DocSend’s recent research indicates that the rise in remote work has driven an increase in virtual and hybrid sales cycles. Over 40% of salespeople shared that their cycles have gone hybrid over the past year and a half, and this transition shows no signs of slowing down.
Salespeople agree that this new model has its benefits: an expanding customer base not bound by geography and new channels for maintaining prospect contact. However, despite the benefits, salespeople realize that yesterday’s processes need to shift in order to be successful within virtual or hybrid environments. ‘How will I identify warm leads?’ and ‘How can I build meaningful relationships with prospects?’ are often questions that Salespeople ask themselves.“Oftentimes, Salespeople operating in virtual settings don’t have cameras on. This means the typical modes of assessing the prospect, like body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, are lacking. DocSend helps to fill in these gaps.” Click To Tweet
These concerns highlight that sales teams are missing key insights when making deals. As our research shows, better insights drive deeper relationships. Knowing which prospects are genuinely interested and being able to strategically follow-up based on where they spend the most time in your documents are invaluable tools in virtual sales environments. DocSend analytics gives teams the power to do both, so they can proactively prioritize which companies to go after.
1. Identify engaged prospects beyond the email open notification
While meeting face-to-face is still not an option for all sales teams, salespeople are turning to other resources to boost their understanding of who’s engaged (and who isn’t). How teams currently leverage prospect activity to prioritize who to follow-up with is critical to increasing win rates.
While many tools allow sales reps to see how prospects engage with their emails, they lose visibility into how prospects engage with sales collateral (pitch deck, rate card, RFP response, proposal) once it’s emailed over and most importantly, if those documents were shared with new stakeholders (more on that later).
Salespeople know that an opened email doesn’t accurately indicate prospect engagement level. We need to have visibility beyond the email, directly into our lead’s business. DocSend’s document analytics reveals the level of engagement and interest a prospect has with sales documents through link tracking, document completion rate, page-by-page analytics, and more. This provides the insight necessary to prioritize the right companies to go after, without wasting time chasing down dead-end deals.
You’re probably familiar with prioritizing prospects into A, B, and C lists. Here’s how we do this using DocSend:
- A-List (high priority): Prospects who repeatedly engage with and read your collateral, and who share it with other stakeholders.
- B-List (medium priority): Prospects who did engage with and read your documents, but don’t engage repeatedly and/or don’t share it.
- C-List (low priority): Prospects who open and respond to your email, but haven’t yet engaged with your sales documents.
Prioritizing your prospects this way gives you a much better view into their decision-making process.
2. Discover new decision makers before it’s too late
We’ve all experienced a lead telling us that they’re the main decision-maker involved in the deal, only to discover way too late that that’s far from true. Had you sent the document using DocSend, things could’ve gone a lot differently. You would’ve been notified when your documents were forwarded and opened by your prospect’s boss, who is likely the real decision-maker. Having insight into who is actually a stakeholder makes strategic follow-up that much easier.
DocSend lets you know when prospects engage with your collateral, and with whom they share it. You’ll know exactly when your documents are forwarded to and viewed by other stakeholders within the company.
Not only does this provide x-ray vision into who exactly is involved in the buying process, but this also gives reps critical information regarding each stakeholder’s interest level based on their engagement with the shared collateral. Being able to see not only how many times a prospect engaged with your sales documents, but also who your content was shared with has the potential to speed deals up and uncover who the real decision-makers are.
Armed with this knowledge, sales reps can focus their pitch to encompass each stakeholder’s concern and better align with the organization’s needs and interests to close the deal. Get a razor sharp edge to closing deals faster by knowing exactly who from an organization is a part of the decision-making process, and what each person is interested in to tailor your pitch appropriately.
DocSend gives you insight into all stakeholders involved early on in the deal process. If your prospect tells you they’re the only decision maker, but you keep seeing their boss in your shared documents, then you know your contact likely has little leverage and you should probably get in front of their boss as quickly as possible. When this happens to me, I make a note of who the new stakeholders are and immediately go to their LinkedIn to learn more about them and follow-up accordingly.
I remember wanting a prospect to pass along sales documents I had shared with them. When I saw that the information had been shared and opened by someone new, I was able to reach out and see if there was an opportunity to connect and learn more about this new stakeholder. This insight is what makes DocSend a rep’s secret weapon.
3. Tailor the conversation every step of the way
Our research found that over 75% of salespeople believe a deal will close once they send out a contract for signatures. But despite this confidence, deals are still falling through. More than half of potential deals going dark for a third of salespeople means one thing: having more insight into prospect engagement with your deals won’t hurt. This added layer of reassurance with insight you wouldn’t otherwise have is key.
