Speed and Visibility: Two Biggest Benefits From Using PandaDoc to Generate Proposals

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Before the year 2000, almost all contracts were only considered binding with a physical signature.  This obviously caused delays in operations and left a lot to be desired from a customer experience standpoint since the only holdup was a piece of paper. Today, in the world of the internet and immediate access to things with the click of a button, we have sped up the way we conduct business with the electronic signature. But that still doesn’t come without a headache.  How many of you have put in hours perfecting a quote, searched for the right parties to send it to, finally get it in what you think are the right hands, only to be left in the dark about what happens once it’s sent?


Well, with PandaDoc, we have eliminated that feeling altogether.  There are really two big issues the application addresses, and those are problems with the time it takes to create and send a document, and the lack of visibility across yours and your prospective client’s organization into the proposal process.  I will dive into how this application will allow you to speed up that process on multiple fronts, and also give your company a look into what is happening with your document from creation to execution with signatures.


First, let’s talk about speed…

Here are the top 3 ways that PandaDoc has sped up the closing process in a sales cycle…

  1. Tokens Integrated from CRM ( Oracle Sales Cloud ) – The first way it speeds up the proposal generation process is by automatically pulling information from your CRM into the actual document with tokens, which are field merges that leverage the integration between the two applications to have information such as Company Name, Address, Primary Contact Name, etc. already in your document upon creation. For information that is commonly placed in multiple locations, you can save time with these. (ex. [opportunity.CompanyName] )
  2. Templates / Content Library –  Another way PandaDoc decreases the amount of time spent on a proposal is by allowing you to create templates that you can reuse time and time again should you have boilerplate information that is standard with each proposal. Also, a tab called the ‘content library’ is a place you can store certain blocks of information to place into new documents should you need to reuse certain pieces of content, such as product SKUs and/or explanations of each product or service you are including. So instead of re-creating every proposal from scratch, you can save time by being able to reuse and edit prior documents at any time.
  3. Recipients –  The Recipients tab will let you decide what key stakeholders of the organization your are dealing with will receive notification through email with the proposal attached. Without having to create another email with an attachment, you can send the document directly through PandaDoc and have it signed electronically to send/receive it sooner than later, thus starting your relationship as fast as the two parties would like. Also inside this tab, there is an option to allow the organization you send your proposal to be able to forward the document should that be a need. So instead of crafting another email to another person within that company, they can forward it to the right person without you pressing another button.

The other major benefit is the increased visibility into each proposal.

Here are 3 ways to increase the visibility into the proposal process…

  1. Anyone with a sign-in or access to the document can view and write comments. This can be a manager or another contributor within your organization if there needs to be adjustments before it is sent out to the prospect. Or if there is any note you want to send the prospect yourself, it will also be visible so a dialogue about the terms and conditions and/or pricing could be hashed out through comments instead of back and forth redlining a document sent through email multiple times.
  2. The Analytics tab is another way to increase visibility. Once the proposal is sent out to your prospective client, all actions taken against this document such as viewing, signing, and forwarding is tracked. It even lets you see what pages were viewed and for how long each person was on any page. This will give you insight into what is most important to your customer while also arming you with what is most important to talk about in subsequent conversations.
  3. You have the ability to generate a “key” that allows others to view upon your authorization, so you can control who can and cannot see any document sent. If you are working with someone in an organization that doesn’t have signing authority, or even a channel partner that doesn’t have any direct action to take on your proposal, giving them a copy of the document is as easy as pressing a button. The key will also let you know any and everything they do with that document, thus giving you ultimate visibility into what happens with your proposal.


How much time and headache can these areas of improvement in the proposal generation save your team? It is not every day that you find something that fits your budget but also increases efficiency in something as tedious as generating a quote and getting it in the right hands at the the right time. Everyone could use more time and better information about what happens to their proposal once sent out.


For more information or to inquire about how easy it is to set up PandaDoc, please contact info@sfcg.com.


Oracle SRM June 2017 Upgrades

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Oracle Social Network has announced the updates to Engage and Listen and work began in early June. If you are using SRM, check out the new upgrades and enhancements including Instagram posts in Listen! 

