In today’s technological age, electronic signatures are quickly becoming the status quo. E-signatures are as legally binding as handwritten ink signatures. Also, they are more convenient, and they remove the cost of printing out hard copies of documents or paying postage to send documents out for signatures. Using electronic signatures also significantly reduces transaction time and keeps sensitive documents and contracts safe. As you are trying to brainstorm about how you can reduce the time of your contract lifecycle? If so, finding a contract management system that integrates with DocuSign is the best first step. Read our ultimate guide to improving your contract processing time from sale to signature to make improvements to your whole system. Once you have the right tools, take the time to improve your signature request process. We offer six guidelines to improve your signature requirements to make them more manageable for you.
1. Appoint Signatories by Document Type
Not all documents need approval or signatures from every decision-maker in your company. If some of your approvals basically serve as a rubber stamp, cut them out. Evaluate your documents and contracts. Determine who needs to sign or approve different terms. You can improve your signature process and save time by appointing signatories to each different type of document your company uses. For example, your facility manager can be responsible for lease documents and vendor contracts. Using contract management software allows you to create standardized workflows so that you can assign future signatures to specific parties.
2. Automate the Signature Pathway
Signature requirements aren’t as efficient as they can be when documents pass through multiple hands. This can create bottlenecks and slow down workflow in one or more departments, as well as slowing down negotiations and execution of a contract. Contract management software can help you automate your signature pathways. Instead of emailing the documents to a general department inbox, the CMS sends an alert straight to the signatory. The document never leaves the contract tracking tool, and there’s no game of telephone.
3. Provide Enhanced Security
Printing and sending highly sensitive documents through the mail, via fax, via courier, or even via external email can be a risky endeavor. Nefarious types who are looking for information or trade secrets related to your business can access or obtain the information they need and want through traditional channels used to acquire signatures. You can improve your signature requirements by using contract management software e-signature programs such as DocuSign. Then, you can securely send and sign documents from within the contract management system. Remember, electronic signatures are legally valid. Unless your customer demands a manual signature, keep your document and your company safe. When you send contracts out for signatures through a CMS, they are typically encrypted from end-to-end. This keeps them safe from purposeful or accidental exposure to the wrong eyes.
4. Enable Mobile Access
Time away from the office for business or personal reasons happens regularly. Your CEO or CFO might never be in the office for a full day. Salespeople might have to travel throughout a territory or take frequent trips away from the office. Key signatories might have to travel to meetings or conferences. So giving employees remote access to complete key tasks is essential. Contract management software eliminates the wait for a signature until a person returns to the office. It doesn’t even have to wait until they sign into their work computer. Instead, mobile access allows users to sign from almost anywhere, by using any computer, tablet, laptop, or smartphone. Because the document stays entirely within the app, the process stays secure and trackable.
5. Track Signature Status
Even the best signature process will encounter delays. Waiting on in-process signatures can be frustrating. But it’s even worse if you aren’t sure exactly whose desk a contract might be sitting on. Contract management software allows you to track any actions related to a specific document or contract. When you can track signature status, you can find out where regular delays occur and focus on improving the slowdown or eliminating a bottleneck. You can also keep an eye on the high-priority documents as they shift from signatory to signatory.
6. Automate Due Dates and Alerts
Part of improving your signature process means keeping documents and contracts moving past each decision maker. Contract managers and their teams can be overwhelmed and extremely busy. It’s difficult to monitor each and every contract. Contract management software allows users to keep things moving by monitoring workflows through setting due dates and creating alerts. As you create your standard workflows, enable the alert function to trigger a reminder after 24 or 48 hours. When signatories miss due dates, contract managers can have the system automatically send another alert.Contract management software offers several avenues for you to improve your signature requirements. When you can get signatures more reliably, you can close deals and execute contracts more quickly. Contact us to learn more about how the right contract management software can help your organization, or sign up for a free demo.