Sales velocity measures how quickly your business makes money, how quickly leads move through your pipeline, and how quickly you close deals. However, SaaS sales cycles can be lengthened for any number of reasons, including buying a higher priced product, demoing more complex software, or doing business with enterprise companies. But for many SaaS companies, contracts create bottlenecks at various stages of the cycle, especially the end.

3 techniques we’ve seen our customers use to boost sales and close more deals in less time

Streamline Legal Agreements/Contracts

Save time by streamlining your agreements, like sales order form: rather than relay a 15-page contract back and forth between parties, host the legalese of your Terms of Service online, and point to those terms on your sales order form.

27-inch-imac-2012-perspective (4)Optimize Contract Lifecycle Process

Poor contracting can waste hours of time and cost businesses up to 9% of annual revenue, and are often still unenforceable. But small things like adopting clickthrough technology, centralizing revisions, and not relying on a shared drive to create contracts.

Introduce Modern Signing Methods

If you want customers to sign more quickly, meet them where they are. Salesforce says that 74% of customers will switch brands if the purchasing process takes too long. And with 3.7 billion unique mobile users (Statista), there is no excuse not to deliver legal agreements to a customer’s phone, chat, or a CRM environment like Salesforce.

Optimizing these three variables can help your customers move smoothly through to the end of your pipeline. Take CampMinder, for example, a SaaS startup that caters to summer camp administrators. With a group of customers that are rarely inside or by a desktop or laptop. By cutting their 18-page MLA down to 2 pages by hosting their terms online, optimizing their contracting lifecycle process, and utilizing modern signing methods, CampMinder has closed 22% more deals than before.

In this eBook, we walk you through tactics to boost your sales and close deals in less time.

 

STREAMLINE LEGAL AGREEMENTS

Unify your online and offline sales order forms

Whether your business sells a SaaS product or fidget spinners, your sales people probably use some sort of paper order form to close deals.

Even if you have attempted to move the entire sales process online, some of your deals will probably still  close offline. As if managing contracts wasn’t already difficult enough, the combination of online and offline sales make it much more difficult to keep track of sales order forms. However, with a little planning and the right tools, you can not only make this process easier to manage, you can also streamline your entire sales process and increase your sales velocity.

Step 1: Streamline your sales order forms by putting applicable legal terms online.white-ipad-mini-in-frontal-view-over-a-png-background-a11954

Strip away the legal mumbo jumbo in your sales contracts and put it all on your website. This is important because:

  1. It simplifies your paper order form - maybe even allowing it to be a single page long (sales people rejoice!).
  2. It ensures that your online orders and your paper orders all reference the same set of legal terms and conditions (more on that below).
  3. Your legal team can update your standard legal terms and conditions without forcing sales teams to replace sales contract templates and potentially reprint order forms. Putting your terms online still makes it easier on your sales team and gives control of the legalese to the legal team.

The key here is to make sure that the online terms and conditions of your SaaS sales contract are easy to find (give them a simple URL) and read, and the published and effective dates should be clearly notated.

Protip: Ensure that prior versions of the legal terms and conditions are available at that same URL. If not, someone who executed an order form on a date prior to the published date of the currently effective terms and conditions could argue that no record exists for the terms and conditions that are applicable to them!

Step 2: Clearly reference your online legal terms in a simple order form.

The sales order form should be as simple as possible, and should include customer information, pricing, and information specific to the product being ordered (features, seats, support, etc). That information should be detailed, non-ambiguous, and an accurate description of the order. There should then be a very clear and obvious incorporation of the legal terms and conditions by referencing the URL for those terms.

You should also include some carefully crafted language that leaves no doubt that the online terms and conditions are part of the agreement, along with a representation that the customer has indeed reviewed those online terms and conditions.

Protip: There will invariably be situations in which a customer wants to modify the online terms and conditions. That can easily be accomplished with an attachment to the order form. Just make sure that the terms of the order form supersede any of the online terms and conditions.

Step 3: Bind your customers ordering online to the same legal terms and conditions.

When you create your sales order form online, make sure that your customers are accepting the same legal terms and conditions that your paper order form customers are accepting.

It is important that you keep proper records regarding the who, what, and when of acceptance. Also, consider emailing your online customers a copy of what they just agreed to. Putting a durable record of the agreement in their hands is always a good idea.

The net effect of all of this should be that you have a streamlined and unified sales contracting process ensuring that all of your legal terms and conditions applying to any sale remain consistent. To make things even better, consider scanning your paper order forms and attaching them to a digital record that would fit into the flow above. This would truly unify all of your offline and online sales contracts.

 

OPTIMIZE CONTRACT LIFECYCLE PROCESS

Contract lifecycle is the key to sales velocity

There’s no nice way to say this: traditional contracting processes are cumbersome.

Over-reliance on manual processes and disorganized workflows too often translates into numerous back and forth between parties, needless paper pushing, and excessive redlining.

A simplified contracting process and workflow can cut out a lot of unnecessary steps within your contract lifecycle, reducing the time between opportunity and close, ultimately shortening your sales cycle and reducing your spend.

