3 reasons why legal departments should be pushing for contract transformation

Agreements are the lifeblood of every business. And, let’s face it, lawyers are the lifeblood of every agreement. So it makes perfect sense for your legal team to be the driving force behind contract creation, management and innovation. Right? 

Problem is, legal teams can be so busy and caught up in, well, legal issues, that they may feel there’s no time to spare on improving contract management. And yet, legal teams that help redesign contracts and processes – and, in doing so, make them easier for everyone – will add more value than those who ship out the same complex contracts they’ve always shipped out. Even better, legal teams end up saving more time in the long run, as the contracting process becomes more efficient and impactful. 

Not convinced? A new eBook from Docusign explains why legal departments should be given the reins in every organisation when it comes to transforming the contract management process, presenting three irrefutable arguments in the affirmative. OK, let’s lose the legalese and explore these three reasons why legal teams should be championing the cause of digitising the contracting process. 

1. Faster, more consistent workflows help everyone

The faster that contracts move through the cycle of agreement (generation, negotiation approval, signature, fulfillment and ongoing management), and the less friction they encounter, the quicker that business gets done. Everyone benefits. 

Legal departments can help here, by creating contract templates and workflows on a chosen contracting platform (here’s looking at you, Docusign CLM) – so that other departments can quickly and simply draw up the contracts they need. With the ability to add deal-specific terms from a ‘clause library’, these contracts are virtually pre-approved and ready to go, meaning no lengthy delays waiting for legal sign-off. And it means legal teams are free to focus on the more complex, high risk contracts and cases that really need their attention.

Speed and consistency also help avoid the messy business of contract leakage. That is, all the missed opportunities and untapped revenue that occur due to roadblocks in the way of getting contracts signed. 

2. Better data from integrated systems improves accuracy 

Legal teams are often judged by their ability to provide ‘business value’. But ‘value’ can be hard to measure. Unless, of course, you have an integrated agreement platform for successfully measuring contracting value. One that provides a single source of truth for real-time, aggregated data about the company’s contracts and underlying contracting processes; one that legal can use to recommend actions in response to real-time business conditions. 

With the right contract management system in place, legal teams can dive into the data to align negotiations with company objectives and industry norms and, in doing so, improve the acceptance rate of contract terms. Armed with the right data, they can track commonly negotiated clauses and optimize the company’s standard contract language accordingly – helping seal more deals and drive business value.

It’s another great reason why legal teams should be actively campaigning for – and steering – contract transformation.

3. AI-powered, real-time agreement recommendations add extra value 

Advanced analytics and AI are helping organisations manage massive volumes of data and scale performance. And, along with natural language processing and machine learning, they’re powering transformations in the agreement process. 

Based on your contract data, playbooks, policies, processes and prebuilt models, agreement AI can recommend actions for your legal team, by making connections between past contracting actions and current situations in real time. For example, agreement AI can turn contract language into suggestions on negotiating clauses, coordinate follow-up with key stakeholders, enhance reporting and predict outcomes. And advanced analytics can convert agreements (either a single contract or thousands of documents) from conventional digital documents into a robust representation of actionable rights and obligations with clear and precise business value. 

It’s time to take the reins, legal teams

As the three examples above show, there’s a huge opportunity for legal teams to steer transformational, value-driven change with contract management. With the right tools in place, legal teams are liberated from repetitive, time-consuming and low-value tasks – and freed up to spend more time on the things that matter.

If your legal department is keen to accelerate contract lifecycles and put the power of AI and automation to work, get in touch to talk about how Docusign CLM could be the right fit for you.

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