How to Use Quality Contract Lifecycle Management Software?
The new generation of CLM tools aims to simplify these complex systems and make them more accessible to businesses. They typically go to market by targeting customers of CRM and ERP software. For example, vendors such as Apttus and Icertis focus on Salesforce integration.
Contract management software automates many contract-related processes and saves businesses time. It also helps teams stay on top of their contracts and mitigates business risk.
Finding a specific clause in a contract can be time-consuming. Fortunately, the right CLM solution makes it easy to locate any clause in your contract portfolio.
It’s easy to use
A quality CLM solution will have a central contract repository with advanced search and filter options, which enhances visibility. It will also provide data protection settings that ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines. Lastly, the software should allow admins to create approval workflows that keep key stakeholders aware of potential issues.
In addition, many CLM systems offer automated Contract Lifecycle Management tools that help users get through repetitive and menial tasks quickly. This alleviates the burden on staff members and mitigates human errors. In fact, a study found that people spend over 60 percent of their time on non-strategic work, so automating these tasks is critical.
Finally, the best CLM solutions use AI to streamline contract processes and increase speed-to-value for sales, legal, procurement, and other teams. These applications include pre-negotiation and post-execution AI solutions that identify and eliminate risks such as force majeure clauses.
To convince decision-makers, you’ll need to demonstrate that your CLM system will deliver a high return on investment. To do this, you’ll need to determine which workflows will be affected by the solution and calculate the potential savings from reduced costs and increased productivity. You’ll also need to understand how much it will cost to implement the software and project when it will pay for itself. If possible, compare prices and features of various vendors and choose one that’s financially friendly.
It’s easy to customize
Many CLM vendors offer tools in various packages, but the best software will allow you to customize the features that are most relevant for your organization. It is also important to clearly identify your organizational needs and goals before closely examining each tool’s functionality.
For example, if most of your pain points come from pre-signature processes like drafting, approvals, and authoring, then you should look for a solution that is designed to streamline these areas. You should also consider your pain points post-signature, such as monitoring milestones, locating contracts, and ensuring compliance.
Contracts are constantly changing, and the last thing you want is to miss a key deadline or lose track of an obligation. With a quality CLM system, you can set reminders and notifications to stay on top of contract changes. In addition, you can use the information in your contracts to support performance analytics and reporting.
A good contract management system will be able to provide a seamless integration with the tools that you already use on a daily basis such as Google Sheets, Microsoft Docs Slack and Zoom. It should also have a robust library of preapproved terms and standardized language to simplify the drafting process. This can make a big difference in the time it takes for your legal team to draft an agreement. In addition, the drafting process should include redlining and side by side version comparison so that stakeholders can easily agree on the final draft of a document.
It’s easy to integrate
The best CLM software will feature a central contract repository that streamlines search, discovery and retrieval. This allows users to track changes, review, redline and sign contracts with a single Contract Lifecycle Management tools. This helps prevent the loss of important information, a common issue in many organizations. It also gives users certain safeguards such as document version backups and meta stamps that indicate when changes were made, and under whose lead.
It should include a robust reporting function, delivering insights into turnaround times that capture the reasons behind delay and scope for optimization. Other important insights may be in the form of financial performance reports based on contract metrics such as revenue or purchase reporting, or contract risk assessments that address issues like exceptions, payment term negotiations, liabilities and non-compete clauses.
Finally, look for a provider that offers a la carte features rather than a set package. This allows you to choose the features that are most valuable to your business. It’s similar to the way you choose a hotel room: how much space do you want, what amenities?
As with any new tool, getting buy-in from stakeholders is a key step. Present stakeholders with clear statistics on the amount of time current practices waste and how costly and risky they are, and they’ll be more likely to support the investment.
It’s easy to train
A good CLM solution should be easy for employees to use, even if they’re not familiar with cloud-based software. This includes the broader C-level executives you’ll need to convince that investing in new software will actually pay off, not just help them manage contracts.
Your general counsel and their legal team will benefit the most from a quality CLM solution. But other departments such as procurement, sales, and human resources also need contract management to be quick and efficient. These stakeholders can be more easily convinced if they see how a CLM system will save them time and resources.
A quality CLM system makes drafting, reviewing, and approving documents faster and more convenient. It enables you to create templates with pre-approved terms and standardized language, which reduces the time it takes for new contracts to be written. It also helps you identify and resolve potential risks with the help of automated alerts and notifications. And, when the time comes to renew or terminate a contract, it’s easier to make an informed decision because you can review all of your options using a robust set of performance analytics.
The best CLM software also makes it much less likely to miss deadlines or obligation. The system lets you keep a close eye on upcoming event and renewal and it provide reminders to review document before they are executed. It can also help you proactively resolve issue and avoid fines.
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