How do you know if you need contract lifecycle management software? Who uses it and why? What options are available?
Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software is an established choice for businesses looking to gain time, clarity, and control of their contracts through the contract lifecycle from creation to renewal.
This article answers the most common questions about CLM software and its applications in your organization. If you’re interested in implementing software to improve contract processes at your business, then skip the reading and hit the button below. If you’d still like to learn more, use the links below to navigate this resource.
What is contract lifecycle management (CLM software)?
CLM software aids legal and business teams in the creation, negotiation, signature, renewal and data analyses of legal contracts. It streamlines the contract lifecycle, enabling business users to self-serve, sign and manage routine contracts at scale from one unified workspace.
Legacy enterprise CLM software systems such as SAP and Ariba are still used to handle contracts, but your ability to locate, understand, and analyse the information in them remains limited. Contracts end up silos, require clause-by-clause legal review, and end up as multi-versioned Docx and PDF files scattered across shared drives.
Newer software providers are reimagining contract management, enabling the contract lifecycle to unfold as a transparent, fully integrated and automated process, every step of which is easily controlled through an all-in-one platform. CLM is changing - and Juro is at the vanguard of the providers changing it.
CLM workflow: what are the phases of the contract management lifecycle?
Disjointed and risk-prone legacy contract systems can burden lawyers with time-consuming and redundant processes, requiring extensive review (wasting even more time). Today, next-generation CLM platforms like Juro unify contract processes in one system and use automation to accelerate and streamline every phase of the contract lifecycle, including:
Contract creation: Business users are empowered to create new contracts self-serve, using standardised templates and guided by company playbooks that the legal team develops and maintains.
Internal review and collaboration: Internal stakeholders and in-house counsel review draft contracts and contribute specialised knowledge to better align contract terms with company-wide goals.
Contract negotiation: The counterparty and any relevant third parties review and revise the draft. The main goal of contract negotiation is for each party to be satisfied with the rights and obligations and ready to sign.
Signature: The contract is shared with all parties. Automated alerts ensure timely electronic signature in a sequence defined by the contract owner.
Tracking: After signature, legal can digitally monitor the fulfillment of obligations and ensure compliance with all terms, conditions, and deadlines.
Renewal: Contracts are renewed or terminated, automatically or manually, as agreed.
Why do you need contract lifecycle management?
At some point, increasing contract volumes will outstrip your ability to manage contracts using Word, Excel and shared drives. Legal teams start to find contract process unmanageable, facing three basic but essential questions:
- Where can I find the most recent versions of contracts? Are contracts signed? Have they been amended? Where are the relevant attachments?
- What’s in my contracts? All contracts should include the most up-to-date and risk-adjusted terms.
- Who owns this contract? Who is responsible for completing required actions during each phase of the contract lifecycle?
These are the pain points that most often drive businesses to consider implementing contract lifecycle management for their document workflow.
Who uses CLM software?
It’s easy to think that only lawyers need contract software, but improving how everyone in your organisation relates to contracts opens opportunities for significant gains. A recent EY Law survey found that 90 per cent of business development leaders face challenges when working on contracts with their procurement, law, and commercial teams. Some 57 per cent of those leaders said inefficient processes slow revenue recognition, and 50 per cent report that inefficiencies have resulted in lost business.
Today’s CLM software digitally connects business development leaders, legal, procurement, HR, commercial teams and beyond, enabling automated efficiencies and streamlining processes to drive immediate and long-term business value.
What are the benefits of contract lifecycle management software?
Adopting a CLM platform like Juro benefits your organisation in several ways, including:
- A self-serve contract creation process: Business users can create new contracts through a self-serve Q&A workflow to accelerate the process without needing to rely on legal. All new contracts are based on templates that use standardised, pre-approved language to reduce risks and optimise performance.
- Collaborative workflows: Multiple parties can quickly review and negotiate contracts in-browser, using one unified workspace. They converse in real time in the document sidebar and check prior versions with one click using Juro’s timeline.
- Automated efficiencies:
- Automated alerts, routing and escalation procedures ensure the appropriate parties know when action is needed.
- Informative, customised dashboards keep you up to date on and in control of every contract.
- Automated tracking monitors milestones and deadlines to avoid costly oversights.
- A data-rich repository: Contracts live in a data-rich repository where they are easily searched, audited, and analysed at any time.
- CLM software collects data throughout the entire lifecycle, with each element of the contract captured as structured data.
