There's no nice way to say this: traditional contracting processes are cumbersome. Overreliance on manual processes and a disorganized workflow too often translates into numerous back and forth between parties, needless paper pushing, and excessive redlining. And that doesn't even include the natural time suck already inherent in most manual processes. In this post, we've outlined three concrete steps you can implement to take back the time and money you're currently wasting in the contract lifecycle and increase your sales velocity.
A digital process can cut out a lot of unnecessary steps within your contract lifecycle, reducing the time between opportunity and close. A simplified contracting process and workflow can ultimately shorten your sales cycle and reduce your spend.
Follow these steps to make your contract lifecycle process more than just a cost center.
1. Don’t rely on a shared drive to create contracts
Picture this: The sales person managing a deal will copy a Word template of a contract to their own computer and use it moving forward. Inevitably, changes to the template's language and terms will be made, but now that version is out of sync. The deal is signed, but now questions have arisen because it's become impossible to know which version the customer started from.
Sound familiar? We see a lot of companies that rely on "master" templates that live on some shared drive as a Word document. But this can easily get out of sync.
A system that acts as the starting point in a contract review process and doesn't rely on a shared drive is ideal. PactSafe’s platform allows teams to use ready-made templates and manage multiple versions. This way, you can push out contracts in the middle of a call, effectively cutting out numerous, onerous steps.
2. Adopt clickthrough technology
Clickthrough technology greases the wheels of acceptance and brings you closer to adding money into your pocket. A clickthrough is a button or a box that users click or check to indicate acceptance of online legal terms. It is just as legally enforceable as putting pen to paper, and significantly more efficient. Here at PactSafe, we developed a three-step process for obtaining binding agreements for any contract:
- Prepare and Send
- Review and Sign
- Record and Analyze
These steps allow you to quickly create a contract online and send it out to others for acceptance while remaining compliant with current case law and best practices.
3. Use easy-to-digest analytics and redlining tools
Sometimes, customers like to make edits during the contracting process. Make it quick and easy for them to provide feedback, and track and understand the variations between contract versions. PERQ, for example, uses PactSafe to enhance the onboarding experience of their customers, eliminating pain points throughout the entire sales process.
While redlines are easy to manage in Word, the back and forth of "track changes" complicates the process. Centralizing revisions as part of your contract lifecycle will reduce the amount of time between sending contracts and receiving acceptance. Pro tip: don't sweat buying a tool that does redlining, just leverage a clever naming convention, folder, or system to track those revisions over time by customer.
Strengthening these aspects of your contract lifecycle process will help you can breeze through a number of roadblocks and increase your sales velocity. PactSafe’s robust clickthrough platform and Salesforce integration will allow sales teams to streamline the ways they send out contracts, control versioning, and have access to analytics that can optimize your sales processes further.