This post was written by Kicksaw Solution Engineer Robert Boyd. It was last updated on October 25, 2021.

The Business Case for Electronic Signatures

Does your organization send documents for signature?  I’d be very surprised if it didn’t. Organizations in the age of digital transformation have an incredible opportunity to digitize and streamline the often lengthy and cumbersome process of sending and signing documents through the use of eSignature applications. Whether it’s a quote, proposal, MSA, SOW, BAA, NDA, partnership agreement, legal contract, or a patient consent form, eSignature applications can help.

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Introducing DocuSign

Enter DocuSign, one of the most trusted, innovative, and popular solutions on the market for facilitating digital transactions. DocuSign has been around since 2003, has grown to be a leader in the eSignature space, and has evolved its suite of applications over time to serve a wide variety of business needs when it comes to document management. In this post, we’re going to focus on one of the most valuable aspects of its platform for Salesforce customers: the DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce application.

DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce

DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce provides an integration between Salesforce and DocuSign that allows Salesforce users to create, send, and track agreements directly from Salesforce. This accelerates the process of obtaining digital signatures and executing agreements by giving organizations access to DocuSign from within Salesforce, dramatically increasing the efficiency and visibility of documents sent for eSignature.

Common Use Cases

Let’s start by considering a few common business scenarios where using DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce can really accelerate the process:

  1. Sales: Quotes & Proposals

Sending quotes or proposals is a nearly universal process for just about any Sales team in just about every industry. It’s also one of the most common use cases for DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce — what better way to create, deliver, sign, and store sales documents than right from an opportunity? With just a few clicks, a sales user can send a personalized quote or proposal to a designated contact for their signature and accelerate their deal cycle. A copy of the signed document can be saved directly to the opportunity and/or account, making it easy for managers to access the signed agreement over time.

  1. Professional Services: Statements of Work

As a Salesforce consulting partner, this use case hits close to home for us at Kicksaw. We send our professional services agreements and statements of work for electronic signature via DocuSign, and it’s an incredibly efficient way to navigate the final stages of our own sales process. We rely on standard templates for each agreement, and DocuSign allows us to tailor those templates to reflect the specifics of each client engagement (rates, fees, payment terms, etc.). It’s an indispensable part of our process when working with new clients.

  1. Health Care: Patient Intake & Consent Forms

Patient intake and consent forms are a critical part of the patient onboarding process for health care providers, and they’re a great use case for DocuSign in the context of Salesforce Health Cloud. Security is one of DocuSign’s major advantages as an eSignature provider, and that’s especially important in regulated industries like health care and life sciences. Patient intake and consent forms can be created and delivered directly from a patient’s record in Health Cloud, helping standardize the process of signing up new patients and adhering to required steps in the onboarding process. This works great for organizations that use Health Cloud, but DocuSign can also work directly with EHR systems to offer a range of options for facilitating and tracking patient intake.

Key Features

Let’s dig into some of the key features of DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce and how agreements can be sent from Salesforce:

  1. Standard Send with DocuSign Button

The simplest and easiest way to send agreements from Salesforce records is by using the Send with DocuSign button that comes out-of-the-box in the DocuSign for eSignature managed package. Simply add the custom action to a Salesforce object’s page layout and users can add documents, define recipients, and include eSignature fields before delivering an agreement for signature. Users can send one or documents to recipients who are either Salesforce contacts or users, specify the role of each recipient (who needs to sign, who receives a copy, etc.) and control settings such as the document’s expiration or when automatic reminders will be sent to recipients.

DocuSign merge fields can also be added to documents to include data directly from Salesforce, such as account names, opportunity close dates, or custom fields. This can be a huge time-saver when using standard document templates that need to be personalized based on the parties involved.

After sending a document, DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce provides status tracking directly within the context of the Salesforce record. Users can see when documents are sent, viewed, signed, declined, or have expired.

  1. DocuSign Envelope Templates

DocuSign envelope templates automate the electronic signature process in Salesforce by allowing administrators to configure the settings of a DocuSign button to predefine elements such as the document templates, recipients, merge fields, administrative settings (expiration, reminders, etc.). This can help enhance the user experience and accelerate the process of delivering documents that are frequently sent and typically follow the same process, and it also gives administrators the ability to integrate DocuSign more deeply into other Salesforce workflows.

For example, a DocuSign envelope template for a quoting process can automatically advance an opportunity stage from “Negotiation/Review” to “Closed Won” when a quote is signed and the transaction is complete. Additionally, fields included in a DocuSign envelope can capture data to be written back to Salesforce fields, helping collect important information from signers and storing it directly in the CRM. We’ve seen the DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce application evolve a lot over time, and Envelope templates are one of the features that’s received a lot of love in recent releases. They help deliver an awesome experience for administrators who want to speed things up for their end users, and what administrator doesn’t want that?

  1. Quick Send

For an even more automated sending experience, envelope templates can be configured to support Quick Send. This really speeds things up from a user experience standpoint. The user is only presented with a single screen before delivering a document for signature, with the majority of settings already defined. However, these kinds of envelope templates allow only minor changes from end users.  For example, Quick Send users can be restricted from adding their own recipients, documents, DocuSign fields, or Salesforce fields — these are all predefined by an administrator for the specific use case.

As an example of when Quick Send would work well, an NDA that is always sent from a Salesforce account to the account’s primary contact is a great candidate for a Quick Send envelope template. Administrators might want to purposefully limit the options for end users to customize a standardized contract, and users don’t want to repeat the same click path every time they need to send this common type of agreement.

Pro Tip: Start Simple with Automation

From our experience at Kicksaw implementing DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce, it’s almost always advisable to start slow when it comes to process automation. It’s easy to jump straight into complex automation when implementing the application, and DocuSign offers a range of incredible features to make that happen, but we’ve found that starting with basic use cases, collecting user and stakeholder feedback, and iterating your way to more automatic processes is a much more predictable way to achieve success. In the words of Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of Wordpress:

“Usage is like oxygen for ideas. You can never fully anticipate how an audience is going to react to something you’ve created until it’s out there.”

This is sound advice when it comes to product development, but it’s equally applicable to implementing new business processes with software for internal users. Start with the basics, be diligent about collecting feedback, and you can confidently work your way up to more automated electronic signature processes that users, administrators, and leadership will love.

For more information about DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce, you can visit the Salesforce AppExchange listing. If you’d like expert assistance with implementation, drop us a line — we’d love to help!

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