As tempting as it can be to craft your sales proposal around what you know about your product, the purpose is to tailor your narrative to your prospect’s unique understanding and needs. (Trust me, we learned this the hard way at DocSend. Learn how we figured out that prospects were disengaging from our sales content early and often – and what we did to fix it.)
A clear example is how Matt Hammond, VP of Sales and Marketing at Campus.app, closed a 7-figure sales deal by using DocSend’s analytics to better understand how his prospect was interacting with the sales proposal.
The moment I realized DocSend was mission-critical was when we sent out a 7-figure sales proposal. DocSend coached us to put 3 pricing options on 3 page and utilize analytics like time spent per page to our advantage. Because of this insight, DocSend helped us negotiate much more effectively.
Having full visibility into prospect engagement metrics throughout the sales cycle gives you much needed insight to tailor your conversations accordingly. Most of the time, measuring engagement ends at opens and clicks. But to really understand how prospects are progressing through your proposal (for example), you need to dig deeper. You need to look at engagement within the deck. DocSend’s document analytics lets you measure things like drop off rate, page views, and time spent per page so you can tell exactly what content captured and held a prospect’s attention, and what didn’t. Being able to identify which parts of your sales documents your prospect focuses on gives you an extra edge when it comes time for that proposal call. And access to insight into where they don’t spend time can be just as powerful.
Tools like Outreach can be helpful, but they come with a few limitations, especially when it comes to measuring prospect engagement. Not a lot of reps know that you can track email opens with Outreach, so if you’re not familiar with the tool, then you’re not even going to know that you can track that. Also, this feature isn’t always automatically turned on, so you’ll either have to remember to enable it or risk forgetting about it. There’s a margin of error.
Additionally, Outreach provides tracking on the email, but a lot of times the content that’s important for a prospect to view isn’t always in an email. An email tracking option either built into Outreach (or another tool) isn’t really fruitful for any attachment that you may be sending, whether it’s protecting it or just tracking it. Just using a tool like Outreach doesn’t give you that much helpful information.
For example, let’s say I were to send an email to a prospect, Kevin. They click to open the email, and since tracking is based on the email recipient it shows that Kevin opens it. If Kevin were to forward that email to anybody else, it’s going to look like Kevin opened it a lot, because one of the limitations of tools like Outreach is to only track whether an email has been opened, not whether it’s been shared with or opened by someone new. In a typical sales scenario it ends up looking like Kevin opened that email 40 times. Is Kevin really interested? Or did he just pass it around to people? The thing is, sometimes we pass around terrible sales emails as a hilarious, really bad example of how not to engage a prospect. That’s a sales person’s worst nightmare, and definitely a scenario that could be happening. You just have no idea.
Pairing Outreach with a tool like MixMax can give you a little bit more insight, but mainly those tools are built for communication automation. If you want to reach out to 20 different prospects in an hour, you probably don’t want to have to write 20 personalized emails. These solutions are great for scalable outreach, but their main goal isn’t really to be able to track engagement beyond the email open. One of my favorite hacks to get the best of both worlds is to include a DocSend link within the emails I send out to a long list of prospects using a tool like Outreach. I get the benefit of scalability along with the x-ray vision that DocSend’s document analytics provides. If I consistently see that a prospect isn’t looking at any of the collateral I’ve shared with them, I know they’re probably not engaged. I can disqualify them pretty quickly, which really helps me save time. DocSend’s document analytics really tells me how much time I should spend on this deal.
Being able to see how long a prospect spent on a proposal, what product or feature is most important, or where a prospect’s focus is is really the magic of DocSend. It’s great for sales reps to take advantage of, especially to time and… Click To Tweet Say hello to confident, data-driven closing calls.
4. Create controllable, customized client portals with data rooms
In my past sales roles, all of my prospect conversations would result in multiple email threads with various stakeholders. And it would be impossible to track who had been sent what, when, or by whom. With DocSend’s data rooms, there’s no need for confusion of email chains or multiple links for your prospect to keep track of – it’s all housed and tracked under a single link. You can see when, where, and how your prospects engage, and follow up with timely and personalized outreach. Update your documents once, and all your shared links of that file will be updated as well.
When a stakeholder needs a new document or to download a case study for their boss, I can easily make changes to their access level without having to give a new point of access.
A lot of evaluators who either don’t have power or aren’t the decision maker will ask for a ton of sales material that may or may not be necessary. They may ask for a Salesforce specific document or a vendor comparison or something like that, and if they’re not reading or opening it that tells me that either they’re not interested, or I can call them out on it during our next call and ask why they haven’t reviewed the information they’ve requested I send. One time, I sent over a vendor comparison and they didn’t even look at it. On the next call, I called it out, which gave me the opportunity to show it and talk through it, rather than relying on them to review asynchronously.
