Modern sales strategy: CRM-CLM integration
Many companies are integrating their CRM with their Contract Lifecycle Mgt. (CLM) solutions to facilitate their sales and operations departments to work together servicing the customer as their common goal.
Sales teams employ CRM to track opportunities, contacts, and progress along the sales pipeline. Operations teams use CLM features in CRM to streamline the entire contract management process, reduce cycle times, and improve contract governance.
CRM which is embedded with full CLM functionality can enable the sales teams to seamlessly manage contracts. It can also address all the factors discussed above and make contracting easier, faster, and more impactful.
CRM permits the salesperson to initiate a contract request from CRM to the operations teams directly.
The contract owners will have access to a predefined set of contract templates and a clause library, with standard and alternate languages for each clause, ensuring faster contract authoring. They can also create custom templates and clauses.
CRM empowers sales and operations teams to collaborate effectively at all levels of the sales contract management process ensuring improved communication and transparency.
Salespeople can track the status of contracts.
Admins can automate their contract reviews by creating custom approval workflows, both sequential and parallel.
The stakeholders can effortlessly engage in multiple rounds of negotiation entirely online. The negotiation within CRM, eliminates email back and forth and enables enhanced version control.
CRM also provides e-Signature functionality that empowers the contract owner to sign and secure signatures in minutes, eliminating the email, print, sign, and fax cycles.
Renewal reminders will ensure that revenue opportunities wouldn’t be missed. Salespeople can also initiate post-execution management requests (renewals, extensions, amendments, and termination).
One of the most significant pain points for contract managers is the inability to access critical contract information when needed. CRM with a single central repository stores all the contracts of an organization in one place. The advanced search and filter options built-in with CRM empower contract managers with better accessibility to contract information.
The analytical capabilities of CRM help the sales and operations teams derive valuable business insights from the contract data. In addition, CRM has multiple benefits at each stage of the contract lifecycle.
Self-service contract requests and contract templates enable quick contract generation.
Contract revenue and cost budgeting features allow the finance teams to have a comprehensive picture on the contract financials and risks.
Standardization of workflow enables sales and legal teams to communicate and work together coherently throughout the sale contract cycle.
Complete visibility into sales contracts statuses and transparency in processes allow stakeholders to perform timely actions with no confusion.
Simplified negotiation and signing methods empower the stakeholders with a secure and robust way to execute contracts digitally.
Cloud repository is a crucial feature for modern contract management since it is the enabling technology for safe and secure contract collaboration among multiple parties. By storing contracts in a central repository and allowing only one version of the contract in the process that can be shared through a secure link, CRM achieves the following:
Some contracts can be very lengthy and if printed, can amount to hundreds of pages with many clauses, business terms and conditions. CRM allows predefined contract templates for different types of contracts. The author or initiator of a new contract can either click the “Auto Contract Generation” command in the Opportunity to have the system to automatically generate the contract based on the client and business information in the Opportunity and the selected predefined contract template or manually create the contract from the selected predefined contract template.
Besides you can create different templates for different types of sales and purchase agreements, you can also create different templates for different types of master agreements, non-disclosure agreements and statement-of-work (SOW).
CRM provides you the tools to do pricing, submit quotations for internal approval and then push or send to the client and finalize the prices and payment terms in the contract. CRM automatically tracks delivery milestones and payments and calculates payment received, material and labor costs and margin.
CRM allows you to establish Service Level Agreement (SLA) within the contract that you are creating. You can establish different time base and/or quality base measurements associated with different penalties and rewards and CRM will automatically track and calculate the penalties, rewards and nets in real-time based on actual results of the deliveries and acceptance of the contract.
SLA is a very effective tool for you and your client to control the punctuality and quality of the contractual deliveries.
A by-product of cloud repository is third party paper upload and shared contract review. Emailing scanned images of paper documents back and forth can be time-consuming, but it can also be insecure and unreliable. Many people are attaching contracts and contract attachments to emails. What they may not be aware of is that each time a contract is sent, a new version of that contract is being created. Depending on how these contract versions are being stored, this increases the risk of accidentally using the wrong contract version. Also, emailing contracts and contract attachments can expose personal and financial information in the event of a cyber attack.
CRM provides document upload feature for contract attachments and also shared review feature to ensure all reviewers are looking at the single copy of the truth (contract and its attachments).
Issues occur (and actions are needed) before and after a contract is signed. You can stay in control since CRM can track what are the outstanding issues, who is responsible for what actions and what actions have been taken. CRM allows you to control issues to be resolved in a timely manner.
It’s a common frustration, when all you need to do is get the contract signed, but your signer suddenly goes missing. It could be a sick day, vacation, or just being busy, this shouldn’t be the reason why the contract is stalled.
CRM includes an electronic signing tool that can allow contracts to be signed anywhere and anytime and let you skip the steps such as attaching contracts to emails, or printing out, signing the re-uploading signed contracts.
CRM allows you to pull the needed client information from the client repository into the contract, eliminating the work of re-typing client details, while working within the system you already know.
CRM also records and tracks all contracts and transactions associated with the client so that you can review your client’s historical and upcoming transaction information as well as its up-to-date account receivable information in real-time.