Are Your Prospects Reverse-Sandbagging?

by Nancy Nardin on June 23, 2010

email Are Your Prospects Reverse Sandbagging?

Sandbagging is when a Rep holds onto signed orders until the last minute. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the Rep submits all the orders at once, usually at the end of the month or quarter.

When the Rep doesn’t have any orders until the last possible moment it’s something else all together. Maybe it’s “reverse” sandbagging. Prospects hold onto orders because they’re too busy, or too distracted by other things. Only when they’re harangued by Reps or offered last minute discounts do they finally put pen to paper and paper to fax.

Reverse sandbagging is all too common. How many times can you remember final-hour appeals to get a contract signed before the end of the month, quarter, or year?

Financial incentives and personal pleas are two options for changing a buyer’s behavior. But there is a third which doesn’t involve giving money away or groveling: an online electronic signature service.

I’ll use Echosign as an example. Echosign has over 1 million users. We selected it as one of the must-have tools in our recent “Smart Inside Sales Tools” ebook and it’s the one I use.

Here are a few examples of how Echosign can help change a buyer’s behavior and help your Reps book business quicker.

Get the contract while the prospect is still on the phone. No excuses. If your prospect has agreed to move forward, and they have signature authority, you can simply email the agreement to them and have them sign it electronically while they’re still on the phone.

No more “bait and wait”. When an agreement is sent without Echosign, whether by fax or email, you have no visibility into whether the prospect has seen it; whether it’s been signed and it’s just sitting on their desk waiting to be faxed (don’t you hate that!); or whether the prospect faxed it and it just “didn’t go through”. Whenever you send an agreement with Echosign, you know where the contract is in the process. If they’ve opened it, you’ll get alerted – no more guessing when you should follow-up.

Automatic visibility for contracts at every stage. If you have a transaction based business the heavy volume of contracts makes it difficult to manage. If you’re managing a team, it’s simply not efficient to ask “where are we with the XYZ contract?” over and over again. EchoSign’s system tracks and routes signed copies as PDFs to whoever needs them — the Rep and the customer, the Sales Manager, legal, accounting, HR, your boss, your assistant, anyone. It’s 100% automated, and no one but you and the intended recipients ever receive or read the document. If it’s out for signature, if it’s been signed and needs a counter-signature, if it’s booked and filed, you’ll see it all.

When you send the document through EchoSign, the recipient opens the email, like they already do, and prints, signs and either emails or faxes the document back — again, just like they do today. Everyone automatically receives a signed copy as a PDF. Contracts get routed and filed automatically.

There just isn’t a reason not to use an electronic signature service like EchoSign. It’s easier for your customer, and you close business faster. The one thing you won’t be able to do is Sandbag – but neither will your prospects.

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