Got the perfect proposal prepped but don’t know how to conclude it? How about creating a unique digital signature to close the deal?
Creating proposals requires a lot of research and editing – to create the most impactful piece, you must read up on the client’s requirements. The problem statement part of the letter highlights how accurately you recognise the underlying problem. To convince a client, you need to show them how your brand/company fits these requirements to the t.
But did you know there is another trick that can help you close deals faster? According to surveys, 65% of proposals with digital signature blocks close within 24 hours!
Why are Digital Signatures Important?
Since becoming legally recognised in 2000, digital signatures have become a major part of the business industry. Simple and inspired, this system is responsible for improving productivity in the workforce.
Before digital signatures were a norm, people had to print out the document and add their mark in physical form to validate it. This system was a major hamper to long-distance deals and agreements. Fortunately, after being recognised by the US Congress, this system occupies the same legal standing as ink and paper signatures.
With the rise of remote working and work-from-home offices, this online document signing system is more relevant than ever. Any deal can be legally closed from around the world using digital signatures. Since clients no longer have to be physically present to sign proposals, digital signatures can help close deals faster than conventional ink and paper contracts.
What are Digital Signatures?
Simply put, digital signatures are encrypted, reinforced versions of the hand-signed marks seen on a physical contract or agreement. These are as legally binding as regular signatures and carry the same validity in proposals and contracts. Digital signs are an online representation of the client’s agreement to abide by the terms highlighted in the document.
Digital Signatures vs e-Signatures
However, they aren’t simply a digital version of a person’s physical signature. If you were to refer to only a virtual recreation of the same, you would be referring to e-signatures, not digital signatures. Unlike the former, the online signing system in business proposals uses an encrypted system to provide an extra layer of security.
While an e-signature is only a virtual recreation, digital signatures are an encrypted version of the document to be signed. Aside from the actual signature, a digital signature also contains relevant information, including name, email address, location, and more. Though both forms are legally binding, this version is more authentic as it contains the abovementioned details.
How do Digital Signatures Work?
Digital signatures are preferred in high-value contracts – they help close deals faster and reduce the need to check for document tampering. The encryption used in this system is based on coed keys. These are separated into public and private keys for added security – the document within can be accessed using only the correct key.
The parties in charge of forwarding the proposals are in charge of the former code. This public key is available to all the parties sending the documents. However, the private key is available only to the recipient – this is a unique, encrypted code capable of opening the forwarded proposals. The recipient can open the document and get the necessary approvals if the public and private keys match.
This system is doubly protected from tampering because the content gets nullified if the codes in the keys do not match. In such events, both parties, i.e. the sender and the intended recipient, are informed about the data breach.
Reasons for the Popularity of Digital Signatures in Business Proposals
If you are wondering why 65% of proposals with digital signatures close within 24 hours, here’s why
- Reduced Execution Time: Clients can save valuable time without the need to print or scan documents. Since several tools allow them to sign in using the home browser, it increases workplace productivity.
- Saves on Fling Space: Since all proposals are digital, it saves fling space and costs. These docs can also be easily forwarded to relevant teams for processing/invoicing.
- Increased Security: The PKI system ensures that digital signatures are more secure than physical documents. It promotes authenticity and prevents tampering.
Using Digital Signatures in Proposals and Deals
The PKI infrastructure based on public and private key access makes digital signatures the preferred way to close business deals. This system protects sensitive information while offering unique digital identities for the sender and the recipient.
In addition to the authentication system, users also benefit from faster operations time. With digital signatures, users do not have to print or scan documents to validate them. This system helps streamline workflow, improving productivity in the office. Automating digital signatures cuts back on tampering, as the encrypted certificates are impossible to crack without the necessary keys.
Businesses in the US waste more than $8 billion worth of paper annually. Opting for sustainable practices like digital signatures also thus helps cut down on environmental waste. These measures can ensure that your company contributes to a greener planet.
Relevant Laws Surrounding Digital Signatures
If you are worried about digital signatures not being legally binding, you needn’t be! According to US and European laws, proposals with e-signatures are as valid as ink and paper ones. Two important legislations supporting this are
Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act
Backed by the US Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission, this law was enforced on June 30, 2000. This legislation was passed by the US Congress and recognised digital signatures’ admissibility in foreign and inter-state trade agreements.
European Directive (EC/1999/93)
This EU regulation recognises the validity of digital signatures. Adopted on Dec 13, 1999, Article 5 under Directive 1999/93/EC recognises the uniform enforceability of digital signatures for all states under the European Union. According to this law, no legal document in a court of law can be denied validity because it has a digital signature.