Nitro Blog

A Guide to eSigning Digital Contracts

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Learn how to eSign digital contracts easily, securely and compliantly.

Contract management is a crucial part of operating a business. From signing on new clients and hiring employees to updating customer agreements and securing third-party vendor relationships, contracts pervade nearly every aspect of day-to-day business operations.

And yet, so many businesses have not yet modernized or standardized their operations to include digital contracts. This oversight can cost employees, customers and decision makers time and leave money on the table in business relationships.

In this article, you will find a guide to modernizing your contract workflows through digitalization, eSigning and the benefits these processes will bring to your organization.

Why sign contracts digitally?

Why is it important for businesses to prioritize modernizing their processes with eSigning now? To start, people value efficiency and seamlessness more in today’s digital working environment.

In Nitro’s 2022 Productivity Report, 50% of respondents said they’re using physical documents and paper-based processes less since the start of the pandemic.

Before, it was reasonable to send a contract out and expect it to take time to be reviewed, signed and scanned or mailed back. It was also common to take some time to get an offer letter out to a high-priority job candidate. But now, businesses look unprepared when they don’t have digital contract processes. Customers want as little friction as possible when signing up for a new product or service, and job seekers expect to be able to sign agreements quickly.

What are outdated contract signing processes costing you?

It’s also important to factor in the opportunity costs of outdated contract processes. The task of manually making changes to contracts through editing, printing, signing and scanning documents is tedious. It wastes people’s time and energy. Frustrating, repetitive workflows take away from more strategic work. Digital contracts don’t come with these limitations, letting teams make better use of their time.

Business leaders should want their employees doing what they do best, and they should want prospective employees to feel like their time is valued.

Finally, workers operate in a more interconnected world than ever, and we are mostly connecting online. Fewer knowledge workers (people whose jobs involve handling or using information) go into a physical office each day; thus, fewer workers can collaborate on hard documents in person. It is important to provide workers with on-demand, mobile tools to be productive no matter where they work.

All the above considerations lead us to the benefits of eSigning and digital contracts.

4 Benefits of Moving to Digital Contracts

What are some benefits of moving to a fully digital system for managing contracts? There are many, and we highlight four of the top reasons below.

1) Speed up contract negotiations and increase efficiency

Would you like to close deals faster? Accelerate onboarding new hires? These are some of the most immediate and attractive benefits of an eSigning solution. Negotiations can stall when details and questions are passed back and forth slowly. With a digital contract solution in place, stakeholders can make changes electronically, in real time, and come to resolutions quickly.

2) Minimize compliance risks

Standardizing digital contract workflows also minimizes errors and compliance risk. Missing signatures on documents can hold up deals and add unnecessary inefficiencies to contract execution. With a secure, compliant eSigning platform in place, you have more control of the signing process. Contracts are not submitted and/or finalized until all signatures have been captured and secured.

A secure eSigning solution also reduces the risk of contracts being tampered with in transit from signees to document owners. With security features like two factor authentication, a comprehensive audit trail and other robust identity verification methods, stakeholders know exactly who has access to their documents and what important updates have taken place at all times. All contracts and audits are then stored in a centralized location.

When conducting business internationally, it is especially important to be aware of compliance risk and regulations. Cross-border business agreements and transactions could be subject to specific regulations in each country. This makes it even more crucial to have a compliant eSigning vendor when sending digital contracts off for signature abroad.

3) Create more seamless workflows

Workers are happier and more productive when equipped with tools designed to improve efficiency. In a non-digitized, non-standardized contract environment, people are more apt to feel confusion or uncertainty about the status of requests, forms, contracts and agreements. It’s also time-consuming and frustrating to track down signatures, sheets of paper and hard copies of files.

With an eSigning tool, everyone has visibility into the status of a document: who started the eSignature request, how many signers there are and even the order of signers required to complete a contract cycle. Workflows become seamless, with no extra effort to chase paper.

4) Increase internal visibility

Not knowing where documents are or how they have been stored is a major pain point internally at companies. With a standardized eSigning solution like Nitro Sign Premium, audit trails provide a complete tracking history of each document’s journey. Each change can be tracked in real time and/or afterwards. Electronically signing, saving and storing digital contracts increases visibility and reduces the need to search frantically for long-lost documents.

Digital Contract Use Cases

Now for some practical use cases of how eSignature solutions are often applied in organizations.

1) Sales

Sellers need ample time to sell, and any tasks that get in the way of selling are a distraction. One of the requirements of the job that can take time away from selling is chasing down contracts and/or making sure that the right signatures have been captured. Having to spend time on repetitive tasks means less time building valuable relationships with prospects and clients alike.

Equipping salespeople with eSignature capabilities means they can worry less about managing documents. Salespeople can set up reliable templates, automate contracts and create more efficient workflows with customers. As for the customers, they enjoy an easy way to sign a contract electronically in seconds from any browser-enabled device.

One added plus for sales teams with an eSigning tool is direct integration into your customer relationship software (or CRM), such as Salesforce or a similar alternative. With Nitro Sign, for instance, you don’t even have to leave the Salesforce interface to send out a contract. Simply pick the digital contact and document template and send it out, all from the same place.

Watch this quick overview of how simple Nitro Sign makes the signing workflow for sales team:

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Nitro Sign Premium: Sales Workflow

2) Human Resources

In competitive hiring environments, HR teams need to stand out. You can impress candidates by presenting offer letters in a fast, efficient manner that also allows for easy eSigning. In today’s tech-forward business world, the level of speed and ease offered by digital contracts is a requirement.

Once new hires start their jobs, onboarding is made easier with efficient digital processes. HR can create reusable templates to send common document bundles and request signatures. And employees can sign all those new hire documents much faster without having to sign, scan, print or email anything. The days of presenting onboarding materials in a printed-off portfolio are long-gone; eSigning and digital document automation have changed the game.

Experience an example of a simplified HR workflow in Nitro Sign:

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Nitro Sign Premium: Human Resource Workflow

3) Procurement

The procurement process can involve an endless number of documents that require approval and signing. Think about the number of scenarios requiring a signature: purchase orders, SOWs, BOMs, master agreements, RFP sign-offs, supplier compliance—the list goes on.

With an eSignature solution like Nitro Sign, procurement professionals can simplify approvals and signing and track status so deadlines aren’t missed.

Here’s how you can make the entire procurement document workflow more efficient:

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Nitro Sign for Procurement.mp4

Simplify Digital Contracts with Nitro Sign

It’s pretty straightforward: eSigning makes digital contract management easier from end to end. And if you are looking for a leading solution for electronic signatures, Nitro Sign provides a seamless and user-friendly experience for any size and type of business.

Connect with us to learn more about Nitro Sign. We look forward to helping you modernize and simplify how you sign digital contracts and documents.