5 Tips for Managing Sales Contracts
A sales department's goal is always to close deals quickly and easily. In order to ensure that the deal is sealed, corporate legal teams can assist Sales in a variety of ways.
With the help of Legal, sales teams can navigate the contracting process quicker and more efficiently while reducing contract risks and generating business revenue.
Legal can also help Sales address several common issues surrounding sales contract management, including: compliance issues, jumbled workflows, scattered contracts, prolonged cycles, and poor visibility.
Here are five tips for how Legal can help Sales when it comes to managing contracts.
1. Keep an open dialogue
Sales and Legal share a common goal: To ensure that contracts get signed.
According to Onit’s Enterprise Legal Reputation report, Sales wants Legal to be a partner that’s collaborative, agile, and willing to explain difficult concepts in simple terms.
Learning to understand the needs, processes, and work styles of Sales will put Legal in a better position to start helping. But for help to be meaningful, open communication and regular meetings are required.
By enabling multiple channels and opportunities to interact, both teams can discuss priorities, check alignment, and resolve roadblocks that prevent Sales from reaching their goals. It also provides Legal greater context into the issues faced by Sales, which in turn facilitates better resolutions.
2. Develop pre-approved templates
On average, Sales teams are forced to spend 65% of their time on administrative work. In other words, salespeople spend less than half their time selling.
Consider sitting down with Sales to try to identify which tasks take the most time, as well as possible solutions. For instance, one culprit could be long deal cycles.
If this is the case, then setting up pre-approved templates, clause libraries, and a contract drafting tool will allow Sales to easily initiate contracting and develop compliant agreements. Additionally, a CRM integration will further accelerate deal cycles by allowing Sales to automatically insert client data directly into a drafted agreement.
Pre-approved templates will also go a long way towards improving compliance. Since all templates will have gone through Legal, this guarantees that internal company standards are met and regulations are adhered to.
3. Take advantage of approval workflows
Even if Sales has access to templates and clauses that already received approval from Legal, it’s important for key stakeholders to have an opportunity to review and approve new contracts before they’re sent to the customer for signature.
Jumbled workflows create significant friction not only between teams, but also with stakeholders. This can result in contracts being delayed, as well as errors that arise because everyone feels rushed.
Automating an approval workflow will keep processes from getting tangled. Automation also eliminates much of the hustle and bustle that transpires when sending or receiving documents.
Once an agreement is created, the system ensures that it gets to the right people so they can provide their input.
4. Set up automated milestone alerts
Helping Sales draft and approve contracts is key to acquiring new customers, but Legal can also help with customer retention. By setting up automated alerts and notifications, Sales will know which contracts need to be renewed, renegotiated, terminated, and more.
Legal software can also automate notifications so that if any changes occur within a document, the team responsible will know.
By automating certain menial tasks, Sales can focus on addressing customer needs without having to keep a constant watch for updates.
Milestone alerts also enhance visibility since they can be configured to include stakeholders and other interested parties.
5. Measure contract performance
By measuring and reporting performance of existing sales contracts, teams will gain insight into how to design future contracts.
Contracts regulate 60–80% of business transactions, and they’re essential for conducting most business activities. This means good contract performance is essential for ensuring company growth.
Several metrics can shed light into how well your contracts are performing, such as contract quantity, contract quality, contract maintenance costs, and average closing time. Tracking such metrics can help you not only measure your company’s progress towards its goals, but also how well Sales and Legal collaborate.
Lastly, if you’re not already measuring your contract performance, then how will you know if the steps that you’re taking are actually having a positive impact?
These five tips can be easily put into action with the help of legal technology.
Contract management software has the ability to boost the performance and optimize the efficiency of sales operations by accelerating sales cycles. This ensures that Sales closes deals faster, leading to a stronger bottom line for the company as a whole.
Request a demo to find out how ContractWorks simplifies sales operations while enabling seamless contracting experiences and allowing corporate legal teams to better support Sales.