Like any tool, you have to learn how to use it (and where to use it) to get the most out of it.
While adopting a CLM is an accomplished step in the right direction, it’s important to first clean up your contracting processes to make sure that the transition to a smarter platform is a clean one. Whether in legal, sales, or procurement, excellent contract management and the right CLM solution (Contract Lifecycle Management) can enhance how the entire enterprise operates.
Below are our top five ways to revolutionise your contract process in the days before CLM adoption. We’ve provided the areas you’ll need to think about, along with important considerations designed to walk you through this transformative accomplishment. While it’s a big decision and can be a large undertaking, SaaSam and Agiloft are here to walk you through each step.
The first step in revolutionising the contract process is to understand whether or not the company currently has a CLM solution and –if they do—is the solution meeting its needs.
According to Healthcare Finance, about 60% to 80% of an organization’s transactions are governed by contracts, yet many companies don’t use a CLM solution or the right solution in their contract process, which means the business can be leaking at least 9% of its yearly revenue.
A CLM platform brings together all the tools your team needs to create, edit, track, and renew contracts across their entire lifecycle.
It serves as a centralised repository for contract information, making it easy for your staff to find what they need. It includes templates and other automations that cut down on repetitive manual tasks, and reporting capabilities that help you analyse and optimise future contracts. In addition, the right solution integrates (or connects to) tools that are used by your team on a daily basis.
The contract lifecycle process can be labour-intensive and monotonous, but with the right CLM it becomes streamlined and efficient, taking you seamlessly through each phase of the contract lifecycle.
With SaaSam and Agiloft our CLM solution has custom templates, a dynamic clause library, and other contract-focused tools that will increase the speed of your contract drafting and keep your agreements on track. It is important, however, to keep analysing what you are doing to check if it is working for you. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to contract management, and with the right implementers and the right support (weirdly, I have a recommendation right here) your CLM solution can evolve to meet your needs.
Develop A Contract Management Plan
Having a Contract Management Plan positively impacts the daily operations of a business as well as the way in which business is carried out. But where do you begin? One way to initiate this strategy is to start with a kick-off meeting. This allows all the employees to come together, voice their concerns or priorities, and clarify the details that go into creating a contract.
Next, it’s important to identify the weaknesses within the organisation as well as the current way in which contracts are being managed. Once the pain points are identified, then you’ll know what you need to be looking for in a new system.
Finally, inspect the current contract process. These can be used as a guide to approve future contracts and deals. You can also take a closer look at frequent amendments or unexpected circumstances that often arise. These are challenges that can be integrated into a new contract plan.
We might mention this a few more times in the future, but it’s important to remember that your contract solution is tailored to fit your needs – sometimes those needs require tweaking the platform and changing the system for maximum satisfaction.
If you need changes - ask for those changes. Having wants and needs that have been agreed upon and are able to be plainly communicated is a massive step forwards in preparing your business for a contract management solution.
Quantify The Process
When it comes to your current contract management process, can you explain the system’s ROI to key stakeholders? If you are currently utilizing the right system, any top executive should be able to pull up reports containing data that can be used to assess the value of contracts and the CLM itself. When doing this, ask yourself: what are the key elements to quantify contract performance? In order to answer this question, you first must define KPIs and standards for contract goals like contract turnaround time, pricing and deal size, contract terms, and risk scores.
The CLM that you choose should have effective reporting that allows contract owners and the organisation to stay connected, in real-time, throughout the contract lifecycle. To properly assess contract progress, you should clarify contract monitoring methods, reporting frequency, milestone and performance metrics, the process for dispute and claim resolution as well as the contract closeout checklist.
Digitise, Digitise, Digitise
Digitising your contracts allows your company access to the richest source of data, all at the touch of a button. In addition, the contract workflow process is automated, resulting in an efficient, trackable, and faster solution that leads to savings in purchasing, a more efficient sales cycle, lowers risk of compliance, and much more.
A customised CLM gives you a unified solution to manage contract sustainability, consistency, completeness, searchability, ownership, and risk management. Every department will be able to make smarter, more informed decisions. You can easily pinpoint revenue opportunities from the data in the sell-side contracts, and you’ll be able to make data-driven negotiations. In short, your entire way of doing business on a daily basis will be elevated to a higher standard.
Below are just some of the main benefits you can expect to reap when digitising contracts.
Immediate access to all contracts
Create standardized templates
Create contracts instantly
Streamline and manage workflow
Comply with regulatory requirements
Get customized reports
Integrate with thousands of systems
Measure KPIs and identify bottlenecks
And much more…
Integrate and Connect
The right CLM solution should provide an organisation with connected experiences on many levels. First, it will connect multiple stakeholders across the enterprise, including Legal, Sales and Procurement. Second, the CLM will also integrate with the tools that are crucial to a business’s day-to-day operations. This allows the data from the CLM to flow from system to system.
Connections such as these were once hard to achieve. Not anymore. Today, no-code platforms such as Agiloft make these integrations easy and painless with a drag-and-drop system. Something you can do, however, is plan ahead. Figure out what you need to have integrated, whether or not it can be integrated now, whether it needs extra work from the implementers, or if it might be supported later. The better prepared you are, the better the system will work for you.
If you're ready to pave the road of success with the cobbles of contract management, reach out to us at email@example.com and we'll jump on a call with you to discuss your contract lifecycle management needs!
Original article by Em Atteberry (https://www.agiloft.com/blog/5-ways-to-revolutionize-the-contracting-process-in-your-first-90-days/) additional words by C. Redpath