- Over time, you can use data analytics to build more efficient contract processes and create contracts that drive better business outcomes.
- Digital integrations: Integrate CLM software with existing programs to eliminate manual data retrieval and entry tasks. Automating data exchange saves time and effort while ensuring contracts contain accurate and up-to-date information.
- Clarity and resource alignment: With low-level administrative tasks handled through automation, your legal team can focus on its KPIs and spend much more time on more strategic and impactful work.
How do I implement CLM software?
To implement contract management lifecycle software successfully you need a clear idea of the problem you're trying to solve, concrete objectives, and buy-in from the wider stakeholders who'll be using the solution once it's rolled out.
There are a couple ways to help ensure CLM software is adopted and used to its fullest. Your first project should quickly demonstrate the value CLM software can bring to an individual’s work life. We find that customers often have great success starting small with a defined project, such as automating the NDA workflow, or partnership agreements, before moving on to a company-wide deployment having proved value.
Secondly, you can ensure adoption by integrating your CLM software with your current software systems. People are more likely to use CLM software when they access it from an application they’re already using. Standard integrations include Workday, Salesforce, Slack, GDrive and Box.
Contract lifecycle management solutions
Legacy CLM platforms primarily target large enterprises and are priced accordingly. They often require significant upfront investments in costs and training - many of them advertise that they might get you to value within six months.
At Juro, we think a six-month implementation period is nothing to be proud of! That's why we offer an intuitive browser-based interface that people jump in and use immediately. Juro is free to try and has a typical implementation time of 21 days. Users create, negotiate and sign contracts using a single all-in-one platform, instead of moving into Word, GDrive, or DocuSign, creating friction and losing audit trails and data.
- "We've created a workflow that is scalable, quicker, automated and allows other teams to self-serve their contracts. For a small legal team this is essential and has saved us so much time."
- "Easy to learn, intuitive user interface, anyone can use it without training. The Q&A function is amazing and let me as a legal person focus on contracts which actually require my expertise in drafting and negotiating. The future is here!"
- "Juro's platform has significantly improved the efficiency of our legal function and has enabled our legal team to spend more time focusing on high-value work."
CLM use cases and case studies
CLM software offers the quickest ROI when you automate low-negotiation, high-volume contracts such as:
- non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)
- master service agreements (MSAs)
- employment offer letters
- option agreements
- vendor agreements
- partner agreements
Here’s a look at how contract lifecycle management works in practice, and just a few of the benefits customers have gained.
⚙️ Automate NDAs
RVU, a company behind a series of comparison businesses, uses Juro to automate the self-serve generation of NDAs from templates. Business users approve NDAs in a browser-based workflow and sign NDAs online, ultimately enabling the legal function to save up to 30 per cent of its time.
“With Juro doing the heavy lifting on low-negotiation contracts, I had the breathing space to be more strategic, which included securing an excellent first hire into my team.” — Michael Haynes, Sr. Legal Counsel at RVU
⚙️ Automate MSAs
Automate MSAs using a preset approval workflow with defined roles for legal and CFOs as well as signatories. Sequential workflows automatically notify multiple approvers in a specific order. Payments company Shieldpay uses Juro to reduce the time it takes to generate contracts from several days to several minutes.
“We’re saving so much time. Our clients see us as understanding, with quicker turnaround times and faster execution - thanks to Juro.” — Willem Wellinghoff, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Shieldpay
⚙️ Automate Offer Letters
You can expect to generate, issue and secure signatures on an offer letter in less than one hour. Automated workflows allowed online food delivery company Deliveroo to issue 1400 employee letters across 13 markets in 2 weeks while reliably tracking acceptances from each recipient.
“Juro was fit for purpose across all markets – we were even able to input foreign language versions, including Italian, Spanish and French. That was a great outcome - we could communicate with local markets and meet local legal obligations.” — Cameron Russell, Senior Award Analyst at Deliveroo
For more information on CLM software, additional benefits and use cases, check our contract management software explainer. Need to convince stakeholders to invest in better contract processes? Use this free business case template.
Do you need contract lifecycle management software?
You’re in an ideal position to benefit from an all-in-one CLM software solution like Juro if:
- Your company enters into ten or more contracts a month, and the volume is increasing.
- Contract outcomes affect revenue.
- The majority of the contracts you're looking to manage are low-negotiation.
If this sounds like you, then hit the button below to find out what contract lifecycle management could do for your business.