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How to Get To YES Faster on Your Contracts

Contract Nerds, How to Contract, and Ironclad recently shared their tips for leading their team across the contracting finish line quickly. You’ll hear how they reduce negotiation times, manage back and forth in the sales cycle, and prepare better agreements.
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A contract is a risk mitigation device and a tool for our business. It's not an end to itself. While it may feel great to negotiate that perfect indemnity, delay is a risk and you can lose the deal and customer. So consider that as you're deciding how hard and how long to push for particular issues.

Laura Frederick, CEO and Founder, How to Contract

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Key takeaways

Here are some learnings from the conversation:

  • Redlines are where we negotiate the heart of the contract. Save time by leaving an explanatory comment with your redline by telling your counterparty by being proactive about why you’re proposing the change.
  • Have you house in order. Make sure you’re communicating with the business and ensuring your templates are up-to-date and customer-friendly.
  • Have untracked redlines? Get ahead of it by restating expectations for the redlining process. Also recognize that user error may be a part of the issue, and also align with your both internal and external clients on any material changes to ensure all parties understand the edits.
  • Explain the pain points of an agreement with your internal business clients. You can bring focus to the right areas and have productive conversations with your internal business partners if you can parse through the legalese and highlight the implications of the issue(s) at hand.
  • Consider a no-negotiation threshold. This involves setting (and publicizing) a threshold, such as a dollar value for sales contracts, under which the legal team won’t accept negotiations. It should be done collaboratively with business teams to ensure interested stakeholders agree with the trade-offs involved.
  • Leverage your CLM to collaborate. Use your CLM to manage version control and manage communication about a deal across teams in one place.
  • Ask the counterparty about any dealbreakers upfront.This can save you time down the line by avoiding a last minute surprise just before finalizing the deal.

Learn more about redlining with Nada Alnajafi’s book, “Contract Redlining Etiquette” here, and join Laura Frederick at ContractsCon in Miami, FL from Feb. 16-17 in 2023.

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