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Growing A CLM-Ready Environment

Contract Lifecycle Management is a phenomenal tool that we think more people should use – but it isn’t magic. It might feel like magic, it might work like magic, and your experience with it might be magical, but it is not magic – it’s more like… gardening. Your CLM adoption can provide incredible results if you cultivate it and allow it to bloom, and for a large number of cases CLM preparedness directly translates to CLM success. For your CLM implementation to be effective and draw the most out of your contracts the right environment needs to be created - there needs to be light and activity, the ground needs to be prepared and the soil needs to be rich in the right nutrients so that the seeds of CLM-based efficiency and convenience can grow into the beautiful flowers of ROI.

So before you grab those shears and put on your scratchy protective gloves, here are the three key steps to making sure your business is ready and prepared for a CLM solution.

Digitise Your Contracts

It is never too late to start to digitise your contracts. Never. You can still be working from paper and floppy discs and there is still time to do this. Starting to digitise enables the Agiloft CLM platform to work better, faster.

A CLM solution works, at a base level, as a repository that helps to manage your contracts. Without those contracts in an accessible form it cannot do its core job (or, more accurately, all the time you thought you would be saving with a shiny new CLM will be eaten up by work you could have done beforehand…), so the easiest way to prepare your business for a CLM is to make sure that everything is ordered and accessible before you start the implementation process. File management and file discipline is key to running a business in 2024, so before diving into the fantastic opportunities provided by a CLM implementation examine what you have now to make sure that everything is ready and that your implementation time is being used to its full potential!

Solidify Your Goals

Analysing contracts is a skill unto itself, but to prepare your business for CLM adoption a good starting point is to understand why you would analyse contracts and have a brief overview of how you analyse contracts. We’ve got guides to how and why, but to summarise – the information out is only going to be as good as the information in. If you do not know what you are looking for then the wealth of data provided will not do anything.

A simple but valuable lesson that we have learned over our (many) years of software implementation is that setting clear goals is a seemingly obvious, but often overlooked, recipe for success. For your CLM that goal can be as simple as “I want my contracts to be easier to manage” or as complex as “I want my contracts to help me predict the future” – having that goal and knowing what you need to see to achieve that goal helps us to customise your CLM solution to try and facilitate your goals and help keep them in sight.  

Build Buy-In

It is no secret that the number one obstacle to software adoption is user buy-in. To simplify this sentiment further: if people do not want to use the software, they will not use it. If the software is not used, it will not provide the same amount of value as if it was used. Implementing CLM isn’t about pulling a comically large switch from ‘OFF’ to ‘ON’ and reaping the rewards – it’s a process that requires focus, goal-setting, communication, and user onboarding.   

At SaaSam we have found that a key indicator of success in CLM implementation is when the buy-in is cross-departmental. CLM has never just been solely legal or procurement tech, but the drive to adopt CLM is often led by these departments – part of the pathway to a successful implementation is having these leaders take the time to understand the tech, understand the potential of the tech, and help bring others along with them. Our focus is on service and communication to make sure that you get a CLM system that is tailored to your needs; figuring out what those needs are requires potential adopters and leaders to communicate with others inside the business or company to figure out how far they can take their CLM solution.

As implementers who prioritise our clients and their business success journeys we promise to do our best and to be there to help, educate, and adapt alongside you – but from inside the company there needs to be a drive to get people engaged in using and learning the software. An ecosystem of success (limping vaguely back to the garden metaphor) requires different disciplines, areas of expertise, and areas of responsibility to be working together to create a coordinated, constantly cross-pollenating environment. This where your CLM solution will shine and help bring out the most potential in your contracts!

If you've got a bit of a green thumb, see a doctor! But if you're interested in figuring out the best solution for your contracts, contact us directly at:

Words by C. Redpath. Photo by C. Redpath.


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