Just like Law & Order: SVU, cloud-based sales technologies kicked off in 1999 and somehow continue to come out with new material 20 years later.
Since the debut of Salesforce’s cloud-based CRM in 1999, thousands of new sales automation solutions have been introduced to the market. Each with the promise of enhancing efficiency and saving time.
But as any good sales leader knows, increasing efficiency through technology doesn’t mean adopting many different technologies. It means strategically identifying the tech that works for you and your sales team, and finding opportunities to bring things under one roof.
According to a recent study by RingCentral, two-thirds of workers spend at least 60 minutes a day toggling back and forth between apps. This adds up to more than a month lost every year and costs billions of dollars in lost productivity annually for businesses.
[queue dramatic *CHUNG CHUNG*]
Two-thirds of workers spend at least 60 minutes a day toggling back and forth between apps. This adds up to more than a month lost every year and costs billions of dollars in lost productivity annually for businesses.
At RFPIO, we automate our responses to RFPs, RFIs, security questionnaires, and other complicated questionnaires using our own RFP automation solution. But if we needed to get anything signed—be it a cover letter, an NDA, or a contract—we would need to make a special trip into a separate e-signature tool.
So we decided to bring e-signature and proposal management under one roof, with our brand spanking new e-signature tool: Autograph.
Autograph is an e-signature tool designed specifically for sales and proposal teams. But the best news is that it’s absolutely free to RFPIO customers.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s clear up some basics.
What is electronic signature (e-signature)?
Electronic signature, e-signature, or digital signature is an efficient, legally binding way to get approval on electronic documents.
For any electronic signature solution to be legally binding, it must:
- Enable signing parties to explicitly consent to use electronic signature and do business electronically,
- Give users the choice to decline to sign electronically,
- Track how the document was signed, and
- Send a copy of the completed/signed document to all signing parties.
Sales and proposal teams use electronic signatures on documents like NDAs, cover letters, legal documents, disclosures, and more. Unlike traditionally signed documents—which take 5-6 days to process—electronically signed documents can be signed within minutes.
With Autograph, you can embed e-signature within your proposal management solution, further streamlining the e-signature process by keeping your signed documents all in one place.
How to sign sales contracts online (and other documents) with Autograph
Signing sales documents using Autograph is extremely intuitive. Just like many other e-signature tools, e-signing documents using Autograph can be done in just 4 steps.
Step 1: Open the document for signature
Navigate to the Autograph dashboard, click on “Awaiting my signature”, and click open the document. You can also open the document directly from your email.
Step 2: Consent to online signature
When you open the document, you’ll see a prompt to ask you to read the Electronic Record & Signature Disclosure. After reading this document, click the box to indicate that you consent to using electronic signature and doing business electronically.
Step 3: Start signing
Sign and initial where indicated in a couple clicks. Autograph stores your preferred signature and initials, so it’s ready for you when you need it.
Step 4: Download documents
Download a copy of the signed document for your records. A copy will also be sent to your email, and you can access other documents you’ve signed from your Autograph dashboard.
How to integrate e-signature into your sales tech stack
If you’re already an RFPIO customer (or planning to be) integrating e-signature into your sales tech stack is as easy as opening your RFPIO dashboard. Autograph is included with all RFPIO subscriptions—and it’s totally free for all RFPIO users at your company. Which, if you’re taking advantage of our unlimited licensing model, means everyone.
The most challenging part of any new tool—even if it’s free for everyone, easy to use, and integrates into existing processes—is getting people to use it. People don’t like change, even if the change is good for them.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for getting the rest of your organization rocking and rolling in Autograph:
Step 1: Get buy-in from leadership
When you’re having the conversation with leadership about Autograph, make sure to bring up the fact that it’s free for all RFPIO users. If you’re already paying for an RFPIO subscription, using Autograph is a no-brainer.
Here’s a sample email template you can use when sharing information about this new feature with leadership:
SUBJECT: Free e-signature feature included with our existing subscription
RFPIO, our proposal automation solution, has just introduced a built-in e-signature functionality—at no additional cost to us.
Because we have an unlimited user license with RFPIO, anyone at can use e-signature for free.
I’d love to help get the team up and running with this tool. I’ll be scheduling training sessions with the team over the next couple of weeks.
Can you help communicate the importance of this free new feature with the rest of the team?
Step 2: Schedule training
The key to helping your team get up and running with e-signature is to show them how it works. Schedule a training session to show them how they can use Autograph to sign NDAs, contracts, and other documents.
If you have a large team, it’s better to roll out the new tool in waves. Rather than trying to train everyone all at once, start with a small group and expand from there.
Step 3: Share information
Before you conduct your training session, send an email to your team with information about Autograph, the training agenda, and other resources they can peruse.
Here’s a sample template you can use:
SUBJECT: Announcement: New e-signature tool training
I’m excited to announce that RFPIO, our proposal automation solution, has recently introduced a built-in e-signature functionality!
I’ve just sent out an invitation for a training session to show you how to use the tool, and answer any questions you might have.
Let me know if you have any questions.
See you during the training!
Step 4: Schedule follow-up training
Remember: Training is not a “one-and-done” thing. People hate change, even if it’s good for them.
Schedule regular follow-up training to see what questions people have, what users want to learn more about, or are struggling to understand.
Start e-signing contracts, sales documents, and more
Autograph is free for all RFPIO users, which makes sending and signing documents that much easier.
If you’re already an RFPIO customer, check out our Help Center article for detailed instructions on using Autograph.
If you’re thinking about becoming a customer, schedule a demo to see how Autograph works.