How Sales Ops Can Elevate Sales Team Performance

Sales operations, a critical yet often under-appreciated function in high-performing sales teams, is all about constantly managing change. Any shift in the sales strategy or organization needs to be translated to the processes and technologies the sales team uses. Meanwhile, the landscape of sales tech itself is quickly evolving, and sales operations professionals are tasked with deciding what tools can solve immediate needs while considering the future requirements of the sales organization.

Sales tool and technology management is a big part of sales operations’ charter. But, according to the 2018 Sales Operations Optimization Study by CSO Insights, sales teams are not relying on the CRM as the only tool to drive sales success. Sales operations is increasingly leveraging other technologies to integrate with their CRM to increase sales performance. But what are the most effective technologies that the sales organization should be taking advantage of?

The right tool can make all the difference

Based on the 2019 SalesTech Benchmark Survey by Smart Selling Tools, the average number of sales tools per organization is on the rise from 4.5 in 2017 to 4.9 in 2019. The tendency is to invest in sales tech that is higher in the funnel — tools for finding leads and starting conversations. But sales ops will benefit immediately by investing in tools further down the funnel — the tools that close deals more quickly and create higher ROI.

One of these tools is e-signatures. E-signature solutions like Adobe Sign are one of the easiest to implement and most valuable tools for sales teams. Paper-based, manual contract processes are subject to delays and errors, increasing the risk of lost deals. The days of faxing a contract off to a client are over. With Adobe Sign, you can speed time-to-business cycle times by 28 times, and you can save 125 hours per user, according to data from The Total Economic Impact of Adobe Sign, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Adobe in August 2019.

These gains, according to the CSO Insights study, would count as major wins for sales organizations. More than eight in 10 organizations consider operational improvements — with minimal disruption — to be a high or medium priority in the next 24 months. More than half cite sales enablement, another benefit of this technology, as a high priority in the next two years.

In addition to time-saving benefits, e-signature technology helps sales operations get a handle on deal and pipeline tracking. From the same CSO Insights report: “The ability to track the selling process in the CRM needs to be coupled with the ability to track the buying process so that sales operations has a comprehensive view of what’s happening in the pipeline.”

Creating seamless experiences through simple implementation

E-signatures are also essential touchpoints considering the sales/customer experience often begins with an executed agreement. With a digitally streamlined experience, you’ll put your best foot forward as you begin a new business relationship.

Fortune 500 company NetApp successfully adopted e-signatures to improve workflows surrounding these initial interactions — specifically, to streamline nondisclosure agreement (NDA) execution. “We didn’t expect such a rapid rollout and adoption rate,” says Connie Brenton, director of operations and chief of staff in the legal department at NetApp. “The implementation was an immediate success, and it exposed the easy-to-use solution across the organization, leading to new ideas to further streamline other contracting processes.”

Coupling Adobe Sign with Apttus Contract Management allowed NetApp to provide their customers with integrated, seamless experiences. And the ease of adoption enabled other groups at NetApp to implement the new process within weeks.

Using Adobe Sign, Connie says, “We can complete contracts in minutes and meet deadlines that would have been impossible without leveraging this type of technology.”

High-value sales tech: E-signatures

Sales operations is becoming more strategic. While the sales operations function has traditionally modeled and implemented the decisions of others, more and more often this function is making recommendations to sales leaders on what to do. This is true in all areas of coverage, from CRM definition to operational and change management to marketing automation. Perhaps the most important area where sales operations can have a strategic impact is in sales tools and technology management. Technologies like e-signature can have an immediate impact on selling speed, integrate with the team’s existing platforms, and reduce time spent on manual tasks. This can be a home run for sales operations. The same 2019 SalesTools Benchmark Survey found that of the 10 tools with the highest adoption, e-signature earned the highest combined rating of 8.36 out of 10 for value to the organization.

About Adobe Sign

Speed your sales cycles from start to finish with Adobe Document Cloud all-digital sales processes. Get contracts signed 21 times faster with Adobe Sign. From quote through close to renewal, cut the time it takes your sales team to get sales documents created and approved. Make approvals easy, and close more deals. Learn more here.