Cloud Solutions

3 reasons your customers aren’t buying cloud tools—and how to change that

By Ideas @ AppDirect / November 23, 2022

Dropbox Blog 2

In this guest post, Jessica Milbrandt, Partner Development Manager at Dropbox, explains the benefits of cloud-based collaboration tools and how advisors can overcome customers’ most common objections.

Let’s chat about Mara. She’s the office manager at a real estate company that has 50 employees. She manages a team and works with a host of contractors. Many of the processes at her company are manual; she typically prints documents, physically collects signatures, and delivers the forms to parties via fax or email. Her title may be “office manager,” but she is effectively also the human resources manager, IT department of one, and bookkeeper.

She enjoys her job but is understandably stretched in too many directions.

Mara is responsible for making many of the key technology purchasing decisions at her company. She wants to find efficient and cost-effective solutions that can make her day-to-day responsibilities less stressful, and doesn’t want those solutions to break the bank.

Mara knows her levels of productivity and communication would improve as a result of implementing cloud-based collaboration tools, but she’s not interested in the spend or the perceived learning curve. So how do you sell cloud-based solutions to Mara?

Begin with eSignature.

Trading paper for productivity

Mara probably looks a lot like many small and midsize business (SMB) customers you already have. They communicate with their teams primarily through phone and email, and documents are completed on paper before being either faxed or mailed to the intended recipients for signature. While COVID-19 transformed the digital workflow for larger companies and sectors like tech and marketing, many SMBs kept doing what they had always done—only from their homes instead of the office. Others adopted eSignature software that was cost-effective and quick to implement. But in these cases, basic tools came with limited functionality that didn’t offer benefits such as integration and automation capabilities.

From 2021 to 2022, the eSignature market experienced year-over-year growth of 35.3%, with customers citing benefits such as increased productivity and enhanced customer experience.

Even post-pandemic, though, a large share of SMBs continue to use a print-sign-send methodology for documents ranging from employment agreements to sales contracts. These same customers also lack an efficient, paperless workflow solution for creating, editing, and sharing documents.

And while terms like “collaboration tool” and “productivity suite” may scare off some customers resistant to digital transformation, the pandemic has catapulted eSignatures into our shared vocabulary. The result? eSignature tools are understood by most customers, making them easier to sell.

In a market poised to grow from $2.6 billion to $7.4 billion worldwide by 2026, the opportunity to accelerate your own growth is significant. But how do you win over the Maras of the SMB world?

Start by understanding the top three objections to cloud-based collaboration tools. Then you can get smart about how to position eSignature software—delivering more value and creating stickier customers.

1. I cannot justify the cost of a digital collaboration solution.

Solution: The enhanced efficiencies associated with eSignature could generate a negative spend.

Let’s take Mara, for example. Contracts are the lifeblood of the real estate sector. Any reduction in the time to contract means accelerated payment, which means more time dedicated to new contracts—resulting in a potentially larger profit at the end of each year. Here are a couple of additional use cases for a cloud-based collaboration solution such as Dropbox Sign (formerly HelloSign):

Sales: Cloud-based collaboration tools increase organization, data accuracy, security, and speed to signing so sales teams and business owners can focus on closing deals and exceeding revenue goals.

Proof points:

  • Reduces contractual arguments and disputes by a factor of 10, thanks to transparent audit trail.

  • Contracts are signed 80 percent faster with electronic signature. Traditional paper-based transactions take 15 days to be completed. Some customers have seen two-week turnarounds shortened to one day.

  • Automatic reminders improve turnaround, saving teams time in chasing agreements.

Human Resources: For time-strapped HR professionals, eSignature solutions speed up time to signature, eliminate busywork, increase data accuracy, and protect confidential information, creating an onboarding process that’s painless for everyone. Easy-to-use workflows built for security enable them to spend more time generating a healthy pipeline of quality talent.

Proof points:

  • Use eSignature tools to cut remediation costs by over 50 hours per month, thanks to data validation.

  • Time spent by HR teams on administrative work reduced by 50 percent.

  • Cut down time between screening call and onboarding, with built-in reminders and tracking.

2. I already have eSignature software. I don’t need anything else.

Solution: Create incentive through value-added eSignature software such as Dropbox Sign.

Existing eSignature customers have already reaped the benefits of paperless transactions, including:

  • Greater operational efficiency

  • Enhanced client experience

  • Happier employees

  • Reduced transaction time

In customer conversations, highlight that these benefits only scratch the surface. Research tells us that customers in the eSignature market are pleased with the efficiency gains of their current software. Still, many are underwhelmed by the availability of resources such as foundational content about contracts and contract law.

It’s clear that customers want guidance on how to draft common business documents. They also want eSignature software that seamlessly fits with an integrated workflow system, meaning fewer open windows on desktops and a centralized place for viewing multiple projects—and tracking progress.

To overcome common objections during the sales cycle, offer customers a multifaceted solution for digital documentation.

Follow-up questions for customers:

  • What is your current process for getting documents signed?

  • After documents are signed, what happens to them?

  • Which departments send documents for signature?

These questions reveal pain points such as inadequate security, lack of workflow integration, and information sprawl, to name a few. eSignature solutions offer customers enhanced value in each area.

For example, Dropbox Sign is compatible with Dropbox—the file sharing and storage solution used by 700 million subscribers. By leveling up eSignature from a basic tool to a business service within a cloud-based collaboration platform, you help customers further optimize their processes and drive efficiencies.

Tie in with other cloud-based apps, or cross-sell eSignature

One of the biggest advantages of an eSignature solution is that it’s a foundational product for any digital office. If customers are already using cloud-based apps such as Google Workspace, HubSpot, Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft 365, and Slack, eSignature tools such as Dropbox Sign integrate with these apps to digitize workflows and streamline operations.

If customers haven’t adopted many cloud-based apps, eSignature is a smart introductory conversation, allowing advisors to cross-sell other cloud-based apps down the road. The result is stickier customers and greater wallet share for you.

3. If it isn’t broken, why fix it?

Solution: Position yourself as a dedicated resource and subject-matter expert to make the case for digital transformation.

Many businesses attempt digital transformation, only to fail. Multiple factors can be at play: resistance to change, lack of buy-in from employees, no strategic goals in place, and others.

SMBs, in particular, are hungry for guidance on making the right decisions about their technology purchases.

96% of SMBs believe they can achieve greater ROI when they use an external partner to procure and manage their technology.

Even if you’re new to selling cloud-based tools, the resources available put you in the driver’s seat. You can easily build on existing customer relationships by offering easy-to-understand-and-implement tools such as eSignature.

This will help customers meet their digital-transformation goals, while you earn their loyalty and grow your cloud portfolio.

According to Analysys Mason SMB Technology Forecaster, SMBs are expected to spend record amounts on collaboration tools in the coming years, reaching a market value of $120 billion by 2026. Seize the opportunity to gain a foothold in this market by adding eSignature solutions to your customer offerings.

Ready to earn more selling eSignature and other cloud-based solutions?

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