The million-dollar question…in fact…before I answer it…what exactly is a Document Automation consultant?
I promise this blog post will not be a sales pitch for DocGovern by the way, as, we are (surprise surprise), Document Automation consultants!
Let me start off by clarifying exactly what I mean by this…We provide consultancy services to a wide range of clients across a variety of industry sectors. The services we deliver are focused around Document Automation and of the clients we work with, some are already using Document Automation technology, whilst others are considering it.
For those clients using a Document Automation solution, the type of consultancy service we provide ranges from our on-demand service for general needs, a migration service, as some of our clients are moving from their current Document Automation vendor to another, or our template development service, which provides exactly what it says on the tin. Those clients who don’t use Document Automation technology tend to start with our solution selection service before moving on to any number of the aforementioned.
Okay, slight sales pitch in above, fair enough, although I didn’t go into the benefits of all these services…😉
So now you know the type of services a Document Automation consultant can provide, getting back to the title of the blog post, why do you need one?
Company ‘A’ already has a Document Automation solution. They feel they’re not getting the most out of it and it’s no longer meeting their needs, but they don’t really know what to do. They know there are many Document Automation vendors in the marketplace, but if they move, they’re worried that all the data and templates they have in their system will be lost, or it will be too difficult to ‘re-learn’ another platform.
Company ‘B’ is also using a platform which doesn’t meet their needs. They want to maintain their existing licenses for the solution, including their template database and data files, but they don’t know what their options are.
Company ‘C’ has heard of Document Automation and they’ve looked at a few solutions already, but are baffled by the huge array of vendors out there and really need advice about what solution(s) they should consider for their specific business needs, in order to justify the ROI from the technology.
Company ‘D’ needs templates created quickly but doesn’t have the time to do it in-house and equally, can’t and doesn’t, want to spend a lot of money outsourcing the work.
All these scenarios are ones we have encountered, because a Document Automation consultancy company can help with all of this and more.
When it comes to looking at the Document Automation solution marketplace and assessing it extensively, a consultancy company has the benefit, (luxury?) of being objective in its approach. With over 250 Document Automation solutions in the marketplace, companies don’t have the time to review the features and benefits of each one, let alone negotiate a good deal on pricing, so why not let a Document Automation consultancy company do the hard work – here’s our process.
A good Document Automation consultancy company works with the client to understand their business and specific use case. If the client decides they want to implement Document Automation technology, the consultancy company can build and agree on bespoke pricing and licensing structures, which are unavailable via other channels.
Document Automation consultants are experts in their field, (FYI, our Founders have over 100 years’ experience in the Document Automation sector), so dependent on your requirements, you can be sure you are in good hands when it comes to solution selection, migration projects or a support service.
Developing templates cost effectively, quickly, and efficiently is also something a Document Automation consultancy company can help you with. Having an experienced template development team to do this is crucial, be it on an ad-hoc or more cost-effective subscription basis.
If you’ve read this far, I’m hoping I’ve helped you consider the value of a Document Automation consultancy company, but you might still be thinking…
But isn’t Document Automation just for law firms….
Absolutely not, and I realise I may be going slightly ‘off piste’ here, but thought it was an important point to include.
Many non-legal businesses think Document Automation isn’t applicable to them.
A company of any size, (be it an SMB to global organisations) in any industry that utilise data and documentation and who have to meet regulatory and compliance responsibilities, can benefit from an effective Document Automation solution.
The benefits of implementing Document Automation across a company is something which I won’t go into here, however, feel free to browse our Resources for more info on this.
Hopefully this blog post has answered the question, ‘Why do I need a Document Automation consultant?’ and apologies for not adding in a disclaimer earlier to let you know a ‘few’ hyperlinks to certain webpages would be included within the content. After all, there’s no way I could write a blog post on this subject without a ‘tiny’ sales pitch about us 😉
Get in touch with DocGovern today. We can make Document Automation work for you.
