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How to Evaluate Contract Management Software: Step 1

Modern legal teams need contract management software. But if you've never bought contract management tools before (or you've bought one that didn't work out) you need information to ensure you buy the right contract management software for your business.

In this blog series, we'll break the process down into three steps. You’ll learn how to determine what your organization needs from a contract management tool, the best way to prioritize those needs, and finally, we’ll lay out the questions you should ask when "interviewing" a contract management vendor. Jumping right in, here’s step one: understand what you need from a contract management solution.

Key Metrics for Legal Teams

Step 1: Identify What You Need From a Contract Management Solution

The purpose of a contract management solution is to formalize and automate your contract lifecycle. In-house contracts go through similar stages: drafting, finalizing, signature, counter-signature, and ongoing monitoring. Third-party paper goes through a similar process: due diligence analysis, red lines, finalizing, signature, counter-signature, and ongoing monitoring. Each stage involves one or more departments, and one or more individuals, in your organization. Before you can automate your contract lifecycle, you need to map it out.

Write down each stop a contract makes from conception to execution in your company. The description of each step should include:

  • Departments involved (specifically, those besides Legal)
  • Current software involved (even if it's just email and Microsoft Word)
  • Who has authority to mark a step as complete
  • How long each step takes
  • How often each step has to be repeated due to errors

If you can't accurately map this process, that's a pain point. If you can't get an accurate consensus on how long each step takes, that’s another pain point (and a contract management reporting problem.) If you can measure each step, but it takes multiple days, you guessed it, there's another pain point. If you can't tell the difference between in-house and third-party contracts, that's a huge pain point. 

Once you've got your process mapped and your metrics (or lack thereof) identified, you know the problems that need to be solved with a contract management solution. Tomorrow, we’ll go over the next step in the process: prioritizing your needs. Eager to learn more today? Download this eBook for the entire process right now. And, make sure that you have subscribed to our blog so that you don’t miss a beat.

Alyssa Verzino is a Content Marketing Manager at LinkSquares.