Digitizing Your Organization's Contracting Process
If you’ve decided that modern contracting technology fits your company goals, the next step is to identify where it would have the most impact and make a business case for it.
The long-term goal should be to transform document-related processes across the company. In the short term, it’s best to prioritize one process that will have the most impact on productivity, revenue or experience. With initial success, it’s normally easier to win approval for a broader implementation.
Determining where to lay that foundation isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Contracting technology can impact contracting processes across the company in multiple departments. Here’s a detailed list of teams that could be candidates for an initial deployment and the documents that would improve.
A business case should outline why a specific contracting process is the best place to start using agreement software as the foundation for digital transformation.
Prioritizing where to start and building a business case
Depending on your industry and situation, the right starting point will vary. Consider several factors to decide where to start:
- Pain and impact: The most important criteria are how challenging a process is and the impact fixing it would have on your organization. This can be initially judged by intuition and feel. If you want to be more quantitative, it’s possible to attach value to existing issues or desired business outcomes, but proper evaluation requires deep connections to contracting. For example, DocuSign often does “value assessments” with prospects and customers to quantify the impact contracting software can have on a specific process within a company.
- Speed: The faster you’re able to implement a solution, the sooner your organization will see value. Complex processes that involve other departments, multiple systems and long negotiations are more complicated to implement and are more difficult to get running. NDAs are often an accessible place to get a quick win but generally don’t provide as much value as streamlining a more complex process. Ultimately, it’s a tradeoff.
Prioritizing a start point can be done subjectively or using data to score and weigh your different options. Once you pick a process, build a plan and business case. This blog goes into more detail on building a business case.
Two contracting software implementation strategies
Sales contracts: In a sales-led technology company, corporate goals focus on growing sales and revenue. In this situation, the company is experiencing bottlenecks in the sales process, which directly impacts growth goals due to lost sales and slow revenue recognition. In some specific cases, customers verbally committed to buying the product but grew impatient and ended up with the competition because of the long and chaotic process. When department leaders looked deeper into it, they discovered MSAs were frequently holding up contracts because they needed to be customized and negotiations involving the legal team took a long time.
In this situation, the pain is real, and streamlining the sales contracting process can reduce manual effort, speed up contract generation, simplify negotiation and make the experience easy for the customer. This is an example where the sales process is a priority for contract implementation.
Hiring and onboarding: Enterprise retailers with a large workforce often experience high turnover in stores and a slow, laborious hiring and onboarding process. During holidays and seasonal events, this workforce needs to grow significantly and then shrink again a few months later, meaning agility and speed is important. In many cases, hiring and onboarding agreements are improperly filled out, leaving the company open to risk or delays leading to staff shortages and missed revenue targets.
This is an example where contracting software can streamline hiring and onboarding to help the company quickly scale to seasonal demand and respond as conditions change. It also offers a better experience for employees and reduces errors in the documents required to begin work.
How to maximize impact of contract technology
By examining contract-related pain points across your department and company, you’ll be able to identify the best starting point. This prioritization will make it easier to put together a compelling business case for contracting technology and ensure you maximize impact right out of the gate. It’s also a repeatable process to determine how to expand after you’ve had initial success.
Once you’ve identified which business process needs contracting technology most, review this checklist to help evaluate when and where to start in more detail.
This is part three in a five-part series to help you determine if you should deploy an agreement/contracting solution. It covers questions you should consider before contacting a vendor to explore your software options to ensure your company gets maximum value from the implementation.