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ContractSafe

FrontRunners 2024

ContractSafe is the hassle-free and affordable Contract Management Solution. Take the next step in contract management! ContractSafe goes beyond merely storing your contracts in a secure spot. Our intuitive platform allows you t...Read more about ContractSafe

PandaDoc

FrontRunners 2024

PandaDoc is an all-in-one tool to create, edit, send, track, and eSign documents quickly and easily. Discover a better way to generate professional-looking and error-free proposals, quotes, and contracts with PandaDoc. Win more de...Read more about PandaDoc

Gatekeeper

FrontRunners 2024

Gatekeeper is a cloud-based Vendor and Contact management solution. Key features include automated alerts, customization and collaboration tools and integrations with other software. Users can manage Vendor & Contract informatio...Read more about Gatekeeper

Agiloft

Agiloft is the trusted global leader in Data-First Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software, connecting contractual commitments to real business outcomes using its flexible Data-first Agreement Platform (DAP). With contract da...Read more about Agiloft

Formstack Documents

Formstack Documents (formerly WebMerge) is a web-based document management system that enables users to merge data from the cloud into custom PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, or PDFs. The solution can ...Read more about Formstack Documents

ContractNow

Powered by Gatekeeper, ContractNow is a cloud-based ntelligent contract management solution that allows businesses to centralize all contracts, identity contractual risks by analyzing key clauses and execute new contracts with int...Read more about ContractNow

5.0 (2 reviews)

Ironclad

FrontRunners 2024

Ironclad is a web-based platform that helps businesses create, automate and manage workflows related to contracts and agreements. It provides a self-service portal for users to design and customize templates to quickly build any t...Read more about Ironclad

CobbleStone Contract Insight

CobbleStone Contract Insight provides enterprise CLM software that has been selected by thousands of contract and procurement professionals spanning the globe. CobbleStone’s award-winning software, Contract Insight, is fully confi...Read more about CobbleStone Contract Insight

ContractWorks

ContractWorks is contract management software designed to address the signing, tracking, and managing of corporate agreements. ContractWorks features a centralized, searchable repository for contracts, and includes helpful feat...Read more about ContractWorks

Formstack Suite

With Formstack, automate manual processes, deliver solutions quicker, and go from idea to workflow in minutes and save hours—all with clicks, not code. Combining a visual workflow automation builder with digital forms, document ge...Read more about Formstack Suite

3.0 (1 reviews)

Bloomberg Law Contract Solutions

Bloomberg Law Contract Solutions enables legal teams and attorneys to identify and incorporate preferred language to ensure terms within the familiar MS Word environment. It automatically compares clauses against prior work and pu...Read more about Bloomberg Law Contract Solutions

No reviews yet

OpenGov Procurement

OpenGov Cloud Procurement is a cloud-based procurement software solution. It is designed for government agencies and educational institutions to streamline the procurement process. The software provides tools for creating and ma...Read more about OpenGov Procurement

3.0 (2 reviews)

EZLynx

EZLynx provides innovative insurance software that streamlines your agency’s workflow and manages the end-to-end policy lifecycle. Integrated into one platform, EZLynx Management System™ is designed to meet the unique needs of you...Read more about EZLynx

Odoo

Odoo is the #1 open-source integrated business apps suite. Main apps include Website Builder, eCommerce, CRM, Accounting, Project Management, Warehouse Management, Manufacturing, Human Resources, and Marketing. There is an app for...Read more about Odoo

Conga Contracts

Contracts are crucial to every business, which is why it’s so important to end the era of manual and disjointed contract processes. Conga’s CLM solutions empower you to improve customer and user experiences while increasing visibi...Read more about Conga Contracts

ASC Contracts

ASC Contracts is a cloud-based contract management solution designed for legal, sales, and procurement teams across various industries. ASC Contracts allows for the automatic generation of legal contracts, agreements, proposals,...Read more about ASC Contracts

5.0 (1 reviews)

Lextree

Lextree by Berkman Solutions is a compliance and legal risk management solution that allows businesses to manage their contracts and legal entities. The solution is designed for all types of entities and contracts across all indus...Read more about Lextree

5.0 (5 reviews)

R3 Contract Management

R3 Contract Management is designed specifically for Federal Government Contractors. It's a single, central repository to manage contracts, documents, and customers. It's made for small to mid-size Government Contractors, giving mo...Read more about R3 Contract Management

5.0 (1 reviews)

Lucernex

Lucernex from Accruent is a comprehensive management solution for the full real estate lifecycle. It helps teams remain compliant with FASB ASC 842, IASB IFRS 16, and GASB 87, simplifies construction project management, streamline...Read more about Lucernex

4.0 (2 reviews)

ProjectTeam.com

ProjectTeam is a cloud-based construction project management solution that caters to businesses in the construction industry. Key features include requests for information (RFIs), drawing management, action forms, file management ...Read more about ProjectTeam.com

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Famed American talent scout and dealmaker Irving Paul Lazar once said, “I have no contracts with my clients; just a handshake is enough.” While this may have worked for him, this type of informal contract would lead to a mountain of issues for most companies.

Contracts play a crucial role for many businesses. They cover everything from how employees are expected to execute their responsibilities to how supplies are procured to how vendor relationships are maintained. As such, it becomes absolutely essential to draft and approve any necessary contracts that affect the workflow of an organization in order to avoid potential litigation.

