Allowing Legal to Negotiate Contracts Faster, While Controlling Risks

Topics: Legal

A legal team’s role in the contract process is to hyperfocus on allocating risks and responsibilities within a contract. During that phase, there is a lot of back and forth communication between the legal team and the customer. That’s also where the contract process begins to slow down.

A slow contract process forces a company to push deadlines back to the next month, quarter or year. This throws off the entire company’s expectations for revenue in that time period. When a contract sits idle, it’s essentially giving the customer more time to explore alternatives to your current contract.

Of course everyone would like to see a contract quickly move through the negotiation process, closing the deal and moving on to the next one.  In fact, Aberdeen Group has estimated that 24% of registered, close date-committed opportunities unexpectedly slip into the next selling cycle. But the risk of a bad contract can be more detrimental than any benefit from closing the deal faster.

There are ways legal teams can speed up their process, without sacrificing any time or effort in mitigating risks within the deal:

Template Generation

A repetitive task that consumes a lot of time, even before the negotiation phase begins in earnest, is building the actual template for the contract. This usually begins with a blank document, then filling in the usual language, leaving blanks for areas needing tailored input.

A solution that generates templates can eliminate re-keying information and lead you straight to negotiating the details with your customer.

Clause Library

A clause library can further build your contract template using appropriate legal language. It allows you to use pre-approved standard and alternative clauses in a contract. With this, legal teams can bypass repetitive parts of the negotiating and approval process, giving them more time and resources to focus on the other parts of the deal.

A contract solution with a clause library will streamline the process across the board:

  • Saving time – Reduce manual copying/pasting and the associated hours by using a standardized, centralized clause library tied directly to your contract templates
  • Reducing risk – No longer worry about copying/pasting errors or the mistaken use of outdated clauses and terms
  • Optimizing performance – Ensure that your company retains a position of power and that negotiations remain standard to policy

These two simple controls can dramatically increase efficiency while maintaining accuracy and compliance. In fact, businesses that automate the creation of contracts through templates, clause libraries and integration with CRM tools, like Salesforce, are able to realize productivity gains of more than 50% across legal and sales teams (source: Nucleus Research for  SpringCM).

Is your team maximizing efficiency?

SpringCM interviewed attorneys across the country about the contract management process. Learn about what other’s in the legal world are saying about contracts and how the process can be improved. Click here to download the ebook: Attorney Roundtable: Managing the Contract Process for Optimal Results.

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