An organisation tends to live and die by the agreements it makes. Whether it is the contracts the business signs, the partnerships it forms or the way it interacts with customers, every organisation needs a formal process to capture and store agreements.
DocuSign has long been a leader in the digital capture and management of agreements. Now, it is expanding its channel presence as end-users look for tailored solutions to their specific needs.
Five years ago, DocuSign established a direct presence in Australia. Since then, the Sydney office – which also acts as the Asia-Pacific headquarters – has nearly doubled its local revenue and is now staffed by 120 people.
That growth also signals an escalation in channel engagement. DocuSign has appointed four dedicated channel account managers and signed 66 active partners across distribution and reselling. Some of those partners are Independent Software Vendors that are integrating the DocuSign solution with custom applications for their customers.
How DocuSign is resonating in the market
Forrester research has found adopting DocuSign as a management tool improves the efficiency of an organisation by 1.35 hours for every internal transaction, and a reduction in not-in-good-order (NIGO) errors of 90 per cent. This translates to $215,378 in productivity gains for the organisation.
DocuSign recently released the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, a collection of more than a dozen applications, which include over 350 integrations, covering the entire agreement process, from the preparation of an agreement through to the management of the end of life of that agreement. This highly customisable and tailored tool opens opportunities for the channel to deeply engage with its customers.
The DocuSign Agreement Cloud follows its $US220m strategic acquisition of SpringCM in 2018.
SpringCM is an on-demand content management platform that has been deeply integrated within the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, giving it breadth across the entire life-cycle of any signed document and agreement.
The DocuSign Agreement Cloud addresses five key elements of agreements:
Prepare: Organisations can negotiate contracts from within the DocuSign Agreement Cloud platform, generate sales contracts within Salesforce, and provide stakeholders with simple, guided forms, rather than complex blocks of text.
Sign: Organisations can sign and send forms from within the platform. The DocuSign Agreement Cloud also features enhanced identity options – such as the ability to verify government-issued IDs – and functionality to allow customers to capture consent with a single click.
Act: The DocuSign Agreement Cloud can automate agreement workflow as part of the contract lifecycle management system, and collect payments via credit card (and other popular methods).
Manage: Companies manage contracts more efficiently through index and search features, as well as AI-driven analytics and clause identification. The DocuSign Agreement Cloud also centralises these contracts into a single location.
Integrate: DocuSign Agreement Cloud is a highly customisable solution with APIs and SDKs allowing for additional application development if an organisation has a specific need, beyond the 350+ pre-built integrations.
The DocuSign solution is both specialised – it can handle the nuanced needs of any vertical – and general, in that what it offers is applicable to every vertical. While there is a range of specialised solutions for specific verticals natively within the Agreement Cloud, the DocuSign solution isn’t exclusive to those customers. The company maintains a robust channel partner program because it wants to engage with reseller and ISV specialists to provide equally tailored solutions to other vertical markets.
The role of the channel with DocuSign
DocuSign has developed a comprehensive partner program around three core principles:
Connectivity: DocuSign’s solution integrates with the most recognised platforms in the tech industry. This means it can be presented as a solution that “slots in” comfortably with existing environments, rather than requiring an all-of-IT refresh.
Profitable: DocuSign offers partners higher up-front margins than other high-volume Cloud products.
Business Value: DocuSign’s solutions are not just relevant to customer’s IT teams, but help to engage with other lines of business such as sales, HR, legal and procurement.
To help facilitate these three principles for the local reseller market, DocuSign has formed a distribution partnership with Ingram Micro, providing resellers with the scale and support of the region’s largest distributor.
DocuSign’s partners benefit through its referral program. They can either choose to resell DocuSign or refer the lead to DocuSign. More than half of its partner network has chosen the latter. This is because systems integrators and implementation partners often have the technical competencies to deliver the kind of custom solution many organisations need with DocuSign, but would prefer DocuSign directly manage the relationship and negotiate the terms of service of the product.
This also makes it easier for a reseller to become a partner with DocuSign, and start selling solutions immediately. With the ability to refer, partners can take on the technology solutions without needing the sales teams to become instant experts. DocuSign’s partner program still protects the lead and work for the partner while allowing a joint sales strategy across DocuSign and its partner.
DocuSign also supplies technical and training resources to its partner network. The partner program incorporates in-depth training and marketing support. Resellers with software development capabilities, or ISVs that want to partner with DocuSign, also benefit from the host of developer tools and services that are available through the DocuSign developer portal, the Developer Center.
This Developer Center features the tools developers need to take ownership of the technology, and the way that their customers interact with it. Features include:
- SDKs in all supported languages
- Full reference documentation
- Free sandbox accounts
DocuSigns flexibility requires it also have a robust set of APIs.
By using these APIs, a reseller can develop and to tailor a software solution to fit a customer’s specific environment, at a native level. This allows for seamless integration, and means the reseller can deliver a rapid solution with minimal need for organisational change management.
The power of DocuSign in action
Social media network for professionals, LinkedIn, has become more than a tool for job ads and self-promotion thanks to solutions such as LinkedIn Talent Advantage – a suite of tools that help customers acquire better talent, faster.
To enable the “faster” element, LinkedIn turned to DocuSign.
By implementing DocuSign for Salesforce, LinkedIn no longer requires customers to print, sign, and fax or post contracts. This accelerates the speed at which LinkedIn’s Talent Advantage solution operates. The time to invoice was reduced from 25 days to five. Contract workflows were streamlined by being hosted directly within the existing Salesforce environment.
Salesforce also implemented DocuSign internally to manage the strain dealing with agreements was putting on staff. Every contract Salesforce’s sales representatives prepared had to be done manually, over a three-step process. Consequently, the sales team was busy managing agreements manually rather than getting out and making sales.
Thanks to DocuSign’s deep integration within Salesforce, the team can automatically provision new accounts as customers come on board, and automatically fill in the forms before sending them out electronically. As a result, 90 per cent of agreements are now signed on the same day – 71 per cent within the hour, and 85 per cent of sales agreements are now no-touch for the company, freeing up substantial amounts of time to deepen sales outreach projects.
Australian marketplace lender, Wisr, is a new wave fintech organisation that relies entirely on digital platforms, has no bricks-and-mortar stores. Its customers expect real-time service. The longer a customer has to wait for a loan application to be approved, the more likely it is the application will be abandoned. For any digital business, the “checkout cart” abandoned rate is a critical metric in determining the health of the business.
With DocuSign pinning a 90-minute turnaround for loan approvals, Wisr keeps its customers happy by ensuring they don’t have to wait. And by using automation, it freed staff from the mundane elements of the process, and grew its broker channel from 2000 to 10,000 in six months.
The case studies demonstrate the highly tailored – and specialised – approach to company agreements in various sectors of the workplace. The breadth of purpose around agreements is why DocuSign has developed a suite of solutions across the agreement management chain, and underscores its commitment to the channel.
Channel organisations understand their customers’ needs and, by working with them, can help develop and implement tailored, custom agreements.