Admin edition: Upgrade how deals get done

Gone are the days of pencil-pushing and PDFs (phew). Digitizing your document workflow is the first giant step in efficiency but innovation never sleeps. In this article, we’ll cover the primary metrics to monitor in PandaDoc to continuously improve how deals get done.

We’ll focus on our key categories (speed, experience, workflow, and insights) and apply a data-driven approach to improving your sales process.

A PandaDoc Customer Success Manager, Ryanne, dove into these metrics and how they impact your team in a recent Unleashed webinar. Check out her overview here: 

Need for speed

It’s a no-brainer that you want to enable your team to close deals as quickly as possible; however, it’s equally important to customize each document for its intended recipient and, of course, to provide accurate information. Here are the metrics to focus on to ensure your team is getting relevant, error-free documents out the door as quickly as possible. 

Speed metric: time from created to sent

Our key tip for increasing speed is this: never create a document from scratch. Don’t copy an existing document and manually edit it either. Both of those methods waste precious time and leave room for typos or other errors like forgetting to change a name.

Instead, do this:

  1. Create a doc from template (within your CRM if you have one)
  2. Quick edits (if necessary)
  3. Send!

As a manager or admin, you have the power (and the responsibility) to set your team up for speedy document generation. In your speed toolkit, you have:

Templates are essential. In fact, we have so much to say about the importance of templates, we wrote an entire article on it. Check out “Power up your proposal templates” here. 

Variables like [Prospect.FirstName] act as placeholders for dynamic content, and can be pulled directly from your CRM to ensure accuracy. 

Roles allow you to pre-assign fields, pre-determine signing order flows, and quickly insert customer contact info.

The Content Library is quite literally a library of relevant content. Reps can quickly drag and drop pre-approved snippets such as case studies or feature descriptions on the fly.

Each of these time-saving tools help shave down your document delivery timeline. Next step: closing the deal! 

Speed metric: time to close

Now that the document is in the prospect’s hands, how can you leverage PandaDoc to continue to push the deal to the finish line?

Last year, our existing customers shortened the average time to close by 30% by creating urgency after sending the document. Here’s how:

Reminders can be the subtle nudge that a prospect needs to take a look at the document. These can be set to go out automatically or triggered manually by the doc sender. 

Comments are more personal than reminders and can spark a conversation. You’re more likely to get their attention by addressing the recipient by name and reminding them that you’re here to help.

Notifications allow you to strike while the iron is hot. For example, you can get an email every time one of your recipients opens the document. Time to pick up the phone!


Setting up seamless workflows that automate manual tasks and move documents through the sales cycle efficiently is critical for improving the aforementioned speed metrics. When your team is using automated workflows, they’re spending less time on their documents and more time actually closing deals. 

The best part is that you don’t sacrifice quality for speed when using workflows. Templates, the content library, and approval workflows reduce friction in the document creation process while reducing manual errors and ensuring your team adheres to branding and legal guidelines. 

Workflow metric: approval rate

Sending a document for approval should simply be a formality to make sure another pair of (internal) eyes are on a document before it goes to the recipients. 

Among our top 10% of PandaDoc power users, the approval rate is from 98-100% because the admins have set their teams up for success by making sure workflows are dialed in (keep reading to find out how).

Workflow metric: template rate

Equipping your team with pre-approved, up-to-date content allows them to create documents quickly and with total confidence. 

Your template rate will show you the percent of documents that were created (and sent) from templates to the total amount of sent documents. Since Templates are the most important element of enabling your team, this is a must-watch metric.

Think about all of the ingredients that make a great contract or proposal (if you’re not sure what those are, check out this article on how to power up your proposal templates). Here are some key elements that our reps include in winning documents: 

  • Personalized content
  • Up-to-date branding
  • Case studies
  • Terms & conditions
  • Security descriptions

With the right workflow, you can generate on-brand, error-free documents with a few clicks, autofill those docs with personalized information from a CRM, and even drag & drop a relevant case study into it – all within minutes.

Sales teams care about closing deals, Legal cares about maintaining security & compliance, Marketing cares about saying on-brand, etc., etc. An efficient workflow centered around templates allows each team to do what they do best. 


Let’s talk about your customer experience. Is it something you value? (Hint: you should!) In order to have a healthy business, it’s critical to both win and retain customers. Creating a great customer experience can set you apart in the sales process and ensure loyalty.  

Metric to watch: close rate

When we talk about measuring efficiency and success in sales, all roads lead back to close rates. No matter how seamless your workflows, how flawless the presentations are, how quickly your team is getting docs out of the door, if you’re not seeing deals close, it’s all for nought. 

Once you hit “send” the fate of the deal is largely in the hands of your prospects. While there are some great follow-up techniques to help keep your documents top-of-mind and your deals in motion, if you do it right, most of the work should be done by the time you send the proposal.

To maximize close rates:

  • Make it quick and easy to sign (deliver docs via email, allow them to quickly share with any other stakeholders, leverage eSigning technology)
  • Ensure content is relevant and error-free (minimize any back-and-forth)
  • Allow for customers to self-select from multiple pricing options
  • Respond quickly (set notifications and make edits in no time)

For a great all-around customer experience, use PandaDoc’s payment integrations so your recipients can easily pay online as soon as they complete the document.

Monitor your team’s close rate within the Activity Reporting feature in your workspace. Leverage document analytics and deal insights to pinpoint areas for improvement.

Metric to watch: document activity

Document activity metrics like number of opens, time spent viewing, whether the document was downloaded and/or forwarded to another person are key to zeroing in on the deals that are most likely to close. 

For more on this topic, check out the following articles:

Metric to watch: rejection rate

Across the board, we have under a 2% rejection rate, while our highest close rate is around 63% – which tells us that 35% of documents are stuck in the cycle of “it’s not a great time” or simply disappear into the abyss. 

Here’s a challenge for you: get rejected. Stop looking at rejection as a disadvantage and start using it as a tool to discover why the documents you are sending out aren’t being signed.

Where along the sales process is the disconnect happening? 


In sales, you’re always juggling moving parts and different players while continually needing to hit your numbers. Insight into each deal stage isn’t just a nice-to-have, it is essential in order to find leaks and improve your process. 

Within PandaDoc Activity Reporting, sales managers and admins can view trends among their team and course-correct with ease. There are a few key metrics to check, such as the overall number and value of documents sent per rep, the document funnel metrics (how many documents move from sent to signed, etc), time to close and close rate.

Leverage Content Reporting to identify top-performing content and content usage patterns to best enable your team. You’ll find that reps often default to using certain pieces of content over and over. By observing content usage among your team, identify and fill gaps and remove any unused or irrelevant content from your library. (Pro tip: this is also a great way to make sure your team is using your most up-to-date content.)

As reps, it’s important to leverage analytics to help you manage your time in order to prioritize deals and keep them moving. Check out these two articles to learn more:

Wrapping up

With PandaDoc, you not only have the ability to accelerate document creation, reduce manual effort, and improve customer experience — you also have insights into your team’s workflow as well as your document recipient’s behavior. That’s a lot of data at your fingertips! Use the metrics mentioned above to find areas for improvement and to identify and replicate successful behaviors and processes.

Set up workflows that empower your team to move quickly and arm them with data so they can focus where it matters and close more deals.