The number of manual tasks and unnecessary steps in day-to-day processes—like HR and sales—stands in the way of so many businesses reaching their revenue potential. In fact, teams lose an average of 20 hours a month just by moving information between siloed tools. How much extra revenue could you earn with an extra 20 hours a week?
You can find out by implementing workflow and content automation (WCA) in your business.
What is workflow and content automation (WCA)?
WCA is the idea of connecting all of the tools you use into a specific workflow—like onboarding a new employee or signing up a new customer—to streamline business processes and make tasks less labor-intensive for your employees.
By applying the workflow and content automation principles to your business, you can remove outdated manual tasks like data entry from your to-do list, giving your teams more time to focus on high-value tasks that lead to greater productivity, increased job satisfaction, an improved customer experience, and ultimately a boost to your bottom line.
Here are five benefits of workflow automation you can apply to your business with real-world examples.
1. Avoid contract preparation delays
30-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. So when proposals and contracts drag on, you’re putting your deals at risk—hot leads cool, prospects find alternatives, and you miss out on revenue. One of the most direct ways to resolve preparation delays is by learning how to streamline sales processes and remove manual steps.
Much preparation pain can be overcome simply by implementing document templates for proposals and contracts that contain approved content. That way, employees only have to fill in specific details to complete contracts.
But if you want to take your workflow efficiency to the next level, you can create templates that auto-fill with customer data—removing more manual steps and saving your team even more time.
By integrating tools like Dropbox Sign into your workflow, you can make your most common contracts into templates and automatically populate them with contact data from your CRM, a tool for managing your relationships and interactions with customers.
Automating data entry means contracts are completed and sent faster, which saves hours, if not days, in admin tasks. In fact, Flow Healthcare, a healthcare admin management software, used the Dropbox Sign API to help their client, Beam, shave off time spent on paperwork by 50% and save approximately $600 per employee.
2. Speed up the approvals process
Whether it’s hiring talent or negotiating contract terms, most decisions go through a review and approval process. But this process can become easily complicated and drawn out when signers take too long to give approval, especially when multiple signatures are required.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could create steps to ensure that the right people are notified, at the right time, and in the right order when a document needs their approval? With the Dropbox Sign API, you can.
The API uses conditional logic to automatically notify each signer in a process when it’s their turn to sign or approve a document. You can also send documents to a group for approval, even if you only need one signature, and when a form reaches the final stage of the workflow, the last recipient can be sure it’s correctly signed off.
Whether you’re getting signatures for hiring or sales proposals, automating this part of your workflow saves tons of time, and gives your employees the scope to concentrate on more revenue-focused tasks.
3. Onboard employees and contractors faster
There are few business processes more time-consuming and manual than employee onboarding. Not only does the average onboarding experience consists of 54 activities, but a bad onboarding experience also results in a 20% chance new workers will quit within the first 45 days, which can cost you upwards of $4000 to replace them.
As a business that thrives from the help of contractors, Instacart faced slow onboarding issues like manually printing, scanning, and signing onboarding documents, which led to delays in paperwork completion and slowed the entire hiring process.
Fortunately, workflow and content automation helped remove a significant portion of admin tasks for the people who prepare the paperwork while streamlining the process to make it faster and easier for new hires. Implementing Dropbox Forms aided Instacart in creating a mobile-friendly onboarding experience that entered duplicate contractor information into all other forms automatically.
And the results are impressive—a 270% increase in speed to onboarding document completion, over 50 hours saved each week by going digital, and three times as many personal shoppers as before.
4. Reduce human error
Disruptions like switching between applications for reviews and edits are responsible for a 40% decrease in productivity, leading to errors that cost the global economy an estimated $450 billion every year.
Add on mistakes that come from new hires, customers, tenured employees, and anyone else facing a mountain of tedious paperwork, and you have a system set on tripping people up.
So why not remove the chance of errors in the first place?
Workflow and content automation can help you to mitigate mistakes, so your processes require less intervention and manual rework.
By integrating your most used tools, you can remove the entire step of employees moving information from one tool to the next, saving employees time on data-entry and reducing chances of errors in your paperwork.
For instance, when you integrate a tool like Dropbox Sign with your CRM, you can automatically populate contracts with customer data and send out those contracts directly from your CRM, speeding up your time to revenue.
That way, there’s no chance of making a costly mistake by moving information between tools.
5. Gain real-time insights
Failing to follow up on sent contracts can mean the difference between making a sale or missing out on a lucrative, loyal customer. So why not take the task out of your sales team’s hands?
Believe it or not, workflow and content automation can remove the majority of manual work in the follow-up process to give your employees more time to chase more revenue.
Using an eSignature tool like Dropbox Sign will provide real-time updates on the status of an agreement—unopened, opened, signed—so you can see how deals are progressing. Better yet, Dropbox Sign will automatically send reminders for unsigned documents so that you don’t have to deal with the task of following up manually by email or phone.
Get started with the right tools
While the first step to making workflow and content automation work in your business is to identify all the processes that could be streamlined, the next is to find the tools that can make it happen. One of those tools is eSignatures. Dropbox Sign has worked with clients from almost every industry to simplify even the most complicated operations and simplify workflows. See how Dropbox can improve your business workflows today.