CRM has done wonders for automating the sales process and helping salespeople execute on a cadence of sales activities, follow a standard process and keep up with customers. Unfortunately, this is only half the battle in creating a truly efficient prospect-to-pay process.
Most sales cycles require a number of sometimes complex and burdensome documents to proceed to closure. And, if our experience is any guide, it is the creation of these documents that causes immense pain for most salespeople and can delay and even lose sales in some cases.
NDAs, Proposals, Services Statements of Work, Business Cases, Sales Contracts, even customized collateral can be automated to accelerate the sales cycle, reduce the need for lawyers to create and review large volumes of contracts, and increase compliance with internal process and procedures.
Document generation can solve this problem by creating standardized templates, clauses and business rules that are owned and controlled by legal and/or sales operations so that every document that is created is done so in a compliant fashion. No more rogue Limitation of Liability clauses or unprofitable pricing. No more out-of-date templates or old bottom drawer contracts re-used inappropriately.
While ensuring compliance, document generation also empowers salespeople to create the necessary documents themselves in real time (with non-standard deals automatically escalated to legal on an exception basis). No more backlogs means more satisfied customers.
So, if the documents and contracts in your sales cycle are somewhat negotiable and fairly repetitive and predictable, and if the creation of these documents is slow and painful, you might want to consider automating them.