How Do You Redline a Contract Before Signing?

Before a contract is ready for signature, the terms need to be negotiated. This process is called redlining, and the majority of businesses track these changes manually in spreadsheets and Word documents.

But these tools weren’t built to redline contracts, which makes this approach inefficient and error-prone. In fact, our recent report on the state of contract management shows that negotiation is the longest and least efficient step in the contracting process.

To avoid errors and shorten time to signature, it’s best to have all parties work with a single live version of the document. Version control functionality that tracks what edits were made, when, and by whom is built into Contract Lifecycle Management tools, enabling all parties to maintain a single source of truth throughout the redlining process. 

Automating contract generation

One of the easiest ways to prevent unnecessary revisions when you redline a document is to start with a contract that has been automatically generated. A contract lifecycle management (CLM) system makes it easy to generate contracts using templates, pre-approved clauses, and customer information taken directly from Saleseforce or another CRM.

Once generated, those agreements can be configured with just a few clicks based on business rules or Salesforce data—all without the need to write code. Once the agreement is ready, you can easily send it out for electronic signature.

Managing contract negotiations

CLM technology can help you manage and track every step of the negotiating process between send and signature.

  • Better redlining. Never miss another edited or removed clause in your agreements again. With CLM, you can quickly see and manage all redlines in a contract - including deletions - regardless of who forgot to track changes, didn’t know how to track them, or didn’t bother to. 
  • Assigning approvals. Not only can you dictate who can (or cannot) redline and/or approve sections of your agreements, you can track what edits they make and where those people are in the process. With access to all activity on an agreement and its assigned workflow, you can pinpoint any holdup and keep the process moving forward. 
  • Check twice, sign once. 94% of people say human error impacts the contract process, and it’s no surprise as edits and redlines are often made in comments, deletions, or tracked changes. CLM lets you compare any two versions of an agreement - like first and final - to make sure nothing got lost in translation.

Sending for signature with a click

Once all of the edits and approvals are made, your contract can be sent out and signed digitally, simply and securely. Docusign CLM Essentials seamlessly integrates with Docusign eSignature so the entire process of generating, negotiating and signing an agreement is fast, easy, and free of human error.

If you’re already using Docusign eSignature or Salesforce Sales Cloud, you already have access to all of the tools you need to generate and manage contracts through Docusign.

Approvals are consistently the #1 issue in the contract management process. Take the frustration, errors and wasted time out of the agreement process, and get to signature faster with Docusign CLM Essentials.