Contracts can be a painful experience when sales want to get deals over the line quickly, whereas legal need to mitigate risk and free up time from admin.
Sales teams live in CRM. Salesforce is the single source of truth for the journey from lead to customer, but it can also bring a wealth of benefits when it comes to managing contracts, easing pain points for both legal and sales teams when it comes to closing deals. Use this resource to find out how Salesforce can help you manage your contracts.
What is Salesforce? | The challenge: why is managing contracts painful? | The solution: why Salesforce? | Who should use Salesforce? | Salesforce and Juro | Automating the contract lifecycle | Conclusion
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management tool that allows businesses to better connect with potential and existing customers. Other CRM tools are available but Salesforce dominates the category.
The challenge: why is managing contracts painful?
Imagine being a one-person in-house legal team and having to manage 30 active sales contracts each month. The responsibility of creating those contracts falls on you - the lawyer - and leads to you copy/pasting information from one document into another. This isn’t high-value work; anyone could manually input details into a contract. And if you’re limited to using Microsoft Word (still the system of choice for most legal teams) then it can be a time-consuming, soul-destroying task.
Legal teams can respond to this challenge by opening up the creation process to the wider business. Allowing sales teams to fill in information for their own contracts might speed up the cycle, but there’s an attendant risk that comes with empowering salespeople to do legal work. Lawyers might want to help sales colleagues move faster but they can't compromise on accuracy - their whole job revolves around mitigating this kind of risk.
Businesses often end up storing contract information in different places - a partially-completed spreadsheet here, a shared drive folder structure there. The legal team can't rely on this to be accurate, assuming the worst when it comes to human error. They’ll open up the initial contract anyway, which defeats the purpose. This problem only gets worse as the volume of contracts increases, which is why at Juro we work with high-growth tech companies who are want to avoid embedding an unscalable process.
Businesses can hire one or several FTEs (contract managers) to look after this manual process, or they can automate it.
The solution: why Salesforce?
At this point we should be pitching contract management software as the solution. But the reality is that the best solution varies by company and by function. If a sales team lives in Salesforce all day every day and wants to stay there, why force them into another platform? Find a solution with a 2-way real-time data sync with Salesforce and you can have confidence in using it to manage your sales paperwork. (Try this one).
Salesforce allows both legal and sales teams to track a customizable range of information. By committing to the platform, the legal function can enable sales teams through Salesforce to achieve their goals, close deals, and move faster with less steps required towards the end goal. It’s a win-win for both teams because through Salesforce the legal function can reduce the risks that follow manual data entry.
Who should use Salesforce?
Both sales and legal teams can use Salesforce to address their specific needs.
The pre-signature stage of a contract lifecycle is usually a sales team’s focus. Before the contract is signed, the priority for sales is to create it quickly, negotiation it without friction and get through legal approval to the signature stage.
The post-signature stage revolves around data capture and storage, which is usually legal’s focus. Most legal teams don’t use Salesforce (although that’s changing), except to check contract data, but lawyers need to be comfortable implementing Salesforce-enabled contract management so their sales teams can move faster.
It’s also important to have a single source of truth for contracts; otherwise legal and sales can end up having several disconnected systems in place, with no visibility and different contract information in each. Salesforce can add consistency to the process by keeping stored information in one, easily-accessible location.
In the sales team where I work at Juro, we use Salesforce to track all interactions with customers, so information isn’t lost when dealing with multiple people in a commercial relationship. We also track the status of new customers we're onboarding, so the business has clear visibility into our priorities and can forecast accurately.
Salesforce and Juro
Integrating Salesforce with Juro - as your system of record for contracts - can reduce the scope for human error that comes with repeated manual data entry. Juro uses data from Salesforce to create contracts and add new information in real time at it's updated. It’s a two-way integration - the information flows from Juro to Salesforce, and from Salesforce to Juro, so as soon as the information enters one system, both systems of record are automatically updated.
What does this mean for lawyers? The time they would have spent manually adding information from one source to another can now be used for more high-value work. It also reduces friction between legal and commercial teams, with legal enabling sales to close faster.
Automating the contract lifecycle
Contract automation can make legal's lives easier, and reduce friction between teams. Not sure what contract automation is? Check out our explainer page.
Integrating Salesforce with Juro is easy and can simplify the contract lifecycle.
CREATE: As soon as the contract is created in Juro, it’s saved in Salesforce and visible to the team. Alternatively you can create contracts in Salesforce and be confident that they're immediately live-synced to Juro.
NEGOTIATE: Juro allows parties to negotiate in-browser. When negotiating terms, the values changed in Juro are reflected immediately in Salesforce, instead of instigating a back-and-forth email chain.
COLLABORATE: internal stakeholders can collaborate in real time - they can comment on a clause in Juro, instead of emailing the legal team and requesting an edit. The audit trail in Juro captures all the activity from engaging parties, which gives visibility to everyone involved in the process through Juro’s timeline feature. These changes are also automatically reflected in Salesforce.
AGREE: parties can securely eSign in Juro on any device; a PDF of the signed contract is automatically stored as a PDF in Salesforce.
STORE / MANAGE: legal teams need visibility into contracts post-closing - with a 2-way live-synced integration, both legal and sales teams can be confident that their documents are accurate.
In the example above, the total annual price of this contract has been updated to £800. This is tagged under 'Total price' in the smartfields to the right. This metadata is pulled into Salesforce in real time, so in Salesforce the the amount now reflects the contract amount from Juro.
More speed, less risk
By automating the process, legal can focus on work that adds value to the wider business, while also enabling sales to work more faster. You don't have to choose between speed and risk - for legal teams looking to empower commercial colleagues, an integrated contracts solution like Juro can help achieve both teams' goals.