How Is Your Team Impacted by the Agreement Trap?

The way your organization handles agreements is costing you money, time, and opportunity. According to a recent study from Deloitte, nearly $2 trillion is lost in global economic value each year due to poor agreement management practices and systems.

For too many teams, inefficient agreement management has become a blind spot. They’ve gotten used to manually shepherding agreements across disparate systems—e.g. creating a sales contract in a word processor, signing it with an e-signature, and storing it in a cloud storage tool—and don’t even consider whether there’s a better way. Those messy, disconnected workflows have bottlenecks, delays, headaches, and failure points that people just accept as a part of doing business.

It’s past time to give the hidden costs of those outdated systems a name: the Agreement Trap.

What is the Agreement Trap?

The Agreement Trap is the value your organization loses due to agreement processes full of incompatible technologies and inefficient manual handoffs. It’s the gap between how you operate today and what’s possible with new intelligent agreement management technology.

Your team suffers from the Agreement Trap across the entire lifecycle of agreements. That includes direct costs (e.g. wasted employee time, uncollected fees) and indirect costs (e.g. prospects who abandon complex paperwork, missed sales opportunities from limited seller time). It also accounts for the opportunity cost of information that isn’t analyzed and put to use. Rather than being stuck in rigid file formats that are specific to one agreement step, that information should be put to use across business systems that are built to communicate with each other.

Your organization’s agreements are a pool of valuable data points that should be analyzed to answer important questions and find actionable insights. Instead, they’re collecting dust in a file folder or hiding in an inbox of a former employee, completely disconnected from the tools that could turn that information into value.

The issue isn’t whether your team is affected by the Agreement Trap. You are. A better question is how much it’s costing you.

How much does the Agreement Trap impact modern organizations?

At the individual level, employees feel the Agreement Trap in frustrating delays, lack of visibility into agreement status, and inability to quickly find necessary information. The HR team knows that they’re losing quality candidates because of slow, disconnected systems. The sales team is constantly waiting to close deals because of outdated processes. Procurement gets frustrated when poor visibility results in different teams managing separate accounts with the same vendor. Across the entire organization, inefficient agreements cause pain in routine, everyday processes.

Zooming out to the organizational level, the Agreement Trap has straightforward costs that can be measured in squandered dollars, wasted hours, and lost productivity. According to Deloitte, organizations with disconnected agreement workflows average 2 weeks longer to complete the agreement lifecycle and lose twice as many deals because of their agreement processes.

The severity of those losses depends on things like how many agreements your team completes each year and how much money is collected or spent as a result of those agreements. There are also hidden costs stemming from increased customer churn, decreased prospect conversion, unnecessary legal/compliance risk, ill-prepared negotiation, and more.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the total cost of the Agreement Trap, and most of them are specific to an individual organization or line of business. That’s why we built a tool to help you calculate the impact of the Agreement Trap based on your specific agreement processes. All you have to do is select the best answers to some simple questions about your team and your agreement process and we’ll give you a customized estimate of what you could save with an intelligent agreement management (IAM) tool.

You’ll also have the option to learn more about how that number was calculated, along with details that relate to your specific line(s) of business. The process is designed to highlight the various ways outdated agreements can cause problems and quantify exactly what is to be gained by adopting an IAM tool.

Agreement Trap assessment

How can you escape the Agreement Trap?

The root of the Agreement Trap problem is disconnected tools that treat individual steps of the agreement process as static, one-off events. The solution to that problem is connecting the end-to-end process on a powerful central system that uses tools designed to work together. The IAM-powered workflows of the future will be built from interchangeable pieces, sharing the same data-rich backend and operational in different combinations and permutations to meet always-changing needs.

For example, an agreement can be created by automatically pulling customer data from Salesforce. It can be negotiated in real time using a single live document that is available for all necessary parties. When data or identities need to be verified, those steps can be built into the workflow and automated so they happen faster and easier. When the agreement is about to expire, the team can be automatically notified in time to negotiate a new deal.

There will be no more delays, missing data, or errors due to incompatible systems. Agreements will operate as structured collections of data points. They’ll be dynamic living documents, ripe with actionable insights and seamlessly connected to other key business applications.

The way out of the Agreement Trap is with intelligent agreement management. Docusign IAM takes the pain out of broken, outdated agreement processes with an intelligent, streamlined approach to sharing data across the steps.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Agreement Trap and how it affects your team, check out our Agreement Trap calculator.

Docusign Intelligent Agreement Management

Looking to transform the way you create, commit to, and manage agreements? Learn about intelligent agreement management and Docusign IAM.
Will Spendlove
Chief Evangelist, Intelligent Agreement Management