The key to implementing e-signatures and driving organizational efficiency

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by Adobe Document Cloud Team

Posted on 11-13-2020

We’ve all had to make some significant changes in our lives over the past few months. That’s just as true for organizations as for individuals — in fact, the realities of doing business in today’s world have driven many companies to upgrade digital-first initiatives from mere best practices to mission-critical necessities.

As a growing number of companies turn increasingly toward remote digital solutions, pressure has increased for businesses to accelerate their digital journeys. This shift in thinking is crucial not only for sheer survival’s sake, but also as a forward-looking perspective that anticipates a future of ongoing evolution in demands for both internal operations and external services.

As a result, businesses are on sharp lookout for digital solutions that will drive efficiency — particularly by eliminating dependency on manual processes, easing transitions toward automation, and making daily tasks simpler for remote workers.

In some cases, the most straightforward solutions can also be the most impactful. This is certainly true of e-signatures, which tend to be overlooked in digital transformation plans, yet occupy a cornerstone position in an organization’s transition to digital-first operations.

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Let’s take a closer look at some key ways in which e-signatures serve as core components in a digital-first approach to business.

E-signatures drive organizational efficiency across numerous workflows

Yesterday’s manual, paper-based processes produce a wide range of bottlenecks for businesses. Every time a digital process falls back to paper, a workflow is disrupted — in fact, this issue has gained critical importance in the context of remote work, where paper documents may create traffic jams for days or even weeks, rather than just hours.

Aberdeen recently completed a survey of more than 2,000 businesses and found that these issues are far from insignificant. “One of the top problems respondents cited was today’s lack of in-person collaboration — those times when you’d normally just bring a document to someone in their office,” says Aberdeen research director Jim Rapoza in a recent LinkedIn Live with Adobe Document Cloud. “That’s all gone now, and we’ve had to find new ways of dealing with it.”

What’s more, physical documents and in-person workflows compromise security. Aberdeen found 47 percent of businesses cite security and compliance as top challenges, especially around documents. Every document sitting out in the open serves as an open invitation for passersby — while digital documents remain protected within secure systems. Sales, HR, and other lines of business can also be negatively impacted by paper, as physical forms hamper communication and collaboration by introducing unnecessary complexity into workflows.

Aberdeen’s research has shown, however, that e-signatures can deliver measurable benefits across all these areas.

And in the sales department in particular, Aberdeen found that when businesses adopt e-signature solutions, they become 70 percent more likely to achieve their sales goals, three times more likely to see faster and more efficient sales cycles, and 80 percent more likely to improve customer retention rates.

Effective e-signature implementation requires infrastructure integration

Since e-signatures have been available for years, vendors have proliferated — each catering to different subsets of the market. When selecting an e-signature provider for your business, a key consideration should be your existing infrastructure. For example, if your teams perform daily work within Microsoft 365 and Dynamics, you’ll want to seek out an e-signature provider designed to work with those platforms natively.

That’s exactly what Adobe Sign provides. Through our integration with Microsoft 365 and Dynamics, we’ve made digital document workflows seamless while dramatically reducing processing time. But the benefits of e-signature adoption extend far beyond time savings, as Aberdeen’s research found that organizations that deployed e-signatures integrated with systems like Microsoft 365 were twice as likely to have confidence in the quality, accuracy, and delivery of their business documents.

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“The impact of non-paper processes spans sales, HR, and every department throughout the business,” says Rapoza. “Everything you do in a business, from hiring to onboarding, requires some form of approval, and that requires a signature. And you can’t say you’re a digitally modern business if you’re still sending approval docs through a fax machine.”

In other words, a business that aims not only to survive, but to thrive in this uncertain world must adopt a digital-first mindset — not only for internal operations, but also for frictionless customer-facing experiences. Cumbersome, inefficient digital experiences drive customers toward your competition — and many such roadblocks are easy to prevent with the simple integration of e-signature solutions.

And that’s only the beginning. E-signatures can also serve as initial proof points for a larger-scale digital transformation initiative. As the value of e-signatures becomes apparent, you’ll find that modernization of other operations becomes an easier sell at the C-suite level. And that modernization is particularly critical in our current situation, when business resiliency depends, more than ever, on delighting both customers and employees.

To learn more about how your organization can leverage e-signatures as a proof point for digital transformation, download Adobe and Aberdeen’s free eBook, How E-signatures Can Accelerate Workplace Transformation for All Areas of Your Business. Be sure to also watch our on-demand LinkedIn Live session with Aberdeen research director Jim Rapoza for further insights on the value of e-signatures in today’s workplace.

Topics: Trends & Research, Insights & Inspiration, B2B, Document Cloud, Productivity,

Products: Sign, Document Cloud,