4 questions you should ask yourself while selecting a CLM software

If you have reached this article, your goal is probably to choose a good CLM software for your company. It is, after all, what every manager seek, since it is an important investment for the company, with substantial impact on the overall operations and the team’s daily work. A successful application promotes several benefits, while a failed one will add strain to the processes and generate inefficiencies.

Hence, the analyzed software should be considered carefully, its pros and cons properly weighed and clear practical application to work routines duly visualized.

In truth, there is not much secret as to the general steps a CLM software should cover. The seven phases of contract management are usually the same, comprising Request, Creation, Negotiation, Revision and Approval, Signature, Execution Management and Intelligence. Of course, a diligent manager must evaluate how the operations would be conducted within the software, and this mobilizes a considerable effort during demonstrations and negotiations.

In this thorough analysis, some important details may be overlooked. They can, however, be determinant of the successful implementation of the chosen software.

So you don’t miss them, here are four questions you should ask while selecting a CLM software for your business.

1. Do you know how your contractual partners are involved in the workflow?

The bilateral nature of a contract implies that a CLM platform should engage external parties in the negotiation and signature process. As steady and trustful partnerships are to be treasured, when selecting your CLM software, you should consider your partner’s experience as well.

Ask how will your partner receive notice of the creation of a document, what access will they have to the text, how can they interact with you via platform and how all of those exchanges will be stored and available. Those are initial questions that should be useful to make sure your chosen software will not deter your successful partnerships.

2. Do you know in which environments the software operates?

An operating environment is the interface in which users will run the software. These usually are macOs and iOS, by Apple; Windows, by Microsoft; Android OS, by Google; and Linux. It is important to make sure that the software you are buying is compatible with the operating system your company works with.

Collaborators are usually accustomed to the operating system they use; The sudden need to change it might generate extra costs and spike resistance, ultimately undermining the adoption of the selected CLM software. Hence, to know in advance the operating environments of the application is important to the success of its implementation.

3. Do you understand the possibilities of integration with other platforms?

The more specialized the solution you are seeking, the more likely it will be that it does not cover all of the needs in your operation. A CLM software will provide you with a well structured contract lifecycle management, but it might lack a signature service, for example. Moreover, your company might already use other software, even an internal one exclusively developed for its operations.

Integration will be key to a swift workflow. Ideally, there should be communication between the two platforms, so that inputs made in one of them might be tapped to the other, avoiding rework. Security and privacy models should also be aligned, so that all information will be equally protected in both platforms.

4. Do you know how the team will be trained?

And, as a bônus, another important element to take into consideration: do you think this software is truly intuitive?

If you participated on the demonstration rounds, you probably have seen much of how the software works, and have had the opportunity to directly interact with the vendors to clarify any questions and doubts about its functionalities. However, not all of your coworkers will have that same opportunity. Intuitiveness and training will be determining factors to the success, or failure, of a CLM software.

It is important to consider how the team will be trained, how much time will be made available for that purpose, what structure you should prepare for it and so on. Moreover, if the software is truly intuitive and developed with user experience in mind, a simple training might suffice to ensure the team gets acquainted with its application on a daily routine.

Making better informed decisions

If the answers to these questions are still not clear, it is important to return to the analysis stage so that no doubts remain.

There are several important aspects of the application of a CLM software to your company’s operations, and all of them should be considered during negotiations. Considering the relevance of the investment you are considering, it is vital to establish direct and transparent communication during negotiations, to make sure that no detail is overlooked.

If you are considering netLex for your company, get in touch with our specialists in the following link: click here! Feel free to ask them the four questions proposed above and much more.

Giuliana Rezende
Giuliana Rezende
Giuliana is a lawyer and a Master's student at the Federal University of Minas Gerais/BR. In addition to being passionate about everything that involves the legal world, she also has a focus on management, economics and ESG. Combining all this, she is always looking for data and innovative approaches to show all the benefits of a smarter contract management.