The “Customer Spotlight” series shines a light on DocuSign customers who are benefiting from accelerating their business with digital signatures.

Head of Product Development at M2, Richard Edwards, regards DocuSign as a key differentiator for the business, reducing friction during the customer experience and significantly shortening the sales process from thirty days to as little as three minutes.

Richard, please tell us a bit about M2 and your responsibilities.

M2 is a digital printing provider. We provide office equipment and document workflows, mainly to corporations but also to public sector companies and smaller regional SMEs.

I was brought in as Head of Product Development with a view to introducing a number of change initiatives across the organisation. One of which was to launch an e-commerce site to allow SME users to purchase managed print services online, which isn’t currently offered in this country at all. We’re the first to bring this to market.

Why is doing business digitally important to M2?

A lot of our competitors will have an e-presence, so you can log in to their site and have a user journey, but it will always end with a web form. DocuSign is our biggest product differentiator as it allows the customer to complete the buying process online with no human intervention needed. They’re presented with a price and service options and then we use DocuSign to capture the digital signature.

DocuSign populates the contract, the customer signs it, and then it is returned to us. That is the biggest differentiator in terms of our e-commerce strategy. We’ve introduced a new contracting process for our sales executives that is solely executed with DocuSign. We’re already seeing the benefits there. For example, a sales executive was working with a customer in Carlisle and, rather than driving there from Manchester with the paperwork, it could just be pushed out electronically.

Also, traditionally, sales executives would leave the paperwork with the customer’s receptionist if the decision maker wasn’t there. Then they would wonder if the contract was passed on to the decision maker or not. Now, they can see that the contract has been sent, opened and signed, and they can start working with our back office to get the machine sent out.

Internally, DocuSign is something I’m looking to better utilise across the organisation. We have heads of HR, procurement, finance, sales, project management and logistics looking at ways that we can be smarter by implementing DocuSign.

Can you provide examples of the return on investment you’ve seen using DocuSign compared to what you were doing previously?

DocuSign is crucial to our e-commerce platform. Through our traditional sales channels, we’d have a salesperson visit the end user, provide a quote, and put their profit onto the equipment. That process is quite long and costly. It could take about thirty days. With DocuSign in place, the customer can go completely end to end from their first introduction to the company to signing contracts in about three minutes.

It’s a no-brainer for us. It cuts our overheads an awful lot, and it also means we can be very cost-effective on the price. We are significantly undercutting the competition with this.

Were you involved in the deployment of DocuSign?

Our parent company is an IT services provider who is in turn owned by the Rigby Group, who use DocuSign. By dealing with your team, we turned it around pretty quickly. It was up and working within fifteen days. That was on our phase one website which generated the contract, via DocuSign, on email. The Phase two website will have DocuSign fully-embedded, directly integrated with our website. It’s cleaner and keeps the user on the site, rather than directing them away.

What aspects of DocuSign made it the best fit for your business and use case?

What stood out about DocuSign is the number of people that use it already, and also the work that DocuSign did in affirming the legitimacy and legality so that digital signatures could be recognised as a legal signature. Also, the fact that there is no massive upfront cost, and that we can integrate DocuSign into Salesforce, which is going to be one of our next steps.

What has the user feedback been like?

They like it. It’s easier. They’re not having to carry around documents. Anything that makes their life easier and the device sent out quicker makes them happy.

And the customers, how have they responded?  

The customers like it but they’re used to signing electronically now. They’ve embraced it. It highlights that we’re moving with the times.

Finally, what advice would you offer to other firms considering a move to digital?

Firstly, make sure that you have ownership of the process. In the early days, there was some resistance because of the change. So, I would say, formalise it in the business and sell the benefits and features so that when it does get deployed, people will embrace it and be supportive of it.

Thanks for your time, Richard!