Starting June 8, 2017, all users are now automatically directed to the new Engage interface when accessing it from within Oracle Social Cloud or from a bookmark. The new Engage interface will be the default experience for all users. Users will have the option to access the Classic Engage interface via the Back to Classic Engage link until July 20, 2017
The following Engage enhancements make it easier for you to be more effective and proficient in responding to multiple messages. When using the new Engage, you can:
  • Filter by any or all selected labels

  • Display multiple photos in Tweets

  • Filter to unread posts and comments/replies

  • View a side panel that displays message activity

  • Display photos and videos for Facebook offers

On June 26, 2017, all active Listen topics with the Social Sites content type selected will begin collecting Instagram posts. Topic search terms will match Instagram post hashtags. Instagram posts will be shown in Listen with their associated images and videos.
Oracle Social Cloud customers can get insights from Instagram hashtag mentions in the Listen dashboard and see attached photos.
For customers who want to exclude Instagram content from topics, use the Source/Post URL filter and exclude instagram.com. Instagram posts will be matched only based on hashtags: caption text will not be matched. 

How to Improve your Sales Reporting Strategy

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When it comes to the different types of sales reporting available, organizations’ sales and marketing teams sometimes are confused on what is being captured and why it matters.  Also, many companies are trying to centralize their reporting strategy, however, with so many different systems and large divisions, it’s common for us to see different dashboards and systems which report on metrics independently. As sales and marketing teams continue to evolve and integrate with one another to create a seamless customer experience, it’s important to understand how each metric being reported on fits into your sales process.
Here are a few tips on how to improve your sales reporting strategy if you are currently looking for ways to revamp its current state.
Understand your current state of reporting 
Many organizations have numerous key metrics, dashboards and locations for reports. Others submit requests for reports, and then there are some companies that use reporting tools like Google Analytics or their CRM. Most of these companies are ignoring the reports created for them because there are either too many or the information isn’t the best for what they are trying to capture. When you are thinking about your reporting strategy, think about what is and what isn’t working. One of the most interesting insights we see as consultants is when a company realizes their reporting is too complicated. Be sure to meet with your teams to understand what they are looking at on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and then decide if your reporting is currently meeting your needs.
Go back to basics- what are you trying to measure as a company? 
Take some time to review sales metrics and how they map to the company’s overall measurement of the business. Think about the different steps to your organization’s sales process and what metrics fit into the the different processes. What are some of the things you are trying to measure around opportunities that relate to closing business? What are some of the activities you are trying track that help determine your level of success? Think about these priorities and what your company goals and objectives are. We recommend writing down the company goals first, then underneath, the different metrics which would ideally help map your progress to completing these objectives as a sales team.
Think about how the metrics are displayed and if it’s working. 
With so many different tools, it’s important to understand why a dashboard or a report would work better for your teams. Within Oracle Sales Cloud, for example, you can build custom dashboards that display your team’s most important metrics. However, if you would like specific information in file format because of distribution, a report may be better. Ask your team for current examples on what metrics they look at and which ones they do not.
Ask your salespeople how they would like to consume this information. Don’t forget that dashboards and reports vary depending on a person’s role. For example, a best practice at SFCG that we recommend is usually to have a sales representative dashboard and a manager dashboard. Some of the questions to ask your team are what they want to check on a daily basis. Are they looking at their hot leads to call as a sales representative, or are they looking at the overall pipeline as a sales manager.  Focus on understanding your team’s day-to-day and what makes them successful. Once you decide what is important to measure, next is determining how you want to digest the information for each role.
Finally, think about how to prioritize your metrics.
When you are reviewing your current reporting strategy and someone says to you, “We need it all because they are all important!”, it’s time to dive deeper so that you can understand what is really necessary. Ask the people that make decisions based off of these reports about the impact of each metric and what would happen if reporting on each wasn’t available. It’s good to understand what the impact would be should the choice be to not to track something.
Every metric is important to a person’s success but it’s your job to understand the priority and visibility of these metrics. Check back to your interviews with your teams to see if those sales metrics match up to those you find in the company objectives. Once you have this comparison, you’ll be able to prioritize the importance of each one to determine where they fit into your organization.
In general, all reporting, but sales in particular, is very important for organizations to keep a pulse on the company’s overall direction. It can be overwhelming if there are so many reports that your company doesn’t review them all. Taking small steps to determine what matters to the company and in what order of significance each matters to it’s success goes a long way in knowing where your focus should be day-to-day. Getting a complete view of what should and shouldn’t be tracked will help you have better strategy sessions with salespeople, and give you a benchmark of where you are at any time of the year so you can make adjustments and ultimately hit the goals you set out for the organization.