Agreements or accord documentation are the foundation for all corporate partnerships and
commercial businesses. In this digital era, contract automation software is one of the perfect
instances that proffer assistance to enterprises in reducing expenses, saving more, mitigating
potential risks, and guaranteeing compliance with regulations. However, these advanced
technological implementations come with critical choices that will eventually churn the
organizational benefits of contract management systems. So, here are five steps to implement
contract life cycle management (CLM) in your company.
Establish the Foundation
It is often emphasized that a lack of planning leads to failure. The foundation of a successful
technology deployment involves meticulous planning and a comprehensive comprehension of
how the new solution will impact the business. Since contracts confine diverse stakeholders
across different regions, including sales, procurement, legal, and IT, an organization must
carefully consider who should be involved in the process of implementing, selecting, and
expanding the CLM system. Each department within the company possesses a distinct
perspective on CLM. A higher level of engagement from the organization at the outset of the
process increases the likelihood of making the right choice and simplifies future scalability of
contract management capabilities as the company grows and business requirements evolve.
It is also imperative for companies to gain insight into their existing contract processes to
anticipate how a CLM system will affect workflows before making an investment. An evaluation
of contract procedures across the organization can unveil inefficient contract workflows that a
CLM system can swiftly address. Conversely, it may also uncover areas where contract
processes are exceedingly intricate or low in volume, in which case it might be prudent to
address these aspects once the solution has been scaled.
Subsequently, organizations can define the criteria for success and establish improvement
objectives desired by stakeholders. Benchmarking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as
contract turnaround time and reporting improvements in critical contract management areas
can instill confidence in the system. Additionally, the creation of realistic stage gates with
distinct milestones throughout the CLM journey helps maintain alignment among
implementation teams and ensures that all parties remain focused on progress.
Opt for the Right Software
Like any technology acquisition, organizations should view a CLM system as an investment. This
implies that the system should possess features to meet the immediate needs of the company
while also incorporating advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain to
ensure its suitability for the company’s future growth and requirements.
However, organizations should seek a CLM provider capable of acting as a trusted advisor and
partner, especially when managing a law firm. Even the most exceptional software holds little
value if it proves challenging to use or fails to deliver the necessary outcomes to inspire
stakeholder confidence. Opting for an experienced CLM partner with a demonstrated history of
swift and successful implementations can assist companies in achieving a rapid return on their
Invest in Training Sessions
No matter how cutting-edge a technology tool is or how revolutionary its impact on the
business, its value diminishes if it goes unused. This should be a top priority when introducing a
new CLM system. Fortunately, there are multiple options for effectively and efficiently training
The primary resource is the CLM provider, as experts in their product’s functionality can offer
essential in-person training and user guides to ensure seamless adoption. Seek a technology
partner that provides “train-the-trainer” programs, enabling selected employees in key
functional areas to acquire in-depth product knowledge and assist their colleagues in
maximizing the technology’s benefits. When using a service partner for implementation, rely on
their certified trainers to facilitate team integration.
Go for a Dual-Approach Strategy
It is essential to check for ongoing technology implementations elsewhere in the organization
that could divert employees’ attention from learning the CLM system, including potential new
To address this, commencing a gradual rollout of basic contracting functions across the
company allows employees to acclimate themselves to the new system without feeling
overwhelmed by complex features and functions right from the start. This simplified
introduction will foster confidence and support among both stakeholders and employees.
Document Your Success
After implementation, evaluate the organization’s performance in achieving its objectives.
Whether a company opts to begin with a project that promises quick wins or addresses a
pervasive issue, showcasing incremental progress is vital for gaining momentum with the CLM
For instance, an international IT services company implemented CLM to enhance the capture
and monitoring of contractual commitments, ultimately optimizing profitability. The company
achieved improved contract compliance by automating service-level agreements and statement
of work management, resulting in a 50% to 60% reduction in the previous two-week contract
cycle time and accelerating time to market.
The Bottom Line
It is essential to keep a realistic outlook regarding expectations and timing during the
implementation of CLM systems. Companies should adhere to these rudimentary steps, to
exhibit initial project value and garner support from essential stakeholders, leading to long-
Qurat-ul-Ain Ghazali, aka Annie, is the growth manager at Contractbook and looks after all the
organic channels. She has been with tech startups and scaleups for a couple of years with a B2B
focus. You can find her socializing, traveling, indulging in extreme sports, and enjoying the local
desserts when she is not working.