Contract Management and Automation is Everybody’s Business

by Matthew Hutchison

posted on 08-29-2019

Contracts and the processes behind them are at the center of every organizations’ success, yet up to 85% of enterprises are under-investing in this area according to The Aberdeen Group. As business and IT leaders are forced to navigate through this high-speed age of digital transformation it’s a little surprising that contracts are still waiting to catch up on the journey. Especially when you consider that businesses could be losing nearly 10% annual revenue (IACCM) due to poor contract management practices.

Administrator or sales rep – who can tell?

Let’s take a closer look at what a poor contract process often looks like (this might even sound familiar).

Most sales reps are relied upon to handle the end-to-end lifecycle of contracts; this commonly includes time-consuming administrative tasks like ensuring Salesforce data is up-to-date, locating and managing document templates, switching between business systems, cutting-and-pasting data, fact checking for errors and more. And, once the documents are created, the inability to instantly route documents for internal review and customer signature adds time and complexity. The consequences of this include:

In research by Salesforce, these labour-intensive tasks were estimated to account for as much as a third of a sales reps working week.

1, 2, 3, 4 steps to contract automation

So those are the costs of poor contract processes, how are practices improved?

Step 1: Visualizing the journey

Map the process. You have to know how things flow (or not) if you want to improve them. Use visual mapping software that’s easy to use and understand to encourage collaboration, increase accountability and improve effectiveness. Turn complex process maps, outdated and over-engineered Visio charts and hard to find procedure documents into understandable, easy to find and use process guides.

Step 2: Generate documents in seconds – within Salesforce

Now you have the process clear it’s time to turn to the document creation. The data for contracts is usually stored in different fields within an application. For sales that’s typically Salesforce – that’s where customer and prospect data lives. With a document generation solution, sales reps can instantly create company-approved documents from pre-approved templates with the click of a button. Behind the scenes, data from any custom or standard object stored in Salesforce or other systems is instantly merged.

Step 3: Automate the process

Document in hand within minutes, it’s time to get those approvals and sign offs. Don’t spend valuable time pushing around emails to different stakeholders. No code process automation software makes it fast and easy to create a workflow to review, route, and approve – all the way to the customer getting the right version for e-signature.

Step 4: Simplify contract execution and filing

With the approved document in the hands of the customer, reduce time-to-signature with fully automated electronic signature workflows – no more emailing, scanning or printing. And make sure it’s compliance ready. Once those documents are executed, they can be automatically routed to Salesforce or other company approved and secure file storage locations.

Start your journey today

Don’t let contract headaches hold your organization back any longer. Want to get more details on how to master the contract process? Watch this on-demand webinar with the Adobe team to learn more.

Topics: Future of Work, Digital Transformation

Products: Sign, Acrobat DC