Contracts directly impact your ability to meet sales goals and execute on corporate initiatives. But managing the lifecycle of a contract — from review to approval to execution to renewal — involves a lot of departments, and those departments often don’t have access to the same systems. Businesses that implement a transparent contract management process compress their time to revenue, mitigate risks by having fewer contractual exceptions, and increase customer satisfaction.
A contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution gives you complete control and visibility of your contracts, from review to approval to execution to renewal. The best CLM solutions simplify the submission, review, approval and management of contracts in one easy to use tool. No longer will your team members have to search their inbox or hard drive for the latest version or keep an Excel spreadsheet to manage their contracts.
So which features should you be looking for when considering various CLM solutions? Here are five must-have features of a cutting-edge contract lifecycle management solution:
- Central Repository – A central location for all contract drafts, notes and communication is a must-have for a robust CLM system.
- Unified Intake Process – A simple intake form unifies the process and ensures the same process is followed each and every time. Depending on the drop down fields that are selected (i.e. contract value amount, location, etc.), workflow can be assigned to the appropriate team member or attorney for review.
- E-sign Capabilities – Users can electronically sign contracts and manage them in one easy-to-use tool.
- Usability – A tool is only good if your legal and business users “actually” use it. Having a user-friendly interface gives your team the information they need quickly and requires almost no training.
- Notifications – A comprehensive contract management system sends proactive alerts as the contract progresses through its lifecycle. This is critical as it can be configured to send alerts to all team members involved.
In the not-so-distant past, CLM may have been a major headache for everyone involved. On the bright side, the times have changed, and so should you. Start checking out the finest CLM solutions – the ones that will have your team thanking you for making their lives easier.