HomeNewsHow Document Automation Improves Your Sales Process

How Document Automation Improves Your Sales Process

Few things in life are more mind-numbing than the ​​manual, repetitive task of document creation. It’s one reason why more than 80% of small businesses pledged to automate their outdated workflows back in 2016. Despite this pledge, companies of all stripes continue to follow dated processes that drain employees’ time and energy: By 2020, workers were still spending more than three hours a day performing manual tasks, according to a survey by Automation Anywhere.

Sales departments are certainly not strangers to this dilemma. Your salespeople rely on myriad documents to educate leads and prospects, deliver presentations, and send proposals, among other things. Tracking down and preparing these items can easily take hours, so it’s no surprise salespeople spend only about a third of their days actually selling.

Unfortunately, you lose a lot more than productivity when salespeople have to devote their time to manual document creation. Monotonous documentation can quickly undermine on-the-job happiness. The Automation Anywhere survey discovered that 47% of workers find manual admin tasks dull, and another 48% consider them a hindrance to using their skills. Manual document creation also introduces opportunities for error. Incorrect information on proposals and contracts can cause sizable delays, jeopardize your company’s reputation, and spoil lucrative deals. In 2021 and beyond, businesses can’t afford to forgo document automation. The key will be mounting a compelling case for document automation and then executing on that plan.

Improving the Sales Process with Document Automation

Broadly speaking, document automation is the “design and use of systems and workflows that assist in the creation of electronic documents.” More specifically, document automation allows your sales team to create and fill templates at scale, integrate systems to fully automate workflows, and quickly locate pertinent documents.

But the biggest benefit? It will save your salespeople a tremendous amount of time. By Knackly CEO Kim Mayberry’s estimate, document automation could cut the time employees spend on document creation by up to 80%. Time is money. When salespeople can redirect their attention to higher-value tasks that improve the customer experience, you’ll see the impact on your bottom line.

Beyond chipping away at overhead, document automation can also reduce voluntary turnover, which carries a considerable cost. A significant 85% of respondents to Automation Anywhere’s survey said they are drawn to employers that invest in automation, while 55% said they would leave a job with a heavy load of manual tasks. Eliminating turnover is impossible, but automation means you won’t lose employees’ specialized knowledge when they move on — it will live on in already-assembled templates. Not only does that streamline new hire training, but it also enables current salespeople to create accurate, up-to-date, and personalized documents with minimal hiccups. All in all, the positive domino effect that document automation initiates will help you bolster your sales process and close more deals.

How Document Automation Improves Customer Experience

Here are three concrete ways you can provide a better customer experience through document automation:

  1. Protect your company from branding mistakes that dilute the customer experience.

Many elements factor into a great brand, but perhaps nothing can damage your credibility faster than inconsistent branding. On the other hand, presenting a uniform brand image — in terms of language, voice, and visuals — will help you deliver an excellent customer experience and boost sales by 23%.

To ensure consistency at scale, don’t rely on your salespeople to reformat every document they create. Instead, use document automation software to standardize documents and templates, ensuring sales collateral always bears the appropriate logo, colors, typography, etc. When salespeople don’t have to worry about nuanced design elements, they can focus on plugging in the correct information.

  1. Tailor all sales documents to the prospect.

Over the past decade, personalization has switched from a luxury to a requirement. When Epsilon surveyed 1,000 consumers, it found that 8 in 10 would choose a business that offered personalized experiences over one that didn’t.

Creating individualized documents for each quote or proposal is incredibly important in the sales world, but you don’t want your salespeople starting from scratch every time. Leverage document automation by creating quote and proposal templates that salespeople can easily grab and customize.

Train your salespeople to refine these documents to address only the prospect’s specific needs while removing anything that might not apply. Above all else, make sure salespeople clear the documents of any previous prospect’s information.

  1. Keep sensitive documents and data safe.

Cybersecurity is an increasingly pressing issue, and businesses need to be aware of the associated risks. A 2021 report found that 41% of U.S. companies had experienced a data breach in the past year. A data breach or loss hurts companies in any industry, but it could open you up to litigation or regulatory penalties if you operate in a regulated industry like healthcare or finance.

Document automation paired with a robust document management system can help you smooth out your document workflows and safeguard sensitive data like financial information. You can rest easy knowing customers’ personal information is stored in a secure repository with access controls, and customers will feel confident working with a business that values their privacy.

For years, manual document creation created a drain on productivity and clogged up the sales pipeline, costing businesses plenty of money in the process. Document automation uncovers tremendous opportunities for business operations and sales, but you have to commit to automating your workflows before you can reap the rewards. Start today and watch as your sales team thrives.

Author

  • Tolga Sakman is the vice president of enterprise sales at Jotform. An engineer and scientist by trade, he worked with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and GE Aircraft Engines before finding his passion in building teams and companies that help other organizations improve their business processes.

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Tolga Sakman
Tolga Sakmanhttps://www.jotform.com/
Tolga Sakman is the vice president of enterprise sales at Jotform. An engineer and scientist by trade, he worked with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and GE Aircraft Engines before finding his passion in building teams and companies that help other organizations improve their business processes.

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