Procuring a new Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) tool is like going to the new all-you-can-eat spot down the street. Everyone is talking about it so you know it’s good, and the range of options offered is exhilarating. But when the time comes to dig in, you don’t know where to start. Suddenly the choices feel overwhelming, and you freeze.
In the grand scheme of things, this is one of the better problems to have — certainly better than knowing what you need without understanding how to get it.
Contract Lifecycle Management expands your legal team’s capabilities and allows you to make even smarter decisions. As legal embraces data-driven decision-making, being able to understand and track trends in your contracts is crucial to doing more with less. But when you first implement the tool, it can be hard to know how to get started, especially if your CLM vendor doesn’t provide a dedicated customer success manager (CSM) to get you started on your journey as LinkSquares does.
Luckily, we have a few tips to get you started with CLM. Here are three ways to unlock your contracts and hit the ground running with your new tool.
Manage Important Events
Before CLM, tracking renewal dates was a crapshoot. Renewal dates were stored either in the brain of along-tenured in-house counsel or in a spreadsheet that was so big it slowed down your computer. It’s exceptionally easy to miss deadlines with manual contract processes, especially without a person dedicated to the tasks. As a result, renewal dates come and go, and you don’t realize until it’s too late.
LinkSquares Analyze provides your team with the tools you need to track important dates for your contracts. With its calendar view, you get a 360-degree view of renewal and termination dates, so you can help customer success managers get ahead of potential churn and sales stay on top of their upsell strategies. This is a low-effort, high-impact way to start your CLM journey – and see results from day one.
Visualize Contract Data with a Dashboard
Contract data is the bread and butter of legal efficiency. Without it, legal teams can’t provide strategic insight to the business, advocate for budget, or prove their value as a department. But just as important as the contract data itself is visualizing it in a way that enables smart decision-making.
To start, work with your CSM to determine the data you want to pull from your contracts and the most useful way to present it. For example, data like average contract value, most frequently executed contracts, and standard number of redlining “turns” are crucial to measuring department productivity. And this data goes even further when you use a dashboard to showcase this information dynamically to executives and company leadership.
Embrace more dynamic data formats that provide actionable insight to your company. This helps increase transparency in a process that is notoriously siloed. Plus, it allows you to establish benchmarks for measuring future contract and team performance.
Report on the Past to Forecast the Future
Before implementing a CLM, it probably took weeks or months to generate a report–not because you didn’t have valuable information to share, but because it was difficult to aggregate that data and use it in a meaningful way. Chances are by the time you gathered the data, it was already outdated.
Fortunately, CLM helps you to report on legal initiatives and activities. It’s also a powerful tool for forecasting future performance based on past performance. By integrating your CLM with your CRM, you are armed with data that can help you project revenue and predict which deals are most likely to close. With this kind of data, you’ll be besties with sales in no time. Lean on your CSM to help you organize your agreements in a way that is ideal for collecting the data you need to make accurate forecasts.
Even though you know what CLM is capable of and the ways it can drastically transform your legal department, it’s easy to succumb to choice overload when you first implement your tool. With some vendors, the learning curve is even steeper because rather than assign a dedicated CSM, they leave you to learn the ropes on your own with only a few self-help videos.
At LinkSquares, CSMs don’t leave you out to dry. Rather, as a partner invested in your success, we help you figure out the best way to hit the ground running with contract data and dashboards, so you can make an impact from day one.
Talk to one of our specialists to see for yourself. Request a demo today.
Subscribe to the LinkSquares Blog
Stay up to date on best practices for GCs and legal teams, current events, legal tech, and more.