Founded in 1974 and based in Tracy, California, Petz Enterprises, Inc. (PEI) is the leading provider of tax preparation and filing solutions for the professional and consumer markets, helping to automate and simplify federal, state and local tax compliance. PEI offers an entire line of tax preparation products that support the entire continuum from taxpayer to tax authority. The company is the creator of the popular CrossLink tax preparation and automation software product line and an emerging leader in online tax services. CrossLink is used by more than 1,800 firms in over 3,000 locations across the United States.
Business Challenge PEI executes more than 3,000 paper contracts each year. Sales representatives generated paper contracts, then would mail or fax the contracts to clients, who in turn would sign and either mail or fax the signed document back. Once the paper contract was received, sales reps would scan and upload the document to archive it digitally. This paper process averaged 14 days or longer, which would further push out the revenue stream.
Craig Petz, vice president of marketing at PEI, knew there was a better way to transact business and PEI immediately looked into electronic signature technology. PEI had a number of challenges revolving around paper processes:
• Increase the close rate, shorten the sales lifecycle and eliminate the sales rep’s time and pain shuffling paper and managing the contract delivery and signing process.
• Enhance compliance by ensuring all contracts are completed correctly, signed and immediately accessible.
• Improve the customer experience by offering electronic signing.
• Ensure the process was simple and could be integrated with PEI’s existing CRM.
DocuSign Solution PEI investigated electronic signature providers and chose DocuSign for Salesforce because:
• DocuSign for Salesforce, specifically designed for Salesforce CRM, offers unparalleled simplicity and ease of use. Only DocuSign for Salesforce offers the unique ability to select a document to “send” for electronic signature from either the user’s desktop or within Salesforce.
• DocuSign for Salesforce demonstrated better built-in logic. DocuSign’s conditional fields allows signers to answer from a drop- down field or click a radio button and that answer automatically defaults to the next appropriate question in the sequence. DocuSign conditional fields expedite the signing process.
• Using the DocuSign API, it easily integrates with other leading document management applications, thereby avoiding expensive software integrations. Plus, DocuSign offers an easier interface than any other competitor.
Results Simple, Saves Time. Accessing DocuSign for Salesforce is just a click in Salesforce CRM. Salespeople can prepare a contract and “send” it for signature in minutes—never having to leave Salesforce. The process is completely seamless and all client information is housed in the CRM.
DocuSign for Salesforce accelerates the sales process, helping close business in three days on average versus the lengthy 14-day paper process. PEI noted that DocuSign also removed barriers from closing business and that their closing rate increased significantly since implementation.
“Being able to get a customer signature so quickly and easily eliminates a buyer from second-guessing their decision and procrastinating,” says Petz.
Reduced Errors. DocuSign for Salesforce has significantly reduced errors in the contracting process. “DocuSign virtually eliminated the possibility of the wrong contract, wrong or missing signature and lost documents,” says Petz. “We went from a 20% error rate to basically zero. We spend far less time on exception processing, which means far more time for selling.”
Decreased Costs. PEI has reduced costs on consumables such as paper by 50% and has dramatically decreased the use of ink, postage and courier services.
Increased Green. Reductions in consumables is pivotal in PEI reducing its carbon footprint. “DocuSign supports our value proposition as a paperless solution—we practice what we preach,” continues Petz. “We are determined to incorporate DocuSign technology into our end-user products because of the benefits we’ve seen from using it internally in Salesforce.”
Improves Efficiencies. Before DocuSign, sales reps spent an estimated 6.5 hours per year faxing documents to clients. Later, they had to convert signed paper contracts into digital files for online storage. PEI estimates that the use of DocuSign has saved an estimated 80 hours per year by omitting this step in the contract management cycle.
Account managers completely manage the entire contract signing process. This has allowed PEI to reassign four full-time support people to more strategic, higher-value tasks. “This reallocation of resources more than paid for the DocuSign implementation,” continues Petz.
Increased CRM Usage. The integration of DocuSign for Salesforce within the sales workflow has greatly improved efficiencies and accelerated the use of Salesforce. Once salespeople experienced
the difference DocuSign made in increasing productivity and efficiencies, and eliminating administrative efforts, use of Salesforce CRM increased. “DocuSign makes Salesforce a more effective tool for overcoming customer inertia with follow-up calls,” says Petz.
Enhanced Security and Compliance. Critical to tax preparation software, external compliance is a priority for PEI. With DocuSign
for Salesforce, PEI has dramatically increased compliance to nearly 100%. “Our auditors have told us that this is pretty much unheard of,” continues Petz.
Greater Visibility and Insight. DocuSign provides PEI salespeople and management with greater visibility into the contract management process. Knowing who has what documents when and if those documents are complete helps sales people better allocate time and resources. “DocuSign lets me run reports showing the status of every document. I can quickly find what I need online— from anywhere, anytime,” says Petz. “I’m no longer dependent on a collection of Post- its or scribbled notes.”
DocuSign has eliminated the hassles of administering paper forms and contracts. With a click of a mouse in Salesforce, PEI salespeople and corporate management have complete visibility into the contract management process from anywhere, anytime. Contracts are signed in 72 hours compared to the 14 days. CRM return on investment has dramatically risen and use of DocuSign for Salesforce and Salesforce CRM continues to climb. PEI is so pleased with the results of deploying DocuSign for Salesforce that PEI is integrating the electronic signature service within its own software-as-a-service CrossLink product offerings in 2011.