Electronic Signature Downside - Ongoing SubscriptionsHowever, they also come at a significant cost, and that is a cost that goes on month after month in the form of a subscription. One of our clients didn't want that ongoing expense and asked us to produce a custom system that would gather an electronic signature and store that in Salesforce against the relevant records and statements to which they were applying their electronic signature.
Legal Electronic Signatures in Salesforce.comA legal electronic signature, as declared by the ESIGN act in 2000, is one where you have captured an individual's intent to sign, meaning you've verified the user's identity during the signing process, and that the record keeping systems involved make it clear what the individual was signing - specifically what they were agreeing to.
We satisfied these conditions in this custom system by verifying the user's identity through their email address and by allowing them to physically sign using a mouse or finger in their browser or on their mobile device or tablet. Additionally, we tracked the various legal statements to which the individual was agreeing to in the various records that go along with their signature. Finally we capture the image of their signature, the IP Addresses where they initiated and then completed the signature.
Does your company need an Electronic Signature Solution?Though the description below details how we specifically addressed these issues for one client, the concepts involved would be the same, regardless of the specific way in which they were solved. Consider the case below in light of your electronic signature needs - the concepts below could most likely be adapted to your specific requirements as well.
Electronic Signature Salesforce Case StudyFor this client, we used the signing process as a way to gather the final pieces of information that conclude the sales process, so we built an online form with fields where their customer could provide them with the additional needed information. This information would be saved back into Salesforce.com and then the user would proceed to provide their electronic digital signature.
The process works like this: as a sales rep concludes the sale, they send an email containing a link to this online form. That online form is hosted by Salesforce and made visible to the client via a Sites page. Your customer does not need a Salesforce license to deliver this form to the client via Sites.
The customer would fill out this form. This form could contain any fields that the company wanted. It is a normal online form, it differs only in that it is hosted by Salesforce and is used to start the signature gathering process. The data entered by the customer into this form saves right back into the initiating record in Salesforce.com.
As part of this form we also include the various legal statements to which we need the client to agree. These are listed on the form and can be read by the client if desired.
When they Submit for Signature, we save a signature record in Salesforce indicating that they have started the signing process. We know who the contact is and we capture their IP Address. We send the client another email with a link to the actual signature page. We list again the statements to which the user agreed on the previous page, ask them to indicate their agreement by checking the box, and then sign.
Here they will actually sign, using their mouse or their finger in the form provided. This works in a browser, a phone, or a tablet.
When the person signs and submits their signature, we update their signature record in Salesforce with a second IP Address that shows where they were as they submitted the signature. Here is an example of the record created in Salesforce with the details of their signature.