A signature of change: Adobe Acrobat Sign's role in National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s operational transformation

Image of man in a cowboy hat.

Courtesy of BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

When time is of the essence, advancing the use of automated e-signatures across an organization is a must. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) integrated Adobe Acrobat Sign as their go-to e-signature solution across all departments, tailoring its use to fit the unique needs of each team. NCBA is harnessing the transformative power of Acrobat Sign, proving it to be a catalyst for thriving business operations and success.

Maximizing opportunities at the high-stakes NCBA trade show

NCBA is an American trade association and lobbying group working for American beef producers, employing upwards of 150 people. The annual NCBA trade show is a significant event for the beef industry, but not just another trade show — it's a major gathering that draws cattle producers, industry members, and merchants from all over the United States and beyond.

For NCBA’s three-member tradeshow sales team, the stakes at this event are sky-high, as it represents a whopping 90 percent of their sales for the next year's convention. Jessica Garcia, senior director of Application Management at NCBA, and her IT colleagues faced a critical task: help the booth sales organization navigate this intense sales event more efficiently while also delivering a better experience to association members and vendors.

Integrating a tried-and-true solution

First, the IT team needed to figure out how to accommodate the booth sales team’s existing use of a customized Computer-Aided Design (CAD) floorplan program. The program excels in showcasing booth options and promotional programs to customers, playing a pivotal role during the annual convention's frenetic three days. However, while the CAD program is invaluable in its ability to showcase booth options, its standalone nature led to isolated data pockets and transparency issues.

Garcia and her colleagues then implemented Salesforce as a comprehensive CRM solution, strategically integrating it with the CAD program allowing the booth sales team to continue using the CAD program and have all updated customer data automatically and seamlessly merged into Salesforce.

Overcoming contract delays with Acrobat Sign

Once the convention was over, booth sales reps began the time-consuming process of manually entering data and custom terms for each exhibitor contract. Unfortunately, the delay in generating contracts meant the urgency to sign often faded, so closing deals could take months — or not close at all.

To further streamline the booth sales contract workflow, Garcia integrated Acrobat Sign with Salesforce, automating the booth sales process from beginning to end. Using Document Builder, a powerful feature that Adobe designed specifically for the Acrobat Sign and Salesforce integration, Garcia automated the creation of every custom booth contract in seconds.

A new automated process helps close business faster

This year before the 2023 convention, Garcia created booth contract templates with Document Builder functionality, so that content fields would automatically pre-populate with accurate customer data from Salesforce. Using Document Builder’s conditional logic ensured each contract’s calculations would accurately reflect a customer’s discount status. And Document Builder’s intelligent formatting capabilities automatically ensured that every table and list instantly adjusted to content length, delivering a very professional, polished contract.

As the booth sales team returned from convention, they were relieved to discover that the previous, painstaking process of creating custom contracts had been significantly streamlined. Now all new customer information entered into the CAD program during convention appeared directly in Salesforce where opportunities were quickly generated. When they opened a contract template, it was automatically updated with the right data for that specific customer, including all contract calculations.

“No one on the booth team needed to pull out a calculator,” said Garcia. ”All they needed to do, was send each custom contract out for e-signature. And because it took less time to create contracts, customers were able to review them when the convention experience was fresh in their minds. Consequently, our booth sales team received signed contracts much faster than before.”

Outside of the booth sales team, NCBA also has a dedicated sales team that sells a range of products and advertising services throughout the year. Some of their proposals are large and complex, requiring manual entry of product data and related photos. Given the effectiveness of the new Acrobat Sign and Salesforce integration, NCBA plans to automate the wider proposal generation and e-signature process within Salesforce.

“The point of having a CRM system is to ensure everyone uses it, has access to the latest data, and is on the same page,” states Garcia. “By automating all our sales agreements in the Acrobat Sign and Salesforce integration, any sales rep will be able to see a complete customer history, including all contracts and their statuses. And the trade show team really appreciates the automatic way they can send reminders with Acrobat Sign.”

Extending automation beyond sales agreements

NCBA recently integrated the Acrobat Sign API into their research grant approval process, which was previously quite paper-intensive. The incorporation of the Acrobat Sign API transformed this process, facilitating the creation of a dedicated online portal for research grant proposals. This portal permits proposers to e-sign their submissions, thereby eliminating physical documentation and making for a much faster review and approval process. To date, NCBA has processed more than 100 research requests using this automated process.

With the help of Power Automate, NCBA has automated an additional 30–40 workflows across various teams. Their HR department, for example, sends out updated policies to NCBA employee handbook every year. With the integration of Acrobat Sign and Power Automate, updated policies are seamlessly sent to employees, e-signatures are collected, and documents are auto-saved directly into the appropriate SharePoint site and library, where permissions are trimmed as needed.

The power of versatile e-signature solutions

The digital transformation journey of NCBA illuminates the power of versatile e-signature solutions in enabling business efficiency and success. Whether it's an NCBA employee from any department sending an agreement, a sales representative utilizing Acrobat Sign within the Salesforce integration, or a grant applicant submitting and signing their application via the Acrobat Sign API, the standardization on Acrobat Sign has been the key to unlocking speed, simplicity, and productivity in their operations.

This journey underscores that digital transformation, driven by versatile and reliable solutions like Acrobat Sign, is a strategic catalyst for sustained business success. As NCBA's story shows, when you empower teams with the right solutions, there's no limit to how much more efficiently and effectively you can operate, manage contracts, and ultimately, speed business.

Join us — live

Interested in learning more? We’ll be at the Salesforce Dreamforce on September 12-14, 2023 at booth #836

Contact usto schedule a meeting. If you’re attending remotely, let’s start a conversation.

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