Contract Data Entry: Part 2 of How to Avoid the Second Job Syndrome
By Dave Gott
In my last blog, I talked about customers and prospects sometimes being intimidated with the concept of collecting their contract data in preparation for the adoption of contract management software. They see the value of moving from manual contract management methods to a modern and digital solution, but they aren’t sure what contract data they have and what data is important for that transition. They are also worried that collecting all that data will consume all their time.
In that blog, I outlined some practical and easy-to-adopt methods to avoid contract data collection from becoming a second job. The next question I inevitably hear from prospects is now that they have a foundation of information in place, what happens next? Where should they start with their contract data entry?
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It’s important to know where to begin to put that information into action so you can begin getting business value from the software by using it for your contract management needs. After all, you want to make the software relevant to what’s important to you and your organization.
Most of the customers I speak with that are looking for guidance in this respect are not typically “systems” people. The notion of using cloud-based software specifically designed to manage their contracts as opposed to spreadsheets, shared folders, or even filing cabinets can seem a bit overwhelming albeit extremely beneficial. And as with data collection, they don’t want the process of setting up the software and entering their contract data to become a second job.
The good news is that we have two main strategies to help get people started using the platform when it comes to contract data entry. And, a common theme with both is to keep it simple. Often, people want to try and do everything at once which overcomplicates the process. There’s no need to boil the ocean, so to speak, with your new contract management solution. Pick a contract type to start with and add more over time. This way, you are using and getting value from the software immediately while modernizing your contract management processes without waiting for every piece of data and contract to be entered.
Option 1: Go for the Quick Win
One of the common strategies I recommend with contract data entry is to start with a simple contract that will be easy to capture, track, and set up in the software. A great example is a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). All you are typically capturing is who is it with, what is the purpose of the NDA, and what are the terms. Other items may include if is it mutual or not and is it on your paper or the third party’s term and conditions. This type of contract is typically very fast to set up and get loaded in your contract management software making it a very quick win. The quicker the success, the better the sense of accomplishment – and this can typically drive the rest of your setup as you begin to add more contract types.
Option 2: Go for the Biggest Impact
The other strategy I recommend is to go for the contract that has the biggest impact on the company and worry about your other contract types later. An example here might be for a sales contract that is a revenue driver or a large procurement contract type that can have a big financial impact by providing visibility into a process or deliverables. Focusing on this one type usually works well because your team is already familiar with what is important about the contract and how your team should interact with it. And while it may take a little longer to set up in the software than the quick win approach, it can provide a big boost for your implementation by minimizing risk and providing the visibility and speed needed for this important contract type.
The most important part of any new software implementation is to keep things simple and don’t overthink it. Our intelligent contract platform is designed to handle an additive approach when it comes to your contract data entry, so going for a quick win will not hurt your plans later. Or, maybe you want to tackle the contract type with the biggest impact first. Either way, this will only help your future efforts. The benefit of having this type of focus enables you to start using the software right away with minimal time commitment so that you can begin to automate and streamline your contract management processes without having to ignore your other daily responsibilities.