Variety is the spice of life, and it’s part of what makes the Salesforce admin’s job worthwhile. And challenging.
I don’t need to tell you that a Salesforce admin plays many different roles. Marches to the beat of many different drums. You could even say, has many masters. Your job is endlessly interesting — and demanding– because you are not only a Salesforce expert, but also act as support staff, a user trainer, a business analyst, plus a few other titles, on any given day. It goes without saying that doing your job well makes a world of difference, not only for sales, but for many other departments, as well, including marketing, sales ops, and finance. Implementing creative, effective changes for your users can create tremendous value across departments because they touch so many key players in the organization.
The most effective changes you can make are ones that simplify what users have to do day to day, especially when it comes to automating document and contract processes. If you eliminate processes your users have to repeat multiple times every day, you are going to make a difference in their lives. They’ll gain time back on their over-committed calendars. They will get to focus on more strategic jobs. They’ll be sure that the critical information they need to generate gets sent out on time and is received.
You’ll be a hero to a lot of people. And you’ll be a hero to your company.
Automating document processes streamlines basic procedures, reduces costs, and boosts productivity. And when it’s done to scale, it can create significant, meaningful business outcomes for the whole organization. It can improve customer service, make the organization more competitive, drive compliance, and lower costs and increase productivity for the entire organization, not just individuals.
It’s all about better documents – and better document automation
Most likely you have some form of document automation in your Salesforce instance. But how do you take that to the next level, to create real change for frontline users and measurable benefits for your entire organization? Here are 3 areas where you can you build out and extend document automation that will make a huge difference.
1. Automate document creation for every step in the customer journey.
Work with business process owners and the frontline employees under them to understand all of the documents in processes they oversee, and how they are used. Then create automated templates for all of them. Also, ensure that the documents created are customizable, drawing customer data from your CRM, so that they target individual prospects and customers at each touch point, without requiring manual work from the users who create and send them out. This should include sales documents (proposals, quotes, contracts), but also the marketing collateral that is sent out before a lead is converted to an opportunity. It should also extend beyond the sale, to customer documents like quarterly business reviews, reports, and invoices.
This level of comprehensive, automated document creation is a step above and beyond isolated templates that automate the creation of individual documents.
As an admin, you have the ability to automate the templates that create all of these documents, resulting in a true, end-to-end chain of documents that follow the customer from start to finish, and stretch across departments in your organization.
2. Create automated processes to connect all of those documents.
Once you’ve looked at automating document creation across departments and stakeholders, you should connect those dots. Find solutions that will automate the distribution of the documents, in batches or ad hoc, or that will send out a given customer communication document when triggered with a Salesforce workflow rule. Work with your users to identify reporting tasks that can be automated, so that they no longer need to manually generate and send out reports they create regularly. Find solutions to automatically route the documents created, where they can be accessed and stored according to pre-set rules and policies. If your workflows and approvals are complex, look for ways to automate the steps in those processes. You will save your users a ton of time and accelerate your business’s processes. This will make a big difference to your organization, and raise your profile as a Salesforce hero.
3. Integrate eSignature.
Most businesses that have some type of document automation have also adopted some form of electronic signature. If not, this is a component of document automation you cannot overlook. Let’s say the document is created automatically via a template, pulling the correct data from Salesforce, and it’s customized for a particular individual customer at a specific touch point in the buying cycle. If the process ends with a paper document that needs to be signed, there are numerous downsides. It takes time and money to get a paper signed, to record the signature, and to store the final document. At the same time, eSignature solutions that are expensive, that are difficult to set up and administer because they do not integrate well with the rest of the document lifecycle or the document generation solutions that you have in place, don’t really add to effective document automation.
Identifying and implementing a cost-effective, pragmatic, and seamlessly integrated solution is key. Ideally, the electronic signature should be built for Salesforce. This is the point where all of the hard work you have done is leading to. Work with your stakeholders to identify, create, and integrate the documents needed for the steps the customer takes. Work to automate and the processes that route those documents effectively, that deliver them, secure approvals, and store the finalized documents. The final step, the eSignature step, is one where your users shouldn’t have to leave Salesforce to get the customer signature on their document.
Tools for better document automation
At Conga, we have built a powerful suite of tools to help you automate engaging documents for all of your Salesforce users, at each customer touchpoint in the business cycle where they need to create and send documents. With Conga’s product suite, you also can implement automated distribution of these documents, as well as automate the workflows and approvals that they need to go through. And Conga Sign is our integrated, automated eSignature solution built for the Salesforce platform that makes quick, secure electronic signing simple for your users.
Once you’ve used this combination of solutions to build out and deepen your organization’s document automation, there will be a lot of happy customers thanking you for it. You’ll be a Salesforce hero.