In today’s hectic world, software, apps, automation services, and digital tools are a must – they make you and your business more efficient, more streamlined, less error-prone, and increase the quality of your product as a whole. The CLM software you choose can increase the level, standards, and framework of your contracts. They can give you better contracts, more easily manageable agreements, and hundreds of other features and benefits that you can incorporate into your daily business practice. Benefits, that in the long – and quite possibly – short-haul will end up making you more effective.
Let’s talk a lot about not only the CLM phenomena but what features to look for when acquiring top CLM software. if it has all the must-have features for effective contracting in 2022.
What is CLM software?
Contract lifecycle management software is a type of software that helps companies manage their contracts and agreements.
The contract lifecycle management software can help in the following ways:
- It can help the company to identify contracts that are coming up for renewal or expiration.
- It can also help in identifying the best contract for each need.
- The contract lifecycle management software also helps in managing projects, invoices, and payments through all stages of a contract.
A poorly chosen contract management system can have a devastating effect on your business. It can cost you time, money, and resources. It is important to choose software that is right for your company’s needs and will be able to grow with your organization.
18 must-have CLM software features to produce high-quality contracts in 2022
Let’s take a look at those MUST have features every CLM should have under its belt. Those key tools CLM software vendors have to offer their clients – the last thing you want is to invest in a CLM lemon.
Centralized, Intelligently Organized Contract Repository
Your database, where you stick your contracts, has to be dynamic. It has to be easy to navigate, easy to plot through, easy to inch your way through, and really parse down. Today, thanks to digitization, papers are more easily organized and more accessible – when you need to look for data, info, or contact, all that’s really required is a search bar.
Your contract repository has to work under that same principle. It has to be intuitive, easy to navigate, easy to look up information or data in, easy to snatch contracts from, and cloud-based. The last item is important since it allows staff members to interact with the repository from anywhere on the planet, and on any device.
Intuitive Contract Search Feature
The best CLM software has a lot of things in common with Google or Wikipedia. One of those is the fact that folks can search for information, and correlate contracts right from the main dashboard. One that has an incredibly interactive and easy-to-understand search engine. A search engine with filters, with key tools, can help staff members narrow down their search parameters.
Automated Alerts, Notifications, and Reminders
How many times have you missed out on a deadline? Or for that matter how many times has one of your vendors, one of your suppliers, accidentally fallen behind on their contracted schedule? Or have you stumbled upon the following scenario? You think everything is working perfectly, only to stumble upon the fact that a key vendor in your supply chain isn’t doing their job because “you forgot to renew their contract.”
The top CLM software has specific reminders and notifications – they alert users on important milestones, or phases of a contract. They take into account if someone isn’t doing their job, a milestone has been missed, or if a contract needs to be renewed ASAP.
Insightful Dashboards With Deep Analytical Data
Big data is paramount to today’s business practices – if you’re not using big data then you’re missing out. Insightful dashboards with deep data analysis can give you an idea of blindspots, or places you need to consider when better managing your business. They can give you useful intel on how to streamline your business and your overall framework.
Role-based and Feature-based Security
Your contracts are full of juicy nuggets of info – from contact information to bank accounts to all manner of private data that if leaked can hurt you and the person you’re in business with.
Today, data leaks abound. The FBI reported that cybercrimes, in the last two years, have skyrocketed by almost 200%. Hackers are better equipped, have better tech, and more money. They can invest in their infrastructure and logistics because the payout, the ROI, of a crime is huge. How huge? On average, a cyber-attack, according to the World Bank and the FBI, can end up costing a company over $ 4 million. That’s why today, guarding your contracts, and your private info is important. Your tool has to take into account security and make it a priority.
An electronic signature is a legal term for a digital signature. It is an electronic equivalent of a physical signature, which is commonly used to validate transactions in the real world. And today, due to various treaties, devices, and tech options, electronic signatures are not only ubiquitous but legally binding.
There are many benefits of electronic signatures and why they are very important in today’s world. They allow people to sign documents electronically, which eliminates the need for printing, signing, scanning, and faxing documents. Electronic signatures also provide security by making it difficult to duplicate or forge signatures.
Contract Template Libraries
Contract template libraries are a great way to save time and money. You can find a contract template for any situation you may need. Top CLM providers make this a key feature and one of their biggest selling points.
