Remember years ago when the fax machine first came out? It shortened the productivity cycle by making it possible for documents that heretofore had to be mailed…to be transferred in moments over the telephone line.
Well, there’s another such technology that emerged in recent years, and it is sweeping productivity cycles. It’s the ability to get documents signed immediately online. And the leader in that movement is “EchoSign”, which is making such waves that Adobe purchased them in 2011.
What is really fueling the acceptance of this technology is the recent release as a mobile app, which springboarded Echosign to the #1 business app earlier this month in ios (Apple) and android applications.
What’s the Fuss All About?
On first glance it looks like what you’re getting is the ability to send a document in an email for someone to sign digitally, send it back, and you’re done…and a legally binding document, to boot.
But EchoSign itself gives a clue to its hidden broader implications as it boasts that the service is all about getting Contracts Signed, Tracked, and Filed. Now, that’s 3 powerful benefits.
What if you need to send a document to more than one person, and you don’t want to waste valuable time tracking where each person stands in the process. And “Filing”…they’re talking about the capability to give each person a signed copy and to have the completed signature originals stored for you on their secure website.
An Example…Evergreen Launch of your Product
Let’s say you are getting ready to release a new $497 product you created around social media. And you decide to assemble your outsource Team to get it out the door. Perhaps, you’ll be looking at a web designer, a graphics person, a copywriter, Infusionsoft/database manager, a Marketer/Affiliate Manager, and of course, yourself.
You create a tight, but well-integrated timeline for who is to do what…by when…and now you’re ready to circulate the document to get everyone to sign off on it. What can this technology do for you (using Echosign as the example)?
Some of the Potential Uses
Again, if you move beyond the limitation of viewing this as simply a way to get documents signed and returned, some great possibilities emerge. Let’s look at a few.
* Team Management: Let’s say you have a number of people working on different pieces of a project. You can send a routing form around to be initialed when each completes his/her task. This way you always know your project status.
* Increase your Sales ‘Close Rate’: You may be a consultant proposing terms to a prospect. You send over the document during your call for quesrtions and simply instruct them to send it back e-signed. Or…your Sales Team sends a proposal after talking to a prospect and it gets opened but not signed. Here’s your opportunity to discover and handle an “Objection”.
* Integration with Systems Management: You have the capability to integrate it with Salesforce and other management programs via API’s to track movement, attach to a record or a marketing sequence, and store the document. It even integrates with documents you might already upload to Google Docs.
* Getting paid faster as a Vendor: Ever had a time when you’ve submitted an invoice and had to wait to get paid? Imagine if you were now in control, sending over an Agreement with your Terms, a required advance, and the Client’s signature.
* Gaining Affiliate compliance: As a result of the CAN-SPAM Act and other regulations, you are responsible, to a large degree, for the actions of your Affiliates. How about creating an automated process with a document detailing what you will or won’t allow the Affiliate to do in terms of promoting your product (especially with regards to Google’s Adwords or Clickbank) and require an e-signature to confirm. Oh yes, and while you’re at it, include a W9 tax form for them to sign for your records.
The bottom line in all of this is that using this tool creatively results in greater productivity because it collapses time and enhances the end-results.