Many sales representatives are frustrated by their inability to perform as highly on their team as possible. Others are performing highly but want to do even better. You can improve performance by increasing your bandwidth with automation.
You can optimize your processes with data like contract renewals and the cost of a contract. Contract lifecycle management (CLM) software lets you accelerate deals by creating “self-service” contracts and easy-to-use signature methods to drive sales through the funnel.
Effective contract management is an integral part of a successful sales strategy. Too many salespeople fail to streamline their contract lifecycle processes. They think this is how contracts are and that there’s nothing to do about it, which is just not true.
Contract lifecycle management software puts you in control of contract data to help you make strategic sales decisions. It enables you to get acceptance faster, meaning you can focus on revenue-generating activities instead of tracking contracts. You can improve your sales performance by updating and streamlining how you handle contracts.
Contract bottlenecks that limit performance
Many salespeople could improve their performance if their systems didn’t limit them. Contract bottlenecks are inefficiencies in your contract’s lifecycle that slow down the process in various ways, forcing you to focus on non-revenue generating activities.
But tracking contracts and acceptances does not have to be complicated. You can avoid common contract bottlenecks like:
- Waiting for counterparty signatures: Waiting on a client to sign can be frustrating and time-consuming. Many delays are caused by inefficient negotiations and multiple back-and-forths between the parties. Complex manual signature methods cause others.
- Long reviews by legal: Legal departments often take a while to get contracts approved. And non-automated contracts require lengthy manual review, thus slowing your ability to focus on new deals.
- Poor contract storage: Many companies still store contracts in legacy servers, Excel spreadsheets, or even physical file cabinets. This makes it challenging to find the agreement you need when you need it. You also lose out on helpful contract metadata and metrics that a more advanced system can provide.
- Lack of insights: Many salespeople have no access to contract metrics that can provide beneficial information, including turnaround times and efficiency metrics. Without them, you have to analyze your agreements manually—or not at all.
- Manually updated contracts: Manually updated contracts are not automated and require a great deal of time, meaning slower sales velocity and more time spent managing paperwork. Self-service contracts and automated workflows give you the tools you need to reduce or eliminate this common bottleneck.
Increase bandwidth by improving your contract lifecycle
You face many challenges that limit your sales bandwidth. You need the ability to focus on multiple selling tasks at a time if you want to improve your bottom line. Instead, you are likely bogged down by your contracts, meaning you have trouble finding them and getting them signed. You can increase your bandwidth, improve sales performance, and streamline how you manage your agreements.
Lost time tracking down contracts
Antiquated storage methods make it difficult to track and manage your contracts. Once a deal is signed, you need a comprehensive record of that agreement. This ensures it is enforceable later. You also need easy access to the contract’s terms and conditions to help you fulfill your end of the agreement and create a positive customer experience.
Many sales reps spend countless hours tracking down contracts when a question comes up. Maybe they have to sort through an Excel spreadsheet to find where the agreement is or look through a physical filing cabinet. Even online storage can be difficult when outdated and hard to use.
A digital contract repository significantly simplifies this process by capturing and securing agreements in a single location. It tracks vital information in the document to make it easy to find and even grants access to search and filtering systems to help you identify a single contract or multiple contracts that meet specific characteristics. This saves you time searching for an agreement so you can answer questions instantly. Now you can focus your efforts on new deals and driving your sales numbers.
Use an activity feed to know the status of your contract
Tracking where your deals are in the contract process is essential. For many salespeople, it is also time-consuming—but it doesn’t have to be. Modern CLM software uses an activity feed to let you see everything happening in your contract’s workflow. You can view real-time progress and updates on where your contract is. You can even communicate with other participants by adding comments and @mentions.
The activity feed gives you information that includes but is not limited to:
- Workflow submitter documents
- Downloaded documents
- Updated documents
- Approvals added and collected
- @mentions or comments by other workflow participants
- Signature requests and accepted contracts
A dashboard makes it easy to access and view these workflows and know exactly what is happening with your contract. Unlike legacy systems, CLM software allows this to happen automatically and in a way that is easy to check. You can answer your questions in just a few seconds and then return to revenue-generating activities instead.
