CLM + CPQ: Digital Contracting for Your Deal Desk

Your deal desk has a common problem: You have a well-structured deal but are stuck with manual contracting processes. This slows your sales team down significantly, making it hard to monitor team success accurately. Configure, price, quote (CPQ) software is helpful for the pricing and payment side, but it isn’t appropriate for legal terms. The right CPQ CLM combination gives you access to the necessary tools to do your job well.

Effective contract management gives you the tools to enhance your deal desk with modern contract processes. You won’t have to spend late nights and weekends providing coverage where your current tools create gaps. You can shorten your sales cycle and reduce risk by using modern contract lifecycle management (CLM) software.

Deal desk and the problem it faces

Your deal desk is an important part of your sales team. It is a significant investment, but it helps your team manage complex deals. The problem is that there are still contract bottlenecks slowing down the sales cycle and increasing your risk of litigation. The deal desk and CPQ software are not enough to handle this problem.

The deal desk is not able to handle common contract problems like:

  • Lack of insights into contract metadata
  • Updates on contract status in the lifecycle
  • Accurate and effective storage of digital contracts
  • Complex or manual approval processes
  • Lack of communication between internal stakeholders

Your deal desk has been chasing down approvals via manual efforts for too long. Your employees and your team leaders should not be spending time making up for the gaps created by your current tools.

But you are not stuck dealing with the problems of the past. CLM software offers the necessary tools to streamline contracting and enhance your deal desk.

CPQ vs. CLM

Many companies don’t fully understand the difference between CPQ software and true CLM software. CPQ systems can do a great job of automating pricing or other approvals. Still, they cannot fully support the contract lifecycle because they can’t handle the unique complexities created by contracts and the management of legal terms.

Businesses need to automate contracts as much as possible to scale and meet customer expectations. CPQ cannot do this alone. Combined with CLM software, your sales team has access to tools and contract metadata that are essential to team success.

This combination is especially important for sales teams and companies with multiple products or service offerings. These require using estimates, quotes, and various order forms that can complicate the sales process. Lack of automation in the quote-to-cash process may lead to poor customer experiences, costly delays, and significant errors, all of which can delay the sales cycle and create the risk of litigation.

Get insights into contract data

Your sales team needs the ability to quickly pull information from their agreements. Most deal desk teams are stuck doing a manual review of individual agreements to get their answers. The process is cumbersome, slow, and costly. This costs you time and money that could be better spent on revenue-generating activities.

The solution to this problem is a CLM platform that gives the sales team and front-line sellers access to accurate information. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Data to help reduce unnecessary negotiation
  • Information on deal structure best practices to launch new order forms
  • Contract metadata that helps streamline revenue recognition through maximizing average selling price (ASP)
  • Visibility into sales metrics that help make informed choices

Your team shouldn’t be hampered by manual contracts with no metadata. You can create digital contracts that streamline sales and give you accurate post-sale data to help improve your processes.

Using data to forecast future sales

When you can measure metrics that matter to sales, you can also examine:

  • The length of negotiation cycles and deal velocity
  • Impacts of redlines that factor into sales win rates
  • Deal sizes for sellers that use non-standard deal terms
  • Ways to reduce tight turnaround times and the stress they cause
  • How to best facilitate future sales

All of this data empowers you to streamline your system. It also gives you insights into how much you can accomplish in a specific period of time. This will allow you to use contract metadata to forecast sales and assess your team’s abilities accurately.

Storing digital contracts for your deal desk

Part of keeping accurate data that you will actually use is storing it in the right place. Many sales teams are stuck with outdated storage methods, such as large cloud files with little to no organization. Others still use physical filing cabinets.

These methods give you no access to your contracts or the valuable information they contain. On the other hand, a digital repository makes it easy to find, organize, and search files. The repository even automatically collects important metadata that helps streamline and automate your deal desk for the future.

Improve collaboration with legal

Working with the legal department is one of the sales team’s biggest challenges. This is usually not because legal doesn’t do their job, but because manual processes make their job incredibly slow. Manual contracts mean that legal must painstakingly review each agreement. There is not a template with automatic redlining that can help improve their speed or efficiency.

Standardized sales agreements and templates help improve how you work with legal. They also save your sales team a great deal of time internally. You can use pre-approved language requiring little to no negotiation to significantly reduce the time legal needs to approve a contract. This will, in turn, reduce your sales cycle in major ways.

CLM lets you move contracts through the process much faster and more accurately. You can communicate with legal in the CLM system and have real-time access to your contract’s status. Your team can consider all edge cases within an integrated system that empowers collaboration. Now your team can follow deal desk rules while proactively communicating with their internal stakeholders.

When sales and legal work together, every department benefits, and you improve the overall revenue-generating capabilities of your sales department.

CLM software tools that help your deal desk

Many tools can help your deal desk improve its efficiency. The three mentioned here can have a major impact on the success of your sales team.

Approvals

Many sales teams are stuck using old-school contracts. This means that the method for approving those contracts is slow and outdated. Contract approval is the second stage of the contract management lifecycle, and it is an essential one.

Your sales team can master contract approval processes by:

  • Organizing your contracts in a data repository
  • Creating standardized contracts and templates with a workflow designer
  • Using a DOCX native collaboration platform to encourage internal stakeholder and counterparty collaboration
  • Using process metrics reporting within the platform to enhance approval speed

Long contract approvals should be a thing of the past. You can make it happen with the right CLM software and its tools.

Salesforce integration and your deal desk

A CLM software with Salesforce integration gives you the tools you need to enhance your deal desk. It empowers you and your sellers with the utilization and data-gathering tools that drive business outcomes and informed decisions. You will now have access to:

  • Real-time updates
  • Clean contract data
  • Direct sync to Salesforce
  • Generated contracts that are automatically populated in Salesforce
  • Modifiable contract metadata fields for automatic export

Salesforce CPQ CLM lets you automate and scale your operations to drive better sales with these tools.

Using the activity feed

Many sales teams face a common problem with their contracts. Once they go to legal, they sit there seemingly forever. Too many companies deal with this problem even though it is very fixable. The primary cause of delays is manual contracting processes that make it difficult for legal to do their job efficiently.

You need to know where your contracts are in the contract management lifecycle. CLM software gives you an activity feed that provides real-time updates on your contract’s status. It lets you track your agreement’s progress and updates and even communicate with other participants in that agreement’s workflow.

The activity feed gives you access to information like:

  • Documents downloaded
  • Approvals added
  • Approvals collected
  • @mentions or comments by other workflow participants
  • Signature requests
  • Finalized signatures viewed and collected
  • Information edited or changed

CPQ CLM can help your sales team

CPQ and CLM are often treated separately when they should work together seamlessly. A sophisticated CLM software with Salesforce integration gives you the ultimate combination to streamline how your sales team does business. You can use tools like the activity feed, modern contract approvals, and contract metadata to inform your decisions and reduce the sales cycle significantly.

Your team does not need to be stuck in the past. Outdated systems reduce your ability to drive sales and win new deals. Instead of focusing on contract management tasks and delay, you can focus on revenue-generating activities.

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