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April 13, 2021
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As a company that both uses Salesforce as its primary CRM platform and implements/manages Salesforce systems for our clients, we’ve noticed a huge uptick in the use of one particular functionality since the pandemic hit in 2020: the use of digital signatures. Platforms like DocuSign, Adobe Sign and HelloSign have been embraced by those who use Salesforce (and even some that don’t).
Here we’re going to discuss how these platforms have been useful for our company to help us manage such tasks as HR onboarding and non-disclosure agreements, to name a few. After hearing about some of these uses, you may want to consider integrating these platforms into your Salesforce org, as well.
Salesforce customers globally (us included) create thousands of documents, requests, cases, and opportunities that necessitate customer contracts and digital signatures each day. As such, digital signatures have become a part of standard operating procedure for many businesses due to the remote completion of so many types of business transactions now. Not to mention, a full year of companies pivoting to remote work, making digital signatures all the more critical. When our company shifted to remote work in March of 2020, we had to brace ourselves for an onslaught of remote hiring, as we were still growing at a fast pace. For us, implementing digital signature platforms was incredibly necessary.
According to SignEasy, the e-signature market is expected to grow to $8 billion by 2023. The larger market shift towards digital tools and cloud software will further accelerate the global adoption of e-signatures, making it the de facto way to sign and send important documents.
Some of the standard documents that require signatures and authentication include:
Using digital signatures for these types of business interactions not only saves time, storage, and money but it also improves compliance and completion rates. (And in a pandemic, distanced world, it’s much safer.) Here are some of the ways we use our digital signature integrations.
Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
In the tech industry (and in many businesses outside of tech), it’s becoming customary to utilize NDAs to protect all parties when beginning a new business relationship. Especially when discussing proprietary ideas early on in a working relationship. The traditional written (pen-to-paper) method to craft a NDA is inconvenient and can open a can of worms to many legal issues. Using digital signing platforms, businesses can have a fully compliant audit trail to ensure each NDA is completed in a timely and auditable manner. This process makes it much easier and legally more secure.
Typically, a lot of paper documentation has to exchange hands during the recruitment and onboarding process in human resources transactions. When recruiting, NDAs are sent—as well as job offers—which have to be secure and authenticated by both parties. Additionally, when onboarding new hires, important documentation has to be reviewed, signed and sent digitally, such as payment and tax information, contracts, position descriptions, and benefits documentation. Digital signing streamlines this process to be sent and stored securely.
One of the most common use cases for digital signatures is for facilitation and completion of sales contracts. Back in the day, sales contracts were potentially faxed (remember faxing?), overnight delivered, or scanned into a PDF and emailed to complete the transaction. Thankfully, with digital signature platforms, those days are over. Not only does it save time to send and sign contracts digitally, it’s much more secure than faxing (which isn’t confidential most of the time), overnighting hard copies (which is costly and vulnerable to delays due to human error) or exchanging hard copies (which could get lost in the shuffle when handling). Digital signing removes much of the risk of human error and the documentation stays confidential and secure.
Outside of technology, many industries are inclined to use digital signing technology due to the nature of their business and the varying necessary documentation they need to exchange and store. Many companies have to manage heavy compliance and regulatory burden, in addition to the competitive pressures of offering a seamless customer experience. These industries can include (but are not limited to) legal, telecommunications, financial, and insurance. For example, financial institutions have to exchange documents to open bank accounts or manage loan documents, disclosures and direct deposits. For Bitwise Technology Consulting, we facilitate change orders, which affect contracts and payment terms and must be signed by all parties before moving forward to finish a project or new phase to an existing project. In all of these cases, digital signature platforms are secure, convenient and super reliable.
Now that we’ve given some common use cases for digital signature platforms, here are the most popular platforms being used today that integrate seamlessly into Salesforce.
DocuSign for Salesforce is much more than just a digital signing platform; they provide a cloud-based system of agreement. Their platform, called Agreement Cloud, allows users to act on completed agreements automatically, collect payments, update other systems, and trigger downstream processes. They also have AI tools available to find hidden opportunities and risks within documentation. DocuSign has partnered with Salesforce, so it can easily be integrated to existing Salesforce systems.
Adobe Sign is a cloud-based, digital signature service that allows the user to send, sign, track, and manage signature processes using a browser or mobile device—and is part of the Adobe Document Cloud suite of services. Their platform enables users to sign PDFs and documents, get automatic notifications and reminders, view/share/comment and track PDFs for review, adds customized branding to e-sign requests, and includes all Acrobat Pro desktop software. Adobe Sign works across all Salesforce clouds and supports the latest technologies like Lightning and Salesforce1 Mobile App.
HelloSign’s digital workflow platform–which includes eSignature, digital workflow, and electronic fax solutions—has helped over 80,000 customers and millions of people do business faster.
Their software allows users to electronically request and add legally binding signatures to any document, from new hire agreements and loans to NDAs. This platform also allows users to electronically sign documents in a manner that complies with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. Their platform is available in an intuitive web interface, a developer-friendly API, or as a Salesforce add-on.
According to LunarPen, obtaining signed documents through traditional means (e.g. paper and pen) takes on average five days. Their study showed that obtaining signed documents via digital signatures took only thirty-seven minutes on average. The time difference between these two methods is staggering and in many industries can cost revenue, risk and a competitive advantage. Additionally, Forrester conducted a study that showed a total of 22,000 hours can be saved annually by integrating digital signing platforms into existing processes. If there were ever a time to leap into a digital revolution, now is the time to do it.
At Bitwise Technology Consulting, we use a consultative approach to help you determine the best strategy to identify your Salesforce challenges, implement appropriate solutions and enhance your systems. If you’re a business owner or CTO looking to integrate a digital signing platform into your existing Salesforce organization, we’d love to help. Schedule a chat with us using this link: Let’s Talk.
This post was written by Celeste A. Barron, Content Development Manager for Bitwise Industries. When she’s not listening to Cake (the band), she’s eating it (the spongy dessert).
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