Posted on 

May 30, 2022

Self-Service Contracts: The Key to an Efficient Contract Process

Favor Ejekwe
Content writer

Table of Contents:

  1. What is a self-serve contract workflow
  2. Examples of self-service contracts
  3. Why should you use a self-serve contract?
  4. 3 benefits of self-service contracts
  5. Useful features for self-serve contracts
  6. Self-serve on contracts with Contractbook

Simply put, self-service contracts are contracts that authorized departments can automate. That is, without needing significant input from the legal department. It doesn’t follow the regular procedure of having only your in-house legal team look for cracks in the concrete walls of your contracts. 

It may sound unsafe not to have your lawyers review every letter in a contract. This is understandable because you need to ensure that the contracts you draw up for your clients are foolproof. 

The good news is you don’t have to completely eliminate the legal expertness out of drawing up your contracts. With self-service contracts, the legal team will still have to create contract templates for different departments to use and edit. In turn, they can focus on what really matters for the smooth operation of the business. What’s more, each department can better handle its core objectives and manage resources.

In this guide, we reveal the important processes involved in self-service contracting. We also do a deep dive into the benefits, features, and how to implement the process.


What is a self-serve contract workflow?

A contract workflow is the chain of processes involved in the contract lifecycle. That means a self-serve contract flow consists of the entire process between creating a self-serve contract and the execution. The list below gives you an insight into how it works.

  1. Lawyers develop the appropriate format and language for different types of contracts. They draft and approve standard language for a variety of contract templates.
  2. Contract admins and attorneys create a list of the important questions. These questions will guide a client to the right type of contract with the proper language. They can also derive information from your CRM automatically. That means you can include counterparty information, start and end dates, commercial values, terms and conditions, etc. 
  3. Clients who require a contract can electronically access the system to answer those important questions. Departments can also access the system for their specific contract needs.
  4. Finally, it presents a contract with pre-approved language, suitable for the business needs using the answers provided.

With these steps put in place, any department can easily create contracts without the usual time-consuming legal inspection. A self-serve contract workflow produces contracts faster by using the department or client’s specific information. This automated workflow improves efficiency. It also uses a template that contains the correct details for the appropriate type of contract. 

Self-service contracting may sound too good to be true. Companies that are satisfied with the traditional method of contract creation may even have some hang-ups about self-service contracts. However, the truth is you will ultimately save a lot of time and money for your company.


Examples of self-service contracts

While there are numerous forms of contracts, and you can self-serve almost any one of them, below are some examples. 

MSAs

Master service agreements are a common type of contract that spell out the guidelines which will regulate the commercial relationship and future activities of the parties involved. MSAs lay out the ‘master plan’ for current and future commercial projects. 

This type of contract is an excellent option for automated self-service because it essentially remains the same. Having an easily modifiable template depending on the nature of the contract will save time, energy, and money.

NDAs

As the name implies, a non-disclosure agreement demands a level of confidentiality from the parties involved. NDAs undergo minimal alterations from client to client and are therefore an excellent model for self-service automation.

Supplier agreements

These outline the terms of commercial interaction between the supplier and the buyer. They are also called buy-side agreements. The purpose of supplier agreements is for both parties to dedicate a certain period to buying and supplying The terms within are often simple making buy-side agreements perfect for self-service contracting.

Employment offer letters

This is a document sent to eligible candidates that have applied for a position. The letter of offer highlights the information such as salary details, terms and conditions, dates, and other job details. Automating your employment contracts will ease the hiring process and ultimately save time.

Influencer agreements

An influencer agreement is a contract between an influencer and a brand. This agreement protects both parties and sees that the business or brand provides the influencer’s services. Influencer agreements outline the job description, remuneration, and the lifespan of the business interaction. Many influencer contracts share similarities, which makes it easy to create templates of the agreement.

Software licence agreements

Software licence agreements are contracts that offer an individual or a business the right to use a software that legally belongs to another person or company. These agreements ensure that businesses regulate their software usage. It helps them protect legal possession and build commercial relationships between the owners and the users. The agreements usually have a standard format, and as such, they can be self-served easily.

Individuals and businesses can use self-service contracting to automate their low-value, high volume standardized contracts described above. 


Why should you use a self-serve contract?

There is never a wrong time to use self-service contracts except that the client explicitly requests for a non-self-service contract. 

Traditional contract creation consumes time in the processes of requesting, locating, editing, and re-writing old contracts to suit the present client and their business needs. This largely manual process is tiring and burdens the legal department with the monotonous chores. 

The processes of drafting, editing, reviewing, and finally approving the final result are chores the legal does not have to be continuously involved in. Let’s not even add that the result may or may not be outrightly acceptable to the customer. This then sets off a chain of negotiating, persuading, redrafting, etc., that goes on and on.

3 Benefits of self-serve contracts

Saving time is only one of the many benefits that you will enjoy from using self-service contracts. Other advantages include:

1. Redirecting focus on more important tasks 

When you use a self-serve contract, you free up a lot of time for the legal department to concentrate on other pressing tasks. A self-serve workflow greatly reduces the amount of paperwork that the legal has to deal with.

2. Keep track of contract versions

A non-self-service workflow creates high possibilities of losing data, and it is hard to monitor versions of contracts like this. When you create a contract through automated self-service, all the data is kept safe and in a straight line. Hence, contracts that undergo alterations from negotiations can be supervised and controlled.

3. Close deals more quickly

A non-self-service contract wastes a whole lot of precious time. Requesting for contracts and waiting for them to be drawn up eats into time that you could use in discussions that will bring you closer to the contract closure. Therefore, self-service contracts enable you to close deals faster.


Useful features for self-serve contracts

  • Tools integration: Integrating with other tools makes a whole lot of difference when it comes to self-service contracts. Not only will these give you more options to work with, but they also make the process faster and more efficient.
  • Mail option: This feature is important for sending out copies of the signed contract to your teams and departments. It also helps to pass any important information about contracts.
  • Export to Word: It would be best to handle your self-serve workflow with a contract collaboration platform like Contractbook. A handy feature is the ability to export to Word, which will be useful for face-to-face negotiations.
  • Reminders: A reminder is absolutely important to keep you notified of contract renewals. Every concerned party in a contract can take note of dates and timelines more easily.
  • Storage: Another functional feature is the storage feature. One of the benefits of self-serve contracts is keeping all your data in one place. A good contract management software such as Contractbook provides the option of keeping contracts safe in your preferred file storage application software.


Self-serve on contracts with Contractbook

Contractbook is the solution to all your contract workflow problems. Create language-appropriate contracts and save employees the extra workload that comes with non-self-serve contracts. Save time and money, close deals faster, keep track of contact versions, and enjoy all the other benefits.

Book a meeting with Contractbook today to get the best self-service contracting. You can also visit the Contractbook homepage to learn about our services and features.

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