Approvals can be one of the most challenging parts of the contract process—but they don’t have to be.
Getting the right eyes on a contract in a reasonable amount of time can be challenging. People are busy and tracking down the right person is often difficult. Contracts are the DNA of an organization, but if processes are inefficient and the work becomes tedious, deals don’t get signed.
Setting up the right workflow processes help contracts go from creation to signing quickly and effectively. Successful contract flow should make it so all contracts are drafted, approved, negotiated, and signed as fast as possible, while maintaining the high level of compliance Legal requires. These tips will help organizations streamline workflows to maximize efficiency across departments.
A large part of streamlining approvals centers around automation. Manual processes slow down tasks, and in today’s modern business world, there’s no reason to be working across multiple or analog tools. If a business is not already managing contracts digitally, that’s the first step in moving towards faster approvals.
Automation is the driver to create a contract management process that will help approvals move faster. To streamline processes and enhance operational efficiency, the right workflow techniques need to be set up, then set to automate to decrease time-to-signature. Preliminary communication should start the process to get everyone on the same page and set expectations, but from that point forward, communication on each individual document can also be automated.
How can this be done? A contract lifecycle management platform should cover the entire process of a document from beginning to end. That means that during the creation of a contract, when Sales, for example, needs a final review from Legal before they can send a contract off to a client, they need to communicate to Legal that the document is ready for them to look over. Traditionally, this meant emailing, Slacking, or mailing the contract out. Yet emails get buried in inboxes, Slack messages are easily overlooked, and mailing takes valuable time, not to mention the possibility of a lost contract and breached information. A contract lifecycle management platform essentially cuts out the middleman and consolidates multiple processes by allowing Sales to work from that single document and simply add Legal onto the workflow approval process. Legal gets an instant notification as soon as the approval is set, speeding up the process, and giving Legal a comprehensive view of all the contracts they are responsible for reviewing.
Having these workflows in place is the beginning of getting the approvals done faster. Not only will contracts get to the necessary people more quickly, but the process can be even more streamlined from here. Preset approval workflows eliminate need to start from scratch every time, allowing Sales to set up one single approval workflow, for example, Legal and their boss, and attach it to every contract moving forward. Having an entire center of workflow approvals speeds up this process across departments and the entire organization and offers a wide variety of approvals for all business use cases.
Automation is the key point of becoming more efficient throughout the entire process. From drafting to communication to approvals, every part of a contract’s lifecycle should be as non-manual as possible to save time and move teams towards becoming more strategic.