As the beating heart of the organisation, the sales team shoulders a big burden. It’s their responsibility to nurture the relationships and sign the contracts that keep business moving forward. Anything that holds them back from doing these things well deserves scrutiny.

In our new eBook for sales professionals, Trades and Transactions, we look at one significant area that can hinder sales performance. Put simply, it’s paper. Our research finds that 84% of sales agreements still include manual processes. These processes are slow and expensive for both parties in the agreement – putting the sales team at a disadvantage against more agile competitors.

Sluggish agreement cycles can cause costly delays, like failing to complete a new business deal inside of a strict procurement deadline. Or losing an account because of poor customer service. In fact, 45% of firms believe manual agreement processes have led to negative customer experiences.

The case for automation

Modern clients want to work with organisations that respond to their needs quickly and thoughtfully. Automating the agreement cycle does in a number of ways. It enables consistency from transaction to transaction, it reduces the risk of error, and it helps to ensure your contracts comply with the latest regulations.

While B2B and B2C sales agreements can vary significantly, there is something that they have in common: all agreements need to be prepared, signed, acted on and managed. The good news is that over half (65%) of sales teams are using eSignatures to automate the signing process.

Not so good is that the other stages in the agreement process are still typically manual. In fact, 49% of businesses have trouble finding and managing their agreements and verifying that they are secure.

Optimising your agreement processes

The solution to this is a unified platform, where agreements can be created, acted on and managed in a way that reduces negotiation time, errors and manual labour.

With end-to-end agreement lifecycle management in place, sales departments can send out agreements – be they estimates, quotes, service contracts, recurring payments or renewals – faster and more reliably. Agreements are easier to find, and they come with an auditable data trail and advanced reporting capabilities.

Stakeholders are notified when their input is needed, leading to a shorter sales cycle, happier customers and a healthier bottom line. It’s all about streamlining systems to make life easier for customers and give your sales team more time to focus on the things that matter: lead generation and nurturing existing relationships.

Download the eBook to learn more.