As a sales professional, you live for the thrill of making a deal. Especially when it comes to a special customer. That big one or just that prospect from that totally new market, that makes your heart jump. But what if you can’t visit in person or when the signing process, of the contract mailing, the customer reading it, having it printed, signed with one or more signatories, scanning and sending it back again takes too long?
As a sales professional, you know better than anyone that the speed and efficiency of the signing process can determine the signed return of the quote. Our own Senior Account Manager Gertjan van Ek will give you 5 tips to get a proposal signed back (faster)
Tip 1: Digital signing
Assuming you’ve spoken to the right people and sent the quote to the main decision makers, switching to digital signing is a must when it comes to getting contracts and quotes signed back quickly. The easier you make it for the signer, the more likely it is that that person will sign his or her signature. The relevant signer receives a request via email to sign digitally. This way, the signer can sign the quote anytime and anywhere. All you need is an internet connection and access to your e-mail
Tip 2: Set a tight deadline
Without sounding intrusive, setting a tight deadline is an important factor in the signing process. Make sure you’re on the same page with the prospect.
Make clear agreements about the further progress of the sales process and agree:
- When you expect to have the signed contract back;
- That you are always available for further questions;
- That you will proactively contact your prospect when you’re nearing the deadline.
ValidSign’s digital signature makes it easy to create a reminder scheme. For example, you can plan a reminder 3 days after sending, 2 days before the end of the deadline and again on the last day. This way, you approach your prospect proactively and it’ll prevent you from being late or completely forgetting to get in touch. On the day of the deadline, I usually call the signer. Perhaps the deadline was unrealistic or maybe there are still doubts within the organization. With a personal conversation, you can fix that.
Tip 3: Deliver all the necessary documents at once
As has already been stated, it is important to keep the signing process as fast and simple as possible for prospects. Sending quotes by post is no longer an option.
Fortunately, many organizations work digitally so you are no longer dependent on the pace of a postal company. For example, if you send your quotes by email, make sure that all the necessary documents are in one email without the need to send separate documents. This way you eliminate the number of actions that the prospect must take in order to finally sign the quote.
Sending your quote by mail is not the most efficient solution. You still ask your prospect to print, scan and manually return the documents. The digital signature eliminates these steps. The prospect only needs to open and sign the sign request using a graphic signature or click signature. In addition to documents to be signed, other documents can also be sent as an attachment. So the prospect has everything he or she needs to sign the offer.
Tip 4: Identify people who have signing authority
Even when both parties strive to meet the agreements made, something can happen that causes you to not receive a signature in return. Think, for example, of the scenario where the signer is temporarily unable to work due to illness or other private circumstances and no signed quote returns. The wet signature does not allow another person to sign the same document. You will have to draw up a new quote addressed to the new signatory. The digital signature eliminates these time-consuming actions through the permission functionality. Empower someone to sign a document addressed to you? Yes, that’s possible! By selecting the permission functionality while creating the transaction, you give the recipient the ability to forward the signing to another character within the organization. The identity of the authorised signatory is recorded using his or her email address and a two-factor or more factor authentication including SMS, iDIN or DigiD authentication. This ensures that only the authorized person can view the document and sign it.
If you yourself or another authorised signer within your organization is not able to sign a contract or offer, it is also possible to authorize your own colleagues to sign for you.
Tip 5: Timing
Finally, timing plays a crucial role in the sales process. The combination of being flexible, communicating and signing makes it easier for the customer to agree to the assignment. However, this is often overlooked.
During the first conversations with a prospect, I try to find out what important actions and events are planned that concern them at this time and in the next quarter in order to determine the right timing.
Consider the following factors:
- Corporate events
- Industry related events
- Industry related news
Keeping the contact between you and the prospect warm after you send the assignment is also important. It can be as simple as knowing that there is a busy period approaching for a prospect and contacting the question of how you can help to reduce their workload.
In addition, it helps to build trust. Providing a listening ear or providing additional information at the right time can be the difference between a lost deal and closed won.
Now that you know how to ensure the speed and efficiency of the signing process, you’ll get those deals signed back and your business won’t stand still!