of the project and realistically has the bandwidth to manage it. Ideally, this same someone also has a great understanding of the sales process and some stake in seeing it improved.
The project owner should be responsible for coming up with the date when the sales team will be able to start using the eSignature platform. From there, they can work backward to plan out key development milestones, a go-live date, and staff training sessions.
Step 2: Get End Users Involved in Set Up
If the eSignature solution you’ve chosen gives you the opportunity to build out the document workflows you'd like to automate, get your sales team in on the planning.
First, the implementation owner should be brought up to speed on the current sales workflows, what types of documents need to be signed, and the current process for obtaining signatures for them.
Next, ask your sales folks "What's the company's ideal document workflow?" Maybe sales really wants to implement notifications for faster turnaround, maybe the biggest thorn in their side is the amount of time they spend on data entry, maybe they’re sick of wasting time hopping in and out of the Salesforce workflow all day—maybe all three!
Whatever it is that the end users desire, this step is all about hearing them out and then building out the best solution possible.
Step 3: Launch the Dang Thing! (And Get Ready to Move Straight Into Adoption)
You understand what your sales team needs to close more deals, you’ve been hitting all those key timeline dates, and, suddenly, it’s time to launch your eSignature solution!
By now, many on your sales team are probably familiar with the project—but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some who are resistant to or confused by the new technology and workflows.
As soon as your eSignature solution is live, you’ll want to deploy the following adoption tips to inspire wide-spread acceptance and nip any dissent in the bud.
Adoption: Manage Your eSignature Rollout, No Coup Required
New risk. Increased effort. Fear.
There are plenty of reasons employees resist change. That’s why it’s important to get ahead of these negative feelings as soon as a new solution is rolled out. Follow these four steps to qualm concerns, address questions, implement important feedback, and overall inspire high eSignature adoption and low drama.
Step 1: Keep the Initial Intro Simple
There will be plenty of time to dig into the nitty-gritty details soon. However, to avoid alienating or overwhelming your sales team with what they may initially perceive as yet another tool to manage and learn—keep the rollout simple.
Highlight a few key features that are directly relevant to your business strategy, call out particularly interesting points that you know the majority of your sales staff would love, or walk through an example of how easy the new workflow will make it to send and sign sales contracts.
Step 2: Open the Floor to Challengers (and Champions)
All right, your eSignature solution is out there in the wild. That means you better be ready to answer all kinds of questions, including hardballs like "Why should I trust this new tool?" and "Why can't we keep doing things the way we were?"
To inspire adoption, you have to make sure both challengers and champions feel welcome to speak their minds and ask their questions. Hear everyone out and address questions in an open forum with the whole team to ensure no discomfort, confusion, or resistance goes unaddressed.
Step 3: Encourage Exploration
Some people learn best by doing. Most people appreciate being given the autonomy and the resources they need to explore a new idea. So do that.
Encourage sales staff to play around with this new eSignature solution. Instead of trying to convince them that it’s the right way forward, let them come to that conclusion on their own. And be around for those employees who would like a demonstration or a presentation to help them take advantage of eSignature to improve their sales success.
Step 4: Keep Encouraging, and Implementing, Feedback
Diverse perspectives are incredibly valuable. In addition to that perk, visibly collecting and actually using feedback to shape your company’s actions inspires employee retention and software adoption. Throughout the eSignature rollout and beyond, encourage your sales staff to provide candid feedback so you can stay aware of sentiment, identify weak spots, and take advantage of awesome opportunities you may never have thought of on your own.
Get Started with eSignatures for Sales
The most important step in supercharging your sales is admitting there’s room to improve. So here are some resources to help you get started.
Ready to dive right in? Sign-up for a free 30-day trial of a HelloSign team plan.
Looking for more information about eSignatures in your Sales org? We've got you covered. Download our Sales eBook: "Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Sales Team Set Up with eSignatures" below.