6 Ways to Speed Up the Sales Cycle

How a contract management system takes sales across the finish line faster.

When it comes to sales teams getting more business, an automated contract management platform can make life simpler for all parties involved by streamlining and accelerating negotiations. And we all know the ripple effect: The easier the deal goes, the faster the sale and the happier the customer. Ultimately, it leads to more business earned now and down the line. 

With 80% of B2B deals governed by contracts—and ineffective contract management costing businesses up to 9.2% of annual revenue (IACCM), efficiency in the contract process is essential. 

And what about the time factor? According to Aberdeen, automation is key to seeing quick results. Organizations who implemented digital contract management systems saw contract cycle time as a whole drop to nearly 12.5% of what it was before they had automated routing, processes, and notifications set up.

With all-in-one contract software, sales teams can accelerate the time-to-signature and move deals from opportunity to close faster than ever. 

When choosing a contract management solution, the following 6 benefits of a contract lifecycle management (CLM) software can be a huge lift to increase more sales sooner:

1. TEMPLATES

Relying on PDFs from Legal drains resources and slows down the sales process. A digital contract management system enables Legal to create templates with all the necessary information. And, if company policies, terms, or clauses change, they can update the information and push that information out in seconds. Sales always has contracts that contain the correct information, meaning less redlining and stalls from the legal department. 

2. CENTRAL REPOSITORY

When so much time is spent searching for an archived contract or, even worse, when contracts are lost through manual shuffling and filing, time and revenue are also lost.
Store all contracts and documents in one cloud-based repository. With high-volume documents easily searchable, shareable, and securely stored online, a CLM platform serves as a one-stop shop. Sales can find, modify, and download data instantly. All stakeholders have access to one system that is accessible wherever you have wi-fi.  

3. ONLINE REDLINING

Traditionally, getting a contract signed can take weeks, maybe even months, because each party has to download a document, make edits in Word, get internal approvals, and then email each version. A long manual process stalls revenue and allows version control issues that can leave money on the table, buyer confusion, and damaged relationships from frustrated parties. Online in-document negotiation—redlining that tracks all changes made—allows all parties to work on the same document at the same time. Online redlining makes for a more successful negotiation, resulting in both a good contract and improved business relationships. All parties collaborate in real-time. Changes, redlines, and comments can be seen, reviewed, and accepted in minutes.

4. SALESFORCE INTEGRATION

A contract management platform that is integrated into a CRM, like Salesforce, streamlines the contracting process, putting all people, processes, and documents relating to the contract in one place, and enables Sales to generate contracts without leaving the CRM. Features like pre-approved templates, online redlining, and approval workflows (which accelerate deal) become integrated into existing systems and quickly standardized across the organization. From within an Opportunity, with the push of a button, Sales can create a pre-approved contract from a template, choose who should be included on that contract, and send the contract for electronic signature. A sales rep can then check the status of the contract, review signed contracts, and stay on top of renewal dates and opportunities for upsell. 

5. APPROVAL WORKFLOWS

Stop chasing down approvals from Legal, or worse, circumventing Legal and creating rogue contracts that can not only cost the company amounts in fines and fees later, but cause signature delays as redlining ensues and corrections are made. Approval workflows quickly move contracts from one step to the next by ensuring the right signatures are secured at the right time.

6. AUTOMATIC RENEWALS & DEADLINE ALERTS

A large number of sales organizations rely on customer success or even an annual calendar reminder to kick them into gear when it comes time to lock in a renewal. This leaves too much to chance. A
cloud-based contract management system offers built-in reminders and notifications. Need 45 or 90 days to secure a renewal? Set that as a standard renewal notification time. Every time a new contract is initiated and a renewal is set, automatic alerts will be directly emailed to you as reminders. An easy step to add in will reap big rewards.

For more tips, download Concord’s Guide to Streamlining and Accelerating Negotiations

Concord’s mission is to help companies achieve scalability and efficiency by automating their most central process, contracts. The cloud-based solution enables over 300,000 users around the globe to create, collaborate, sign, store, and manage their agreements all in one place. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in San Francisco, Concord is built by business, for business.