That’s where contract management software can help. A contract management system enables companies to create new contracts and track the status of existing ones to ensure that employees, vendors and clients deliver on the stated requirements.

This guide can help potential buyers find the best contract management solution for their needs. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Contract Management Software?

Common Functionality of Contract Management Software

Benefits of Contract Management Software

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Market Trends to Understand

What Is Contract Management Software? 

Contract management software allows users to track and manage contracts through the various stages of their lifecycles. These include:

  • Authoring or drafting contracts

  • Negotiating with the parties involved

  • Soliciting contract approvals

  • Executing contracts

  • Tracking obligations

  • Making amendments

  • Renewing

Among other things, this type of software helps businesses with renewal notifications, compliance management, capturing digital signatures and managing contract templates, as well as document storage and version control.

Common Functionality of Contract Management Software

Most contract management systems come with some or all of the following capabilities:

Contract drafting

Allows users to standardize contracts by letting them drag and drop contract language from a library of approved clauses or sections. Certain solutions provide customizable, industry-specific templates.

Lifecycle management

Enables users to organize, track and automate the contract lifecycle. This includes monitoring contracts to enforce their obligations, understanding negotiation terms, collecting payments, seeking approvals and creating amendments.

Alerts and notifications

Allows users to monitor and keep track of contract milestones by sending automated notifications at predefined intervals. Also enables sending automated alerts to sales personnel associated with contracts nearing their renewal dates about entering into contract re-negotiations.

Compliance management

Allows users to monitor contract commitments and report any deviations from the approved workflow. Also enables users to benchmark contracts against existing regulatory frameworks.

Analytics and reporting

Enables the generation of customizable reports and dashboards to allow users to measure contract performance by metrics such as contract type, contract status, contract timeframe, account executive efficiency and revenue realization.

Document management

Enables users to store all contracts in a centralized repository for future reference. Also allows users to store standard contract templates and implement version control on different copies of the same contract.

Contract search

Enables stored contracts to be searchable. Certain solutions allow indexing by assigning metadata (e.g., author and file format) to documents in a library.

Third-party integration

Most contract management tools on the market are “best-of-breed,” focusing on a specific group of features. However, some solutions can integrate with other software, such as CRM, ERP and supply chain management solutions.

Benefits of Contract Management Software

Professional and business owners can realize multiple benefits as a result of adopting contract software, including:

Centralizing information. Contract management centralizes all contract related documents within a single location and makes them searchable for retrieval in the future. This process ensures that no contract is ever lost, enabling account executives to monitor contract commitments and track their renewal cycles.

Collaborative authoring. Large enterprises are usually bound by complex contracts involving several internal departments or external vendors. This complexity can sometimes result in several parties creating their own terms and stitching them together, which can lead to the different interpretation of contractual terms by the parties involved. Contract management software helps eliminate such loopholes by allowing different stakeholders to collaboratively author contractual terms and approve certain language and section definitions to avoid later conflict.

Compliance enforcement. Contract software allows users to monitor contract milestones by tracking important events such as periodic review dates or contract expiration dates. These solutions also provide alerts or notifications to account managers for contracts nearing their milestones, and can escalate reports if there are any deviations from the predefined workflow. Certain features can also enable the provisioning of time-dependent deliverables and help manage additional costs or penalties associated with the delays.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Choosing the right contract management software wil likely depend in part on the size of your organization. Consider the following buyer types:

Small and midsize businesses. These businesses typically operate as establishments with up to 100 employees and focus on specific operational areas. Such companies might consider a best-of-breed system that specializes solely in contract creation and electronic storage.

For example, small and midsize companies usually work on thin margins, which means it’s important for them to maintain the recurring cash flow that comes from contract renewals. Contract storage can be an issue, since such companies usually rely on hard copies or archaic file storage systems. A basic, no-frills contract management system is usually ideal for such organizations.

Large enterprises. Big companies typically operate in multiple operational areas with employees based at different locations. For such businesses, coordination is key. These businesses may want to consider a contract management system that is a modular suite, allowing them to pick and choose the different modules needed.

For example, organizations that have agreements where multiple internal and external parties are involved may want to consider a solution that allows them to collaboratively author terms with different stakeholders, automate the approval process, send automated alerts for tracking milestones, enforce contractual obligations and integrate with external ERP or CRM solutions.

Market Trends to Understand

Data analytics. Contract management vendors are quickly realizing the benefits and opportunities that data analytics provides in accelerating the decision-making process of organizations. Data analytics can be applied on a stored contract repository to measure the optimum amount of time an enterprise has to wait before making price concessions, helping them to negotiate better contract terms. Analytics can also help companies monitor their contract negotiation cycles, suggesting the best time for executives to begin negotiations if a contract has to be closed in a predetermined timeframe.

Blockchain technology. There is an increase in the prevalence of “smart contracts,” where automated computer programs are capable of executing the terms of a contract without a verifying authority having to be involved in the process. These smart contracts are created using blockchain technology, which houses and protects prior data and transactions. This technology can automatically execute a contractual clause as soon as a pre-programmed condition is triggered—e.g., the automatic release of payment for a package upon delivery without the user having to authorize the transaction separately.