Improving Customer Experience and Profitability through Contract Management

Progressive companies are increasingly deciding to integrate an enterprise contracts management system into their customer relationship management system. This inclusion is due to recognition of the vital importance of contract management in improving the customer experience, as well as in maximizing revenue from each customer.

Providing Convenience for Customers

A principle objective of customer relationship management should be to make it easy to do business with a company. A Web-based enterprise contract management system can accomplish that goal by reducing the length of the sales cycle for customers. They no longer need to go through multiple exchanges as contracts are manually altered, signed, and faxed or mailed. Particularly with the use of a secure e-signature capability, customers can go through the entire contracting process with far less time and effort than with traditional, manual processes.

This convenience can be the deciding factor for customers when selecting whether to do business with a company. If price and quality between competitors are equal, it’s only logical that a potential customer will select the company that makes it simpler and quicker to buy.

As for an enterprise’s existing customers, if they know from experience that contracting with that company will be a quick, efficient process, they will be much more likely to provide repeat business. On the other hand, if a company is still using manual, paper-based contract management, customers will remember the hassle and want to avoid it in the future. And obviously if the lack of automation allows human error to create problems with a contract, customers will probably look elsewhere the next time they are ready to buy.

Shortening contract life cycles, lessening the time investment by customers, reducing mistakes – all of these advantages of an enterprise contracts management system ultimately work to build appreciation of a company’s brand. An inefficient, complicated, time-consuming contracting process leaves a bad taste with customers, while a smooth-running, streamlined, intuitive enterprise contract management system reinforces a positive opinion of the brand.

Improving the contracting experience equates to creating value for customers – and that’s what successful customer relationship management depends upon.

Increasing the Return on Contracts

Integrating a contract management system into customer relationship management also enables a business to automatically identify, track, and act on opportunities to maximize the available revenue in each contract and to reduce costs.

“To drive improved profitability, service organizations have a number of areas that can be focused on, but an area that has become integral to revenues and cost cutting is service contract management, where over a third of top performing organizations have targeted for investment in 2012 (36% of the Best-in-Class),” according to a report by Aberdeen Group.

By reducing the time salespeople spend on manual paperwork tasks, an enterprise contracts management system can also improve profitability by allowing the sales team to focus on making more high-profit sales and on better serving existing customers to drive repeat business.

And by storing contracts in the customer relationship management system, all departments involved with attracting and satisfying customers – sales, marketing, service, etc.- can access a customer’s history, leading to better coordination between departments and a greater ability to develop informed sales and service strategies.

Takeaway

Incorporating an enterprise contract management system into customer relationship management allows a company to boost sales, increase repeat business, build brand appreciation, raise employee productivity, and improve the return on investment for contracts. These benefits all add up to bottom-line gains and provide ample justification for the investment.