February 3, 2023
Contract Data Management: How to Maintain Data Integrity Across the Organization
Contract data management is important to every business in every industry. Contracts hold some of your most valuable business data, so having the right systems and processes in place to sort, store, and manage that data is crucial to maintaining data integrity and running a successful business in 2023.
Data is the bread and butter of the RevOps function. And contract data, which was once seen as belonging only to the steel tower domain of the legal department, is now more accessible to the rest of the business via a CLM and helps RevOps teams to unlock the customer journey and make revenue generation predictable.
Without clean, accurate, and up-to-date data, you’re at a higher risk of coming to incorrect conclusions, making ill-informed decisions, and costing the business more in the long run. And without a data management process, this becomes more and more likely. And unless everyone in your business who needs access to your contracts can get that access without hassle, then your data isn’t flowing through your organization the way it should.
What is Contract Data Management?
Contract data management refers to the process of organizing and maintaining data related to contracts. This includes the collection, storage, and analysis of information such as such as contract terms, expiration dates, and renewal options. Effective contract data management can help organizations ensure compliance, reduce risks, and optimize contract performance.
By leveraging technology and automation, organizations can streamline contract data management processes and gain insights that can inform business decisions.
Why is Contract Data Management Important?
Isn’t it Legal’s job to care about contract data management?
Yes and no. While Legal is the ultimate boss of contracts, it helps for RevOps to be aware of the contents of a given agreement and how they tie back to wider company metrics. For example, it’s good to have a finger on the pulse of your most commonly executed agreements, average deal size, contract turnaround time, and whether your expected performance aligns with actual. Having access to this data enables your RevOps function to better understand the variables of the sales process and gives you insight into which levers to pull to optimize future deals.
Because different departments have various uses for contract data, it’s important that its storage is automated and centralized. Trying to do this manually, especially when you use multiple tech tools, makes the data sources inconsistent and difficult to verify or authenticate — not a good look for data integrity.
Additionally, proper contract data management is necessary for compliance. Not only are there various regulations you have to pay attention to depending on your industry, but I cannot overstate how important it is to be able to know what’s in your contracts and carry out your contractually obligated duties.
Depending on the structure of the team, RevOps might be one of the final checkpoints in ensuring that the terms within a contract are agreeable to the business. So, in a way, they are Legal’s helpers in a sales deal. Oversight here can mean expensive legal action and customers who will struggle to trust you ever again.
Simply put, contract data management is a team sport and RevOps depends on having access to accurate and reliable data. As a result, it’s crucial that your company for contract data management best practices to maintain data integrity across your organization,
The Power of Contract Data Management System
RevOps is a function that depends on other business functions (and their data) to do their job thoroughly. That means more than most, RevOps requires clean and up-to-date data sets at any given time, which can be difficult if your data is poorly organized.
Maintaining data integrity across the business simply means that data in one location matches that same data in another location. That is, data within your CRM should match data in your contract data management system. Otherwise, it’s anybody’s guess what the actual data is, your business could face fines for contract mismanagement, and you might be making expensive and irreversible decisions based on false data.
How to Maintain Data Integrity Across Your Organization
Here are some best practices for maintaining data integrity across your business:
Maintain Centralized Storage
Scattered contracts is one of the quickest ways to lose any organizational footing you gained by creating a RevOps department in the first place.
Most businesses store their contracts wherever they land. That is, if the final version ends up in their email inbox, a random Google Drive folder, a Slack thread, or in a download folder on their personal laptop, that’s where it will live forever more. But this means that businesses are unable to locate their contracts quickly, version tracking becomes near impossible, and it’s increasingly difficult to search for the specific type of agreement you’re looking for. With ad hoc contract storage, your contract process can easily become a liability.
Luckily, you can use a contract management repository to store your contracts in one place. With centralized storage, RevOps teams can get a bird’s eye view of how successfully the business is generating revenue. When you integrate your contract management platform with your CRM or communication tools, you can get a fuller scope of what’s going on with specific accounts and easily reference what’s happening in your contracts.
Track Contract Versions
Don’t underestimate the significance of version control. Essentially, that means making sure that the version of the contract being sent to clients is the most recent version and accurately represents your business needs and promises.
This is important not just for the legal validity of the agreement, but for the business to be on the same page as the customer. In fact, it can be a business risk to remain unaware of what versions of your agreement are in effect at any given time.
A contract data management system is the perfect tool to help you track versions of your agreements better. It can also help RevOps leaders to track trends in transactions over time. This provides a more in depth view of the market landscape and the perfect foothold for you to optimize revenue generation and the customer journey.
Integrate Your Tools Whenever Possible
Just as departmental silos can spell disaster for a business, so can software silos. This occurs when departments’ preferred tools can’t integrate with other tools in the business. Managing data from multiple sources can be a nightmare.
And who would know better than RevOps leaders that have to unify disparate data sources from departments across the business to ensure that the customer journey and experience are both excellent and repeatable. Depending on data from various tools risks messing up your operating data set and leading to poor decisions.
But integrating your tools often means integrating your data. And ensuring that the data from one tool that populates another is clean means that more of your data is healthy than not, and that everyone is operating from the same information.
Track Performance Analytics
You know the old saying: what gets measured gets managed. So you could have all the centralized, searchable storage there is to offer, but if you don’t know how your contracts are performing internally and externally, then you don’t have access to some of the most important data. How can you improve a process when you can’t tell where the problems are?
The best contract data management system will give you insight into how your contracts are performing. For instance, your contract management software can tell you how long it took to fulfill contracts and help you identify where the bottlenecks are.
Decide with your team what metrics are important for you to capture, then use the reporting function on your contract data management system and the other tools you use alongside it. Be sure to store that data in a centrally accessible location.
Streamline Your Contract Process
One of the best remedies to efficient contract data management is streamlining your contract process. Again, you say, but that’s legal’s role. And again, you’re mostly correct, but RevOps has a crucial function here as the orchestral director of the customer journey and revenue optimization.
Streamlining your contract process is an underutilized way of maintaining data integrity across business organizations. A streamlined contract process organizes your contracts and important customer data in a way that can be easily accessed and amended if needed, and allows each business function access to the same data. With less clutter throughout the process, RevOps can gain a better idea of what strategic changes need to be made to generate predictable revenue sustainably.
Contract management software like Contractbook has customizable workflows that can help RevOps teams move contracts through the business more quickly and in a way that’s less siloed and more collaborative. You can use data fields to sync information accurately across your tech stack.
Maintaining data integrity across the organization is crucial because data is the lifeblood of RevOps, and contracts are your unexpected ally. Streamlining important processes and unifying data sources can go a long way in ensuring that the entire business is working from the same data. This will empower your strategic business decisions, help you close deals faster, and accelerate market domination. Contract data management is a critical piece of this puzzle.
Contract data management system helps you do this by integrating with your other tools, streamlining the contract process, capturing data and performance analytics, and storing all your data in a central, easy to access location.
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