As you evaluate and compare contract management software, the details can be overwhelming. With so many factors to consider, how do you spot a winner? Here are 3 features to look out for when determining the right software for your organization.
1. Fill-In-The-Blank Drafting
In contract creation, we usually start with a template and edit it by hand, scrolling through a long document to find all of the variables to edit (stuff like the names of the parties signing the deal). Because this initial step is so error-prone, organizations usually spend a lot of time on it. Look for a contract management software that allows you to set these variables as fill-able fields which you can simply click on and fill in. This feature can massively accelerate the process, while eliminating errors and instilling 100% confidence. Contract creation has never been smoother!
2. Redlining & Version Control With Better Design
Redlining and version control are two of the most basic negotiation features contract management software should provide. (If they don't, strike them out!) But simply providing both features isn't enough – if they aren't intuitive and enjoyable to use, they might hinder your workflow as much as help it. Choose a CM solution that offers a better user experience around these features.
For example, section-specific redlining and version control tools let people review and compare versions of individual contract sections rather than of entire documents. Tackling edits in manageable, bite-sized sections makes the process easier and more clear-cut, since the problem areas in a contract are almost always only concentrated in specific sections.
3. Built-in Electronic Signature
You might be surprised to find that many contract management software don't actually have their own eSignature feature. While some do provide integrations with third-party eSignature solutions like DocuSign and Adobe Sign, these integrations often come with an additional fee, and mean you may have to deal with cumbersome API or confusing flows. Plus, counter-parties may not be familiar with using this eSig software, which can lead to delays and errors right when you least want to deal with them: at signing time! Instead, close faster and smarter with a CM software that has eSignature capabilities built-in.
Finding The One
With all that said, what matters most is how your chosen solution can work for your organization. Take the time to schedule product demos with vendors, communicate your contract management needs clearly, and inquire about the specific tools you might be looking for. Bearing all this in mind, "The One" might not be that hard to find after all. ;-)