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Contractual agreements span the entire business, not just the legal department. They are the powerhouse of every business transaction, defining relationships, rights, and responsibilities. Research states that 80% of B2B deals are governed by a contract.

Unfortunately, pre- or post-signature contract processes are often manual, complex, and almost always contain an element of risk. They can also cause problems internally, including slower sales cycles, which leads to friction, bottlenecks, and delays between legal and the rest of the business.  

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions have been designed to mitigate these problems. But they also involve resources and monetary spending to implement. So, can they save your business’ budget?

What is CLM ?

CLM is the process of digitally managing your contracts through every stage of a contract’s lifecycle. It begins during pre-signature proposals and continues to the post-signature renewal stage. If you track the progress of a contract as it moves from stage to stage, you’ll learn everything about the business, its tech maturity level, processes, and how they manage risk.  

Contract lifecycle management is an end-to-end solution that aims to digitise and automate the contracting process through each stage, allowing businesses to improve their efficiency and enhance cross-functional collaboration, all whilst mitigating the business risk. In short, Contract Lifecycle Management is a mission-critical solution that requires a cross-functional approach to unlock the true organisational value and cost savings.

Should you invest in CLM Software?

Have you ever had to create or review a contract and experienced a slow approval process? Perhaps your contract has been held up due to errors or out-of-date information. You might have encountered delays in sales cycles due to bottlenecks within the legal team, and perhaps it cost you the opportunity entirely.

If you’ve faced any of the problems above, then the short answer is yes and you should invest in CLM software.

CLM software is typically cloud-based and built to manage contracts throughout their whole lifecycle. CLM software allows in-house legal teams and commercial users to automate and accelerate the contract lifecycle process, with the unique ability to accurately summarise contracts and extract key information at the click of a button. CLM solutions will address your inefficiencies and help you to make better-informed decisions from your contracts.  

But What About the Cost?

Like every software, CLM requires budget to implement, which requires buy-in from senior stakeholders. But the benefits from a CLM far outweigh the initial investment and the cost of doing nothing.  

As humans, we are innately sceptical. Continuing to use existing processes feels safe and doesn’t involve any additional costs. However, this doesn’t account for the drain and missed chances from your current inefficiencies and poor procedures, including:

• Wasted resources

• Lost opportunities

• Delayed Revenue

This outlook in today's tech-first world is counter-productive and will incur more costs than a CLM implementation. Because in business, time is money. Inefficient processes often lead to bottlenecks in cycles, a slump in productivity, compliance issues and increased risk. All of these factors add up. In fact, research states that 59% of Business Development professionals said that inefficiencies in the contracting process resulted in lost opportunities (EY, 2021).

Consider each department and individual in your business that interacts with contracts, from pre-signature to post-signature. Every pain point, inefficiency, and risk presents a new opportunity to deliver better results and savings for the team and wider business.  

For example, consider the following inefficiencies:

• Have the sales team ever experienced problems closing a deal due to delays in the creation, review, or negotiation of a contract? Have there been deals that were lost completely?

• Are all your contracts fully compliant and up to date with your company terms and positions?

• How much time and resource does the legal team spend on contract management?

• Are you successfully managing the financial and legal risks of all your contracts?  

• Is your legal department seen as a blocker by other departments?  

• Are you aware of any blind spots in your processes?  

• Do you depend on external resources to manage your contract processes?

• How often does the business miss auto-renewals?

It may take more than a simple proposal to convince your business that a CLM solution is a wise investment. But now that you have identified the pain points in your current process, you should be able to easily highlight the value that your company will get in return from implementing a CLM.

Calculating the ROI

ROI is an analysis of how much value will be delivered across the business from the investment. To help you determine whether a CLM solution is right for you, we have developed the Summize CLM Calculator to demonstrate the ROI from CLM software like Summize.

Taking the time to measure CLM's financial ROI before purchasing the software will show how its adoption can help your organisation deliver more efficient services while maximising profitability. A new CLM system like Summize will empower your business to:

• Accelerate contract reviews by 85%

• Fast-track negotiation cycles by 50%

• Cut operating costs by up to 30%

• Reduce erroneous payments by 90%

• Improve legal efficiency by up to 51%

CLM Benefits for the Entire Business

Proving the value of a CLM to the rest of your business comes down to two simple things: time and money. By implementing a CLM solution, the whole organisation will reap the benefits, and to make it easier, we've listed the top three below.

Reduced Risk

• Never miss autorenewals or key dates again with built-in reminders - save your business the financial risk from unnecessary subscriptions and agreements

• Smarter and more accurate business decision-making with instant summaries - identify areas that should be renegotiated or flagged, to save your business from costly delays and irrelevant partnerships

• Ensure every contract is fully compliant, even if it's been created by an employee outside of the legal team

• Improved transparency into your contract portfolio

Enhanced business efficiency

• Improved cross-functional collaboration between legal and the rest of the business

• Allow commercial users to self-serve on contract creation and reduce the bottleneck in your legal department - feel confident that the correct terms and conditions are being used across the business without needing legal oversight

• Streamlined workflows allow you to track and accelerate a contract throughout its lifecycle  

• Automate low-value, high-volume work freeing up resources

Faster and improved revenue generation

• Eliminate delays in the sales process and get to revenue faster

• Reduce erroneous payments

• Improve and accelerate your contract negotiation cycles

• Enhance your business' tracking capabilities throughout the contract lifecycle

It's Easier Than You Think

Once you have concluded that CLM is a good investment for your business, you need to choose the most suitable CLM vendor.

By partnering with Summize, businesses can not only simplify and accelerate their contract lifecycle with the tools they already know and love, but they can begin to see a return on investment from day one.  

Summize implements its solution directly within existing tools to ensure maximum adoption by legal and non-legal teams. This integrated approach is critical for implementation success, saving your business crucial time and money on unnecessary wasted resource.

Summize clients see tangible benefits, including:

Improved Legal Efficiency

Legal resource is stretched. Improve your legal team’s efficiency by capturing all legal requests through Microsoft Teams or Slack to effectively manage workload. Leaving your legal team to focus on strategic initiatives and high-value tasks.

Faster Revenue Generation

Increase department budgets by improving your deal management. Summize enables commercial teams to self-serve on contractual agreements, eliminating bottlenecks and delays with legal.  

Shorter Contract Cycles

Accelerate your contract creation and review cycles, with a faster and more consistent workflow. Leave your sales team with time to grow their pipeline and close more deals and eliminate the bottlenecks in the process. A win-win scenario.  

Smarter Business Decision-Making

The Contract Analysis Engine unlocks better decision-making and actionable insights, with contextual summaries and intelligent workflows across your contract portfolio. Your contractual processes become more quicker and easier, allowing you to negotiate better deals and increase value.

Get On-Board

Often, businesses believe that once they have signed on the dotted line to purchase a CLM solution, the process is over. The people, process, and tech elements are frequently overlooked and it’s not enough to get just one of them right. At Summize, we are passionate about this concept. That’s why we’ve designed an implementation program with you in mind.  

Our services are delivered by an onboarding team comprising of Implementation Managers and Paralegals, supported by Customer Success Managers. We recognise all customer projects and environments will differ, and our team will work alongside yours to design and implement a plan that meets your specific requirements.

During your first month, we’ll work with your team to understand your company processes and documents, ensuring we design and create a plan that correctly configures Summize to achieve value, quickly.

About the author

Summize

Summize makes contract review, creation, and management easy for legal teams, wherever they work. Made up of tech experts and legal professionals, Summize is here to provide you with the best and most up to date information.
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