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Since 1994 (when selling online started), e-commerce has evolved from an abstract concept to a multi-trillion dollar industry. And digital transformation has impacted the go-to-market strategy of virtually every business out there.
However, selling online and taking advantage of this trend isn’t simply complete by adding a store page to your website. Sales teams and the processes that support traditional purchases must be adapted to fit the digital environment.
As your customers come to expect this new way of interaction and buying, the best place to start updating your sales initiatives is with a traditional element that digital transformation often fails to address: contracting.
Related Content: Digital Transformation Is Worth the Investment, Even Now
In an online sales environment, pen and paper contracts obviously don’t apply – and eSignature agreements are far from optimal when it comes to streamlining your go-to-market strategy. So, here are five things you need to do to successfully move your business online.
Selling online happens in seconds. In most cases, your customers want a streamlined experience where they can make purchases with a single click. So, why use a contract signature process that takes longer than the original transaction?
An overly lengthy sales cycle and antiquated contracting doesn’t just negatively impact your customers, though. Salespeople responsible for managing and collecting these agreements quickly become overwhelmed by the increased volume a digital channel creates – leading to bottlenecks and inefficiencies wherever traditional contracts are concerned.
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Simply put, your digital transformation strategy doesn’t have time to waste. At the speed business moves today, any extra steps you or your customers have to take can be quite costly to your organization.
In fact, our research shows that anyone still using Word-to-PDF B2B contract flows experience a two-week average turnaround time from commitment to purchase. However, whenever click-to-accept contract technology is implemented, the average turnaround time drops to just 14 hours and 26 minutes.
This is just one example of what happens when your contracting methods aren’t optimized to support your online selling environment. By updating and digitally transforming your go-to-market strategy, additional advantages such as reduced customer acquisition product delivery costs can be uncovered to deliver even greater ROI to your team.
It’s also important to think about which devices your contracting scheme currently supports because a large percentage of customers aren’t using a computer to read and agree to your terms.
According to Google, more than 40% of all online transactions are taking place on mobile devices today. And this is a trend that will only continue to grow, making it clear that the most successful online sales initiatives moving forward are the ones that adopt mobile-friendly contracts.
Without these mobile-friendly contract options, your traditional signing methods largely aren’t compatible for potential buyers browsing your products via smartphone – meaning any transaction that begins on a mobile device will hit a wall that forces the user to either start over on another device or simply move on instead.
Related Content: How to Help Your Customers Sign Contracts More Quickly
To shorten your sales cycle and provide a better online customer experience, consider adding these priorities to your digital transformation considerations:
If you haven’t explored how much your contracts are costing your go-to-market strategy recently, you may be surprised at how much they’re impacting your bottom line. If selling online features outdated technologies and signing methods, upgrading to a more efficient contracting system can dramatically boost your profitability.
According to the IACCM, the average mid-complexity contracts costs roughly $21,300 to assemble. And that figure has risen almost 40% in the last six years.
For even more complex agreements, these costs can easily reach six-figure territory – meaning inefficiencies can cost you millions of dollars every day (depending on the number of agreements you’re currently managing). But digital contracting doesn’t have to cost so much. By eliminating redundancies and adopting new, technology-driven processes, digital transformation can bring down the relative cost of each sale by:
A streamlined customer experience is the goal for any digital sales environment – and automation has become a major factor in making this a reality. While there are a variety of ways to apply automation to a go-to-market strategy, the end result is a contract process that minimizes the number of touch points required to come to an agreement, thereby maximizing the likelihood a customer accepts your terms.
As your online sales environment grows, automation allows a go-to-market strategy to scale without increasing the amount of time your team spends on managing contracts. Not to mention it eliminates the potential for human errors at each touchpoint throughout the process, too. As long as the initial setup is performed accurately, there’s no need to doubt or double-check the end result.
When it comes to selling online, most of the contracts you use can be automated to some degree – even it that digital transformation looks different from one agreement to the next. The level of automation simply depends on how much personalization is needed, how many times the contract is expected to be issued, and how the agreement is delivered to your customers.
However, there’s one key to making automated contracts work: adopting an acceptance mindset. By shifting away from labor-intensive processes and lengthy negotiations to pre-approved agreements and sets of terms, your go-to-market strategy can dramatically accelerate its sales cycle and the rate at which your team closes deals.
Selling online means subjecting your business to multiple laws and regulations brick-and-mortar channels don’t have to deal with. In a digital environment, you’re responsible for reviewing and knowing all applicable rules.
Before you launch your online store, make sure to update your:
Today, selling online is the most efficient and effective way to accelerate business growth and go-to-market strategy innovation. But digital transformation can help your career, too.
Check out our latest eBook, A Salesperson’s Guide to Beating Growth Goals, to learn how!