E-signatures have been an important part of many businesses' digital transformation. They’ve reduced paper waste and time spent printing and scanning contracts by replacing ink on paper with digital ink on PDFs. E-signatures should be easy; however, e-signatures on PDFs are just a stepping stone to a truly digital contract workflow transformation.
While PDFs and traditional e-signatures remove friction compared to ink and paper contracts, they add some of their own. File management and version control is difficult, and they aren’t easily presented for signature for the mobile-first consumers of today. While PDFs are great for creating press ready file, if we aren’t intending to print them why are saving them that way?
Unfortunately, many businesses still view e-signatures as a necessary evil—a burden to getting a deal closed. Guess what—they don’t have to be, and they shouldn’t be.
Your e-signature should integrate into your existing apps, streamlining and improving your contract workflows. They should eliminate bottlenecks, and put more productive time into your day. An e-signature API makes that possible by increasing the velocity of those contracts even more.
(Read more about why it's time to kill the PDF.)
Evaluate your current e-signature or e-signature API workflows with the criteria below.
Your e-signature API should provide value in three major areas:
- Be flexible to scale your business’ growth and product diversity;
- Easily integrate into your existing apps; (Read: Implementation should be fast, not a months-long SOW project.)
- Consist of embeddable widgets for adding fields and signing into your app.
Let’s break down these key factors and the value they provide businesses.
A flexible e-signature API should integrate quickly and easily into your app. Additionally, your e-signature API should make your contracts and signing workflows seamless. For example, if a customer receives a contract on their mobile phone they shouldn’t have to find a desktop to review and sign it.
Here’s an example: If your business manages its customers and prospects in Salesforce CRM, then your e-signature API should integrate into that. Why? CRM literally stands for Customer Relationship Management. Contracts solidify and define the scope of those relationships. Completing a contract is the first formal step in your customer onboarding process. It should be easy on both the customer’s end—and your own.
Your e-signature API should integrate into your CRM, allowing you to send contracts straight from where you’re managing and tracking your customer relationships. Send, sign, and store your contracts in a single place, making your customer management and onboarding streamlined.
Now for the techy stuff: What developer tools your e-signature API should include
Quick recap: At a high level, here are the must-haves your e-signature API should provide so your dev team is set up for success. It must have the ability to:
- Support a modern, RESTful process that’s easy to embed;
- Provide helpful SDKs in the development stack you use;
- Send contracts for signature via email or text;
- Embed signing into your app;
- Connect requests for signature from outside your app (using webhooks or some other real-time notification mechanism)
PactSafe: Your e-signature API solution
At PactSafe, we provide an e-signature API that allows you to build e-signature and click-through agreements into any app. See our Developer Toolkit to learn more and get started today.