The value of contract management software is apparent to many contract management, legal, and procurement professionals. These changemakers know that manual contract management is not effective, and they see an opportunity to streamline, automate, and improve transparency by digitally transforming their organization’s contract management processes. The challenge for the people managing contracts day-to-day is translating the value to get approval on the contract management software investment.
While the benefits of contract management software may appear evident, a solid, data-backed, and strategic recommendation may be necessary to get management on board.
Demos and free trials are an excellent way to determine if the contract management software vendor you are considering aligns with your organization's needs for features, benefits, and value. Before you sign up for your first demo or trial, take some time to review your current contract lifecycle and the supporting processes. The eight questions below facilitate a self-evaluation that will help you identify strengths and weaknesses within your contract management processes while giving you the information and additional questions necessary to get the most out of demos and trials as you narrow down your list of potential software providers.
1. Requests: Do you have a standardized, permission-based process for clients, customers, vendors, suppliers, etc. to request new contracts?
2. Authoring: Do you have standard templates for fast contract drafting? Is it easy to make changes through editing, drag and drop, and other time-saving capabilities?
3. Negotiations: Do employees, clients, and vendors have real-time access to contracts? Are you able to compare different versions and easily review changes during negotiations?
4. Approvals: Are you able to manage the approval process with proper reviews and the correct information while meeting requirements and deadlines?
5. Execution: How long does it take to sign a contract? Are you wasting time tracking contract status or searching for documents and versions, leading to longer drafting, reviewing, and approval times? Can you benefit from electronic signatures?
6. Obligations: Once contracts are executed, are you effectively managing obligations and tasks? Do you have systems in place to assess risk, to control spend, and to meet compliance standards?
7. Compliance: Do you have visibility of contractual relationships and full audit trails? How are you reporting to ensure regulatory, legal, and compliance standards are maintained?
8. Renewals: Are you effectively managing renewals to ensure you have the opportunity to negotiate, update, or cancel? Are you proactive or reactive with your contract renewals?
Your answers to the eight questions above will put you on the path toward translating the value you see in contract management software to the value that can apply to multiple departments and your entire organization. Are you ready to transform how you manage contracts? Download our free guide, “Making a Case for Contract Management Software” to learn how to translate opportunity to value for your leadership team and stakeholders.