Let’s Get Back to Basics
As a small business you may have read or heard about Document Automation and how it could save you a significant amount of time and money…but, before you even contemplate a new expense lets be sure to look at the basics.
- What exactly is Document Automation?
- As a small business, how can it help me, i.e. why should I be interested?
- What if I don’t create that many documents, how can Document Automation still be beneficial for me?
This post will (hopefully!) answer all the above for you and give you suggestions towards what your next steps should be, should you decide it’s something that could add value to your business.
So firstly, what exactly is Document Automation?
According to Wikipedia, ‘Document Automation is the design of systems and workflows that assist in the creation of electronic documents.’ That’s pretty stuffy and academic so let’s do some translation.
As we looked at in a recent blog post Document Automation is about the creation of documents. It’s not about what you do with these documents – that’s Document Management. It’s also not about who will use the documents – that’s Document Workflow. You’ll also see the term ‘templates’ routinely being used. A template is the master that you generate documents from – your ‘Control’. Simply put, your Control ensures you can quickly create accurate, impactful documents repeatedly, at a fraction of the cost of manually creating them. Templates can be Word documents, spreadsheets or even PowerPoint presentations.
As stated in our White Paper, Document Automation has been a standard in various compliance intensive industries for decades. It not only helps to streamline workflows, which results in more productivity and less wasted cost, but effective Document Automation also gives you more time to focus on what matters to your business – selling and serving your Clients.
As a small business, you may think that Document Automation doesn’t apply to you, or you might think you don’t need it, which leads nicely onto our next question…
How can Document Automation help me, in other words, why should I be interested?
The benefits for a small business of implementing Document Automation are numerous. Even if you’re a sole trader, or your business only has a small number of employees, you could benefit from:
- Significant time and cost savings on document creation and processing.
- Reduction in the risk of human error due to having efficient, user-friendly procedures in place.
- Your regulatory requirements, e.g. GDPR, SOX, HIPAA, being met easily, through the use and enforcement of standards.
- The ability to communicate and edit documents in real-time.
When Document Automation is delivered correctly, the output will not only be more efficient, but can help underpin growth across your business.
Document Automation used to be an expensive, resource intensive undertaking only tolerable to larger organisations. That’s no longer the case. There are now some great solutions designed specifically for businesses of different sizes. What used to take weeks or months to set up, can now be done in hours. What used to cost tens of thousands of dollars, can now cost less than a daily cup of coffee. This page highlights some Document Automation solutions specifically for SMB’s.
You may also need to create and send your documents quickly, efficiently and professionally, or have them legally signed by your Clients, Staff, Partners or Suppliers, our e-book will tell you all you need to know about electronic signatures.
It’s worth remembering that the software subscription for your chosen Document Automation solution will likely be recognised as an allowable expense against the profits of your company and in consequence the corporation tax can be lower as well. A win-win scenario where adopting the solution can save you time, increase profit and quality of service, all while the actual cost is recognised by HMRC as a deductible expense. This article from The Association of Taxation Technicians, (try saying that quickly), explains a bit more.
Check out our graphic illustrating six questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about Document Automation, if you’re still not convinced😉
What if I don’t create that many documents, how can Document Automation still be beneficial for me?
Finally, you may be a sole trader, or your business only has a small number of employees, you could still be thinking, ‘we can do that ourselves’. From creating NDA’s, to drafting contracts of employment, to generating invoices, every business creates documents, and these documents are no doubt being created multiple times per month.
Just think, if you could use a Document Automation solution to create templates of these documents, wouldn’t that allow you to save a significant amount of time? Our ROI calculator will let you see the how much time you could save implementing Document Automation – you may be surprised.
Get in touch with us today for a no-obligation chat. We will help you be the best, most productive and efficient business you can be.
Throughout my time in sales, I have worked with many suppliers and all of them have one thing in common – they all excel at Enterprise sales. Their Achilles heel however, is their approach to the Mid-Market – this, they need to improve on.
