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10 min read

The Business Case for CLM

You’ve done enough research and seen enough demos to know that Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) is exactly what your legal team needs. Your contract process is bulky and weighs the whole team down, and you know that software is the way to streamline your workflow and get better insights into the contracts themselves.

But before you can move forward with CLM, there is a world of people you need to get on board. The exact stakeholders will vary across businesses, but the key players usually include executive leadership and cross-functional teams. Before committing to a CLM, these humans need to understand the wider business implications of the tool. 

So how do you get buy-in from those key stakeholders? How do you show everyone the value that you see? How do you make a strong business case for implementing a CLM solution? We have some suggestions.

First, Determine Your Stakeholders

The very first thing to figure out when trying to make the business case for CLM is who your key stakeholders are. This group of people will vary depending on your business model, organizational structure, and goals. It comprises company-wide collaborators who will either use the tool or need to authorize the financial investment. Your stakeholders need to see the big picture of how this tool can decrease the bottleneck on contracts and contribute to the bottom line. 

Below are some common stakeholders.


The sales team is often the legal team’s frenemy precisely because of their opposing approaches to contracts in a deal. Sellers want to move fast, and lawyers want to mitigate risk as much as possible, which can be slow-moving. CLM can provide a big lift in aligning your terms on the contract process, so the sales team — specifically leadership — needs to agree that this is an ideal solution to your shared problem.


Finance cares about increasing runway and lowering operational expenditure (OPEX). Their job is to be smart about capital allotment and strategic about revenue recognition. As a result, they need to see how this investment will ultimately either save or earn more money for the company.


The operations team is concerned about streamlining the day-to-day of the business, doing anything from keeping tabs on the company’s tech spend or acting as a stand-in procurement function to ensure that the company is efficient in evaluating solutions. They care about how CLM can help make the business more productive and enhance employee efforts.


If you are to implement a tool that will manage contracts that govern business relationships and integrate with key systems, the executive leadership of a company has to be involved. Depending on the makeup of your company, this could be the CEO, COO, CFO, or someone else. To make a stronger case for your C-Suite, get your cross-functional partners on board first.

Boost Your Legal Team's Reputation

Next, Explain What Problems CLM Will Solve

CLM can solve a great many problems in businesses with process inefficiencies. Every department cares about the company’s ability to earn money, so generally, you'll need to include bottom-line implications for the tool.

Still, not every stakeholder will care about every problem. So when making your business case, tailor your message to your audience. Identify problems CLM could solve for each business function and ways the tool can improve organizational efficiencies on a wider scale. 

For example, while everyone cares about the bottom line, sales cares about hitting targets, while finance cares about timely revenue recognition. 

For sales, the important consideration will be how this tool can improve sales velocity and rep quota attainment. When talking to sales, emphasize the decrease in time spent creating and finalizing a contract, how pre-approved templates can boost their autonomy in directing a deal to close, and how they can integrate their CRM with the CLM for a more holistic view of customer data.

Finance, on the other hand, would care more about when they’d be able to account for the revenue and how it affects the accuracy of their forecasts. When making the case, you could, for example, focus on the reporting functionality of CLM and the easy access to key business metrics that will support sound financial decisions. 

Ready for the best part? Centralizing and streamlining your contracts, which touch every corner of your business, gets your whole organization on the same page about how contracts move through the business, creating an exceptional customer experience. 

Finally, Prove Return on Investment

At the end of the day, money saved and/or earned will make a stronger point about the necessity of CLM. Metrics on gains in performance and improvements in productivity can go a long way in showcasing value to the unbelieving.

Dollar value savings and earnings can be very convincing to finance, operations, and the C-Suite. When making the business case, gather as much data as you can about what the time and money investment into the contract process was before CLM. 

Some data points to collect:

  • What is your monthly/quarterly volume, and how many legal teammates are working on it? 
  • What manual tasks can you automate with CLM? How long did each take you? How do these tasks contribute to the bottom line?
  • What is your current spend on outside counsel, and how can CLM reduce that sum?
  • How long did each contract take to close? How did close times vary with contract complexity?

Quantifying these numbers as dollar values can help you make a strong case for getting buy-in and showcasing the value of a CLM solution. 

Psst: Download The Total Economic Impact™ of LinkSquares for Legal Teams to see how LinkSquares customers can experience an ROI of 352% over three years.


CLM is a powerful tool that can serve not just the legal team but the entire organization. Other teams like finance, sales, operations, and even executives can benefit significantly from implementing a tool to manage the business’ contract process. To get their buy-in, appeal to their function, show them how the solution can make their jobs easier, and prove the overall financial value of the CLM tool.

See LinkSquares in action — request a demo today.

Alyssa Verzino is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkSquares.