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It’s really important to find the right tool for your business - implementing tech for the sake of it can lead to friction between teams, wasted time, and sunken costs on a solution that doesn’t address the problem.
At Qonto, we have a methodology that helps us determine whether a solution is a good fit for us.
1. The identification phase
The identification phase at Qonto is the point where we identify our needs as a legal department.
What is this software going to achieve? What’s priority #1, and what can we flex on? What kind of integrations does this software need? Which department in our team deserves to be digitized and why? For example:
- The tax team needed a tool for automating both day-to-day and board meetings. They also needed another tool for the granting of French stock options
- The commercial law team needed a process for approving NDAs so they could speed up the progression to contract negotiation
- The product team needed a tool to follow the evolution of Qonto’s T&Cs and the differences between jurisdictions
- The litigation and banking ops team needed a tool to identify all the cases in progress, both lost and won
We establish a cartography of the different existing tools. We select two or three from this cartography, the most relevant ones according to the needs we have identified.
We then move to the demo stage - but we always ask the vendor to integrate a practical use case into their demonstration of the product.
This means either making sure they showcase contract automation by using one of our routine contracts, or task management by integrating one of our ongoing projects into the system.
Trial periods are also really important for us; it takes time to understand the tool before knowing if it’s the right one for you. Trial periods allow us to determine, at our own pace, whether we want to move forwards with this solution.
This is everything that falls under the identification phase - it’s compulsory when considering a new tool.
Help sales understand how incorporating this new tech into their day-to-day will help them close deals and collaborate with legal more effectively
2. The sell-in process
Before legal can purchase any software, they need to get buy-in from the leadership team. We approach this process by demonstrating:
- How this technology will save the business time in the long run
- How the software will allow legal teams to focus on what really matters - high-value, strategic business projects, instead of low-value admin work
We also look at how this solution allows legal to scale processes and enable the business.
For example, having a task management system in place that integrates with the business’ main comms tool allows legal to centralize, respond to and prioritize queries more efficiently. This means they can better serve the business, instead of slowing teams down.
3. Convincing key internal clients
Legal needs to convince sales of the value they can get from implementing a contract automation platform.
They’re used to selling to people; so you need to sell the software to them. Help them understand how incorporating this new tech into their day-to-day will help them close deals and collaborate with legal more effectively.
Help them understand that by automating the sales admin, they can free up their time and dedicate it towards quota attainment. Depending on the tool you’re trying to implement, sales teams may be a key factor in its success - so make sure you involve them as early as possible.
Contracts can be uncollaborative, and difficult to read, negotiate and sign. That isn’t a problem that will magically disappear with technology
4. Externalize the research (where possible)
Automating contracts is a great example - buying software is only part of the solution. In fact, there’s plenty more legal can do in-house to enable teams alongside that tech implementation.
When it came to implementing a contracts platform, we anticipated other problems we may face with digitized contracts and resolved them before they surfaced.
Contracts can be really uncollaborative, and difficult to read, negotiate and sign. They’re often the end result of copy-pasted terms, and aren’t designed with the customer in mind. That isn’t a problem that will magically disappear with technology.
We collaborated with a legal design company to rebrand some of our contracts, so they were scalable and much more understandable for our customers.
Using a set methodology has helped us implement tech at Qonto that benefits not only legal, but everyone in the business as we continue to scale.
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