How to Choose Your Contract Management Software

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So, you’ve realized it’s time for you to step up to a contract management software but you’re not sure which one to choose. Not all CLMs are the same. Let’s review some of the features you should be looking for as a small or medium-sized business:

It Makes Collaboration Easy

Successful contract management requires open and free collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders. Here are some important features to look for:

Internal Collaboration Attributes

Make sure your tool has the capacity to record both contextual information like the status of the contract, plus relevant notes and other internal communications. Strong contract management software will enable someone to understand a contract’s status and its history at a glance, just by opening a client record. To make that possible, it must have a user interface that encourages staff to make those comments, and ideally, it should have some automatic features like tagging logic triggered as soon as the contract is imported.

Your contract management software will be the single source of truth for your entire organization. For each department, it should manage:

IT: Automate document workflows and lessen the load on third-party tools by offering an all-in-one solution.

Legal: Reduce risk and streamline redlining and renewals. Help your legal team understand and manage clauses easily.

Operations: Manage the entire lifecycle in one app, including role-based access so only the right people can see, create, and edit relevant content.

Sales: Speed up closing and renewals by smoothing the contract development, review, redlining, and acceptance process.

Finance: Integrate procurement billing, accounting, and audits. Tie fulfillment costs to contract elements so you are always charging the right price.

HR: Manage your team and embrace the efficiency benefits of automation across the contract management cycle and beyond.

External Collaboration Attributes

Salespeople talk a lot about roadblocks, and it makes sense: Every impediment to a signed contract is a potential lost sale. When you’re evaluating contract management software, make sure it is helping to remove roadblocks not creating them. As well as speeding up the process to get to a finished contract, it should have a robust set of tools to ease the redlining and signing process that goes above and beyond what an eSignature tool can do.

You Can Find Your Contracts Easily and Understand Where They’re At

Your tool should offer a single repository for all contracts that is searchable, easy to navigate, and powered by tags to aid in both understanding the context and creating an audit trail. It should handle version control seamlessly so your team knows which file is the right one, and leverage smart tagging so you’re not relying on busy people to remember which tags are the correct ones for the document at hand.

Contracts should be available across the organization, with relevant parts accessible to the right people. Role-based access control should ensure your finance team gets access to all the details they need to manage an audit, and contract managers can build and send contracts, but only the legal team has the ability to edit clauses.

And it should integrate with your most important tools for managing the rest of your work, like your ERP. This seamless integration will make automated workflows possible, which will not only speed up your contracting process but potentially fulfillment as well.

CLM Pricing is Predictable

Great technology is worth investing in but no one likes sticker shock. Make sure the CLM software you choose has a transparent, easy-to-understand, predictable pricing structure that makes sense for your business. Look for onerous fees that kick in when you run over quota or difficult to understand scaling criteria. If it doesn’t go without saying, read the user agreement and make sure it meets your needs! 

The App Maker is Committed to Innovation

There’s nothing more heartbreaking for a small business than throwing in behind a tool that fails to keep pace with industry changes or isn’t supported effectively. When evaluating a tool, look for their product roadmap, plans for new features, or evidence that they care about their product and want to improve it. Read the founders’ story – do they seem like they’re in it to solve problems for customers? Are they open to hearing about your unique needs and improvement suggestions? As a customer, you deserve to be listened to, and the makers of a good CLM will be open to suggestions from the people who use their product every day.

It’s Hard to Find the Right CLM Software. That’s Why We Built Our Own.

The Anapact story starts at the same place you are: A small business in need of a tool that would support the complex needs of modern contract management, all under one umbrella. When we looked around for an affordable tool with these features that prioritized the needs of small businesses, we couldn’t find one. That’s when we got to work, and anapact was the result.

Anapact is robust Contract Management software built for small and medium-sized businesses. Get a demo today.

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- About the Author

Picture of Louis Balla
Louis Balla
Louis is the Co-Founder of Anapact and partner at Nuage, a top rated ERP consulting firm based in Venice Beach, California.