Automated document generation – the easier way to do business

As the digital revolution gains pace, automation is on the rise in a number of Salesforce features – think Flow Builder, Process Builder and APIs, to name but three – and it’s hardly surprising.  Whether used to enhance sales’ performance, for product testing, in marketing or document generation, automation saves time, is cost effective and removes the element of human error that can arise, especially in repetitive processes. As a result, these tools help businesses become more streamlined, agile and efficient overall.

The curse of paperwork / Easing the pain of paperwork / Easing the paperwork burden

Let’s talk about how automation can revolutionize the never-ending task of document generation. With businesses around the world creating an estimated 200 billion documents every year, there is huge potential for time and cost savings to be achieved through automating this necessary, but often painful, part of business life.

Whether you’re producing a quote, invoice, contract or report, switching between programs, cutting and pasting information from different users, systems and documents can be time consuming and complex. If the information is incorrect, incomplete or out of date, then so will the end document be, which reflects badly on your business at best, and can be costly at worst.

Create, print, repeat…

Consider this example from the world of sales (although similar scenarios can be created for legal, customer success or executive teams). By the time a sale has been concluded, the following fundamental steps are likely to have been taken:

  • Customer inquiry received
  • Price quote sent to the customer
  • Signed quote received
  • Receipt of signed quote acknowledged
  • Follow-up activity carried out – for example arranging time and date for delivery

The basic formula is the same each time, so why re-invent the wheel? By taking a joined-up approach between people, processes and data, you can ensure that all the necessary elements are accessible in one place. Add to this an automation tool that is code-free, flexible and smart, and life’s about to get interesting!

 Automation advantages

It’s not just about producing documents, or even about creating them in different formats like in PDF, Word, HTML and eMai; it’s about having the tools you need at your fingertips to generate documents with innovative, user-friendly features. Imagine the convenience of editing a document template that has built-in sales messages and value propositions, has attachment capabilities, and enables customers to easily fill in, sign and return forms online – all via Salesforce. Such a solution would save valuable time, help prevent human error and free up staff from being weighed down by office admin, so they can focus on finding creative ways to improve the business.

 Maintain a personal touch

Automation doesn’t mean taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’, impersonal approach. Organizations that need to communicate with a large number of customers simultaneously can do so efficiently, while maintaining an element of personalization that lets each one feel they are getting individual attention. A good document generation tool should support Maximum Availability Architecture (MASS) best practices and database consolidation, not only generating a single document for all customers, but ensuring that every document is personalized based on Salesforce customer records, and providing a suitable response to each customer, depending on their specific needs. Features such as electronic signatures, interactive fields, file attachment capabilities all enhance the personal touch.

The elephant in the room

If it’s all so easy and the benefits are all so clear, why isn’t everybody doing it? The truth is that many businesses, even those who already use Salesforce, are somewhat apprehensive about implementing automation tools. They may be anxious about the challenges of the transition itself from manual to automated; or perhaps the IT staff ultimately responsible for their company embarking on such an initiative are concerned about what it would mean for them and for other employees. To this we echo the words of American businesswoman, Clara Shih:

Smart organizations will embrace strategic automation use cases. Strategic decision will be based on how technology will free up time to do the types of tasks that humans are uniquely positioned to perform.

 Get on board! / Join the automation revolution

In short, automated document generation saves you time and resources, improves the quality of documents you’re sending out, helps you deliver a more accurate, streamlined customer experience, and improves business operations. There are a number of solutions on the market today, but to get all the features mentioned above, in a comprehensive, flexible interactive platform that can be used with Salesforce, you should definitely consider Docomotion-

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