How Ironclad Accelerates Deal Cycles Using Our Salesforce Integration

It’s beautifully simple. We meet sales where they are to create a highly automated process that is built for scale and efficiency across all teams.

Nick Thompson, Senior Deal Desk Manager, Ironclad

Contracting is how business gets done. A strong conviction in that belief is why we built Ironclad CLM, and it’s why we use it for our own contracting needs. As builders and users, teams across our organization have unique perspectives on making the most of the Ironclad platform. We want to share those perspectives with you in our new Ironclad Blueprints series. 

In part one, we’ll look at how we use Ironclad’s integration with Salesforce to manage our sales contracts efficiently and close deals 70% faster. Let’s dive in. 

The objective: an accelerated deal cycle

Our primary sales use case is around how our sales team sells Ironclad software, a process that we’ve been running in Ironclad since we first launched the business. The most recent iteration of this process, called the Sales Order Form Workflow, leverages our out-of-the-box Salesforce integration and was born from a simple yet critical need: our 100-person sales team needed a way to generate accurate and compliant contracts rapidly and efficiently. We wanted to power sales at scale while preserving data integrity across both Ironclad and Salesforce, and we also wanted to standardize both pricing and legal approvals. The ideal result would be a significantly accelerated deal cycle.

We knew our integration with Salesforce would be key to making the whole thing tick, allowing one Deal Desk team member and two commercial lawyers to support the high volume of deal cycles.

The Salesforce integration is particularly great for our users because sales can stay in Salesforce and legal in Ironclad–but the two can still collaborate seamlessly.

Dan Nevers, Director, Go to Market Systems

The challenges

Before designing a solution, we identified three core challenges that we needed to address:

Process scalability

Before an Order Form could be routed for signatures, our Deal Desk team had to review and approve every single one for accuracy. Each dollar of revenue went through mandatory approval, even when it was transacted on our standard Order Form template. This process simply could not scale, especially as our customer base and deal volume continued to grow each month.

Deal velocity

Deal velocity was suffering because teams would engage Deal Desk and legal for approvals on repetitive commercial requests like auto-renewal clauses and true-ups within our Order Forms. We needed to determine the types of commercial requests that sales could manage autonomously within the Ironclad workflow.

Data integrity

The lack of a highly automated integration across Salesforce and Ironclad resulted in contract data inconsistencies. We needed to ensure that all Order Form information related to products, pricing, invoicing, and commercial terms were always consistent across both systems.

The solution: win as one with Ironclad & Salesforce

Since sales teams spend most of their time in Salesforce, we designed a process for them to create Order Forms without having to leave Salesforce. To do so, we leaned on a few key features of the Salesforce integration:

Data mapping for Workflow Launch: Every field on our Order Form template is mapped to the respective fields in Salesforce, so all information in our contracts is  identical and synced directly from Salesforce.

Special terms: Sales teams can add pre-approved Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) like marketing rights or auto-renewal clauses to their contracts without having to engage the legal or Deal Desk teams, and there is a simple process to request non-standard T&Cs or exceptions where necessary.

Cross-functional approvers: For non-standard T&Cs, Ironclad approvals are sequenced and sent to stakeholders in Deal Desk, legal, finance, customer success, and revenue accounting to ensure that all decisions and approvals are documented and auditable, preventing revenue leakage.

Automated flows: When the sales team makes changes to contracts in Salesforce, the Order Form template and the corresponding Ironclad workflow metadata are automatically updated via a Salesforce flow, removing any room for error or need for manual data validation.

Dashboards: Ironclad’s dashboards contain metadata fields that map to Salesforce, allowing the Deal Desk and legal teams to receive real-time updates within Ironclad.

With these capabilities, we rebuilt our Sales Order Form Workflow and implemented a much more efficient, scalable end-to-end deal process:

  1. Sales confirms the Order Form’s pricing and obtains necessary approvals in Salesforce.
  2. Sales launches the Order Form Workflow directly from Salesforce, kicking off a standard Ironclad template that integrates with and syncs from Salesforce.
  3. Sales negotiates any standard commercial T&Cs within Salesforce. If non-standard commercial terms are required, then the appropriate cross-functional approver (legal, Deal Desk, finance, etc.) is automatically alerted and dynamically added as an approver on the Ironclad workflow.
  4. If needed, legal negotiation is handled in Ironclad. Because Ironclad and Salesforce are integrated, we can capture product, pricing, invoicing, and commercial terms automatically.
  5. When the contract negotiation process is complete, the approved agreements are  routed for signatures via Ironclad. Both Ironclad and the counterparty sign via Ironclad’s native eSignature solution. The executed agreements possess standardized Ironclad workflow metadata fields that are automatically synced back to Salesforce via Record Sync.

The results: speed and accuracy at scale


Since creating the latest iteration of the Sales Order Form Workflow, we have achieved remarkable results over the last 12 months.

First, the sales process is substantially more scalable. 60% of our New and Expansion Business Order Forms and 70% of our Renewal Order Forms do not require review or approval from our Deal Desk team or our commercial lawyers. This is a far cry from the original process of reviewing every single deal. Plus, our Order Form accuracy rates have increased dramatically by removing the manual reviews of each contract. On the off chance that the contract does require manual review, we can still cut down on review time by leveraging the Ironclad AI suite’s contracting tool, AI Assist™, which let us instantly redline contracts based on our pre-approved clause language.

There’s no anxiety with legal on commercial anymore. We can be in our happy place focusing resources on high-risk legal terms protecting the company.

Laura Garcia, Head of Commercial Legal, Ironclad

Second, our average time to close a deal has improved significantly. Launching a Sales Order Form Workflow now only requires answering one question, and the sales team doesn’t even have to leave Salesforce to do it. “It’s beautifully simple,” says Senior Deal Desk Manager, Nick Thompson. “We meet sales where they are to create a highly automated process that is built for scale and efficiency across all teams.” Using their respective dashboards, all teams have total visibility into the status of each deal, from the time the Order Form template is created to the time that it is fully executed and archived. As a result, teams don’t waste time and resources tracking down piecemeal updates on the status of a deal or the latest iteration of its redlines.

I am a firm believer that the most successful way to acquire customers is to dedicate time to building trusting relationships and collaborating on creative solutions that match their unique needs. By streamlining the amount of effort it takes to create a compliant contract and collect the right approvals, the new sales contracting process has truly freed up my team’s time and enabled them to redirect their focus to where it matters: the customers.

Brooke Adair, Director of Sales, Ironclad
  • Legal & Deal Desk hours saved 66
  • Order Form accuracy rate 99.7%
  • No-review rate for renewal deals 70%
  • No-review rate for new business deals 60%

How the Salesforce Integration Works


Get a walkthrough of how Ironclad’s integration with Salesforce can help your sales team close deals 70% faster.


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