Salesforce eSignatures: Why First-Gen Solutions are Failing Your Business

Howard Schulman

At one time, the esignature was a revolutionary innovation in sales and contract technology. No longer did customers and agents have to meet face-to-face to finalize a transaction.

Those early versions of the esignature, however, have failed to keep pace with the changing expectations of a tech-savvy consumer base. Businesses, including those that use Salesforce, often still rely on outdated esignature technology that creates customer frustration at the critical endpoints of the buyers’ journey.

What’s the big deal with a little frustration, you ask? Well, all too often, frustrated prospects turn into lost deals, customers who may choose to take their business elsewhere. Fortunately, there are new Salesforce e-signature solutions that meet these growing customer expectations — so you won’t ever lose your prospect to a slow onboarding process again.

Meeting High Customer Expectations

In the decades since esignatures first hit the market, businesses have become more focused on customer satisfaction. It has always been essential to keep clients happy, but as product offerings become more and more indifferentiable, it is customer experience that makes a consumer choose one brand over another.

Increasingly, that experience is mobile-driven. It is no longer enough to use a first-generation esignature solution that was designed for desktop. Those outdated models are just one step up from pen-and-paper verification, in that they allow a customer to add a digital signature — but it’s on documents still designed to be printed out. They may be mobile accessible, but they are far from mobile-optimized.

Meanwhile, the consumer switch to mobile is soaring. In 2009, just 0.7 percent of web traffic originated from mobile phones. That share has grown steadily year after year, reaching 52.2 percent in 2018.

Today’s esignature solutions allow for on-the-go communication between the customer, sales agent, and product. Instead of forcing customers to wait till they get home to fill out a pdf form, customers can easily sign a document as they go about their day.

The documents are mobile optimized, allowing for real-time document review and collaboration. They are flexible and easy-to-use, even for the most distracted of consumers. After all, the onus is on the company to keep the client’s attention — not the other way around.

Optimization means customers can look at a document in-depth if they choose, and get immediate answers to any questions. This isn’t just smart customer service — it gives brands the opportunity to demonstrate through their onboarding and sign-off procedures that they give consumers the time and feedback they need to create a fair and enforceable agreement.

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When eSignature for Salesforce Matters Most

Salesforce users have ample opportunity to close the CX gap with esignature solutions. Such solutions modernize almost every aspect of the customer journey, particularly the critical final stages of the sales process. The virtual “signing on the dotted line” may be all that’s needed to close the deal, but a customer frustrated by a cumbersome onboarding process may move to a competitor who makes it easier to do business.

Indeed, esignature solutions elevate the experience for a range of Salesforce applications. They also help businesses work better internally, including improving communications with Salesforce’s own employees and consultants. Here is just a sampling of sales cycle use cases for Salesforce:

Sales transactions– Sales agents increasingly work in a global market, requiring remote access to documents to finalize a sales contract. The best esignature solutions integrate with Salesforce so customer information can be transmitted quickly and easily. An expedited signoff process means a sale may be concluded within hours, instead of days. The technology allows for streamlined resolution of all aspects of the deal, even when multiple parties are involved.

Consumer onboarding– Real-time onboarding procedures ensure that new customers are taken care of right now — there are no delays between an agreement and service delivery. Modern consumers are used to one-click shopping, where everything is finalized in a matter of seconds. This kind of rapid satisfaction is not just restricted to consumer goods transactions — with esignature technology, B2B brands can acquire new customers at the peak of the sales process.

Service orders– Salesforce has made it easier for brands to offer custom products, updates, and maintenance on demand. But in these cases, a first-generation esignature may not be good enough. Consumers expect to understand contract revisions, product specification changes, and updated terms. A modern esignature solution gives sales agents the capacity to discuss the deal in greater detail with consumers, in real time. That’s possible even if the two are not in the same room.

Internal contract– One benefit of using technology in business is the audit trail. With digital tracking of agreements, it is easier than ever to see when a document changed hands and the discussion that ensued. As a result, Salesforce is an important storage system for business records.

Combined with a Salesforce esignature solution, brands can demonstrate due diligence for customer contracts and internal agreements. Non-disclosure agreements, employment contracts, and consulting documents may all be subject to this process.

In truth, there’s almost no contract, agreement or process that can’t be elevated through the use of a Salesforce esignature solution. This is particularly good news for businesses that need to meet a high threshold for consumer protection and regulatory compliance.

How to Optimize for Salesforce eSignatures

So, how does this solution work? In the case of Lightico, the key is in technology used by almost every consumer: the text message. A sales agent sends a text to a client in question.

That text contains a link to a secure collaboration session. Right on their mobile phone, the client can provide ID verification documents, contracts, payments, and other information as needed. It’s simple, easy, and nearly instantaneous. Agents can initiate the collaboration from anywhere in Salesforce, and the session and its documents are automatically and securely stored there.

Why does this matter? Increasingly, consumers choose brands that make it easy for them to buy. For companies that need to differentiate on the basis of CX, working with a first-generation esignature solution is no longer a valid option. A modern solution makes it easier on agents and customers, while meeting high standards of security and legal compliance.

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