Contracts are a fundamental part of businesses today. In fact, research by World Commerce & Contracting indicates that agreements govern 80% of B2B revenue.
Although ownership predominantly sits with the legal team, contracts and their workflows span every department of the business, making them acutely challenging to manage efficiently and consistently from start to finish. Each step of a contract's lifecycle is typically manual and time-consuming and is prone to human error or inconsistency, which causes delays and bottlenecks as well as increases risk.
Contract lifecycle management software (CLM) simplifies digital contract processes, making them faster, more consistent, and accessible to the wider business – all while minimising financial and operational risk.
Companies of all sizes and industries benefit from implementing a CLM solution for cost and efficiency gains. To help you evaluate the CLM landscape, we have evaluated seven vendors and their offerings to help you choose the best CLM solution.
What is CLM?
Contract lifecycle management begins pre-signature, at the proposal stage of an agreement, finishes at post-signature management, and covers all parts of the end-to-end journey. It involves the following steps:
- Renewal or expiry
What is CLM Software?
CLM software is typically a cloud-based solution that efficiently manages a business’s contract portfolio throughout each lifecycle stage.
CLM software allows legal teams and business users to streamline and accelerate contract processes, making them relevant and useable to the wider business. It automates and accelerates manual work prone to human error at the click of a button, making the crucial data inside contracts valuable and actionable.
Features of the Best CLM Software
The once underserved market of CLM is now overflowing with vendors, all with a different take on the process of managing contracts. Seeing a huge range of features can make you want them all, even if they are not the most useful or necessary for your team.
So, we’ve narrowed it down to the three most important, game-changing features that will help you achieve smarter digital contracting.
Almost every department deals with contracts, so a CLM solution must integrate with existing productivity tools and workflows to benefit the wider business. Summize uses Microsoft Teams, Word and Slack as the primary user interface, creating a frictionless experience for contracting processes by ensuring maximum adoption by legal and non-legal users.
Regulations are constantly changing, making contracts more complex and costly to manage. A CLM solution should have advanced repository search capabilities, allowing legal and business users to access contractual information easily.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is taking the CLM market by storm, working alongside lawyers to redefine existing processes. The Summize Contract Analysis Engine works alongside humans to digitalise and streamline manual legal processes without requiring teams to learn a new system. Legal teams can leverage AI to eliminate process bottlenecks, enabling contract creation in under 2 minutes, with a first-pass review completed in less than 5.
What is the Best CLM Software in 2023?
Summize is the world’s first Integrated Contract Lifecycle Management solution that takes a unique approach to the end-to-end process of creating, reviewing, executing, and managing legal contracts.
Its integrations first approach uses Teams, Slack and Word as the primary user's interface to ensure maximum adoption and utilisation by legal and non-legal users.
At the heart of the solution, The Contract Analysis Engine combines human experience and AI to digitalise contractual processes. Users can create accurate, actionable summaries and intelligent workflows. Contract processes are fast, simple and the user experience gets rave reviews.
Fast and frictionless contracting
With Slack and Teams as its primary user interface, business users can create contracts using a Q&A-style chatbot in under 2 minutes. A first-pass review can also be completed in less than 5, removing bottlenecks from your contract lifecycle process.
Shorter contract cycles
By using Summize to create a Legal Front Door, communication between legal and commercial users is streamlined. Pre-signature and post-signature contract processes, such as create and review, are faster, more consistent, and more efficient – accessed directly through familiar collaboration tools for almost-instant results.
With enhanced AI and natural language capabilities, contract summaries are actionable, accurate and immediate, with their key dates and tasks extracted and added to your calendar. Areas of concern are red-flagged, allowing legal teams to mitigate financial and operational risk in minutes. Summize’s strength and origins as a contract summary solution continue to play a pivotal role in the CLM solution, now including OpenAI integration for ChatGPT natural language summaries – making the contents of a contract more usable than ever.
2. Kira Systems
Kira is an advanced machine-learning software designed to identify, extract, and analyse content within contracts and documents. Initially founded in 2011, Kira was acquired in 2021 and is now a part of the Litera family.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Good search capabilities
- Strong project management functionality
- Expensive price packages
- Immature AI capabilities
- Inability to rename files and folders
Concord was founded in 2014 and offered a straightforward design driven by simplicity. Concord is designed to help legal teams be proactive regarding changes in regulations and compliance, making it easy to manage the entire contract lifecycle in one place.
- Bulk upload features
- Strict version requirements for a consistent audit trail
- Quick set-up
- Immature product with reports of a poor user experience and interface
- Difficult to integrate contracts that have been signed outside of the platform
- Poor document management capabilities
4. Donna AI
Founded in Sweden in 2017, Donna is an AI-powered Microsoft Office Add-In for lawyers that helps users to draft and review contracts and agreements.
- Is a Microsoft Office Add-In
- Competitive pricing packages
- Limited end-to-end capabilities
- Tailored towards small businesses
- Lack of product features
Built by technologists, lawyers, and contract management experts, SimpliContract is a Cloud-based AI-powered CLM platform supporting organisations across the contract lifecycle.
- Simple-to-use interface
- Strong search capabilities
- Responsive support team
- Requires a change in working habits
- Limited features available
- Immature AI ability
PandaDoc aims to be a feature-rich, affordable, all-in-one solution with enhanced contract and document management platforms. Founded in 2011, it is an intuitive platform that allows teams to oversee the entire contract lifecycle. It enables businesses to build, track and sign all their agreements in one place.
- Built-in e-signature option
- Comes with 200+ free templates
- Shareable links between internal and external teams
- Limited integrations
- Requires vast training
- Lack of ability to create documents
A French company with clients worldwide, Leeway is a tool for legal teams to draft, negotiate, sign and track contracts in one place. The start-up aims to reduce the time spent on contract management and give greater control and visibility over legal and financial risks.
- Simple onboarding process
- Access rights feature
- Lack of integrations into existing systems
- Requires a change in working habits
- Immature product with a lack of features
- Poor user experience
Forget the rest. Choose the best CLM solution!
Choosing the right CLM solution is crucial to meeting your goals. Summize offers an AI-powered end-to-end contracting solution that streamlines the business' contracting workflows. Its integrations with Teams, Slack, and Word make contracts accessible and usable to the entire company without user training, which is crucial for user adoption and overall success.