For teams that aren’t using DocSend, reps are just assuming that they’re prospects are looking at the collateral they’ve sent over. Whereas I have tangible data that shows me that they didn’t look at it, so I’ve got to review it during our next meeting, if it’s really important.
Another way I’ve been using DocSend’s data rooms is to create a personalized client portal for each prospect. I’ll put their logo in it and add any relevant pieces of content, like specific case studies for that particular industry. The benefit is two-fold: I’m able to track engagement across all documents and it feels custom and personal for the prospect. Having that shared space is a great way to build a relationship with a potential client. And, depending on how late it is and how slow my brain is working, it only takes me about five minutes to make a fully customized data room. It’s so easy to drag and drop in relevant content pieces, and then, when they get to the MSA or the order form of the quote, I just add that to the data room. When I tell potential clients that I’ve created a custom portal for them, it makes them feel really special and valued, when it took me all of five minutes to do it.
Updating documents that have been added to data rooms is so easy with DocSend. I’ve used the update document feature to replace old proposals so many times. Normally, when you’re updating collateral without DocSend you would have to send an attachment, meaning you lose control over the previous one(s) you’ve sent. Your prospect may be comparing the old proposal with the new one, but with DocSend I can disable document downloading, meaning prospects will only have access to the most recent, up to date proposal.
For additional control, you can grant access to documents within your data room to only those with an email from a certain domain. I use this to make sure that prospects can’t share documents with anyone outside of their organization, and I always disable downloading. If there’s a unique situation where a prospect does need to download a specific document, I can easily enable it. And having that open, flexible conversation really helps with prospect engagement.
5. Deploy detailed insights to your sales team at scale
You may be wondering what else you can do with all of the unique insight DocSend provides. Well, what if it could all be synced directly back to your CRM? If you’re thinking that would be too good to be true, think again.
At DocSend, we leverage our Salesforce integration to track our content across every stage in the buyer’s journey. We can see how specific pieces of content, like our old vs new sales decks, impact how prospects progress through the funnel.
DocSend’s Salesforce integration allows us to identify the content that drives the sales process forward, and finally understand which pieces of content actually drive conversion.
If we want to know the overall performance and engagement with a specific piece of content, we can run a quick report in Salesforce and see which contacts and accounts have viewed it, and for how long.
In the past, we would have no way of knowing the ROI on the sales content we were sending out. Now we’re able to track content throughout the entire sales process, all the way to deal size, win rate, and revenue attainment. We’re able to easily map all individual prospect activity in DocSend at the account-level back to our Salesforce accounts. It couldn’t be simpler.
There’s so much you can do with the DocSend and Salesforce integration to optimize the sales process. We recommend paying attention to two key metrics – ’average percent viewed’ and ‘average visit duration’ – to identify the following:
- Low-performing content. With DocSend and Salesforce working together, sales teams can finally see which content isn’t cutting it.
- High-performing content. Highlight the content that best moves prospects through the funnel.
- Content performance trends. See how different types of content can influence different account types. For example, your comprehensive buyer’s guide might crush it when you’re selling to big companies, but fall flat when you’re trying to close a deal with a medium-sized business. With the DocSend Salesforce integration, you’ll finally be able to pull insight like this from your reports and improve how you use content in your sales process.
6. Drive deal execution with an intuitive eSignature experience
You’re close to the finish line. You’ve crafted a compelling, data-driven pitch deck, uncovered new stakeholders, and monitored prospect engagement within your documents.
Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for. They’re ready to sign. A signature is your last hurdle before your deal closes, and eliminating any points of friction is key. That’s why using the same tool to get your contract signed is critical to keeping deals moving. Seamless and simple, DocSend gives you the insight you need to get your prospects through the funnel, and the speed you need to get them to sign. You don’t have to sacrifice file control or security.
Within seconds, you can convert any document in DocSend into a signable document. And because we know an audit trail is important, you’ll also receive all the pertinent signer events. It’s that easy.
Our research found that 75% of salespeople believe a deal will close once they send out a contract for signatures. Deals are closing faster than ever – sales contracts get signed about a day after they’re sent out for signature, with average time spent staying somewhat steady whether they intend to sign the document or not. That means that the decision to sign the contract (or not) has been made long before your prospect is given the contract to sign. Focus on building relationships along the entire sales cycle, and use eSignature analytics to inform future prospect follow-up strategies.
DocSend’s eSignature makes the signing process as flexible as it is convenient. I can use it to send a contract or proposal out for signature, but I can also use it to send an NDA. It’s very customizable.
To learn more about how you can gain a competitive edge while selling remotely, check out our recent research.