CLM and CRM: what you need to know

Buyer’s Guides
December 11, 2023
5
min
CLM and CRM solutions are both powerful in their own right. But, together, they have the potential to transform the way you manage sales contracts.

In this guide, we'll cover what CLM and CRM solutions are, how they differ, and more importantly, what's possible when you connect the two platforms.

What is CLM software?

CLM software, or contract lifecycle management software, is designed to streamline an organization's contract workflow. This software empowers teams to manage contracts more effectively from initiation and creation to negotiation, execution, renewal or termination. 

The main objective of CLM software is to automate routine contract admin tasks and enable teams to agree contracts in a faster, more efficient way.

CLM software examples

  • Juro
  • DocuSign CLM
  • SAP Ariba
  • Icertis

What is CRM software?

CRM software, or customer relationship management software, is a solution that helps businesses manage and analyze interactions with their current and potential customers.

The main objective of CRM software is to improve customer relationships, streamline processes, and increase profitability by providing insights into customer behavior, preferences, and needs.

CRM software examples

  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot
  • Zoho CRM
  • Freshsales

What are the differences between CLM vs CRM software?

The biggest and most obvious difference between CLM and CRM solutions is that they each have a different focus and set of objectives

Contract lifecycle management software focuses on improving how your business manages its contracts. Meanwhile, a customer relationship management system focuses on how the business can improve interactions with leads and existing customers, and contracts are only a small part of that. 

Both are designed to improve a business process. However, these business processes are different, meaning the tools deliver value to an organization in different ways. This is also reflected in the functionality offered by CRM and CLM solutions, and how different they are.

For example, a customer relationship management system has the functionality needed to centralize customer data, automate sales processes, track leads, and support customers. 

Contract lifecycle management platforms offer the features needed to manage a contract lifecycle from end to end, including document automation, version control, approval workflows, and electronic signing.  

The overlap between CLMs and CRMs

Since CLMs and CRMs focus on different lifecycles and processes, it can be easy to keep the two tools, and their objectives, separate. 

However, the two solutions are more compatible than many businesses realize. Almost every transaction and new customer is closed using a contract, and legal teams dealing with contracts often feel the pressure of fulfilling these requests from sales in a timely manner. 

In reality, legal and sales teams both want the same things: 

  • Faster contract lifecycles that speed up sales cycles as a result 
  • A seamless experience when signing and onboarding new customers 
  • Less time spent on admin and more time to focus on higher-value projects

Integrating a CLM solution with a CRM solution can unlock these benefits for legal and sales teams, enabling them to agree sales contracts up to 10x faster.

Let's explore the benefits of a CLM and CRM integration in more detail now.

Benefits of integrating the tools

As we mentioned at the start of this post, integrating a CLM solution with your CRM can transform the way you manage sales agreements in 2024. Here's how.

1. Sales teams can self-serve on contracts without leaving their CRM

With the right integration, sales teams can self-serve on contracts. This is because they're able to generate them in a few clicks, without leaving their CRM. The opportunity data is then pulled directly into a CLM like Juro to populate the contract template, automating the contract creation process as a result.

This eliminates the need for sales to wait on legal to draft a contract every time they want to close a deal. Instead, they can generate their own using terms pre-approved by legal.

It takes the sales team four clicks to generate and approve a contract in Juro - Callum Hamlett, Senior Revenue Operations Analyst, Paddle

2. Stakeholders have more visibility into sales and contract lifecycles

When CRMs and CLMs are kept separate, it can be difficult for legal and sales teams to track the progress of a deal or contract.

However, when you integrate a CRM solution with a CLM platform like Juro, stakeholders have enhanced visibility into these things. For example, sales reps can see where a sales contract is in its lifecycle as this updates in the CRM automatically.

Without this functionality, reps are often left chasing legal for updates on their deal, which only slows things down further.

3. Legal teams can reduce contractual risk by standardizing contracts

Legal teams can control contract terms at scale by controlling the templates used to generate contracts within the CRM. By controlling the automated contract templates used to self-serve on contracts, legal teams can successfully minimize the potential for human errors and standardize sales contracts, reducing overall contract risk.

When I change the templates in Juro, sales automatically self-serves from that updated version - Marcus Gustafsson, Junior Legal Counsel, Mentimeter

4. Automation = more time for higher-value tasks

The biggest benefit of integrating a CLM and CRM is the opportunity to automate repetitive, routine tasks. By automating the administrative work completed by legal and sales teams, businesses can agree contracts faster and with far less friction.

To find out more about how sales reps can benefit from a CLM solution in 2024, check out this guide to CLM for sales teams

Want to integrate your CRM with a CLM like Juro?

If you're looking to integrate a contract lifecycle management solution like Juro with your CRM, check out the guides below to find out what's possible.

To speak to a specialist about how integrating your CRM solution with a platform like Juro can help you agree contracts up to 10x faster, fill in the form below.

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