There are so many reasons why SMB businesses should use contract lifecycle management software, but it all comes down to one main factor – productivity. Small and medium businesses often have limited financial and human resources, so it’s key to find areas that can be optimized to use assets in the most efficient manner. In fact, the World Commerce and Contracting Association states that proper contract management can increase a business’s bottom line by 9% annually.
But before we explain why contract lifecycle management software is so important for productivity, let’s find out what contract lifecycle and contract lifecycle management (CLM) actually mean.
What is a contract lifecycle?
After a need to create a contract has been established, each contract needs to go through a process before being finalized. This process is called the contract lifecycle.
The main contract lifecycle stages for small and medium companies and other businesses are as follows:
- Drafting a Contract
- Internal Approval of the Agreement
- Contract Negotiation
- Signing the Contract
- Securely Storing the Agreement
- Tracking Contracts and Documents
What is contract lifecycle management?
As you can see, a contract lifecycle is much more than just creating and signing a contract. Therefore, as with any business process, contract lifecycles need to be properly managed. And the task is even more difficult with the great abundance of types of business contracts, such as sales agreements, service agreements, employment contracts, property leases, and insurance policies.
Each of the small and medium business contracts needs to efficiently go through the 7 lifecycle stages, but at the same time, it must be accurately managed to comply with legal requirements. Yet balancing efficiency and accuracy is definitely not easy. Often, one is sacrificed for the sake of the other. However, with contract lifecycle management software, there is no need for sacrifices.
Why should SMB businesses use contract lifecycle management software?
By using contract lifecycle management software, SMB businesses can keep a high level of precision without sacrificing productivity. Instead of carrying out the contract lifecycle process manually with the use of many tools, everything can now be kept in one single platform. Gone are the days of copy and paste, lost files, countless e-mails, or looking through stacks of paper documents just to find one page.
Therefore, what are some of the ways contract lifecycle management software helps with productivity?
The whole contract lifecycle management process in just one tool
One of the most important benefits of contract management software is the fact that the whole contract lifecycle process is kept in one place. There’s no need to copy the document from program to program, the software enables the contract to go through all 7 lifecycle stages in just one tool.
Just like e-mail templates in a CRM system, CLM platforms allow for creating and storing contract templates. To ensure clause consistency and legal compliance, software such as Concord has a clause library feature, which enables to insert sections with just one click. No more writing from scratch. No more copy and paste. No more mistakes. Precise and legally-compliant contracts are now just at your fingertips.
Real-time contract editing
Nowadays, peoples’ inboxes are often overflowing with e-mails. It’s easy to get lost and confused during the contract drafting, approval, and negotiation stages. With contract lifecycle management software, contracts can be edited and discussed in real time inside the system itself. This is a great time-saver and productivity booster, especially when there are many parties to a contract.
The benefits of e-signatures are countless. There’s no need for printing, scanning, sending, or face-to-face meetings. E-signatures diminish the workload and save time. However, without CLM software, SMB business owners need to invest in e-signature tools and integrate them into their contract lifecycle processes. Therefore, why not use just one contract management system with an integrated e-signature feature?
Secure contract storage in one tool
Many documents have a life of their own and somehow seem to have vanished each time they’re needed. There’s probably no person in the world who has never had to spend minutes or even hours looking for that one crucial piece of paper. Contract lifecycle management software removes this nightmare of a task from daily work. Such systems allow for safely storing countless contracts, making the search for them much less of a hassle. Moreover, contract management software helps to track deadlines thanks to the possibility of adding renewal dates and notifications to the stored contracts.
Contract lifecycle management software – an indispensable tool for SMB business growth and productivity
Business growth increases the number of documents to be dealt with on a daily basis, so their improper management can hinder progress and productivity in the long run. This means that accurate and efficient contract lifecycle management should be a key component of all small and medium business strategies. CLM software is the only way to manage contracts productively without sacrificing precision. Therefore, all small and medium businesses should invest in contract management software from the beginning of their operations. There is no doubt this investment will bring about great returns and increase overall business productivity.