5 Most Common Contract Management Software FAQs
By Justin Perkins
As a Solutions Engineer, I’ve done A LOT of software demonstrations for prospective clients since joining Contract Logix 3 years ago. Recently, I looked back at all the different questions and concerns I get when introducing people to the concept of using software for contract management and realized they can be grouped into 5 FAQ buckets. For many of my clients, some of these initial questions can feel paralyzing to their decision-making process. Small items that to them, feel like massive beasts they need to wrestle before they will ever be able to make a choice to move forward with a solution. The reality, however, is that after talking through them and discussing the perceived challenges, they realize the answers aren’t as complicated as they thought, and their concerns are easy to resolve. So, let’s look at these 5 FAQ themes.
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What’s Involved in Implementing the Software?
Implementation of any new software is a major pressure point for businesses. How much internal support will we need? How much additional will this cost us to get done? Will it be a long drawn out process? The tools provided by Contract Logix have taken away much of the frustration companies should have around this topic. The simple ability to make changes as a power or administrative user makes adjusting your system painless. Want a new key field of information to track and report on? It’s as simple as naming it, picking the type of field, and placing where you want it in the interface. You get an easy-to-use visual business process management tool to control your enforcement and support of internal processes. More importantly, and at no extra charge, each customer receives a dedicated Customer Success Manager to guide you along the path of bringing our system online, providing you best practices, answering questions, and demonstrating use cases for the life you are partnered with us.
What Do I Do with My Existing Contract Data?
A big fear for any business when approaching contract management from an unstructured data approach — such as folder/file structures or SharePoint– is how to begin the process of moving into a core central repository of structured data. Some contract management software providers make it a requirement for companies to sort through and organize all their data before even beginning any type of implementation. Even worse, in some cases these businesses were not told of this prior to signing a contract resulting in failed or far slower project launches than expected. That’s where the approach at Contract Logix differs. We look to get you up and running quickly using our platform without a bunch of upfront data migration hurdles. This means that at any point in the processes you can begin to migrate any existing contract records that are important to your business. We also give you our easy import template to bulk create or update your contracts, contact, or organizational records’ metadata in the platform including any related documents.
How Can I Search and Report on Contract Information?
I very rarely encounter a business that doesn’t need to run some type of search and reporting on what they have for contracts. What do we have expiring, renewing, committed for revenue, or who are we waiting on an approval from in the organization? Now for any company leveraging unstructured data, or trying to parse together multiple databases, finding and presenting this information in an accurate and useable format becomes a process that can take up a massive amount of time to complete and maintain. Instead, our contract management software provides you the power to conduct real-time searches or build custom reports from any metadata such as key dates, business terms, stages, statuses, or custom data fields your business wants to capture. It also gives you the added ability to filter, group, and sort on each column of information. You can export these reports and share them with others or save them as personal real-time reports for continual future use.
What Visibility Will I Get into My Processes?
There are some amazing benefits to contract management when you have true visibility into your records and the ability to see a holistic view of each point in the process. Rather than just running a report to see what terms you have agreed to; every record becomes an inherent living location for everything you need to know about the life of this contract record. Obligations, key dates, documents, tasks, alerts, stages, and statuses are easily visible for every record. You’ll know the current state of every contract you have signed or are negotiating, with a view into each amendment and what previous terms you have agreed to.
How Can I Increase Compliance?
When a business takes control of managing contract enforcement it can easily improve your compliance across an entire business. For example, making sure you never miss a key date, milestone, or condition that would put your business at risk. Contract management software helps you assure that each contract progresses correctly through your business process without skipping a step, including approvals. You always know who is responsible for each step in the process and if it was completed. This removes the risk a lot of businesses I speak to have suffered as a result of not having controls or steps to help manage and govern these key items. These same controls can also drastically speed up the time to signature for any organization as each of the involved parties always knows how and when they need to get involved.
Each of these FAQs is a small but important piece of a larger business decision to find the right solution to manage your contracts more effectively and efficiently. It’s important to find an adaptable system which is easy to configure, setup, and change over time. To partner with a company who will provide you the support you need to drive your solution to success. To have features like key reporting and visibility tools to know the state of each record in the system and find everything important to you on the fly. Finally, the functionality that allows you to truly control your business process management and enforce your controls. These items all together can truly bring any company — no matter the size — a contract manage solution that will have a big positive impact on the business.
About the Author
Justin Perkins is a Solutions Engineer with Contract Logix. For the past 3 years, he’s worked with hundreds of customers to help them find the right CLM solution to digitize their contract lifecycle management processes. In addition to helping people solve their CLM pain points, Justin is huge fan of going to see the next big movie in theaters or just spending time experimenting with cooking meals for families and friends at home.
Skills/Knowledge: Contract Lifecycle Management, Salesforce Administration, NetSuite Administration, CRM, ERP, E-Commerce.