Unbending the sales pipeline with digital tools
An organisation’s sales pipeline underpins its commercial performance, and sales automation can rapidly accelerate growth. Despite the benefits, a study* by Forrester Consulting, The State of Systems of Agreement 2019 research, discovered 84% of sales agreements are generated manually in some way. And 45% of firms believe inefficient, manual agreement processes have led to poor customer experiences.
What are the benefits of sales automation?
Sales automation has the potential to enhance both B2B and B2C sales operations. A successful sales team is dependent on several departments and creating a seamless sales agreement process using sales automation tools can be beneficial for all. It can accelerate the deals process to get revenue in the business faster, whereas manual processes and non-integrated systems can drive inefficiency and negative experiences for everyone involved.
Streamlining this process allows salespeople to add more value to the business by freeing up their time, they can focus on generating new leads, following up inbound enquiries, and ensuring existing clients receive first-class customer service.
Forrester’s research confirms many businesses need to improve these stages of the agreement process.
49% currently have trouble finding and managing their agreements and verifying they are secure.
Automating the creation of documents can reduce errors and transform processes and optimise business performance.
But what’s the best way of doing this? Contract lifecycle management lets you automate sales agreements including estimates, quotes, service contracts and agreements, recurring payments and renewals. You can streamline and automate a contract’s creation, negotiation, execution and storage, allowing you to digitally transform contracts and speed up the approval process.
Why do sales processes need improving?
In February 2019, Forrester conducted an online survey of 105 business leaders responsible for document-intensive processes at organisations in the UK with 250 to more than 20,000 employees. The aim was to evaluate the maturity and automation of organisations’ agreement processes.
A key takeaway from the Forrester Research for sales is that there is opportunity to improve. The survey found that:
- 84% of agreements are generated manually in some way
- Only 54% of businesses report having a good level of integration between their business systems
- 42% of organisations experience delays in recognising revenue due to inefficiency in the agreement lifecycle
- 46% of organisations experiencing delays at the start of projects due to inefficiency in the agreement lifecycle
Sales negotiations often delay contracts, due in part to stakeholders outside the sales department. As an example, the legal department requires access to the contract, as well as the ability to edit and share it. When this is done manually, it often results in contracts being lost or bottlenecks in the approval process.
How do you automate the sales agreement process?
Automating the agreement process can help secure revenue faster and make the whole process more efficient. Both B2B and B2C businesses can reap the benefits of automation, and sales teams can expect greater reliability when it comes to contract conversions and renewals.
Companies can automate processes with solutions like DocuSign eSignature and DocuSign CLM. When implementing this software, the sales department has a direct impact on operational efficiency and performance across the organisation.
Salesforce were able to reduce contract turnaround time from 2 days to 1 hour with the implementation of DocuSign, and now 85% of agreements are “no touch”.
The DocuSign Agreement Cloud for Sales
The DocuSign Agreement Cloud™ for Sales can help you modernise your system of agreement for long term success. Deals that previously took weeks can be approved in hours. It can also help your team go paperless.
The DocuSign Agreement Cloud for Sales lets sales reps quickly generate agreements from within your CRM and collaborate with other departments to edit and track version changes. Automated workflows route contracts for approval and signing.
Download the free eBook for sales teams, “Trades and transactions - Unbending the sales pipeline within digital tools”, to find out more.
*The global survey, conducted by Forrester Consulting in February 2019 interviewed 605 process decision-makers in companies with 250+ employees.