CLM Benefits to Sales Operations

When we meet with sales operations leaders and discuss their contract challenges, we find similar data points:

  1. They need to simplify agreement drafting / assembly
  2. They want to automate the template selection process
  3. They would like the approval and review workflows to be automatic, but flexible and extensible
  4. They need to make sure that the process cannot be avoided
  5. They want it integrated into their current process and current system landscape
  6. They need it to be seamless and require no re-training
  7. Basically, they want to change the outcome without changing team behavior. (Okay, that comment may seem dramatic)

Let’s take these data points a few at a time.

The first two are closely related. Easing the authoring / assembly process and automating the template selection process are linked together. By using the context of the sales activity, a good Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution can recommend / select the ideal template.  Context may include the company’s business unit, the customer region, the product or service type, etc.

Further, specific conditional clauses can be automatically inserted based on additional specifics.  Examples might include:

  • Payment method specific clauses
  • State specific clauses
  • Regulatory required statements based on individual products or services
    And the like.

We have seen companies transform from more manual processes into more highly automated processes by virtue of increasing their use of configurable templates and leveraging conditional clauses.

Mandating Approval and Review workflows, and automating them, are also linked together.

These data points are also tied, albeit indirectly, to process and systems integration.

By first determining the use-cases for, and then documenting the optimal business process of the Approval process, the total number of workflows can be reduced, while adding conditional routing provides the flexibility required.

A graphical UI tool without the CLM provides the strong visualization that supports the stakeholder collaboration required to make short work of determining the optimal paths while capturing the rules and conditions.

This process may also identify which agreement types, under certain conditions, may be entirely automated for hands-free processing.

Mandating workflows is a matter of process and systems integration.

For those companies a partial checklist might include:

  • Mandatory Automatic Submittal on specific button Click vs. Submittal on save / close
  • Initiating the workflow in real-time or batching
  • Predetermine Individual Assignments or using role pools
  • If using role pools – round robin assignment within or allow selection
  • Monitoring / Tracking and Alerting non-compliant response and turn-around times

More on process and systems integration and the impact on user adoption in our next post.


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Author Arthur Raguette

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