Contract automation allows legal teams to move contracts quickly from one stage to another. This means that senior stakeholders can spend less time on administrative tasks and more on delivering products and services to customers.
Sales and talent teams need to create, share and sign sales contracts quickly to capture revenue or close new hires. Contract automation can help speed up these processes by automating redlining, review management, versions and approvals.
Customer Relationship Process
The contract process is one of the biggest parts of managing a customer relationship, and there are many processes involved that can be automated and streamlined. This can include e-signature processing, submitting contracts for renewal, and ensuring that contracts are filed properly.
Automating these processes improves the quality of work, increases accountability, and reduces mistakes through increased visibility. It also allows teams to save time and resources by eliminating low-value admin activities.
A manual contract workflow can look something like this: An employee locates a contract template (usually in a shared drive, which is risky), completes data entry fields, and then shoots it off via email to legal for review. However, this process can be made much easier by using a CLM tool that can acquire all the relevant information upfront and automatically populate contracts. This eliminates the need for back-and-forth communications and saves legal teams valuable time for reviewing and approving contracts. The tool also offers features that make it easy to e-sign and send contracts in mass.
Customer Service Process
Customer service processes are a critical component of your business because buyers’ perceptions of your company and product are shaped in part by their interactions with a customer support representative. Having robust, clear processes in place ensures that agents are accountable to customers and also helps you manage issues, such as ensuring that high-priority or complex problems are routed to the right person and that agents are provided with the tools they need to resolve those issues quickly.
Contract automation is an effective tool for streamlining customer service processes because it reduces the time needed to review, negotiate, and approve contracts, freeing up valuable resources for your teams that play a role in this wing of the business. However, before adopting a new contract process, it’s important to engage all stakeholders in the planning and implementation phase.
Involving all key departments in the planning and implementation process will help ease resistance to change from those who may be resistant to new technologies. Having these people on board from the beginning will also provide your team with better training and support to make sure they’re comfortable using any tools or workflows that are introduced.
Contract Management Process
Stalled contract processes can mean lost revenue. Inefficient contract management workflows, slow approvals or lack of resources can lead to missed sales opportunities and potential legal issues.
With a contract workflow automation solution, stakeholders can work together on contracts in the most efficient and collaborative way possible. Custom alerts, standardized information collection, redlines and a unified contract portal help to reduce back-and-forth and make it easier for everyone involved in the process to find what they need when they need it.
Digital contracting also helps organizations mitigate business risk by spotting risky clauses and preventing the use of outdated templates that could leave businesses exposed to liability. Automating contract processes and allowing teams to focus on higher-value tasks frees up time, energy and motivation that can be better spent moving the company forward. A centralized contract repository and reporting also provides accountability for renewals, compliance and other contractual obligations.
Contract Renewal Process
Contract renewal processes are a great opportunity for businesses to re-negotiate terms, pricing, or products and services to align with organizational strategies and customer needs. However, if not managed properly, an automatic contract renewal can lead to unwanted costs and obligations.
Contract automation software provides a powerful solution to automate and streamline contract renewal processes. This includes managing contract approval workflows, preparing contracts, following up on e-signatures, and filing documentation.
Using contract automation software, teams can create standardized contracts that support a risk-mitigating approach to the entire procurement process. In addition, smart contract templates and question-and-answer flows allow users to quickly enter metadata that is then auto populated into related documents in the system. This allows teams to manage the contract lifecycle more efficiently, and eliminates rework due to duplicate data entry or missing information. In turn, this improves legal protection, reduces costs, and supports the company’s strategic objectives. It also allows the business to remain competitive and keep customers happy.