Among such customer-focused enterprises, there are many practices that ease the burden of doing business from customers' perspectives. However, many organizations are still managing contracts manually with paper-based contracting practices. By failing to integrate a CRM with a Web-based contracting system, they fail to take the final step toward creating a better customer relationship. By employing electronic signatures and moving contract work to the cloud, businesses remove the final hurdle to closing sales and create a simpler, faster and more secure experience for their prospects.
The trend in CRM today is toward models that allow teams to more effectively manage return on investment (ROI) in real time and make it easier to close more deals more quickly. Cloud-based contracts and e-signatures support that goal in multiple ways, including:
A significantly reduced sales cycle, free of common frustrations: Most businesses find that cloud-based contract processes shrink the sales cycle by 200 to 400 percent. That time reduction also decreases customer frustration, as well. No longer are prospects asked to find a fax machine, stand in line to purchase postage and mail documents, or haggle over contract details via phone and email. The elimination of those steps boosts the likelihood that customers will return for future purchases.
More time for staff to serve customers and prospects: Freed from the many hours of administrative steps they once took to chase ink signatures on paper, sales staff can perform the task for which they were hired: selling. Likewise, customer service employees have more time for their core responsibilities. In both cases, the customer benefits.
A secure, binding process that protects all parties: Since federal law confirmed the legality of e-signatures more than 10 years ago, businesses have offered their customers a process that not only bests traditional contracts in terms of time savings and convenience, but is also equally enforceable and perhaps more secure. Integrating a Web-based contracting application with a CRM means that the entire deal - from first sales pitch through negotiation and closing - can occur in the cloud.
For any business looking at the complete customer experience, it makes sense to integrate customer data and contract data. Both are essential if companies are to make it easy, and desirable for prospects to choose their products and services.
When contracts are signed in the cloud and stored in CRM applications, the entirety of a customer's history is easily accessible and actionable by all departments - sales, service, finance and legal. With that information readily available, organizations can extract more value from their CRM investments while also encouraging additional business. Today's Web-based contracting applications are easy to integrate with CRM applications and typically pay for themselves in 30 days.