With the pandemic showing no signs of letting up in the U.S., your clients could be conducting online and phone sales for the foreseeable future. As the sales process shifts from in-person interactions to mostly digital, they could ask for your help making that transition.

Companies used to selling a certain way may have problems making a big move like this. Luckily there are tools available to help shift the entire sales process – from proposal to signature – to digital.

These tools are often called “Quote to Cash” because they involve creating the proposal, writing the contract, and collecting payment. An adjacent category is CPQ, short for configure, price, quote. This enables you to choose a configuration, generate a price and then produce a quote – all in an automated way.

Who can help?

There are a number of SaaS vendors who can help you as you look to move the sales process online. Salesforce bought Quote to Cash vendor Steelbrick at the end of 2015 for $360 million. Today that product is called Salesforce CPQ, a nod the CPQ side of the equation, but they also include a billing component to collect that all-important cash.

Another vendor that could help is PandaDoc. It helps you generate a proposal with pre-designed templates for different types of sales. From there, you can monitor the proposal and view statistics including the number of opens and time spent on each page.

After you win the sale, you can write the contract, send it to the customer, get an electronic signature and collect your money, all from the same tool.

Dropbox lets you create a proposal in Dropbox Paper, generate a contract, then get a signature with HelloSign, a company it bought in 2019 for $230 million. Other tools like Apptus or the HubSpot Sales Quote tool allow you to do something similar. In some cases, you will need to use a third-party electronic signature tool like DocuSign to get the signature electronically.

Whatever combination of tools you choose to use, the idea is to find a tool set that you’re comfortable recommending to your clients. The goal is to make the process as fully digital as possible, even if the solution isn’t an end-to-end offering from a single vendor.

As the pandemic continues to disrupt normal operations, finding ways to change old workflows will pay off when you get back to the office, whenever that happens to be. None of the work you put it in to shift to digital workflows will be in vain.

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Photo: Peera_stockfoto / Shutterstock

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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