Contracting Perspectives Part 3: Empowering employees with tailored intelligence

Sixty percent of organizations expect contracting to be more performance and outcome-based. As a result, we’re seeing increased emphasis on contracts that are designed to provide mutually beneficial outcomes for all the involved parties. This means that, once a contract has been signed, instead of being filed away and forgotten, its journey is just beginning.

Increasingly, businesses are adopting cloud-based contract lifecycle management (CLM) tools for advanced contract design capabilities and insights. Being able to ensure the right type of information is available immediately to the appropriate people is critical to enable users in sales, finance, and legal teams to take immediate and swift action when necessary. For instance, tailored dashboards enable contract managers to keep a close eye on contract status throughout the lifecycle – across creation, negotiation, and signature — and minimize bottlenecks. Sales directors can create dashboards that display contracts in pipeline and signature status, as well as contracts on the horizon, and finance directors can customize their screens to easily drill down into total value of a single contract or a type of contract with a trading partner. Understanding the total value of contracts in active state, as well as what’s coming down the pike, helps keep a check on the status of business.

The ability to measure and improve contract processes and performance outcomes is critical to sustain competitive advantage. By implementing best practices and then scoring and ranking contracts against key business objectives, organizations can improve their processes and uncover potential opportunities to expand relationships or increase profits.

Analytics and intelligence also assist in monitoring performance. Do you know if milestones are being met with timeliness and accuracy (including accounting for terms such as pricing, renewals, and royalties)? How are certain contracts being measured by various business partners? How can you help struggling partners improve performance? Are products being sold in a particular incentive program performing as expected, or is action required to boost performance? By checking in internally, you may gain some helpful insights into your own business practices.

Intelligence is meaningless if it isn’t actionable. If it’s maintained in stagnant spreadsheets and presented only during monthly or quarterly meetings, it’s often too late to be helpful. That’s why organizations should consider CLM solutions with advanced analytical capabilities and real-time viewing options. Only then can you gain the knowledge that will propel your organization, your partners, and your customers to success.

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