Well, managing all your contracts effectively is quite essential for your business success, but it can be challenging to stay on top of expiration dates and approval processes. There could be a possibility that you spent half of your time to find contracts that have been lost in the shuffle.
The right contract management can help you in keeping all your contracts at your fingertips and automatically change the upcoming renewal opportunities and streamline your process. But with so many contract management solutions, how would you identify which one is best? How would you choose the right one for you?
Almost, all vendors will claim that they will have everything and promise a fast implementation. But, if you have enough contacts and a complicated process, how will you know that the product can truly be personalized to suit your requirements. And even if it can, by what timeline it will deliver, and how much will it cost? Will it be in your budget?
No doubt, managing contracts is very crucial for your business, and your business success will depend on that. But, there is a way to identify which one is good for you.
And for the same, here we are listing seven tips to implement a successful contract management solution that will satisfy your requirement –
Key Tips to Choose the Right Contract Management Solution
Tip 1 – Define Your Business Goals
The goal of a contract management solution is to give you a system that operates more efficiently. You might think that you are using a proper procedure, but there is no defined process for the same. Hence, it is essential to determine your method in detail. If you skip this process and end up with a system that does not meet your requirements, you would have to spend a lot to customize it.
That’s why it is essential to create a document that details your current processes, what are the set problems, and where is the improvement required. You can take the input from your team to determine which methods are essential, how they should work, and what value will be derived from improvements.
Every provider claims that they will meet your needs, but if you know your specific requirements, you can quickly see their drawbacks. The key is to ask detailed questions and be as precise as possible. This will help you in finding out which vendor will be able to map the process. You can ask the relevant questions instead of broad questions about the contract management solution.
Tip 2 – Be Aware of the Market
Some companies research the product and consider the market leader. They assume that they are a safe one since many businesses are using their software. If it’s good for them, you might think that it will be right for you. Well, not necessarily. You need to consider these factors –
- There could be a possibility that they established their market presence years ago, and the technology is outdated or difficult to integrate with modern systems. Technology changes fast, and the market leader may not be able to keep up because of the existing customers. The current customers might like the contract management solution just the way it is. Therefore, you need to make a smart decision.
- When a company has captured the critical part of the market, they have likely focused on ‘typical’ client. If your contract management process is not set, it can be difficult. The market leader can customize their product for you, but this will come with additional costs, delays, and uncertainty of bugs.
Cutting a long story short, what matters the most is the stability of the company, quality of the product, the product suitability to meet your business requirements, and a reasonable cost.
Tip 3 – Request a Custom Demonstration of Your Process
Some vendors give the same demo to every customer. They only showcase the features that highlight their strengths and hide those areas that show their weaknesses.
On the other side, it will be a bit expensive for the vendor to customize the entire product and give a unique demonstration for each customer. But, the way around is –
- You can choose the critical business processes that are unique to your company and ask the vendor to give you a demonstration of that process. If a vendor can demo your process, they can handle the more standard ones as well. You need to note how long they will take to implement the process. This way, you will get to know how long will it take for full implementation.
- You can reconfigure the system to meet another business requirement while you can watch how difficult it is. This will help you in planning your requirements ahead of time. You need to have a close look to see how complicated it is and assess whether your staff could modify it themselves or not.
Tip 4 – Conduct Vendor’s Research and Have a Word With Them
Before finalizing anything, ask the vendor for their reference and tell them that you would like to speak with them privately. Although the vendor might want to have a marketing or sales representative on the phone call with you and will get a good response if you talk to reference one on one. But, if the vendor insists on being on the call with you, you should not consider that option.
While you are speaking to the reference on the phone, you can still tell them about various other options, even if the vendor is on top of your list. That way, you will get more honest feedback, and you will always get leverage while negotiating the price.
You can even ask the reference for specifics about the contract management solution, or how easy it is to adapt the business with ever-changing requirements.
Tip 5 – Get the Best Product at a Reasonable Price
Now, that you have thoroughly reviewed the options, observed the demos, and spoken to vendor references, you can choose an excellent contract management solution. But first, you need to make sure that it fits in your budget, not just today but in the long term as well.
There might be several vendors that might try to manipulate you, but you need to protect yourself by stating your requirements clearly and negotiating for the best price. It is essential to present a detailed requirement so that the cost can be narrowed and you can easily get the best price.
The right contract management solution can help in making your company processes more efficient and reduces risk. The only thing required from your end is to filter out those solutions which do not satisfy your requirements.
Follow the above tips to make a well-informed decision, and you will be able to implement a successful system that satisfies all your requirements at a reasonable price.
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