How can organizations identify the best contract management software? Making an informed and successful business decision to invest in contract management software SaaS or deployed requires organizations to create a strategy to get the most out of product demonstrations.
Contract management software can facilitate increased productivity, more efficiency, better compliance, and reduced expenses. Contract managers must consider providers that meet their organization’s specific needs for system administration and usability, implementation services, and ongoing support. Live demos are one of the critical components when evaluating whether the software fulfills the requirements you have and if the vendor will accommodate to your needs.
Contract Management Software Demo Preparation
Before you book demos with your shortlist of 3-5 providers, take some time to review your goals, challenges, contract lifecycle processes, and software feature must-haves. A simple way to break down your software demo prep work is into six steps: review, question, clarify, identify, choose, and score.
#1: Review the complexity of your contracts, contract types, current contract management process, contract management KPIs, and legal requirements. Take your review further by auditing current contract management systems used and determining your key business drivers.
#2: Question what your organization is doing today that isn’t working. In what ways are you managing contracts and inadvertently causing bottlenecks and increasing risk?
#3: Clarify your goals and consider how contract management software can assist you in reaching these goals. Align your goals with expected contract management software benefits.
#4: Identify how you want your contract management process to look and the must-have contract management software features that will help you get there. Consider the number of users and permission levels you will need for software licenses.
#5: Choose the right people from your organization to attend the demo. Invite stakeholders, influencers, and decision-makers in accordance with your organization’s matrix.
#6: Score software providers with a pre-determined rating system. Scorecards will support objective ratings among your vendor shortlist. Demo scorecards may include feature must-haves, feature nice-to-haves, and the overall impression of the software and the provider. The rating systems should be agreed upon before software demos are conducted so they may be leveraged soon after demos are completed.
Scheduling Your Contract Management Software Demo
Now that you completed your demo preparation, you are ready to schedule demos with the vendors you’ve identified as potential providers of the best contract management software for your organization. A few days before each demo, send the software provider details about your current contract management process and system, your goals, and essential features you would like to see. Make sure you work with software providers who take the time to understand your processes, challenges, and goals.
Getting the Most Out of Your Contract Software Demo
The most effective demos are built with an agenda that addresses your challenges and expectations while demonstrating a clear path to achieving your contract management goals. Here are some key areas to consider for your contract management software demo:
- The provider’s expertise should move beyond the software features and seamlessly align contract management software benefits and value with your contract management process, strategy, and goals.
- The provider should incorporate customer stories into the demo that are relevant to your business model or industry. This approach will help you remain engaged during the entire demo and see how the software can solve your challenges, integrate with your workflow, and provide contract management software ROI.
- The provider should offer ample time for Q&A and offer additional demos or a free trial to help you confirm that your organization’s specific requirements will be met. Demos should position you to effectively make your case for contract management software to your organization’s decision-makers.
After the Contract Management Software Demo
After each demo, debrief with your team and complete your scorecards. Use this time to let everyone ask additional questions and share any concerns. As your vendor short-list dwindles, request contract management software user references from the providers and research contract management software reviews. Set aside additional time, as needed, to gather any additional information you need on software and provider capabilities, and if necessary, participate in multiple demos. Always ask for a free trial after the demo to explore the software first-hand. The vendor should stand behind their product and provide a tailored trial system with your fields, workflow, and templates to ensure you are pleased with the experience.
While the goal is to narrow your vendor shortlist to one provider, don’t rush the selection process. Get to know vendors and observe their capacity and willingness to understand your organization and meet your needs. Expect contract management software providers to step up and into the role of a strategic partner that can offer leading contract authoring, contract reporting and analytics, contract tracking, and contract management AI to support your processes. Taking the time to be thorough in your demo and contract management software selection process will position you to integrate the right contract management solution with your contract lifecycle.