As 2020 comes to an end, most enterprises are focused on increasing revenue for the coming year. However, this year has exposed the need for system integration and communication with CLM support, as without that –
- lack of visibility
- data inconsistencies
- delayed decisions
- inaccurate revenue numbers
These hidden troubles lie beneath the surface and expose themselves at the worst possible times. Some of them are very difficult to resolve without timely action.
Most of the mature enterprises are still relying on department wise software technologies to solve their daily challenges but as they move forward to sustain and grow further, these stand-alone business applications are increasingly pointing towards a holistic technology that streamlines all the contracts and related operations.
- To manage customers and contacts enterprises implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system
- To resolve issues with accounts receivable or accounts payable, adopt an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
- To deal with quote management or product configurations, add on a configure-price-quote (CPQ) system.
Even though enterprises manage to resolve these problems with individual systems, they end up creating silos of information with no direct communication. Thus the entire solution lacks what is required for a compliant contracting process that drives revenue. These types of problems get highlighted at the year end, during audits and times when system unity is most crucial.
To answer this problem, enterprises require a truly integrated solution that seamlessly connects multiple systems to enable communication. This way organizations don’t have to access multiple solutions just to answer one question. There are a number of reasons why businesses may need to integrate applications with each other, and contract management software is no exception. And at the end of the day, it is essential to ensure the integrity of data across the business.
CRM – Customer Relationship Management Software
Essentially, CRM is used to build better relationships through customer interactions by keeping track of sales, organizing and prioritizing opportunities, and facilitating collaboration between various teams. integrating them supports the greatest possible revenue enhancements and the fastest sales cycle and contract lifecycle times.
Integrating this software with your CLM system enables quicker closures of deals for sales and legal teams. Instances of duplicate data entry are reduced or eliminated since all the data is now synced or shared between the two systems. The ability to intake external templates and churn out faster closures with AI-driven authoring, review, and negotiation capabilities facilitates quicker two-way negotiations. It becomes easier to find contract files within an integrated system.
Moreover, legal and sales teams can generate company-approved contracts easily from standard, established templates with field and clause merging.
CPQ – Configure, Price, Quote
CPQ an extension of your customer relationship management platform (CRM). It makes the sales process easier, faster, and more organized. The right CPQ allows sales team members to quickly and accurately produce professional, quality sales quotes. It can be configured properly and customized to an enterprise’s specific needs. It is an extremely powerful sales automation solution that increases sales productivity across the board. The integration between the contract management system and CPQ is necessary to steer the sales process from quotation to contract negotiations into the final signature, renewals, and document maintenance.
In simpler terms, this integration allows the customer, legal team, and other executors to approve both a quotation and a contract through a single process, rather than having to repeat approvals throughout the sales cycle. This eases workflows and ensures compliance with policies throughout the enterprise.
ERP- Enterprise Resource Planning
ERP involves managing day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, compliance, and supply chain operations. A complete ERP suite also includes enterprise performance management, software that helps plan, budget, predict, and report on an organization’s financial results.
ERP software is a centralized system for maintaining data and conducting business processes across the various departments and subsets of a company. CLM functions are integrated with ERP software to ease business processes such as developing contract templates. An integrated ERP contract management allows you to create custom contract templates for various aspects of your business and along the supply chain.
This integration supports the establishment of company-wide terms and contract templates. Sales quotes can be easily converted to contracts while maintaining basic information such as pricing and timelines. It tracks contract performance, renewals and terminations, vendor analytics, and milestones, reducing manual and redundant work.
IACCM research has stated that on average, corporations are losing the equivalent of 9.2% of annual revenue through weaknesses in their contracting process. Integrating your contract lifecycle management system with other enterprise software leads to efficiency and lower costs. Business cycles become efficient and revenue recognition becomes quicker. Enterprises are expected to constantly improve and adapt to changing technology. Integration is the highest level of CLM maturity. This helps to identify and remedy pain points or gaps in the contracting process to provide the best service to the customers.