Optimize your sales strategies with data
The more you know, the more power you have to drive your sales numbers. A good salesperson analyzes their performance and the performance of their contracts. The problem is that most systems make this difficult to do. The sales team must do a manual and time-consuming review. The data you need is hard to find and requires extensive analysis unless you use an effective contract lifecycle management system.
Get access to critical data
Sales teams are often limited to what legal tells them is happening with a contract. They may wait days for a response to a simple question because legal is simply so busy. No matter the circumstances, you deserve quick and accurate access to essential contract data that can drive future performance. This can include information like:
- Contract turnaround time: Knowing how long deals take from beginning to end gives you essential information. It lets you know if the time spent is worth your effort. It also allows you to identify key contract bottlenecks you can streamline for the future, ultimately increasing your efficiency and driving your sales numbers.
- Performance indicators: You can gain key insights into how your deal performed over the long run, including the cost of the contract and much more. This helps inform your decisions for the future by focusing on what has been successful in the past.
- Corrections and redlining: Automated systems track what a counterparty negotiated and changed. If you notice specific terms are always a problem, it may be time to modify or remove them to reduce negotiation time. This helps improve sales performance by speeding up acceptance of the deals you create.
- Important dates: The CLM system can automatically track important contract dates like renewal dates, expirations, and fulfillment dates. It can even create automatic reminders to help you meet your obligations without the need to constantly re-check agreements.
Forecast your pipe gen targets
Driving sales performance means knowing how to improve. Contract metadata and metrics help you do this by providing critical information that can help you forecast your pipe gen targets and increase your overall revenue. You can spend more time capturing potential opportunities because you spend less time managing day-to-day administrative tasks.
A key metric to improving your pipe generation target is the length of your sales cycle. Contract turnaround time should be quick to help you drive increased sales. CLM software reduces and eliminates bottlenecks and gives you data to help you make strategic sales decisions.
Accelerate more deals with the right tools
You can accelerate more deals by empowering self-service contracts. Public workflows add efficiency and speed to your contracts, letting you deliver contracts in the shape of a URL. Now, the counterparty can simply click the link, fill out the contract, and accept in one click. This reduces the need for contract negotiation and limits the effort you spend getting one contract signed.
Self-service contracts speed up the process overall and create more time to drive new deals, especially since you don’t have to waste precious time chasing down signatures anymore.
Make signing easier with effective signature methods
The right signature method will speed up the acceptance process. When you make it easier for counterparties to sign, they are more likely to do so quickly. Easy and effective signature methods include:
- Clickwrap agreements: Clickwrap signatures are a one-click acceptance method that lets the counterparty sign by clicking “I agree” or “Agree” instead of a lengthy process.
- Embedded signing: API or embedded signing makes it easy for counterparties to sign a sales agreement.
- Electronic signatures: An e-signature is a digital signature most similar to a pen to paper contract. However, you can easily send the contract and get a signed agreement when you make this process easy for your clients.
Improve sales performance with CLM software
You can improve your sales performance by updating how you handle contracts. Using CLM software will mean that you no longer have to spend hours tracking and managing individual agreements. The activity feed keeps you up to date and lets you focus on new agreements instead.
A digital repository makes agreements easy to find and even provides you with essential metrics. These metrics help you streamline your processes by providing information on contract turnaround time and performance data.
You can accelerate more deals and drive your sales funnel. CLM software makes it easier to excel by providing automatic reminders and easy-to-sign agreements.
- Contract bottlenecks that limit performance
- Increase bandwidth by improving your contract lifecycle
- Optimize your sales strategies with data
- Accelerate more deals with the right tools
- Improve sales performance with CLM software
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Ironclad is not a law firm, and this post does not constitute or contain legal advice. To evaluate the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability of the ideas and guidance reflected here, or the applicability of these materials to your business, you should consult with a licensed attorney. Use of and access to any of the resources contained within Ironclad’s site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and Ironclad.