Contract templates are also great for businesses that don’t have in-house legal counsel. Contract template libraries not only provide you with contracts, but they also provide other forms of documentation that may be needed in the workplace such as NDAs, NDA addenda, service agreements for subcontractors, etc.
Easy Redlining Function
An easy redlining function is a tool in some software that allows the user to mark up a document and then create a new document with the markup changes.
Some of the common uses of this function are:
- Adding comments to a document after it has been sent to someone else,
- Marking up text that needs to be translated into another language,
- Marking up text that needs to be edited before publishing,
- Marking up text that needs to be corrected before printing.
Contract Request and Intake
Contracts and requests are integral to the success of any company. They are the backbone of business operations. If you have a contract requesting system that is not up to date, it can be a huge cause of stress for your employees and clients.
The benefits of using CLM platforms in contract requests and intake include:
- Helps you stay up to date with all contracts in one place.
- Makes it easier for you to find what you need based on different parameters
- Allows you to store important requests in one place
Advanced Functionality for Managing Common Contracting Tasks
Automated features are incredibly important in today’s work environment. They help you get through menial tasks that are repetitive, boring, but extremely important. Having automated tools mixed into your dashboard helps alleviate some of the responsibility of staff members – and mitigate human errors.
Managing Contract Process and Phases Through Workflows
The contract process is a crucial part of the business. It is important to have it done right so that you are not risking any legal consequences. Workflows can help you manage the contract process more efficiently. They can be used to keep track of all the phases and tasks that need to be completed during this process and ensure that everything goes smoothly.
The benefits of document versions are that they allow you to make changes to your document without having to create a new document. This is especially helpful for organizations that are constantly updating their contracts. Document versions can be used in many different ways. You can use them to create a draft, make edits and then publish the final version.
You can also use them when you need to update the information in your document, but don’t want to have two sets of information if one set is outdated or needs some corrections. Having a system that safeguards document versions and backups each one is important since it gives your certain safeguards – one of them is that you can backpedal to an old version, and check crucial information you might have missed. Not only that, but CLM meta stamps each document version, giving you proof of when changes were made and under whose lead.
Supporting Different Devices
Today, most folks won 2 to 3 digital devices they use for work as well as leisure. Including, but not limited to tablets, laptops, and smartphones. CLM software solutions have to include apps that not only work in all the environments, and tools, but apps that are synced to one another – that way users seamlessly transition, “hand-off” work from one device to another.
CLM Software User Management
Who has access to what – with software, you can limit access. Give it to those that actually require it. You can also give temporal access, as well as partial access.
Interactive Discussions & Collaboration
The benefits of collaborative discussions in contract creation are many. It is a great way to share ideas and work together with others to create something new. It is also a great way to learn from each other and grow as an individual. There are many ways that you can collaborate, but the best way is through interactive discussions right on the contract being formed.
Google sheets, Microsoft Docs, Slack, Zoom, all these plus a hundred more apps have become synonymous with businesses and managing one in the 21st century. Your CLM software has to be able to integrate them naturally. Has to be able to sync up to them and allow users to post, move, and interact dynamically with all these tools without having to leave the CLM platform.
Automated approval is an alternative to manual approval. It is the process of approving a transaction without the need for human intervention. Automated approval has many benefits over manual approval. It increases efficiency, and accuracy, and reduces costs. Automated approval also helps with fraud prevention by reducing the time it takes for a transaction to be approved.
Ease of Implementation and Usage
Top Contract Lifecycle Management – CLM software needs to be easy. In every sense of the word. Particularly from the get-go. It shouldn’t be a disruptive tool, but something that’s easily integrated into your daily practices, and those of your staff members. Purchase a CLM that is intuitive, easy to implement, and with a fast adoption rate,
The benefits and importance of producing high-quality contracts remotely in 2022
CLM has been around for a while now, but it’s only recently that companies have started to take notice. This is because top software is a new way of automating the process of managing content and assets. It’s time for you to start considering CLM software as an option for your business. Here are some of the benefits that you can expect from using this type of software, not only onsite but remotely:
- Tracking of contract amendments and changes
- Faster turnaround times
- Better customer service
- Improved efficiency
- More accurate content
- Tracking of contract reviews
- Tracking of contract signatories
- Having a central repository for all contracts
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