Productivity Through Digital Contracts
Have you ever considered using an online e-signature service to manage contracts?
Every business requires documents to be signed. If your company is still waiting for physical signatures and faxes, then you might be able to introduce a new workflow to save you time. Imagine all the following scenarios in your business:
- Contracts can be sent to prospects for review in a few clicks
- Contracts can be tracked and reminders for signature can be sent easily
- Signed copies are distributed to necessary parties
- Contracts are automatically filed for easy accessibility
- Statistical data is available to track closing ratios
The list above represents a few scenarios that came true for our workflow, but in order to provide you with some practical insights and take-away considerations, here’s a little background on our firm. SimpleFlame is a web agency specializing in a web system platform called Adobe Business Catalyst. Companies and professionals around the world hire our firm based on expert experience with this web platform. We collaborate with people all around the world, and contract approvals get tricky to manage.
Serving customers on six continents is unique opportunity for a small-sized agency, but challenging to say the least. Consequently, getting contracts reviewed and signed before starting any project is critical. Physical signatures via mail are an impossible consideration for us. Faxing documents to many international numbers is impractical and time consuming. Thanks to EchoSign, a nightmare of contract logistics was turned into a simple and affordable solution. The online software completely changed the way we managed contracts. We started using EchoSign in 2007 and have never looked back. And that’s why I wanted to share this great information through e4e.
Use Background: Preparing and Delivering Documents for Signature
Preparing any document for the system is simple. You can use the most common types of files such as MS Word or Adobe PDF or even attach a Google Docs file. Once your document is complete and ready to be delivered to your customer, you simply do the following:
- Log in to EchoSign
- Click the Send Tab
- Enter recipient’s email
- Upload an electronic copy
- Click to send
- Yes, it’s that simple!
Once the document is sent, an email is sent to the recipient and a carbon copy is delivered to the sender. The recipient receives a professionally crafted email notification with instructions on how to read, print, and e-sign the document at their convenience. We love it and our customers are impressed! It’s a win-win.
Practical Efficiency: Tracking, Reminders and Statistics
Selling requires contracts… The more the merrier. Therefore, if you’re doing a great job, you most likely have to follow-up with lots of people and nudge them to get the sale. We’ve all heard the phrase “I’ll sign this right away”, but more often than not, you don’t hear back from them. If you have EchoSign – no problem!
EchoSign allows you to send a reminder that is scheduled per date and time or set per an interval you dictate. This way, you “stay on top of clients” the way you like to... aggressively or with a gentle reminder. Designed with busy professionals in mind, EchoSign gives us the latest, greatest tool to manage our workload. The online dashboard makes life easier with the following available functions and components:
- Ability to create and manage a library of contract templates
- Provides a feed with RSS subscription
- Provides a quick glance “Document Status”
- Documents waiting to get signed
- Total documents signed to date
Another great feature about EchoSign is the Statistical data. As you run your business, it is always a good idea to gather data to track progress and goals. In this case, I am able to track the percentage of closed contracts as well as the average length of time it takes to actually close the deal (“e-sign on the dotted line”). On the Dashboard, this is tracked monthly, and provides great benchmarks to hit or exceed every month future-forward.
Productivity Increases: Receiving Signed Copies and Automatic Filing
Reviewing my inbox and seeing the following subject line is a very gratifying experience: “Proposal # 12345 (Between SimpleFlame and Customer Name) is Signed and Filed!” This means I closed the deal and all parties involved have received a signed copy. Our SimpleFlame team administrators are notified and begin to fulfill any scope of work promised.
EchoSign allows users to easily access any contract at anytime from anywhere. Organization and automatic filing make life in sales an organized dream! I can access any proposal, work order, or agreement with easy search tools from any location that has access to the Internet. Devices such as iPhone and iPad have EchoSign applications allowing us all to deliver and check proposal status updates on the go. Fortunately, being tethered to your workstation or laptop at the office is no longer a valid excuse for closing business and being on top of things.
Although EchoSign was the choice for SimpleFlame, I’m sure there are other online contract generators and e-signature solutions great to use. I highly encourage a little R&D by performing simple online searches; you might find a hidden gem like I did.
In conclusion, whether you’re a small or medium-sized business, considering EchoSign or any similar online service to assist with contract management is something you should seriously consider in order to help you run your business with more control and accessibility. At such an affordable price, not reviewing this opportunity is a mistake. This is a great example of how to leverage technology and become productive. Business owners always ask me about productivity tools we use and this is a practical example I always share.
Helpful Resources and Links to Productivity Tools:
- Other Online Tools Used by Cesar Keller & SimpleFlame:
- Web Business Platform & Hosting: Adobe Business Catalyst
- Accounting: Xero
- Customer Service and Online Support: ZenDesk
- Creative and Strategic Planning: Mindmeister Mind Maps
- Project Management: Active Collab
- Customer Relationship Management: Highrise
- Email: Rackspace
- Online Payment Gateway: Authorize.net
- Video Delivery Network: Viddler
- Phone and Online Communications: Skype
- Screen Sharing: Join Me
- Video Screen Casts: Jing
- Mashable: 18 Online Productivity Tools for Your Business
- One Degree: Top 20 Business Productivity Tools for Small Biz Marketers
Don't Fly Alone. Join e4e today and receive an annual VIP pass to attend all monthly events AND gain instant, unlimited access to e4e Academy content on this site. As an e4e member, you will
Grow your business faster
Reduce the "overwhelm" factor
Become more productive
Connect with other business leaders and resources