7 Problems with Manually Created Order Forms


Sandeep Jain


October 17, 2022

7 Problems with Manually Created Order Forms
7 Problems with Manually Created Order Forms

Startups often use manually generated order forms for their early customers. These forms are usually 2-3 pages long with pricing info and a miniature version of the terms and conditions (written in Word/Google Docs or Excel/Google Sheets). Likely, a founder or your early sales reps write them up.

Almost everyone does it this way. Why?

Well, it's super easy, it works, and it's free!

Seems like a great way to do order forms, right?

Maybe not. As you scale (typically to 10+ customers), you'll start seeing issues. They may seem small at first, but they'll rapidly become a massive roadblock to your revenue growth.

I've seen companies with 50+ customers still using manual order forms. This is actually bizarre as it has a massive impact on revenue. But here's the thing: revenue unrealized is usually revenue ignored. What if you could fix this problem?

Here are the 7 issues I often see with manual order forms — problems that affect your bottom line.

Problem 1: Rep Efficiency/Anxiety

Reps spend a lot of time creating an order form.

They have to navigate outside the CRM to locate the most current Google Docs/Sheets, make a copy, edit the document (by following directions in the comments), double or even triple-check calculations, and then send the form via email for review/approval. Since customers ask for different buying scenarios, subscription terms, or packages, a rep has to send multiple order forms, which means they're now also responsible for versioning.

But wait, there's more.

Reps then have to put the order form and the MSA together in the e-Sign solution, add information about internal and external parties, and ensure that everything looks clean.

Once these time-consuming steps are complete, the final document is sent to the customer.

Exhausted yet? The tedium is painful.

Here's the thing — "Your reps should be busy selling, not quoting."

Our research has shown that reps waste 27% of their time tackling the quoting process when they could've used their time for actually talking to the customers... which is what you hired them to do.

<p>Manual Orders Take up Your Headspace</p>
Manual Orders Take up Your Headspace

Problem 2: Approval Workflow Is a Mess

Reps often have to adjust the order form to account for non-standard contract lengths, payment terms, aggressive discounting, ramping on discounts or quantity, etc. These revised order forms then have to be reviewed by different internal stakeholders.

Our data shows that roughly 43% of order forms are reviewed and approved by an internal stakeholder — legal, finance, sales, or execs.

With manual order forms, the RevOps team has to check each order form and tag people to review and approve it. If the rep has to make some changes based on feedback, the cycle repeats itself.

This process is a massive time-sink for everyone involved (order forms circle the drain), breeding frustration and negativity.

Worse, it compounds the delay in sending the order form to the customer, negatively impacting customer experience.

Problem 3: Error-Prone / Bad Data

Manually-created order forms are subject to human error.

Our data indicates that roughly 18% of the manually created forms have some kind of mistake.

And an astonishing 5% of manual order forms had incorrect pricing!

Errors directly impact the commission a rep gets, and such errors leave a bad taste for your rep and, worse, your customers.

Problem 4: Lack of Reporting

The order forms eventually need to be uploaded to the CRM. However, since these order forms are likely in PDF format, the data about what products, quantities, etc., the customer purchased is not easily queriable.

That means either:

  1. Someone has to transfer the information from the order form to the CRM manually (a very tedious and error-prone task), or
  2. The consumers of this information (customer support, billing, operations) review the PDF file manually, which is a time sink for everyone.

Problem 5: Lack of Contract Standardization

Manual order forms allow reps to edit the contract structure and terms without any oversight, which can have enormous implications for your legal, operations, and billing teams.

Our data indicate that a lack of oversight affects roughly 7% of manual order forms.

Problem 6: Hard-to-Read Order Forms

While a lot of time goes into creating an order form, its readability is often ignored.

When was the last time you received an order form from your vendor that you easily understood?

Details like payment schedule, payment terms, and what you purchased leave you guessing. The customer journey and CX start when the customer receives an order form, and every bit of that experience matters.

A CRO I recently spoke with said it best: "Order forms need to be treated like a piece of art."

Problem 7: Creating Renewal Order Forms Is a Huge Challenge

To create a renewal order form correctly, a rep has to review the entire order history — from the first order form to any subsequent order forms corresponding to any amendments (upsell, downsell or cross-sell) during the contract period.

Collating this information can take up even an entire day. That's a day your rep isn't selling.

How to Fix Manual Order Form Problems

The obvious solution is to automate the whole process using a tool that is called CPQ (Configure Price Quote) system.

Easy, right?

No. Classic CPQ tools have a terrible interface, are excruciatingly slow, and (most importantly) don't support SaaS workflows, which results in even more error-prone manual work.

Classic CPQ tools also cost a lot, have lengthy implementation requirements, and fall short (by a mile) of the promise of full automation. Talk to any RevOps team: They'll share horror stories about bad experiences and negative ROI.

Here's the thing — solving this complex problem the right way requires a fresh approach.

Imagine a CPQ tool built ground-up for SaaS with an intuitive and blazingly fast interface that supports your sales reps as well as your web users and partners.

Now imagine that it doesn't require implementation partners — you can do it yourself in less than 2 weeks!

Wait, there is more!

What if this CPQ tool also supports billing natively so that invoices get generated automatically? Furthermore, imagine if it does provisioning and entitlements natively so that your product team doesn't have to worry about manually setting the right product limits for each order.

This is the modern RevOps architecture of Enterprise Monetization for SaaS.

That's what makes MonetizeNow unique.

About MonetizeNow

Founded in 2021, MonetizeNow is revolutionizing GTM operations for B2B SaaS Enterprises of any size. At MonetizeNow, our mission is simple: to make B2B commerce completely frictionless and provide a delightful experience for your customers to do business with you. 

Our innovative platform combines Quoting/CPQ, Metering, Billing, and Reporting, to deliver a truly plug-and-play Quote-to-Cash experience across all sales channels.

It’s time to empower your Sales, RevOps, and Finance teams with an all-in-one solution that will revolutionize your entire business. Reduce manual tasks, allowing a stronger focus on strategic pricing and innovative GTM strategies. Generate complex quotes quickly and enjoy full automation of your billing processes. Easily handle proration, co-term agreements, and renewals for seamless operations.

Get back to focusing on value. If you can build it, you can sell it with MonetizeNow.

If you’re interested in learning more about MonetizeNow, please check out our product page or schedule a demo.

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