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Everyone wants a contract management solution that preserves departmental ownership, meets legal standards, and provides customers with the service they expect. If that sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. Self-service contracts are a dynamic way to present terms and collect acceptance to online terms using a methodology that we call the acceptance mindset.
Adopting a self-service contract system cuts down on the time required to produce agreements and eliminates the need for hands-on involvement from product teams. More importantly, it delivers the seamless experience that customers look for in today’s digital age.
eBook Download: Digital Transformation of In-App Legal Agreements
Self-service contracts are digital contracts that can be created on demand as employees and customers need them. When a personalized agreement is required, users fill out brief questionnaires that populate instantly within a preset framework. The legal team can deploy updates to the framework as needed without getting technical departments involved. The end result: a contract that looks and feels handmade, but doesn't take up all of legal's time.
Since so much work goes into the creation of a traditional contract, it’s often thought of as a lengthy process that requires negotiation, multiple rounds of reviews, and involvement from many different departments. This is called the signing mindset. There are some contracts, typically those that involve high financial stakes, that will never leave this category. But the signing mindset simply doesn’t work for businesses that have any hope of reaching scale.
When we adopt the acceptance mindset, we reframe legal agreements as a single-step process in which contracts are issued on a one-to-many basis. Once a legal team has created a set of terms, there’s no need to keep rewriting these terms over and over again. With self-service, all customers need to do is accept a standardized agreement that’s been generated for them without any hands-on involvement.
Since self-service contracts are most commonly used in B2C sales environments, there’s understandably some hesitation to adopt this method in B2B scenarios. But self-service flows have plenty of applicable uses in just about every type of enterprise. Here are just a few examples:
Waiting for contracts can create huge bottlenecks in the sales cycle. Customers are often left waiting on salespeople, who may in turn be waiting on turnaround from the legal department. Why should each of these internal teams have to manually touch agreements that can be delivered directly to the consumer? Self-service contracts allow customers to fill in their own terms and sign instantly, improving sales velocity and reducing the chance that leads will lose interest while waiting.
Businesses that use a variable pricing structure frequently rely on a contracting method in which separate agreements are manually created for each client. With self-service contracts, intelligent pricing flows can be set up to automatically generate MSAs and SOWs with the correct fee information.
Self-service can be used to make internal processes more efficient, too. Whether you’re registering a new vendor or hiring talent, standardized onboarding forms free up those departments to focus on building relationships instead of managing a mountain of paperwork.
Clickwrap agreements and self-service workflows go hand in hand to create speedy contracting processes and enhance user experience. This type of contract takes any agreement that doesn’t require a physical signature and generates legally binding documents at scale.
In order for enterprise businesses to remain competitive, their products and digital offerings must evolve. Particularly at a time when customers have come to expect self-service experience in their B2B and B2C purchases, enterprise businesses need to ensure that their products meet these needs. Self-service flows are crucial in the next step of digital transformation, and your in-app legal agreements need to be able to scale with the evolution of your processes.
Read our eBook, Digital Transformation of In-App Legal Agreements, for more.