How Not to Fail with Choice – Contract Lifecycle Management Software

Contract lifecycle management (CLM) software allows businesses and teams the privilege of automating the entire process of creating, drafting, signing, and managing legal contracts.

When it comes to contract lifecycle management solutions, there are key features and differences in software that you need to look out for, which is what we will explore in this article.

Contract Lifecycle Management Software: Features You Need

Although the general concept behind all contract lifecycle management tools is the same (automate and streamline the stages of contract creation) there are differences between the various CLM software programs available today.

contract lifecycle management software
Investment in CLM software

Before you invest in any CLM software, make sure they have most (if not all) of the following features or specifications:

Central Database

Having a database that stores all your businesses contracts is essential when it comes to contract lifecycle management software features; this allows all team members quick access to all contracts and data via the software interface.

contract management software features
Contract lifecycle management database – advantage for business

This is a step up from shared document folders – your team will benefit greatly from the ability to view important documents 24/7.

Searching Capabilities

This is a feature that not all contract lifecycle management solutions truly offer; while most have basic search functions, the more advanced CLM software solutions have better search options, such as automatic OCR scanning.

The ability to quickly pull up documents and information is a benefit for businesses that cannot be understated.

Reporting/Analytics

All contract lifecycle management tools should provide teams the ability of analyzing their data in a way that makes it easy to understand by use of graphs and visuals; the sorting and filtering functions should be advanced enough so that users can create their own reports based on the data they want to analyze.

contract lifecycle management solutions
Data analytics is a very important feature in any management

This feature should also allow exporting of the results so that the information can be shared.

Advanced Security

Security is another essential feature for contract lifecycle management software.

Preferably, a CLM software will offer role-based security; this means that the system will allow you to customize the access that various team members have for different contracts. This is legally crucial, and the better contract lifecycle management security tools offered, the safer it is.

Contract Retrieval

Contract lifecycle management solutions should provide users the ability to retrieve all past versions of legal contracts; this means that if an edit or amendment is wrongly made, then you are able to ‘go back in time’ and view all past versions of the contract.

This feature truly streamlines the contract process and allows businesses the benefit of not having to worry about small mistakes.

Automated Alerts

Alert features are important when it comes to contract lifecycle management software; these prevent missed deadlines or key dates.

clm tools
Effective contract lifecycle management is impossible if you miss deadlines

Preferably, your CLM software will allow you to customize when alerts are sent, how they are sent, and in what format they are sent.

Template Libraries

Contract templates mean that non-legal staff can create contracts for you and your team which speeds up the process tenfold; this feature provides the benefit of saved time so that more important tasks can be paid attention to.

Review & Approvals

Your CLM software should include collaboration features, not only for you and your team but with other parties involved as well.

Electronic Signature

The ability to sign via the internet saves an immense amount of time and prevents human-caused errors, as well as allows you to visually monitor progress with your contracts at all times.

best contract lifecycle management software
Sign via the internet has a number of benefits

Custom Request Forms

The best contract lifecycle management software programs will allow you to design your own request forms – this means that other users can submit requests which can then be turned into a contract with only a few clicks.

Workflows

Workflows are a key feature for any contract lifecycle management software; these allow teams the benefit of tracking contracts through all phases.

clm software price comparison
Workflow visualization is the key to success

Preferably, your CLM software will include visual workflow options.

Contract Lifecycle Management Solutions: Risks

Naturally, there are some risks associated with using contract lifecycle management software.

These risks include:

  • Security (this is why advanced security is so important for any CLM software – data can be accessed in ways that manual contracts cannot be).
  • Technical illiteracy (we are still in the early phases of the digital age – not all team members will be computer-literate and might have difficulty with software).
  • Coordination confusion (when first introducing CLM software into your business, since the legal contract process will be different there will be some natural confusion with the change).
  • Software integration (it’s possible that your new CLM software may not work well with some of your businesses other software – this is a common risk with all digital solutions).

How To Choose The Best Contract Lifecycle Management Software For You

Choosing the best contract lifecycle management software for you should be based on:

  • your budget (do a contract lifecycle management software price comparison before you buy), and
  • the features you want or need (have a look through the features we mentioned and decide which ones are most important to you and your business).

The software that is best for you and your team depends entirely on your unique business needs and operations; make sure to research contract lifecycle management software reviews before you purchase!

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