After watching the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, I realized how a Sports Team is no different from a Sales Team. WIth both teams, everyone has their own role yet shares a common goal of winning. For a basketball team, the court connects all the stakeholders including the player, coaches and officials. As for the sales team, a contract management platform connects the sales teams with the legal and contract departments.
Part of entering the business world is familiarizing yourself with the acronyms professionals love to create. Whether it's CYA, B2B, CRM or CLM, there's no shortage of these abbreviations. As purveyors of CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management), we decided to ask the good people of our hometown, Chicago, if they knew what CLM stands for. Watch the results of our street poll below!
Everyone thinks that only really simple contracts are good candidates for automation, however that's not the entire truth. While repeatable, standard contracts are great for a contract automation tool, they are hardly the only type that should be automated.
The most bang for your buck can actually be with more complex contracts. You can leverage the ability to pull common terms and contract language into agreements without necessarily involving a member of the legal team. Additionally, complex contracts that have variable terms often require additional redlining and approvals. Leveraging a contract management solution can offer controls and approvals that are not possible in to do manually. Contract management software can address any number of challenges related to approvals, language limitations and different templates.
A funny thing happens when you talk to enough people about their contract processes - you realize every organization suffers from the same core problems and concerns. Identifying these issues, and designing software to help solve them, is the crux of what I do as a User Experience designer at SpringCM.
If you’re in sales and you’re reading this, chances are high that documents in your sales cycle have affected your deal – and, let’s face it, your income – negatively. Whether it’s an NDA, MSA, proposal, quote, or some other document; paperwork shouldn’t stall your sale. This sales friction impacts not only a Sales Rep, but also company revenue potential.
Executives prioritizing operational efficiency at the world’s fastest growing companies enable their Sales Teams with the best technology. Thus, contract management solutions being deployed at staggering rates. Below are five ways a contract management solution will enable a Sales Rep to close a higher volume of deals faster.
When I initially talk with companies, most are managing their contract process via email. From email, they store the contracts using things like a shared drive or local machines. And the contracts are usually scattered all over the place.
In my last post, I talked about the risks of manually managing legal contracts — a practice that many organizations still deploy today.
That begs the question...
What’s the best way to manage legal contracts?
There are certain best practices in the industry, and these best practices apply to companies of all sizes.
I’ve been practicing law for over 25 years. Most of my career, I’ve been involved with contracts in some way, shape or form.
From starting at a top 10 Chicago Law Firm to working as in-house Corporate Counsel, I’ve been a part of completely overhauling the contracts process for various organizations. At one company I worked for, we closed 1,000 transactions per year and contracts were a part of each and every transaction.
Now, I’m working with a startup that provides legal services to corporate legal departments of all sizes.
In each role, though all very different, I’ve noticed one commonality: There are too many people involved in the contracts process, and it slows down the sales process.
As the Chief Customer Officer at SpringCM, I’m frequently asked how long will it take to get up and running on a contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cut and dried answer - it depends. This is a frustrating response, I know, but let’s examine the variable in play and draw some conclusions along the way.
The best contract management solution for sales in one that:
- Is easy to use.
- Is seamlessly embedded in your CRM (e.g. You don’t have to leave Salesforce to access it.)
- Supports you when you’re out of the office.
- Has simple/intuitive workflow to automate redundant tasks.
- Easily supports and accurately tracks all redlining with prospects and customers.
With the implementation of a CRM like Salesforce, you’re at the beginning stages of streamlining the sales processes. Let’s face it, try as you might to reduce non-selling activity, there are lots of administrative tasks associated with a direct sales rep. The more automated you can make non-selling activity, the more selling activity you’ll have and more responsive to your customers and competitive you’ll become.