How To Sell CLM Software To Your Stakeholders

Do you want your company to implement CLM software? Here are four tips to make your pitch unbeatable.

You know your CLM initiative would be good for your company. It’s obvious to you, but you don’t hold the purse strings.

So how do you articulate what the business case and ROI is to management in order to help get this project funded?

Below, we help outline how we have helped some of our clients justify the expense to be able to fund the purchase and rollout of CLM software. The good news is, this is about the easiest business case you can make; when an entire department lacks any meaningful technology, the first technology in can make a huge impact on the organization.

Why Implement CLM Software?

Contract lifecycle management is key to the performance of a growing business. A good CLM software allows businesses to create, execute, analyze and monitor the entire contract process from end-to-end, to mitigate risks, save costs and time, create a contract repository, among many other benefits.

Large companies are adopting CLM software such as Akorda's, which also has integrations with CRMs to speed up their sales processes and legal procedures.

Learn More: Stages of Contract Lifecycle Management

There are 8 stages of contract lifecycle management:

  1. Requests
  2. Authoring
  3. Negotiations
  4. Approvals
  5. Signatures
  6. Obligations
  7. Compliance
  8. Renewals and Amendments

If you want to understand in detail what each one of the stages consists of, click here to read the full article.

The main benefits of adopting CLM software are:

  • Reduces costs and time around a contract workflow.
  • Saves money and avoids litigation from contract non-compliance.
  • Improves visibility, accessibility, and organization of the contract process.
  • Enables automatic tracking and reporting.
  • Optimizes the contract signing process, using integrations such as Adobe Sign or DocuSign.

4 Tips For Selling CLM Software to Your Stakeholders

Now that you are committed to seeking the approval of your team or stakeholders to adopt CLM software, we recommend that you follow the following tips to make your pitch as convincing as possible:

Think About Your Target: Who Cares?

Firstly, know your audience.

Are you talking to the CEO, the CFO, or maybe just your boss?

One thing they will all have in common is they will be asking themselves: why should I care about this? Will this change anything for the company? Will this change anything for me?

Therefore, the first step is to work out whom you’re speaking to and what answers will you give to these questions.

The Approach

Do you present your case verbally or with quantitative evidence? What works for one type of person may not work as well for another.

If you are talking to the General Counsel of your organization, you will want to use a different approach than if you are pitching the CFO. The same goes for the CEO, the head of legal operations, or the head of sales.

That said, all these stakeholders and more are involved and benefit from implementing CLM. This is part of the reason CLM makes for such a strong business case.

The Hook

In music, they call a catchy melody a hook. It’s what a songwriter will use to build an entire song around. So what’s your hook? What will make people sit up and listen to you? What will make them care?

A good hook in a pitch can be drawn from your audience's needs, from their pain points. If, for example, your company's contract processes are very extensive and generate a lot of costs, then this is where you can get the most obvious advantage.

Remember that a good pitch points to a problem and provides an undeniable solution.

Let’s dive into this real example…

The pain point: Telos, a global company that is a leader in cyber and cloud security, was filling out all of their agreements physically. They needed to print, sign, scan, upload and send back each agreement as many times as necessary for approvals and changes. They had 30 different types of individual contracts, over 1,000 contracts processed annually, and many blockers. The contract process time was longer, and it was complicated to efficiently search and analyze contracts.

The solution presented: Akorda's CLM software that allowed them to easily archive and navigate legal documents, automate 80% of low value legal requests, reduce contract cycle time by 75%, and much more.

To read the full case study, click here.

The Use Cases

How well do you understand your business? How well do you understand the pain points in your contracting process? Are you dealing with high-volume deals negotiated on your paper? Or might you be looking for improved efficiency on 3rd party paper review as this is the bulk of your business? Or perhaps you want to understand how you negotiate, so you can operationalize your legal decision-making?

Knowing what use cases are important to your business ensures you are aligned both internally with all the constituents involved, and externally, as you seek to find the right solution for your company.

Below are some very common and powerful use cases we often see for CLM:

  1. Increase efficiencies across the entire company
  2. Reduce legal and business risk in the contracting process
  3. Accelerate deals to get revenue in the door faster

Breaking these down further, increasing efficiencies can be demonstrated in numerous ways, including tracking and managing contract versions in one place, to providing historical negotiation data to allow for faster decision-making on exception handling.

Reducing legal and business risk in the contracting process can be seen in the use of analytics to highlight “custom” language (e.g., unlimited liability), as well as ensuring the business is aware of upcoming renewals.

Finally, deal acceleration includes the ability for sales to self-serve and the automation of the signature process for finalized agreements.

Summing up, the adoption of CLM software helps the company on both the offense and defense. On offense, it automates all the key phases of the contracting process. This in turn has the downstream effect of drastically reducing contract cycle time, while at the same time leading to significant improvements in cost savings and efficiency by allowing the legal team to do more with fewer resources.  

On the defense side, understanding and automating CLM software can play a pivotal role in limiting an organization’s exposure to risk by reducing missed obligations and increasing compliance with contractual requirements, as well as preparing the company for investor and M&A transactions.

By understanding your use case requirements, adapting your approach to match your audience, and working out what they really care about, you will increase your chances of making a successful business case for your CLM software.

Lex Garnham

Lex is a qualified attorney who has had a successful career in the legal industry, having worked as a corporate lawyer in a leading London law firm, then at Thomson Reuters for five years, rising to the position of Assistant General Counsel, and then holding the same position in the Data & Analytics division of the London Stock Exchange Group.  He is now the Global Account Director at Akorda.

How Telos is using Akorda

Telos is a 770 person rapidly growing organization that mainly works with governments and agencies. The company is the global leader in enterprise, cyber and cloud security.
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About Akorda
Akorda is a CLM platform that accelerates the contract process for teams within a unified workspace, using AI to speed up legal review and negotiation time.
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  • No Liability. Neither party will be liable for performance delays, non-performance, or be deemed to have defaulted or breached this agreement due to causes beyond its reasonable control that materially affect a party's obligations under this agreement (a Force Majeure Event).

  • Notification. Upon the occurrence of a Force Majeure Event, the affected party shall promptly notify the other party of the occurrence of that Force Majeure Event, its effect on performance, and how long that party expects it to last. Thereafter, the Nonperforming Party shall update that information as reasonably necessary.

  • Best Efforts to Cure. In the event of a Force Majeure Event, the affected party shall use reasonable efforts to limit damages to the other party and to resume its performance under this agreement.

  • Right to Terminate. In the event such an occurrence prevents performance thereunder for a period over ninety (90) days, then the non-defaulting party may elect to terminate this agreement and/or cancel or suspend any Purchase Orders thereunder by written notice to the defaulting party.