The Forbes 2016 State of the Cloud Report details the five stages that companies go through before committing to trusting various aspects of the cloud (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). For software as a service companies, trusting the cloud is an unspoken agreement between teams and the force of the internet. If the cloud goes down, we're all doomed! Quite literally. That's why it's worrisome that SaaS companies are still making the same mistakes when it comes to online legal agreements. If SaaS companies can manage to avoid these top legal agreement mistakes as we dive into 2017, it will be #goals.
1. No strategy surrounding where legal agreements live
Creating and approving a legal agreement within SaaS or elsewhere, is multi-faceted. Contract creation must pass many sets of eyes before it is approved and signed. Letting your legal records float around unmonitored is about as smart as leaving your financial records out for unnecessary viewers. All companies need a safe repository for their legal agreements. Find a way to manage contracts so that all agreements, versions, and redlining is straightforward and organized. Maybe check out PactSafe? The cloud's only legal system of record.
2. Slow legal agreement publishing
Building agreements within multiple inboxes and numerous editors is unorganized and frustrating. Worse than that, it slows down contract publishing rates significantly. The longer it takes to redline and publish, the longer contract turnaround time. SaaS companies are fueled by returning customers and contract management is a crucial to that process. The key to getting more customers to sign, is having an actual agreement to sign.
3. Difficult methods for online agreements
Hyperlinking to terms at the bottom of your page as a means of notifying your customers of their binding customer terms isn’t close to enough. Customers should actually be notified via clickwrap agreement in order to provide proper acceptance.
What about closing deals? Finalizing a sales agreement should take no more effort than sending an email prompting parties to review and accept agreement conditions with a simple eSignature. If it’s difficult, it’s wrong.
4. Poor digital recordkeeping
Companies everywhere should be keeping accurate records of all business agreements. Legal details are easily overlooked by companies. There is no time to be unorganized or unprotected. Improving digital recordkeeping is as easy as implementing a legal system of record to track contract creation, versions, and completion.
5. Failing to notify customers of provisioning
Ample notice to customers before newly provisioned documents are enforced is an absolute must. Failing to inform customers of new terms and online agreements includes failing to nurture your product. SaaS companies unnecessarily put themselves at risk when legal agreements aren’t implemented or managed properly.
Establishing a well-rounded contract management plan early on in 2017 will rid SaaS companies of these bothersome legal agreement mistakes.