An organization’s agreements are the foundation of how things move forward. Ensuring these agreements are created successfully takes a whole company’s support—from Legal to Sales, every team is deeply integrated into the process of making agreements.
In the Maturity Model for contract success, there are three stages that most businesses fall under: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Here are three ways to optimize processes and techniques in an intermediate-level organization to progress into the advanced contract management stage.
1. Provide training.
Even if teams are used to routing approvals to Legal and using templates and online storage correctly, there are still ways to optimize current processes. If a contract management platform is in place, ensuring everyone is trained on the correct ways to do things is key. Any individual who works with contracts—which is nearly everyone in an organization, from Marketing to Engineering—should be able to walk through creation, signing, management, and renewals or cancellations without hesitation. Leading training sessions sets Legal up to be a strategic leader, a resource for the business, and deeply ingrained in the success of every team member.
Training should consist of the correct processes as well as ways that team members can be more independent. Advanced contract management should allow employees to have a high level of autonomy over their work, helping them feel more involved in the process while keeping the high level of compliance that Legal requires.
2. Communicate changes.
Adoption is key for continued success after training, which is only possible when the lines of communication are continually open. New contract process? New contract platform? These kinds of changes can lead employees to drop off in compliance as they fall back onto old processes. Even if it’s something seemingly as small as adding an approval step, communicating these adjustments to users will make their processes easier.
3. Involve key stakeholders across an organization.
To truly change not only processes but the perception around agreements, leaders from every department—not just Legal—should be intricately involved in championing contract success. This means these stakeholders should be involved early and often in the selection of a platform (if it isn’t already in place or is changing), processes, training, and adoption. To move from an intermediate stage to advanced contract management, all leaders will need to be fully involved and on board with ensuring the platform and processes are successful.
Whatever stage a company is at in the process of maturity, using these techniques will help increase the awareness around contracts in an organization to enhance processes. By employing these tactics, businesses can transform the way they create contracts to create faster, better, and more streamlined agreements.