Best practices for implementing DocuSign CLM in your business

By Ben Panfil, Senior Manager, Regional Delivery CLM APAC, DocuSign 

Contracts are everywhere in business. And, like everything else, they are becoming increasingly digitised. In fact, the global contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution market is projected to grow from US$1.47 billion in 2023 to US$3.47 billion by 2030. In the face of this rapid growth, many business leaders are grappling with the best way to introduce new CLM tools into existing systems and workflows. 

In this article, I want to share some best practices and tips to guide your implementation of a CLM solution. First, though, let’s take a quick look at why everyone’s talking about contract management.

The benefits of a CLM are far-reaching

If your teams are dealing with contracts and agreements on a daily basis, adding a CLM solution to your digital toolkit makes sense. A robust solution like DocuSign CLM is built for speed and simplicity, as well as scalability. It helps you do more with less, thus delivering the twin benefits of reduced costs and higher revenue. And, importantly, it centralises all your contracts and makes them easily visible and traceable — which in turn helps mitigate the risks associated with contracting.

Think about how long it takes to generate a contract internally. Is it a two-week cycle? Four weeks? With a CLM solution automating a lot of the workflow, these times could easily be slashed to one day or less. And these time savings mean you can do less of the monotonous work and more of the comprehensive negotiation work involved in deals, which is where the real value lies.

From a customer’s viewpoint, a CLM solution helps you look good. You can respond to queries faster and more professionally, and it’s easier for your customers to interact with the contract, too. It all adds up to a much more customer-friendly way to reach an agreement. 

So, now that you’re sold on the benefits of implementing a solution like DocuSign CLM in your business, where do you start? Let’s take a look at best practices, drawn from our many years of experience in helping businesses get our solution off the ground.

Things to consider when implementing a CLM solution

The first step is to understand how the CLM solution will fit into your broader technology ecosystem. DocuSign CLM is not an ERP or a CRM, but it augments and amplifies these systems exceptionally well. So if you already rely on a CRM like Salesforce, for example, you can think of DocuSign CLM like a conduit, passing data back and forth between itself and Salesforce — while centralising all your important business contracts and agreements in one place. Work out where DocuSign CLM will sit in your ecosystem, and plan your implementation accordingly. 

Next, think about the problems or pain points you want to solve. It may be that document generation is a laborious and time-consuming process for your teams. Or, it may be that your contracts involve a lot of negotiation, and version control has become a bit of a nightmare. Pick one or two problems to start with, and build your initial implementation around them.

Don’t forget, given the broad and sophisticated capabilities of a tool like DocuSign CLM, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. It’s a lot easier to drive adoption across the business if you start with a single use case. This way, your team can become familiar with the tool, you can get people excited about its potential, you can start cultivating champions across the business who will help drive further adoption.

Insurance company AIA Australia knows the value of starting small with a tool like DocuSign CLM. The firm started with eSignature, before gradually rolling out DocuSign CLM and DocuSign Identify for ID verification. By showing just how efficient it could be in one area, it wasn’t long before other business units jumped on board — so that, today, there are more than 300 DocuSign use cases across the business. 

“DocuSign offers visibility and transparency for our advisors and gives our customers a far better user experience. It’s more convenient and it saves so much time in the signing process,” says Sam Smith, Optimisation and Efficiency Specialist at AIA.

Supporting your journey to CLM success

To extract maximum value from your implementation, consider enlisting the help of experts. DocuSign’s solution architects have years of experience working with organisations across industries to shape solutions to fit very unique business needs. This becomes extremely helpful when your manual processes don’t automatically translate into digital solutions. Our experts can help you not only digitise your contracting processes, but transform the processes with smart automation, the smart application of AI, and more. 

They can also show you how to measure the benefits of your implementation. For example, you could assess the time saved in executing contracts, or the efficiencies gained at different stages of the contracting lifecycle. Metrics like these help to build your business case for further adoption across the organisation — which in turn leads to exponential value. After all, the more you put into a tool like DocuSign CLM, the better it’s going to get. 

We’re here to help. To learn more about how DocuSign CLM can help transform contract management in your business, get in touch today.


Ben has 10+ of experience in the engineering and technical industries, having previously held positions in implementation, support, pre-sales and leadership. He has a wide breadth of international customer experience, working with small businesses through to enterprise supporting customers including Telstra International, Melco Resorts, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Johnson and Johnson, Carnegie Mellon University, OCBC Bank, Rosenbauer, and Wagstaff, to name a few. Currently, Ben is the CLM Delivery Manager for DocuSign APJ, bringing 5 years of DocuSign Agreement Platform knowledge and leadership to our implementation team.

Ben Panfil
Ben Panfil
Senior Manager, Regional Delivery