Contracts are the cement of human relations, and their good management is essential for companies. To ensure proper management, more and more companies are using contract management software.
The good news is that these solutions are complementary to CRM tools (the acronym behind Customer Management Relationship) and can even be connected to them.
> Download: The guide to developing your sales organization”/>
What is contract management software?
Once upon a time, the contract
The principle is well known: with a contract, two or more parties undertake to respect certain obligations. If something goes wrong afterwards, either party can refer to the contract to re-read what they promised.
Contracts thus form the basis of all commercial exchanges. And for hundreds of years, managing them was pretty simple: people signed a piece of paper. But today, the reality is quite different, and especially for companies.
Why ? Contracts are increasingly complex (think for example of contracts for the sale of financial derivatives), more and more numerous, and more and more frequent. Regulations are also changing faster and faster: every 10 minutes on average, according to Thomson Reuters. Add to that the fact that some companies have to manage several thousand at a time, and you will understand why a helping hand would not be refused.
Contract and technology, a win-win duo
The digital transformation of business processes very often involves efficiency and time savings, as well as cost reduction. This is why more and more companies are adopting digital solutions to manage their contracts.
With these solutions, contract cabinets are transformed into intelligent contract libraries containing all contract-related information. Many tasks can be automated with such solutions. But what exactly do they allow you to do?
A software of contract management allows you to manage and monitor a contract over its entire life cycle, that is, the period for which it is in force. More specifically, from its creation to its expiration, through its negotiation, validation, execution, storage and even analysis. To understand the effectiveness of a contract management solution, it is necessary to review these steps.
Although written contracts are no longer handwritten, many companies still use tools like Microsoft Word to create them. For example, an old contract on Word is retrieved, copied and pasted. Key elements, such as dates and party names, are changed, and a new contract is secured.
Only, by following this manual method, the risk of error is at its height. It is very easy, especially for a non-lawyer, to make mistakes on the key elements to modify to create this new contract.
With contract management software, legal professionals can create contract templates, such as employment contracts, confidentiality agreements or sales contracts. This way, people with no legal skills can create 100% compliant contracts.
A contract is often the result of many round trips. Between a legal director and a commercial director for a sales contract for example. And more and more, teams are working remotely, which reduces the possibility of meeting around a table for the famous negotiation phase.
Contract management software allows several people to work on the same document, a bit like Google Drive documents, but with features adapted to contract management.
Employees can track their changes in real time, rather than having to go through the cumbersome ordeal of editing documents, scanning them, then sending them by email. With a contract management solution, everyone sees who changed what and when, and the information is never lost. The commonly used English term is versioning.
Thanks to the intelligent search engine offered by most CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management), clauses or other legal elements already used in the past, in previous negotiations, can be found.
Good to know : another great opportunity offered by some CLMs is what is commonly called summary sheets, which highlight key data such as contract durations, types of clauses, dates or amounts.
The validation of a contract can be a very long stage, with endless exchanges of e-mails, reminders, possible omissions or other confusion of versions of the contract.
With a CLM, users can create validation workflows, i.e. paths through which the contract must absolutely pass to be approved by the designated people.
Today, the signature is often electronic. Once again, to the delight of companies, who see it as a time saver associated with foolproof compliance. Most contract management software integrates electronic signature solutions such as Yousign, DocuSign, HelloSign or Universign.
If a contract lives in a cabinet in the middle of other contracts, it can be difficult to follow the obligations linked to it: orders, modifications, renewals, terminations, key dates, deliverables, payment windows, milestones or even performance objectives. . Decision-making quickly becomes a complex process.
With a CLM, your contract becomes a piece of paper again: all the data related to it is highlighted, so that you can make the right decisions.
This means you take less risk because your decisions are based on data.
Reporting and auditing
With a CLM, all the contract data is accessible every day in the form of a dashboard, to monitor their performance. You can thus have a global vision of the contracts, which can be very useful in the event of an audit.
In short, CLMs take care of the creation and collaboration on contracts, but also what happens after signing, such as monitoring obligations or renewal deadlines.
Thanks to technology, time-consuming tasks related to contract management can be automated, and users of these solutions can focus on their core business.
What is the value brought by a CRM connector?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Behind this term hides the valuable relationship that a company can maintain with its prospects or customers.
If a CRM software allows you to consolidate all the information of your customers and prospects as well as the history of your relations with them, it is easy to understand the advantage of connecting it with other tools that are used on a daily basis. by different teams. This is the main benefit of a CRM connector: make your CRM dialogue with other tools.
Asking employees to adopt any new software is always a challenge. In order for contract management software to be effectively adopted and used, and for the company to obtain a return on investment, the solutions often integrate with other common software packages or through an API. This allows users to integrate the new way of working into their existing routines and synchronize data.
In conclusion, a CRM connector allows you easier and faster access to data. But also without any abandonment of the work tools to which the teams are accustomed, and without any break with the business processes of the company.
Why connect a CLM to your CRM?
The advantages of connecting CLM and CRM are multiple and concern both teams and companies.
More productive teams
Connecting CLM and CRM eliminates manual processes. For example, a sales rep using HubSpot can use a CLM integration to generate a new deal effortlessly.
Without a CRM and CLM connector, creating a contract involves a longer and more painful journey. First, you have to find a compliant contract template, then fill in the information one by one in a Word document or Google Drive, for example. Sometimes a lot of customer information is missing, causing additional latency. Then, the contract is sent to the legal department for proofreading and validation.
By connecting his contract management tool to his CRM, the necessary information has already been filled in the latter. All the steps mentioned above are then cancelled, which saves at least half a day per contract.
This allows companies to reduce the risk of errors, save time, and therefore be more productive. And with an electronic signature tool like Yousign, DocuSign or HelloSign, the contract is signed even faster.
Good to know : sales reps don’t need to go into the legal software: tAll information is centralized and accessible in one place.
Good to know : with a contract management tool like Hyperlex, the legal team can update contract templates so that trade operators can access compliant contracts.
What do CRM and CLM have in common? The date, of course. Both contain very valuable data for the activities. With a CLM, companies have access to all the history of their contractual relations, such as negotiations or prices. The performance of past contracts is stored, secured, and ready to be used to create increasingly interesting agreements for the company.
The Hyperlex connector for HubSpot allows you to retrieve all the information needed to create a contract and pre-fill it to automatically generate this new contract.
✅ Legal and commercial information is centralized in the same place.
✅ Contracts are generated, validated and signed faster.
✅ You earn half a day per contract.
” Not having to go back and forth internally to find out the status of the contract saves us time. Having the electronic signature directly integrated into Hyperlex saves us time. The gain in productivity, it is there. That’s almost half a day saved per contract. »
Florent Dafour, Director of Sales Operations at PrestaShop and Hyperlex client
Download this comprehensive guide to identify development strategies for your business and start conquering new markets.