Contract Management in Salesforce: How Does it Work?

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By using Salesforce, you can create, manage, and send contracts for signing. Connecting CRM and CLM software enables businesses to streamline their contracts.

Understanding Contract Management and Integrations in Salesforce

By using Salesforce, you can create, manage, and send contracts for signing. Connecting CRM and CLM software enables businesses to streamline their contracts.

All sales teams have one thing in common, they live in their CRMs like Salesforce. And enabling them to quickly and efficiently manage their contracts in their CRM will allow them to get to signature faster and accelerate their path to revenue.  

However, not all companies use Salesforce effectively when it comes to contract management. This guide to Salesforce Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) will explain how to effectively manage contracts in Salesforce and how to embed your contract workflows within Salesforce with a CLM tool like Summize.

·      What is contract management?

·      Understanding Salesforce and Contract Management

·      Contract management in Salesforce without CLM software

·      How to create and manage contracts in Salesforce with Summize

·      Benefits of integrating Salesforce with Summize

What is contract management?

Contract management is the strategic process of managing an organisation's digital agreements with its customers, vendors, partners or employees. The process involves drafting, reviewing and the continuous monitoring and management of agreements.

This intricate process isn't just about paperwork; it's about fostering positive partnerships and automating the contract lifecycle to allow in-house legal teams and commercial stakeholders to extract and analyse business intelligence from within contracts. Effective contract management quickly becomes the backbone of operational efficiency.

It's not a mere formality but a dynamic force, it streamlines the contract processes, steering organisations towards strategic decisions, cost savings, and success amid insights into contractual data.  

Understanding Salesforce and Contract Management

Salesforce is one of the most commonly used CRMs for businesses. It allows teams to connect with customers, manage deals and capture and analyse opportunity data in a centralised workspace.

Typically, the data that is stored within an opportunity within Salesforce is used to create a new contract when the customer is ready to complete the purchase. However, these contract workflows sit outside of Salesforce, which requires manual data inputting which quickly creates friction, delays, and unnecessary risk.

Although Salesforce contract management and be used to support an organisations contracting process, it shouldn’t be used as an alternative to a CLM tool. Salesforce is a widely used CRM tool, and if you integrate Salesforce into your CLM tool like Summize, you can create a legal front door for commercial teams to generate new contracts, submit documents for review and self-serve for common legal queries in seconds, with minimal risk.

“Integrating with software we already use has made it much easier for them to adopt Summize into their day-to-day processes”.

Katherine Kennedy, General Counsel at Pay

Contract management in Salesforce without CLM software

Organisations without a CLM tool in place won’t be able to manage their contracts directly from their Salesforce window. Instead, they’ll have to follow a process similar to the one below.

  1. When the commercial team requires a new contract, they request one from the legal team, typically by submitting a contract request form
  2. The legal team then populates the contract manually using the data stored in Salesforce
  3. Once the contract has been drafted, it then moves onto the review, negotiation and signing stages of the contract lifecycle. Typically, organisations without a CLM tool will do this across multiple platforms, with teams jumping back and forth to get a holistic view of their work
  4. Once the contract has been signed, it is legally enforceable and a copy is saved and uploaded to the relevant opportunity within Salesforce
  5. The contract terms will often change during the negotiation stage and the data within Salesforce ought to be updated for consistency. However, in most cases, it's unclear who’s responsibility this is, so the data within Salesforce is often out of date

While managing contracts in Salesforce without a dedicated CLM tool is possible, it doesn’t come without its pitfalls.

Compliance

Salesforce workflows sit outside of the legal team, and allowing the sales team to manually self-serve in an environment that legal have no control over introduces unnecessary business risk from non-compliant and inconsistent contracts.

Multiple tools

The process involves utilising multiple tools to complete a simple task. Users often spend time jumping between different systems which slows down cycles and creates friction across the business.

Lack of centralisation  

With no centralised workspace for contracts, the crucial data points are captured at different places. With no single source of truth, organisations often struggle with compliance issues due to the lack of visibility.

How to create and manage contracts in Salesforce with Summize

Fortunately, for teams that use Salesforce, theirs a better way for them to manage their contracts. Summize integrates contacts processes directly into Salesforce for contract creation, review, and Ask Legal requests, all accessed from the Salesforce opportunity record.

Create Request

Create a contract in Salesforce  

When the buyer is ready to complete the purchase, the sales team simply finds the opportunity in Salesforce and selects ‘create’ to launch the correct workflow from their CLM tool before selecting the required template from the pre-approved and pre-designed library of contract templates provided by the legal team.  

This process takes the fields from your Salesforce opportunity and automatically populates a contract. The legal team approves the contracts with automatic approvals according to pre-set guardrails, clauses and Playbooks, this ensures that the terms and templates used are the most recent, reducing any compliance issues.

There are no confusing email chains for a new contract, no manually copying and pasting the correct information from one system to another and no more chasing legal for the status. All commercial users have to do is launch the correct workflows at the click of a button in Salesforce.

For more complex contracts, legal teams can use additional approval processes. This launches a create workflow and notifies the approvers before the contract arrives in Summize for the review process to begin. Your internal stakeholders can monitor progress in Salesforce using the conversation feature should they need to be contacted about a desired team. Once the task is completed, the status will change and the completed contract will appear in the notes & attachment area.

This feature ensures compliance and protects your liability by enabling legal teams to make the appropriate amends to contracts automatically without introducing more risk.  

Salesforce Integration

Reviewing a contract in Salesforce

If a third-party document has been shared with your commercial team, they can then begin a new review request through the legal front door. In the scenario, choose review when opening the application. the stakeholder is prompted to complete any contextual information required, which can also be pulled through from the Salesforce fields.

The contract can then be uploaded to begin the review process in Summize, with workflows notifying the correct reviewers and allowing the stakeholders to monitor the progress and collaborate from within Salesforce.

Ask Legal

Commercial users can also self-serve for the most common legal enquires by using the Ask Legal feature, with most being solved without legal intervention.

For more complex matters, stakeholders can submit Ask Legal requirements to legal from within Salesforce. This simple process involves a set of questions and the upload of any attachments. This allows for non-contractual queries to be dealt with by legal in the most effective way and ensures all matters are tracked appropriately without the stakeholder having to leave Salesforce.

There is untapped potential in connecting your CLM tool with your CRM. Commercial users can self-serve, launch and track contracts without leaving Salesforce, all while adhering to legal compliance processes.

Benefits of integrating Salesforce with Summize

Creating a legal front door through Salesforce enables companies to maximise CLM adoption, enhance compliance and accelerate their path to revenue.

For in-house legal teams, embedding contract workflows into Salesforce with Summize reduces human errors, standardises processes and templates and mitigates risk. But most importantly, it automates high-volume, low-value work, allowing them to focus on strategic activities that truly matter.

For sales teams, Salesforce contract management means that they are able close deals faster and accelerate their path to revenue without waiting on legal. By eliminating delays and bottlenecks in the sales cycles, organisations that are scaling can capture revenue faster and more efficiently as a result of the legal front door.

Generate contracts in 2 minutes, complete a first-pass review in 5 and self-serve on the most common legal queries with your CLM, all within Salesforce.  

Simplify and accelerate the entire contract lifecycle, without replacing existing ways of working. It’s CLM with a difference.

Contact us today to arrange a personalised demo of Summize within Salesforce.

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About the author

The Summize Team

Summize is a Contract Lifecycle Management solution that incorporates contract workflows into the tools you and your business already use every day.
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