What to expect from your CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management)

How can contract lifecycle management help your business?

Contract lifecycle management is a solution that lets you automate the agreement lifecycle. Introducing contract management can drive positive change and rapidly improve productivity across an organisation. Contract management solutions remove manual processes, spreadsheets and emails and transform them into a digital automated workflow. Research from the IACCM suggests that poor contract management leads to significant cost implications for a company. It positions average loss value through leakage at 9% of annual turnover. On the other hand, a smooth contract management process contributes to profitability. 

How to select a contract lifecycle management solution for your organisation

When choosing a contract management solution, think about everything that you do with contracts, not just routing them. The best customer lifecycle management systems can streamline and automate a contract’s creation, negotiation, execution and storage

Here’s what to expect from good CLM software:

  • Ability to easily store and locate contracts

We think it’s important that a CLM solution allows users to store contracts and makes those contracts easily searchable. The State of Systems of Agreement Research 2019 discovered that many organisations had a problem locating contracts and other agreements. Simply being able to locate contracts quickly not only saves time but increases employee satisfaction. And remember, employees are your number one asset.

Docusign CLM searchable repository
  • Flexible and configurable templates

Your CLM should include pre-approved contract templates, which people can use to configure customer contracts for common documents like Non-disclosure Agreements and Statement of Work contracts, without legal interaction. This process reduces manual errors. When team members access pre-approved contracts, there is less likelihood they will use out of date or incorrect information. Using a legal clause library, pre-filled with approved legal clauses, allows sales teams to quickly generate sales contracts without referring to the legal department, for example. 

  • Easy integration with other systems

Your system of agreement is part of a broader business function. The ability to integrate contract management solutions across departments and with other applications can be fundamental to your success. For example, the sales process might involve a CRM, quoting tools and electronic signature tools. An integrated contract management solution will be able to automatically merge information from your CRM and pull product and pricing information from your quoting system into contracts.

You might want your CLM to be equally accessible by legal teams, HR, finance and more. When CRM and CLM solutions are integrated, the contract information can automatically be routed to all stakeholders who need to take part in the contract approval process. A solution that’s API first and comes with pre-built connectors for popular systems makes light work of integration. 

Your CLM should also support collaboration and negotiation around contracts. Docusign Negotiate lets you send contracts for review, track contracts and changes, make changes, and see who does what and when. You can designate users to reject, edit, or approve an agreement within an existing workflow. Approvers also get task notifications so it’s easy to stay on top of actions and maintain visibility. 

Choosing a CLM

There are a number of steps when choosing a CLM solution:

  • Audit and map your current internal workflows and any you may have in the future. 
  • Think about security and compliance requirements that your CLM could support. 
  • Consider which core business systems you might want to integrate with. 
  • Are all of your users tech-savvy? If not, usability is going to be a key factor for you. 

Now you have a framework giving you the right questions to ask your CLM provider. 

The right CLM solution can help leaders streamline critical processes and digitally transform contracts and sign-offs.

Docusign CLM automates workflows, tracks approvals, and maintains clause libraries. It makes the creation, negotiation, execution and storage of a contract much more straightforward. 

Docusign CLM provides easy integrations, simple to use interfaces and proven security and compliance features. The system meets or exceeds the highest international security standards to protect documents and data. What’s more, Docusign CLM is part of the Docusign Agreement Cloud which helps organisations automate and connect the entire agreement process. It allows business processes to take place at speed with lower risks and better experiences for customers and employees.