The why, what and how of scaling DocuSign CLM across your business

By Zing Zai Loo, Senior Solutions Architect, DocuSign

Once you’ve implemented your first use case and it has been up and running for a while, it’s time to scale DocuSign CLM across the business. Scaling serves to amplify the benefits of DocuSign CLM for your business and, when done right, delivers exponential value. 

For example, if you look at a non-standard contract’s lifecycle, it typically requires cross-functional input — so, it passes between multiple departments and people. It might start off with the sales order, which then needs to be reviewed by procurement, followed by legal. By scaling your CLM across these departments, you’re standardising the system and making it easier for everyone to take a consistent approach to contracting. If there’s no consistency, you may be jumping from digital contracting in one department to manual processes in another, which is highly inefficient. 

Another benefit of scaling your implementation of DocuSign CLM is collaboration. Aligned with the point above, this comes to the fore when you need input from multiple parties on a contract. Centralised contracting makes collaboration easy. 

Plus, it improves visibility, giving leaders a birds-eye view of what’s going on at all stages of the contracting lifecycle. For example, a procurement executive who already uses DocuSign CLM might want to learn more about sales processes. If DocuSign CLM is scaled across the organisation, then it’s easy for them to dive straight in without having to learn how to use another platform. 

Common challenges when scaling DocuSign CLM

Like any technology, a couple of hurdles might surface as you scale DocuSign CLM across different departments. Fortunately, these challenges can be easily overcome with the right partner and strategies in place, but it pays to be aware of them at the outset so you’re ready to counter them. 

Change management: People are creatures of habit; they’re used to working in certain ways and using certain tools. By implementing a CLM solution, you’re asking them to change the way they work. 

Data quality:  In most organisations, different departments work in silos and each one may have its own way of maintaining data structure. Without a common schema and attributes, it gets difficult when you want to search, sort, filter and analyse contracts across the business. 

Integrations: The task of integrating your CLM solution with the technologies you already have in place is critical, as it facilitates adoption. Yet it can be difficult if the CLM solution you’re implementing doesn’t support integrations or if your organisation is saddled with legacy systems that demand a bespoke approach. Don’t worry, DocuSign CLM offers out of the box pre-built connectors and API support for custom integrations.

Strategies to enable smooth scaling

All the challenges mentioned above can easily be resolved with the right strategies in place. And, as you’ll see below, the success of your scale program often hinges on the human element. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Appoint change champions. Ideally, you’ll have a champion in every department that DocuSign CLM is being introduced into. Choose a diverse group with different capabilities and skill levels, and empower them with the time and resources to help spread the word. Their role is to help educate and support wider adoption across the team.   
  • Bring stakeholders in early. Get them involved in discussions as soon as possible, and help them understand how the solution will deliver value — not just for their day-to-day operations, but also the broader benefits to the business. At this stage, it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge the challenges we spoke about above, as long as you also bring solutions to the table.
  • Be clear about scope. Having a clear objective in mind from the outset will help keep your project on track. Clarify your statement of work and stick to your plan. And if you need help here, DocuSign’s professional services team can help. We can work with you to understand the impact on your business, evaluate your existing skill sets and potential gaps, and formulate a plan to help you realise the fastest value.
  • Enlist the experts. If you need help cleaning and structuring your data in readiness for organisation-wide adoption of DocuSign CLM, then you can call on our trusted and reputable team for advice. Having helped thousands of companies globally to implement DocuSign CLM, we draw upon deep experience across industries to help you steer clear of pitfalls and realise success faster. 
  • Measure and monitor. From the outset, be clear about how you’ll measure value. Consider measuring things like contract turnaround time, workforce productivity and contract value leakage — with metrics like these in your back pocket, it will be easier to get further stakeholder buy-in and wider adoption. Measuring less tangible things like customer satisfaction and ease of execution can also add value.

One DocuSign customer who has nailed their scalability strategy is Unilever. The global company has driven successful adoption of DocuSign CLM across 70 countries — and has realised a 50% reduction in average contract completion time as a result.

You can reap benefits like these, too. For advice in planning how to scale DocuSign CLM across your business, get in touch.

Zing Zai has more than seven years of experience in engineering and technical industries, having held positions in software and solution engineering supporting SMBs to enterprise customers. Today, Zing Zai is a Senior Solutions Architect who specialises in CLM, helping customers in their digital agreement transformation journey. Zing Zai has also written other blogs, see Beyond eSignature for Salesforce series and Industry spotlight: Fintech company elevates loan process with DocuSign Elastic Signing.

Zing Zai Loo
Zing Zai Loo
Solution Architect