Sales teams are a vital part of almost every business. They don’t only bring revenue to the company, but contribute to overall business growth, act as point-of-contact and establish long-term relationships with customers. Some sales reps even have to act as lawyers—prepare documents and invoices, negotiate on contract terms, and take part in contract management.
Aside from hours wasted on legal procedures, taking care of legal contracts without legal background often leads to using outdated templates, errors in document data, and an increased risk of losing valuable clients due to long onboarding.
Having support of the legal function is very important for sales teams. Yet, even with the help from a lawyer, sales representatives can get tangled up in back-and-forth emails trying to get a sales contract approved to finally seal the deal.
Technology comes to the rescue
In 2021, the role of AI and technology is becoming more evident in every area of business operations. CRM software, automated email campaigns, video conferencing tools, and many other pieces of software help establish seamless workflows to boost the efficiency of sales teams and help them focus on what they do best—sales.
Another example of software is document automation for sales teams. Designed for both business and legal teams, document automation software takes care of one of the most important tasks a salesperson has—signing a contract—and is a great assistant in taking care of the key problems that act as blockers for sales teams.
Challenges faced by sales teams
The life of a salesperson is complicated. Staff and vendor meetings, phone calls, reports, negotiations with customers, contract lifecycle management are just a few of the tasks a sales representative faces on a daily basis. Being able to plan their day and avoid getting drowned in multitasking is a daunting challenge.
Sales teams spend 65% of their time on administrative tasks
The fact is, being able to sell a company’s product or service is not the only skill a salesperson must have today. Let’s look at the key problems a sales department faces en route to closing the deal:
- Sales teams spend 65% of their time on administrative tasks
- They need to solve daily tasks on the go.
- Lack of organized internal processes creates bottlenecks
- Absence of centralized contract repository creates the need to search for contract templates online
- Contracts drafted by sales teams often include a lot of errors
- Being the public point-of-contact, sales representatives get distracted by non-sales tasks
With the help of the right tools though these problems can be mitigated, and the sales team will be able to avoid the risk of losing potential customers and revenue they bring to the company.
Contracts are responsible for 19% of the selling cycle. Automated contract workflows enable your sales team to take control of that big chunk of the sales process. With document workflow automation, you can draft mistake-free legal contracts with minimum input from legal, and spend several minutes to get a pitch-perfect contract.
Automated processes create seamless onboarding workflows that help create an impeccable customer experience and relieve the sales teams of non-sales tasks.
Let’s look closer at the key challenges and find out how document automation for sales teams helps take care of them and boost the efficiency of your sales reps.
Absence of centralized contract repository
Sales teams have to take care of all the communications and arrangements between a company and client, and 80% of these processes are governed by contracts. Sales contracts, invoices, statements of work, non disclosure agreements, data processing agreements, master service agreements, and many other types of legal documents are always on a salesperson’s agenda.
Without a centralized contract repository, sales teams have to spend hours to find a compliant legal template and customize it to fit the current case.
With document automation software, your team gets easy access to thousands of legally approved, up-to-date contract templates. Using a secure cloud storage, your contacts won’t get lost or damaged and you can easily access a document you are looking for by using metadata and AI-driven search.
Contracts full of mistakes
Since most sales team members don’t have a legal background, contracts they create often have errors and miss important parts such as force majeure clauses, delivery and payment terms, return policies, and dispute resolutions. The absence or wrong wording of such clauses can lead to dire consequences.
QUOTE: According to World Commerce and Contracting, companies lose up to 9% of their annual revenue due to poor contract management.
Using AI-powered engines, document automation software helps you draft documents based on your current needs. All you need to do is answer a few simple questions that will determine the final look of the document. You will have a compliant contract ready when you get back to your desk with a cup of coffee.
Below are the stats that show how document automation can improve your sales processes:
- Contract automation helps reduce erroneous payments by 70-90% (Goldman Sachs)
- 33-41% of the contract costs can be reduced by eliminating inaccuracy and non-compliance (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
- Selling cycle is 24% faster for companies that use document automation software (IACCM Benchmark Survey)
Aside from just drafting contracts, document automation for sales teams integrates with your sales tools, such as CRM. This allows you to transfer client data directly into your contract, remove the need to copy and paste information, and avoid making a mistake.
According to World Commerce and Contracting, companies lose up to 9% of their annual revenue due to poor contract management. That’s 9% of cash flow that your company can re-invest with the help of document workflow automation software.
Lack of organized internal processes
According to Signicat’s research, 6 out 10 customers drop out of the sales process partway through onboarding. Legal approval can take hours, or even days, and back-and-forth emails between the client and lawyer don’t make it any better.
