1. Know More – information buried in a business’s contracts is an untapped risk-management and growth opportunity goldmine. Only 10% of language in contracts is focused on what’s being delivered, when, and for how much, the other 90% is a goldmine of business-critical intelligence covering not only what happens when things don’t go as planned, but information that can also help companies accelerate growth. Just imagine the possibilities if you unlock that 90% and can disseminate the business-critical intelligence it contains. With the correct systems and processes in place, contract data can be transformed into actionable insights that deliver real strategic value across the enterprise.
2. Share More – Integrations are key to eliminating siloes and empowering the business. Today’s Legal teams face a perfect storm of increasingly complex workloads, growing regulatory and contractual compliance obligations, and slashed budgets. They are also increasingly tasked with keeping an eye on regulatory compliance or managing risk across the enterprise while finding ways to accelerate growth. A fit-for-purpose contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution can help Legal teams anticipate not only what’s coming next but what information will empower other functions to generate new business and operate more smoothly. If a CLM system integrates with the systems that the rest of the organization is using, then contract data can flow freely throughout a company’s existing business processes, enabling Legal and business leaders to forecast more accurately, discover and nourish new revenue streams, deliver best-in-class compliance, and manage relationships with customers and vendors better.
3. Own More – The future of work is smarter, not harder; let technology help you free up more time to be strategic. Legal tech, including CLM, can automate complex and repetitious processes so legal has time to accomplish more high-value, strategic work with a greater ROI. In addition, CLM solutions are more flexible than ever, with much of the configuration and maintenance of platforms being completed by Legal or Legal Operations teams. Also, contract information that once lived and died in one person’s computer or inbox is now accessible to the entire company—if they have the proper permissions. That way, decision-making becomes a collaborative, holistic process, drawing in the necessary stakeholders across the company. Your CLM platform needs to have the ability to flex, extend, and integrate into and around any business practice, ensuring users can work on contracts in the systems they want to work in, that they can send contract data where they want to send it, and they can easily connect to existing corporate governance systems.
4. Grow More – You are a revenue driver and enabler, find a way to show it. Legal leaders can use technology to help their Sales teams to do their work better and faster. For example, Legal teams can manage and produce easily editable contract templates, which can be standardized and adapted for multiple locations or departments, creating a more seamless experience, and reducing the risk of anyone using outdated or non-compliant language (that then later needs to be cleaned up by Legal). CLM integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Salesforce can provide next-level speed and control, so when Sales needs your team to weigh in on a contract issue, they can trigger reviews automatically from the tools that they use every day. Adopting legal technology can give your team more time to do higher value work, speeding up sales cycles, minimizing the risk of noncompliance, and improving renewal and expiration management. Less time working on administrative and reactive tasks gives Legal teams more time to be proactive and get ahead of the business and smooth the path ahead for growth. Technology, like CLM, can also provide metrics that demonstrate the impact of your efforts. According to World Commerce and Contracting, better contract management can help companies save up to 9% of their annual revenue, and we’ve seen companies reduce time spent on contracts by 50%, which they were able to measure thanks to their CLM system tracking contract turnaround times. Data is the language of business and by having better data, you can better communicate the value Legal brings to the table.
5. Do More, Better (& Less is More)–Improve customer experience and your company’s NPS scores. Successful Legal teams know that every customer touch point offers an invaluable opportunity to improve and build on the relationship. The contracting process provides important touch points in those relationships. If your contract process is not world-class, you’ll be behind before you even get started and your NPS scores will reflect that. By using legal technology that will simplify and streamline your contracting to improve overall customer satisfaction and ease of doing business with your organization, you’ll leave customers excited to work with you for many years to come. Your internal clients will also see the benefits of a more seamless experience which will improve cross-functional relationships in a way that benefits the whole company.
As in-house Legal teams respond to tidal shifts in operations and economic uncertainty, a golden opportunity exists for those teams to move beyond efficiency initiatives to provide strategic value to the business with a focus on risk management and growth. With these five critical points in mind, take the opportunity to harness the power of CLM for your organization. Who knows, it might just help propel you into the next phase of your career, redefine the value of Legal, and help your company thrive despite today’s economic uncertainty.
Laura Richardson is Agiloft’s General Counsel. A long-time champion of Legal Operations and Legal Technology and a rising star in the legal industry, Laura Richardson brings a wealth of experience to Agiloft as its first General Counsel. Previously, Richardson served as General Counsel at Osso VR and Senior Counsel at Intel Corporation. She is also passionate about sharing knowledge and is often sought out for her expertise in advancing legal departments through technology, innovation, and people.