How do Suppliers serve the Enterprise Market?
Most suppliers target the Enterprise market with a dedicated ‘Enterprise Sales Team’, with many other resources available to support, an often time consuming and complicated sales process. This ‘’all-hands’ approach to Enterprise sales is completely appropriate, as these corporations represent your largest sales opportunities.
Furthermore, securing a ‘blue-chip’ company gives your organisation gravitas and credible referencing capabilities. Everyone wants ‘those’ logos on their website!
What are the differences in selling to Enterprise vs. Mid-Market companies?
We all know it makes complete sense to cover an Enterprise account with a ‘full-on’ Sales & Service Team from both an economic and account management perspective, but unfortunately the economics simply don’t work as you target the Mid-Market.
Mid-Market customers simply don’t have the same scale as a larger customer. The reality is, they have fewer employees, fewer systems, less core, and non-core services, as well as smaller budgets.
The resulting sales process is very different, as Mid-Market companies’ movement is transactional. The first issue you may encounter is that many mid-size companies don’t necessarily see themselves as Mid-Market. They predominantly have the same needs as larger companies in terms of productivity, competitiveness, and growth, and they certainly don’t want to be valued any less than a FTSE 200 / Fortune 500 company. They deserve and expect the same level of service as any other business – again, this is perhaps not financially viable for many vendors.
All this makes Mid-Market sales very challenging. Suppliers tend to look to partners / resellers to help them, as this market is critical – there are many more SMB’s compared to the number of Enterprise opportunities. Tackled correctly, Mid-Market sales can be very profitable and provide sustainability where Enterprise accounts can be very damaging to a vendor when lost.
I’ve seen several companies make mistakes with the Mid-Market, so here is my take on avoiding the two most common ones:
- Be aware that all Mid-Market companies are not the same.
- The expectation that all Vice Presidents / Partners and Directors will jump at your opportunity.
As with all sales approaches, there needs to be a willingness on your part to dedicate the time and effort to understand Mid-Market customers. If you are prepared to research and specifically target the marketplace using Buyer Personas, Revenue, Industry Vertical or Geography, analyse your findings correctly, and engage with them accordingly, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed.
Why is this so important? You need to approach the mid-size prospect with relevant solutions and messages. I’ve seen software vendors create solutions for Mid-Market that are over engineered and priced beyond their means – this was a mistake from the beginning. If your solutions do not specifically offer the features and benefits, they need, or if they are priced incorrectly, prospects will assume it is not for them and look for alternatives.
You also need to ensure you have the buy-in of your marketing resource. If your messaging is geared for Enterprise, your content will not be relevant or compelling to the Mid-Market. Again, they will assume you do not want to engage with them, since you are not addressing their needs.
Whilst the benefits of your solution may well be scalable, both for Mid-Market and Enterprise, your messaging should be tailored accordingly.
- Talk towards your companies values and understanding their market. You need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and analyse not only their financials, but their history, people, culture, and vision, as well as their and appetite to buy.
- Don’t have them thinking, “it would be nice to have this but”, you need to present your solution as something far more meaningful that can fundamentally change the way they operate collectively. Share the full benefits of any single investment, show that it could create efficiencies and free up valuable resources for better utilisation.
- Finally, you need to present a true Return on Investment (ROI), that is tangible, so they understand it in real time and 100% get why they cannot be without it!
When it comes to Document Automation, companies often struggle to justify the return on their technology investment. To help companies with this, DocGovern has created an ROI Calculator to help you evaluate how much time you currently spend on Document Automation per month, and how much time you could save with an effective Document Automation Solution. Try it out here.
In conclusion, after reading the above, I think you’ll agree, selling to a Mid-Market prospect is very different to an Enterprise one. If anything, I hope I’ve at least given you ‘food for thought’, good luck and happy selling!