Follow these three steps to take back the time and money you’re currently wasting in the contract lifecycle and increase your sales velocity:

15-inch-macbook-pro-retina (1)1. Don’t rely on a shared drive to create contracts

Picture this: The sales person managing a deal will copy a Word template of a contract to their own computer and use it moving forward. Inevitably, changes to the template’s language and terms will be made, but now that version is out of sync. The deal is signed, but now questions have arisen because it’s become impossible to know which version the customer started from.

Sound familiar? We see a lot of companies that rely on “master” templates that live on some shared drive as a Word document. But this can easily get out of sync.

A system that acts as the starting point in a contract review process and doesn’t rely on a shared drive is ideal. PactSafe’s platform allows teams to use ready-made templates and manage multiple versions. This way, you can push out contracts in the middle of a call, effectively cutting out numerous onerous steps.

2. Adopt clickthrough technology

Clickthrough technology greases the wheels of acceptance and brings you closer to adding money into your pocket. A clickthrough is a button or a box that users click or check to indicate acceptance of online legal terms. It is just as legally enforceable as putting pen to paper, and significantly more efficient. At PactSafe, we developed a three-step process for obtaining binding agreements for any contract:

  1. Prepare and Send
  2. Review and Sign
  3. Record and Analyze

These steps allow you to quickly create a contract online and send it out to others for acceptance while remaining compliant with current case law and best practices.

3. Use easy-to-digest analytics and redlining tools

Sometimes, customers like to make edits during the contracting process. Make it quick and easy for them to provide feedback, and track and understand the variations between contract versions. PERQ, for example, uses PactSafe to enhance the onboarding experience of their customers, eliminating pain points throughout the entire sales process.

While redlines are easy to manage in Word, the back and forth of “track changes” complicates the process. Centralizing revisions as part of your contract lifecycle will reduce the amount of time between sending contracts and receiving acceptance.

Strengthening these aspects of your contract lifecycle process will help you can breeze through a number of roadblocks and increase your sales velocity.

 

INTRODUCE MODERN SIGNING METHODS

The key to getting customers to sign more quickly is to meet them where they aresilver-macbook-mockup-over-a-solid-background-22358 (1)

As a small to midsize business, you don’t have time to waste on cumbersome contracting. At the speed business moves today, you can’t let a bottleneck like traditional contracting slow down your sales cycle and impact revenue.

Every successful business makes a series of decisions at some point on how to more efficiently deliver goods and services and experiences to customers, employees, and partners. Many of these decisions, however, are driven not by the needs of the customer, but by compliance, legal, IT, or because they’ve always been done that way. This is how the use of documents, paper, or other old school processes have kept companies in the dark ages when advances in automation and integration are available to help you re-think what you’re currently doing today.

For example, take a midsize company that caters to restaurant or hospitality professionals and conducts most of their business over the phone. This company has the capability to do high volumes of business, but there is always a bottleneck at the bottom of the sales funnel. Traditional contracting is bound to slow down their sales cycle and impact revenue.

However, the goal is sales velocity. In order to be competitive, they need to upgrade their traditional, manual processes to modern, self-service method.

“One more step” could cost you your customers

Making your customers take extra steps is negatively affecting your sales cycle. According to a Salesforce study, if they find the purchasing process too difficult, 74% of customers are more likely to switch brands.

For example, if your sales team sends PDF contracts via emails, that’s two extra steps you are making them complete before the sale is final. SaaS companies that serve industries in which the professionals aren’t chained to a desk will have a harder time closing deals using this method.

This is because it requires use of a desktop, and one Statista study showed that 52.2% of all global website traffic was generated through mobile devices. Even more, as of January 2018, there are 3.7 billion unique users.   

These statistics make it clear that the key to shortening your sales cycle is adopting mobile-friendly contracts.

Meet your customers where they are

The “right now” economy is driving mobile-first expectations. As a result, in order to get customers to sign more and more quickly, send them contracts through chat, over the phone, or using your Salesforce account. Using PactSafe’s modern signing methods, you can do all three.

Chat

Many B2B and B2C customers are familiar with and/or use Slack or Intercom in their respective lines of work daily. PactSafe’s chat-to-sign allows you to send a contract over Slack or Intercom and allows them to read, review, and accept.

Mobile

Also, given the prevalence of mobile phones, it would be really easy to push a contract via SMS.  PactSafe’s text-to-sign is a contract that is sent and signed with a text message by simply having the end user reply, “Agree.”

Salesforce

Customers can install PactSafe’s Salesforce integration into their own Salesforce environment and easily connect to their PactSafe account. Inside the PactSafe for Salesforce app, customers can connect to all of their PactSafe contract templates and easily send them for acceptance from a Salesforce Opportunity, Account, or Contact.

These modern signing methods can allow you to send contracts to your customers exactly wherever they are. You reduce the amount of time between opportunity and close, significantly freeing up the end of the sales cycle and improving your customer experience. There is no reason to negatively impact your sales velocity when PactSafe’s API-first, integration-friendly platform can help your business to move at a competitive pace.

 

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