November 14, 2022
No More PDFs: Creating Contracts Online with CLM Software
Contracts are at the center of every business relationship. They govern the behaviors and responsibilities of contracting parties, ensuring that everyone fulfills their role conscientiously. As the business world embraces a faster pace and a digital-first mindset, contracts have to move at the speed of business. That means PDF contracts or any type of contract that disrupts the buying experience will slow your business down and reduce your earning potential.
Bring your contracts into the 21st century by creating and executing your contracts online. Using CLM software, you can automate your post-execution responsibilities like invoicing and give your business the added edge of speed.
Why Create Contracts Online?
Everything and everyone is online. The pandemic accelerated our movement toward digital experiences, but the business world has been moving in that direction for a long time. Many B2B companies have been undergoing some version of a digital transformation that aligns their business model with the customer’s increasing presence online.
The convenience of online shopping and pleasure of instant gratification from the B2C world seeped into B2B transactions, making online fulfillment an almost mandatory aspect of modern businesses.
With contracts at the heart of every business transaction, this means you need online contracts. Not PDF agreements that have been scanned and put online—these bulk up the experience and make signing difficult, especially on mobile. Using PDF is basically like using a paper contract, and we don’t do that in the 21st century. You need an online contract to suit the online experience.
Where to Find Online Contracts
For growing businesses that are using online contracts, one of the first orders of business is to find contract templates.
A word to the wise (though this should not be considered legal advice): the internet is bountiful with places to get all kinds of contract templates. But before you adopt a contract as your own, be sure to carefully review the terms within the agreement to ensure that it works for what your business needs. For example, does the indemnification clause align with your risk profile? Is your Forum Selection clause set in the correct jurisdiction?
Reckless copy and pasting can get you into more trouble than it gets you out of. If you need help finding a legal professional to review these templates, Contractbook has several partners that we’d be happy to connect you with.
Alternatively, you can use a top of the line CLM software that will provide templates for you. For example, with Contractbook, you can create a template by inputting certain information and the CLM will spit out a contract template. We also provide templates to users as a starting point, and you can edit as needed.
Or, you could create a contract template from scratch yourself.
Using a CLM for Online Contracts
Your best bet for creating contracts online is using a CLM tool. Contract Lifecycle Management software handles the contract at every stage of the process—from pre- to post-signature.
The best software comes equipped with features to help you manage your agreements, regardless of their complexity, signing methods, and counterparty. When sending contracts online, consider how your party will sign your agreement, who the signer is (are they always by a desktop or do they transact on their phone?), and how frequently you’ll be sending out contracts for signature.
After you’ve figured that out, it’s time to evaluate CLM software. Here are some features to look for:
As mentioned before, don’t just pluck a template from the internet and start using it. You need to review and customize it to your business’ specific needs.
Use a template editor to make the contract your own by adding and removing elements like text, tables, and timelines. The best part is you can use that revised contract as your template going forward.
It’s crucial for your business to know which version of your contract is currently live and whether or not it’s the most recent version.
Keeping track of your contract versions helps you know what terms you are currently beholden to and empowers you to enforce your terms in court, should it come to that.
Rather than having static text inside your contract, make your contract fields more dynamic by changing the type of content within them.
Customize ordinary text by changing the input type to date or currency. This way, you’ll be able to keep better track of the data within your agreements post-execution.
Sync With Your CRM
Syncing your customer data and contracts with your CRM is business critical. When your systems talk to each other, you’re in a better position to provide excellent customer experience.
Create your contracts online and sync them with your CRM so that you will be able to track which contact it belongs to and tie specific agreements to opportunities.
The contract process doesn’t stop after signing. There’s so much more to do—like send it to Customer Success and Finance, generate an invoice for the contracted services, and keep track of important dates and obligations.
Automate your contract’s next step in the lifecycle and quickly route it to the next stakeholder so your business can keep moving forward.
Online transactions are as common to modern businesses as contracts are. And both need to move fast so your business can remain competitive. Create contracts online and meet your customers where they are. Using a CLM, you can generate or import contract templates and make them your own.
Request a demo walk-through of our solution to start creating contracts online.