Establishing effective communication and approval workflows is essential to increasing a company’s revenue. Researchers at Quantified found out that companies of 100 people spend an average of 17 hours a week on internal discussions, and end up losing up to $525,000 in revenue.
With document automation software, you get a tool that automates internal communications and reduces negotiation cycle by 50%. With live collaboration and approval flows, you can work on the contract with both your client and lawyer, just like you would in Google Docs. The difference is that, when drafting a contract, you can assign a queue of people that will take turns looking at the contract, and will step in only when necessary.
Companies of 100 people spend 17 hours a week on internal discussions
This will help you avoid the need to look at the document twice. With live comments and ability to take turns approving the contract you can structure your signing process, speed up negotiations, and ensure high levels of organization within your company to provide better customer experience.
Lack of mobility in business processes
In 2021, mobility is the key to effective business operations, and sales processes are not an exception. 42% of salespeople use mobile devices, yet 4 out of 5 people use only basic productivity apps, such as mail and calendar. A Forrester research has shown that using mobile-friendly business solutions resulted in:
- Increased customer satisfaction (74%)
- Better business efficiency (74%)
- Boost of productivity for frontline employees, such as sales representatives (77%)
Contract management does not shy away from innovation. Most solutions are available to access from mobile phones, as long as you have an internet connection.
You can even sign a contract while being stuck in traffic with a legal electronic signature tool. Using an electronic signature, you can sign a contract on the go, and make sure that, after signing, the contract will remain intact until expired, and will never get lost.
AXDRAFT has a native eSign solution that helps you save budget on third-party integrations and avoid annoying switching between the applications.
Less sales, more contract management
Keeping track of your contracts is essential. Missed deadlines can result in serious consequences, lost clients, and harm the company’s reputation. Having to deal with plenty of clients, it can be easy to miss a delivery date or forget about the invoice.
Nearly 13% of all in-house jobs in the U.S. are in the sales department. Yet, sales teams spend ⅔ of their time NOT selling. They don’t even allocate enough time on their most useful tool. CRM software is the key solution for sales teams to make sales, but only 19% of time is spent using this valuable piece of technology.
Having to deal with clients and vendors, track delivery dates, prepare invoices, contract management has become a substantial part of a salesperson’s workday. With document automation software, that won’t be the case.
With CRM integration, a salesperson can jump straight to prospect onboarding
To make contract management more seamless for sales teams, document automation software can be integrated with your favorite CRM.
With CRM integration, a salesperson can jump straight to prospect onboarding, pull all the necessary client data automatically into the contract, and send the first draft for approval in several minutes. This is why AXDRAFT has a built-in seamless integration with Pipedrive.
A contract dashboard will give you full visibility of your contracts and highlights all the important deadlines for each. You can even set up notifications on every deadline and not have to keep all the dates in your head, such as invoicing dates.
Getting distracted by non-sales tasks
Being a public point of contact, sales teams often have to manage prospect requests for marketing materials, presentations, and security certificates. Some of these materials can be sent to potential customers straightaway. Others, such as a SOC 2 report, require a non disclosure agreement, because they contain sensitive information about the company and its operations.
Self-service contract is a useful tool to help sales teams avoid being distracted at early stages of client onboarding
Self-service document automation allows you to create a public-facing simple contract, such as NDA or a DPA, based on your legal templates. After setting it up, you receive a link that can either be embedded on your website or sent to your client directly. All they need to do is answer several simple questions and fill in their data.
When setting up the self-service contract template, you can create a workflow that automatically sends your client the required materials via email when the contract is signed.
Self-service contract is a useful tool to help sales teams avoid being distracted at early stages of client onboarding, and step in only after first contracts are signed, and the client has the necessary product information.
Contracts are an invaluable part of the sales process. Being able to put them on a streamline enables sales teams to retain valuable clients, close deals faster, and focus on sales instead of having to distract lawyers with routine contract drafting. If your sales team does not have the support of legal, it is important to have the most updated templates and to be able to draft mistake-free contracts without spending much time on them.
With document automation features, you can speed up your contract workflows by up to 80% percent, always be aware of the important deadlines, and create a smooth customer experience during the onboarding process.
AXDRAFT document automation software gives you the opportunity to integrate with the popular sales tools, such as Pipedrive and Slack, save money on third-party software providers with built-in eSign feature, and create self-service simple contracts with AXDRAFT QuickDocs.
Try our instant demo to see how you can speed up your onboarding process by drafting an NDA in 57 seconds.