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Four CLM Pitfalls (And How To Avoid Them)

As the saying goes – adopting a CLM solution isn’t just for Christmas. You need to be thinking about the long-term health of your solution and what you can do now to make sure that it keeps on working for you long into the future. CLM adoption and implementation is a journey, and not every journey is a smooth one – luckily there are things that you can do before you start to make sure that the path ahead is as clear by identifying possible pitfalls and solutions before you ever encounter them!

Pitfall #1: Demo Blindness

According to the Standish Group CHAOS report, only 29% of enterprise software implementations are successful and 19% fail completely—the remainder limp into production late, over-budget, and prone to ongoing security holes and glitches. Considering that CLM software falls into the category of enterprise software, this is a troubling statistic. Where did it all go wrong? Surely these software procurers had a list of requirements and had conducted their research on the best solutions? 

Once you have done the hard work of meeting with key stakeholders, researching system capabilities, and identifying the precise needs of your CLM, you should ask every potential solution provider to demonstrate their ability to meet those specific needs. A cookie-cutter demo will guarantee you a system that works under cookie-cutter conditions. Unless you only have a handful of users and very simple parameters, this is not a demo, it’s a sales pitch. 

Ask us – please, ask us! - to show you what we can do to unlock Agiloft’s true capabilities and the ability to tailor it to your needs. The last thing we want is for you to walk away with a product that isn’t going to work for you, or that doesn’t meet your standards. Make sure to be clear about what you want, and we will do our very best to show you how we can make our product work for you.

Pitfall #2: Ignoring the Implementers (that's us!)

When deploying enterprise software—and CLM is no different—the quality of the implementation is as important as the quality of the software. Is there a clear transition plan from the old way of doing things to the new system for all stakeholders? Is there a step-by-step project plan with schedules, milestones and owners? Are workflows clearly mapped out? Is the integration with current ERP or CRM systems clearly documented? For organisations who are implementing CLM for the first time, contracts may be scattered—in emails, hard drives, and spreadsheets, and workflows may not be spelled out. A strong implementation team will have a proven process to clarify your priorities and refine or establish workflows to ensure a successful deployment. However messy the existing system is, a good implementation team will work with you to impose order on the chaos. 

But how can you be sure that a vendor has the technical skills to complete a successful implementation? Pay close attention to the services part of the engagement. Check references thoroughly and probe how confident a vendor is about implementation services.

Again, the key element in avoiding an implementation pitfall is communication between the potential client and us. The shortest distance between two points is, of course, a straight line – we want to encourage you to get in touch with us directly so that we can provide you with everything you need to know about us, our processes, and our past work. At SaaSam we are always happy to take the time to communicate with prospective clients about the implementation process and what we can do to meet your selection standards and put your mind at ease.

Pitfall #3: Unintended Uninterested Users

According to a 2017 Forbes article, only 8.4% of enterprise software errors are system-related; the remaining 91.6% are due to the user, design, or process. This means that even if you avoid the pitfalls that we have presented so far, you could still end up with a failed system if employees don’t embrace your solution. 

Even if the user population is just a handful of tech-savvy team members, don’t underestimate the importance of gaining their buy-in from the start and selecting a software that can change as quickly as their preferences will in the future. 

Even if users are willing to embrace a new system initially that doesn’t mean that they will remain loyal. It’s best to consider long-term engagement as well as initial adoption—users changing their mind is the rule, not the exception. It’s important to choose a system that will adapt to the shifting needs of the employees and the business.  

We are firm believers in the Agiloft platform and our ability to provide you with the tools that you need – both right now to far into the distant future. We know that there are going to be new changes, requirements, and challenges throughout the entirety of your CLM journey, and we are dedicated to providing support every single step of the way. Embracing a system, to us, isn’t just throwing some software your way and calling it a day – CLM is evolving, and we see it as our job to keep you up-to-date and aware of those evolutions so that you can continue to use software that meets your needs and requirements even if those change.  

Pitfall #4: Vendor Dependance

It’s always preferable to have a solution provider who is responsive, knowledgeable and happy to manage the entire implementation. However, after the system has been implemented and users have embraced it, you should no longer be dependent on the solution provider for everything. If the system requires a lot of programming and there’s no one on your team with the programming skills and bandwidth to own the role of administrator, you may find yourself leaning heavily on the provider for ongoing support. This is unsustainable in the long term, not just because of the expense, but also because it creates an unhealthy dependency on a supplier. For instance, if your system has been modified with a lot of custom coding, what happens if the programmer leaves or prioritises other projects? 

This is why we are proud to be built on a no-code platform. An oft-repeated mantra at SaaSam is that “software should not dictate what you can and cannot do”, and we firmly believe in this – we want you to be able to manage your own system as much as possible, no matter your level of programming fluency. Agiloft allows for deep configurability using just a browser, which makes it much faster and more accessible to non-programmers to modify and update. The advantage is not only do you not need a programmer for modifications and updates but also the person administering the system is likely to be the one most knowledgeable about CLM. 


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