As any Dropbox user knows, cloud storage and digital file management was a complete game-changer for their work lives. The massive response to the legendary Dropbox explainer video (and the ensuing massive user base) is all the proof you need that the world was ready for that type of workflow optimization.
The same might be said about the electronic signature revolution — particularly in the context of remote work becoming the norm. Anybody and everybody who works with contracts (sales, HR, admin — you name it) must have felt like it was Christmas:
“Wait; we don’t have to hand-deliver documents and chase down wet signatures anymore? Contracts are getting signed faster? And they’re legal and secure!?!”
Little did those early eSignature users know that, eventually, products like Dropbox Forms and the Dropbox Sign API would make their lives even better with automated workflows and premium branding — but that’s a story for a different blog post.
So what do you do when you have two really neat things (document workflow optimization and electronic signatures) that make work easier?
You integrate them and make work even easier!
That brings us to the topic of today’s post — building seamless, end-to-end digital content workflows for remote teams, including eSignature collection and contract management. First, we’ll examine the workflow that makes most eSignature solutions tick, then we’ll dive into some tactical tips for combining Dropbox Sign and Dropbox specifically to get your work done faster, better, and — as promised — easier.
Peek Inside a Typical eSignature Solution Workflow
At the end of the day, for an eSignature workflow to be worth it, it must deliver two key features to end users — convenience and compliance.
Your customers expect seamless workflows and speedy contract turnarounds that allow them to start receiving the benefits they paid for as quickly as possible. And your legal department expects every “i” to be dotted and every “t” crossed so that your organization isn’t exposed to any undue liability.
Using electronic signature workflows to give everybody what they want is actually the best to deliver these features all while making your job easier and your organization more efficient — making eSignatures a triple win.
Here’s what you need to know about all the steps that eSignatures help automate to deliver convenience, compliance, and improved efficiency.
1. Document Delivery
First, of course, the document needs to find its way to the people who need to sign it.
Often, an eSignature solution will enable you to create and label the document before creating a link to the document that can be sent to signers via email. Recipients can use this link to quickly access the eSignature application in their browser — or, in some advanced cases, via a mobile device. Compared to wet signature collection, an eSignature solution can improve contract turnaround times by up to 80%.
2. Identity Verification
Most eSignature laws require eSignature solutions to ensure that the person signing a document is who they say they are.
So, eSignature solution providers have found various methods for authenticating somebody’s identity, including phone number validation or multi-factor authentication.
These two factors play a huge part in the level of security for an electronic document getting signed.
3. Data Capture
Oftentimes, there is a lot of additional data aside from signatures that a document needs to capture. This might include typed names, titles, dates, financial information, and more. A good eSignature solution should make it easy to automatically fill in this information while keeping it highly editable as well.
4. Appendices and Attachments
Frequently, signers will need to attach additional info and documents to their contracts. This is especially common with insurance, banking, etc. All good eSignature workflows should allow the ability to attach PDFs and other digital documents.
5. Signature and Consent
The entire point of this process, of course, is to obtain a legally-binding signature on a document. Electronic signature solutions offer a variety of ways for individuals to “sign” their names to execute documents.
By allowing recipients to open, sign, and submit contracts on any device — without the hassle of printing, signing by hand, and scanning — eSignature workflows make it easier and more convenient to collect signatures. In fact, using an eSignature solution can improve completion rates by up to 26%.
Finally, no workflow is complete without the ability to securely deliver copies of a signed document to the parties involved. A modern eSignature solution should automatically send out copies of or links to completed agreements — which is usually handled via email — to everyone involved for archival.
If this sounds like a familiar workflow, that’s because you’ve probably used an eSignature solution like this at some point. eSignature providers like Dropbox Sign have been around since 2010 helping organizations get signatures completed faster and easier.
Depending on your level of experiences with eSignatures, you may also be familiar with some of the shortcomings present in many document workflows, such as:
- Numerous document revisions causing confusion on which version is the most accurate
- Team members lacking the appropriate access to documents and slowing down the entire process
- Disorganized file storage systems that cause documents to get lost and rework to take place
Some of these issues might arise because of poor processes within an organization, but some of them might also be technological limitations. After all, eSignature solutions aren’t really designed to also be document management systems.
The Future of eSignatures: How Dropbox + Dropbox Sign Provides the Ultimate Seamless eSignature Workflow
As we mentioned, eSignatures can be extremely beneficial to the efficiency of an organization, but without a process for keeping a close eye on documents that are out for signatures and securely organizing signed documents in shared or local folders — all that efficiency goes out the window.
To solve this nagging business problem, we’ve built the first embedded document management and esignature solution by combining some of the best features of both Dropbox Sign and Dropbox.
With this integration, organizations are able to create effortless workflows between document execution and management — no mess, no duplicate documents, and no back and forth between your team members and customers. Build, edit, ship, and sign documents right from Dropbox.
Here are a few key benefits the Dropbox Sign + Dropbox integration provides:
Fewer Tools to Juggle
On average, employees switch between 35 tools a day to do their jobs and spend 20% of their workweek just looking for internal information.
By integrating Dropbox Sign with Dropbox, team members can now create agreements, request signatures, accept executed documents, and organize files all within Dropbox — no switching back and forth or searching for files in different apps.
With Dropbox Sign + Dropbox, businesses can store projects, files, and business documents in one centralized cloud location. Once electronically signed, documents are automatically saved to the folder you created — which allows for easy access to shared contracts and files. This eliminates the need to manually retrieve executed documents and drag them into the proper folder. And don’t worry, you can configure the document path in whichever way best suits your workflow.
While Dropbox Sign has always put customers first with its eSignature security features, we couldn’t always guarantee the security of executed documents that were moved into external systems.
With the Dropbox integration, we can offer end-to-end security for all of your content-centric workflows. Your documents are stored in secure distributed infrastructure with multiple layers of protection such as SSL encryption and multi-factor authentication that eliminates risk while providing control and visibility.
Remote Collaboration Capabilities
Create documents, send them out for signatures, and receive perfectly-executed paperwork from virtually anywhere and any device with Dropbox Sign + Dropbox.
Teams can even view, modify, and resolve comments made on documents that require signatures from wherever they’re working — a feature proving vital during the recent spike in remote work. At a time when more teams than ever are adjusting to working remotely, tools that foster collaboration across the distance are key to maintaining “business as usual.”
Power up Your Documents
A Word or PDF document in Dropbox without a signature is still just a static document. But with the Dropbox Sign integration, you can now turn all your PDF word documents into different types of official agreements that can accept eSignatures from your customers.
Get Ready for the Future of Work with Dropbox + Dropbox Sign
For any Dropbox users that are looking to enhance their workflows around eSignatures, we encourage you to give the new Dropbox Sign integration a try! We’re sure the first-ever embedded document eSignature and storage solution will help you prepare for whatever the future of work has in store.
And if you’d like more information on how you can put eSignatures to work for you within Dropbox, contact our team today!