Contract Management Reporting for Acceptance Lifecycle Stage

There are significant benefits to tracking the data at each stage of the contract lifecycle. Contract management reporting can provide measurable improvements to the efficiency of contract approvals throughout your business interactions. Getting a contract approved requires multiple stages—each of which will benefit from data-driven improvements. By increasing the efficiency of each stage, you can see effective changes to the contract management lifecycle that will enhance your contract approval processes.

Understanding the details of your contract management processes should not be cumbersome or time-consuming. A contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform should flow well, provide useful data, and be tailored to your unique needs. A more efficient process translates to fewer employee hours, more contract approvals, and an increased return on investment throughout the contracting process.

Here’s the type of metrics that can help you determine how to improve contract acceptance.

Using metrics to improve contract acceptance

can directly save hours and reduce costs in the contract acceptance stage of the lifecycle. Without question, approval of contracts is a key component of a successful business relationship. These agreements provide necessary materials, services, and other benefits to your company. The approval stage of the contract lifecycle should be as efficient as possible. Determining whether contract acceptance typically takes a few days or weeks can mean a substantial difference in cost.

You can track important metrics to:

  • Determine where delays occur in the acceptance stage
  • Figure out which business partners take longer to accept contracts
  • Understand which methods of contracting cause delays
  • Analyze stage-by-stage data to improve efficiency in prior processes
  • Automate workflows to increase contract acceptance
  • Track key productive indicators to determine where delays exist—whether they’re in-house or due to a business partner.

These crucial metrics, among others, can provide insight into how to improve your entire contract lifecycle management process. Improvements throughout the cycle will have a positive impact on contract acceptance time. Ironclad can automatically provide this necessary data to give you the tools for success.

Metric 1: Number of days until contract acceptance

One of the key metrics in determining acceptance efficiency is how long it takes for a business to accept a contract once it’s offered. You’ve been in contract negotiations for weeks or months—now it’s time to get the contract signed. 

Contract execution at the acceptance stage requires the other party to sign on the dotted line. The right data can help you understand how to shorten this timeframe to increase operational efficiency. These improvements have the potential to significantly increase your return on investment.

Length of time for acceptance

An effective contract lifecycle management system automatically tracks how long it takes to accept a contract. Ironclad provides this data as part of its suite of services. These measurements show whether it takes a few hours, days, or longer to get a contract signed. 

Knowing the length of time it takes to get acceptance can help you determine whether there’s room for improvement with a specific business relationship. Individualized and global data are available to track this important metric.

Identifying roadblocks to acceptance

Along with identifying lengthy approval times, the management system also provides concurrent data to help you and your in-house legal team determine exactly why it’s taking so long for a contract to get approval. Are you using the right type of acceptance formats? Are you using common acceptance methods familiar to the other business? Answers to these questions can help a company streamline the contract acceptance process and save substantial amounts of time.

For example, using PDFs can be a common roadblock to acceptance. You’ll likely see delays in contract acceptance if you send documents in this format. Instead, there are plenty of other more secure and convenient signing options available, some that can be signed with just one click. Appropriate software provides you with the tools necessary to send documents efficiently so that you can enhance the speed of contract approval. 

Metric 2: Using common acceptance methods to improve efficiency

When you want a business to accept a contract quickly, it’s helpful to use a commonly accepted method for signing documents. A legal signature is the most important part of accepting a contract. Attorneys and executives take this step very seriously, as it carries legal and financial ramifications. 

If you send a document that’s difficult to sign—or one in which the instructions are unclear—parties may hesitate to sign or simply procrastinate in doing so. Digital signatures and other native agreements may be signed with one click, while other methods may require several inconvenient steps.

Legal teams have many contracts to deal with at any given time. When a business can sign an agreement easily, they’re much more likely to take care of it immediately. Contracts that are cumbersome or unclear may wait in limbo. A contract that’s easy to view and sign is more likely to see a quick turnaround time in the acceptance stage. Start by determining what your typical method is and whether it could be delaying your contract acceptance.

Wet signature

If you’re using the traditional “wet signature“—in which a person signs a contract with a pen and paper—your contract process will probably take substantially longer. This happens outside of the digital arena or requires specialized electronic signing equipment. The original document must be sent to the receiving party, who then must sign it. It must be endorsed and typically notarized before it makes its way back to you for processing. 

A digital acceptance of a contract is not only faster but more cost-efficient. A faster turnaround on contract acceptance means more time getting real work done. This translates directly into increased revenue and substantial savings.

eSignature

An eSignature can still be a useful tool. When properly formulated, it can make for enforceable contracts. Signatures are meant to show that the signatory assents to all of the terms of the contract and agrees to be bound to it. The system that prompts the signature should be easy to use or you could deal with delays getting a contract signed. Every delay costs time and money. Streamlining the signature process with eSignature integrations can help reduce your contract acceptance time.

Clickwrap

A dedicated contract management system includes easy-to-use acceptance methods that streamline the acceptance stage. A clickwrap agreement may be the best way to speed up the contract process. This online agreement allows users to agree by simply clicking a button or a box that says “I agree.” Instead of having to submit a digital signature, the customer or business partner just clicks once. This easy process means the person signing will likely return the agreement promptly.

The clickwrap uses a collection of key data points that comprise an audit trail to show that the signatory “actively assented” to the agreement. Clickwraps can be used in all kinds of contracts, but are especially useful in B2C businesses. This method is commonly enforced since the active efforts of the signatory are required to enter into the agreement.

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Metric 3: Number of Contracts Not Accepted

When a contract is not accepted—either through the loss of a business relationship or as the result of too many delays in the acceptance stage—money and time are wasted. But these costs are preventable with the proper data. Data compiled by Ironclad’s software can show:

  • Where contracts were not accepted
  • What parties typically refuse to sign
  • Potential reasons why the contract was not accepted
  • Redlines that may indicate reasons for non-acceptance
  • Useful data points to help increase productivity in the acceptance stage

When a contract is unsigned, money is left on the table. You want to be able to identify patterns and common factors between agreements that are unsigned. Are there similar clauses that seem to cause problems? Are the troublesome contracts the work of a particular group or employee in your company? Understanding the answers to these questions can help you fix the issues you face and reduce the number of contracts not accepted.

Increase Efficiency in the Contract Acceptance Stage

Using easy signature methods and relevant data can improve the efficiency of the contract acceptance stage and get more contracts accepted. Digging into an in-depth analysis doesn’t have to increase your workload, though—let the Ironclad software do all that work for you. This efficient contract lifecycle management system can fit your unique needs while helping you get those contracts signed fast and efficiently.

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