Today’s contract lifecycle management (CLM) process requires touchpoints from multiple teams—sales, finance, legal, billing, customer support, and others. At each point of the buying process, teams need to update and verify customer data along with getting the appropriate sign-offs before the process moves forward.  

However, CLM has traditionally been a legal team-driven process that focused on the contracts themselves—the actual creation and storage of complex legal documents—and left information gathering, updating, and sharing (when and by whom) out of the equation.  

Rather than building CLM into the buying process, many companies opt to build the buying process (and each department involved) to fit around CLM. The result is often: 

  • A mess of disparate programs and manual processes that lead to major bottlenecks 

  • Lost time and productivity 

  • Problems accessing the same data across the organization 

  • General dissatisfaction with the contract process from the organization and customers alike. 

In other words, traditional CLM is an exercise in inefficiency. Deals might still close—eventually—but at what expense? Instead building CLM processes to begin with sales and as a fundamental element of the sales process, the whole story changes. 

Sales: a logical starting point 

Sales teams are the initiators of business. They’re turning contacts into leads, leads into prospects, and prospects into customers. They gather contact information, build and update accounts in Salesforce, send quotes and proposals, and nurture relationships—way before anything is signed. 

Which is why CLM has a natural genesis in sales—and why sales tools can do more than just help meet quota. As sales teams move toward using integrated, automated, cloud-based solutions to manage tasks and workflows and away from clunky, siloed software that only seems to create more work, Salesforce CPQ provides the perfect proving ground for sales to take charge and generate their own contracts. 

Capitalizing on the power of Salesforce CPQ with a solution like Conga Contracts is a smart choice since all the data needed to build an airtight contract is already at hand: complete contact info, price quotes, product and service recommendations, upsell and add-on opportunities, existing terms and conditions for current customers, and other information.  

Because Conga Contracts integrates seamlessly with Salesforce CPQ, no one has to leave the environment just to kick off an agreement. With templates and a few clicks, sales can create a contract, populate it with customer data, and select from pre-approved clauses without legal having to get involved. 

When it’s time for negotiations and approvals, legal and other stakeholders can easily access the contract from the same place and push it through, shortening negotiation times and getting to final signatures faster. At the end of the buying process, customer support and billing can access the same customer data, along with the terms of the current contract, to ensure proper invoicing, payment, and service. 

Since sales has all the information and tools at their disposal, contract generation doesn’t have to be passed off to legal first, or copied, pasted, or extracted from any other program. No one has to hunt down information, worry if they used the right terms and conditions, or spend hours scrutinizing each detail.  

And the ease with which Salesforce-enabled CLM provides transparency gives legal the important ability to analyze redlined clauses, understand overall contract performance, and track signature activity. In fact, it’s the signature step itself that can make or break a CLM workflow. 

Reaching the finish line with eSignature capabilities 

A CLM system isn’t worth the hefty investment without an integrated digital signature component. So often deals reach the final step, and the customer is sent out to a third-party site to sign the contract. The hassle of an unfamiliar interface and legitimate concerns about security can stall a process that would otherwise be wrapped up with a bow. 

If generating contracts can successfully be the domain of sales, then finalizing them should be no different. With Conga Sign, an eSignature solution built for Salesforce, sales can speed up the execution of deals, safely and securely—encouraging an easier signature step for the customer and a closed-loop process for sales. 

Streamlined CLM: the product of a great marriage 

The genius of improving and streamlining your CLM is that you don’t have to look beyond Salesforce to do it. Conga’s contract solutions—from initial quote to final signature—extend and enhance your CRM to give every phase of the contract lifecycle greater speed, accuracy, security, and efficiency, and to usher your sales team into a new era of greater control. 

To learn how your organization can benefit from sales-oriented CLM and integrated digital signatures, download the “Conga + Salesforce CPQ: The Future of Contract Management Today” ebook.