Anybody who has signed a contract online would have come across a checkbox to give their ‘signature’. The digital signature checkbox can be directly linked to the user, just like their signature linked to them in real life. Good proposal software is the one that includes this valuable feature. Let’s take a look at what digital signatures are, and how it helps in the proposal process.
First of all, it is important not to confuse digital signatures with email signatures. The little section at the end of an email that includes a quick sign-off, the sender’s name, and contact details is not a digital signature. Digital signatures are used to sign electronic documents, proposals, contracts, or agreements, similar to handwritten signatures on physical paper.
At the heart of it, a digital signature confirms the identity of the person signing the document. It ensures that the electronic document has been signed by the person in question and that there has not been any tampering within the document.
Electronic signatures are coded and encrypted for added security. Digital signatures come with two encryption keys — a public key, and a private key. Digital signatures are based on public-key cryptography, where anything encrypted using one key can be decrypted only by the other suitable key.
The public key is available to anyone who wants to send documents to be signed. The recipient who wants to sign the document is issued a unique, encrypted key that is completely private. If the keys match, the signatures and documents are validated. If the keys do not match, the document will be nullified and all the concerned parties will be notified.
In a way, it is like this: the signature is a locked box that can be opened only with two matching keys. If the keys do not match, an alarm will go off (read notifications).
Digital signatures use the internationally accepted, standards-based PKI methodology that prevents forgery or alterations to a proposal after it is signed. This way clients can view, approve, and digitally sign proposals immediately. This ensures that sales documents are as lawfully valid as pen-and-paper documents. Digital signatures help eliminate printing, scanning, and faxing. Electronic signatures in proposal software speed up the sales process.
Proposal software for small businesses with e-signature feature automate and manage complete workflows digitally, and at the same time, comply with local and industry-standard e-signature norms. Proposal software for small businesses offers digital signature capabilities with an SSL certificate that provides proof that a proposal is not tampered with, from when it was sent. Computers tenaciously pair digital signatures to one saved version of a proposal; this makes it nearly impossible to reject a digitally signed proposal.
As a sales professional, you have sent a proposal to a prospect, knowing well that the prospect is all set to do business with your company. You sent the proposal on time in a traditional Word document; however, you are yet to hear from the prospective client. You wait anxiously, wondering why the delay.
Generally, prospects who receive proposals print the entire document, pass it on to their legal teams for confirmation, sign them physically, and then scan them to send it back to you as acknowledgment. This makes the proposal process time-consuming, adding to subsequent delays in the sales cycle. When sales teams adopt digital signatures, there is apparent and enhanced efficiency in a company’s sales process.
Proposal software for small businesses brings the benefit of paperless workflows. This ensures that proposals and sales documents can be shared easily without fearing the loss of information during transit. The digital signature feature in proposal software for small businesses ensure that companies can send signed proposals to prospects immediately at the click of a button. It also eliminates the need for photocopies, fax machines, printers, and at the same time, ensures secure, and legally binding documents.
On the other hand, prospects can digitally sign the required paperwork on the go, on laptops or smartphones, as digital signatures are legitimately acknowledged. With IP addresses, date and time, locations, and email verification, there is an entire data trail, unlike physical paperwork. The right proposal software for small businesses brings much-needed accountability through digital signatures.
Signing on paper might give the beneficiary a perceptible sense of security, but it doesn’t get more secure than the public key infrastructure that digital signatures bring to the table. Handwritten signatures can be forged, and documents can be tampered with, misplaced, or destroyed. Digitally signed documents and proposals authenticate the identity of the person signing them and also ensure that the document is not changed in any way.
Proposal software for small businesses that offer digital signatures enables saving a small fortune by going paperless. The money spent on stationery, printer and ink, and couriers is nil, given the way digital signatures work.
E-signed digital proposals, contracts, or POs can be passed over immediately to the finance department; with all the relevant information needed to invoice clients the digitally approved document ensures payment against invoices without delay.
It’s easy to include a digital signature option in the proposals that your sales teams send. Companies that offer proposal software for small businesses include e-signature as a feature in their offering.
Take Zomentum’s e-signature for example. After your sales documents are ready, just drop in the signature block. Once the prospect has read the entire document, they can easily sign the document instantly, and the sender will be notified.
As mentioned earlier, there are dozens of e-signature providers in the market; however, Zomentum is a complete sales platform that combines CRM, proposal builder with e-signature, and sales automation as a single product, allowing businesses to streamline and optimize their proposal and sales processes.
To experience how Zomentum can bring a change in the way your sales processes work, schedule a demo here.