Contract management software: a buyer's guide for 2023

Guides
November 13, 2022
10
min

Contract management software can give your business a faster and more efficient contracting process. 

This post covers everything you need to know, from what contract management software is to the features and providers to look out for. 

What is contract management software?

Contract management software is a tool designed to automate and streamline the contract management process for businesses. 

Contract management tools make it easier for legal and business teams to create, negotiate, sign, renew and report on business contracts by automating the manual work traditionally involved in a contract workflow. 

Rather than switching between multiple different tools to manage contracts, contract management software enables teams to manage contracts from end to end - all in one platform. This is because all of the features they need are centralized in one workspace.

Who uses contract management software?

Contract management software is used by businesses that need to scale their contract workflow without increasing headcount.

This means that fast-growing businesses with increasing contract volumes gain the most value from implementing contract management software. 

Contract management software can also be used by multiple different teams within a business, including legal, sales, finance, operations, and HR teams

Legal teams 

Legal typically 'own' the contract process at a company. In-house legal teams use contract management software to manage their contract templates and set up rules that enable commercial teams to self-serve on contract creation. 

“Before Juro, we needed to review 100 per cent of customer contracts. Now that we can lock contract fields with Juro, that number has dropped to 12 per cent" - Victoria Sörving, CLO, Funnel

Check out this case study with Funnel to find out how Funnel’s legal team use Juro’s contract management software to reduce manual contract admin.

Sales teams 

Sales hate anything that gets in the way of closing deals, so they'll often use a contract management solution to self-serve on contracts rather than waiting for legal to create them. 

Most contract management software also integrates with major CRM systems. This makes it simple for sales teams to manage contracts in Salesforce, along with other tools they know and love. 

"Sales has gone from using three tools, a shared drive, emails, PDFs, and involving the legal team, to having one tool for everything” - Callum Hamlett, Senior Revenue Ops Analyst, Paddle

Check out our case study with Paddle to find out how Juro’s contract management software enables Paddle’s sales team to generate and approve contracts in just four clicks. 

HR teams

HR teams in fast-growing companies typically produce and manage large volumes of contracts. Contract management software enables HR teams to automate HR contracts at scale, making it quicker and easier to hire and onboard new joiners.  

“Juro has removed the need for us to hire people to focus on admin work, and that’s the biggest win” - Luke Hextall, Head of People Ops, GoPuff 

Check out our case study with GoPuff to find out how Juro’s contract management software enables GoPuff to automate 80 per cent of onboarding admin. 

Finance and ops teams 

Finance and ops teams need visibility into contracts. They need to reconcile contracts and billing, as well as generate accurate revenue expectations for their business. Contract management software like Juro enables teams to query, report on, and analyze contracts right through the lifecycle.

“Juro’s analytics features are great - it takes seconds to access and helps us improve our process and remove any bottlenecks” - David Swenton, Director of Business Ops, Cleo 

Check out our case study with Cleo to find out how their operations team used Juro’s contract management software to gain visibility into contracts and their data. 

Contract management software features to look for

1. Template editor 

A rich-text contract editor is one of the most important features of contract management software. It enables legal teams to pre-define contract templates that business users can use to self-serve on contracts

Businesses without contract management software will usually rely on Microsoft Word to draft contracts. But there’s no way for legal to control which terms make it into the contracts that commercial teams send out for signing. Instead, contracts quickly become a patchwork of different, often outdated, templates. 

Juro users don’t have this problem. Juro’s contract management software enables legal to control which terms appear in contracts using conditional logic. This enables commercial teams to self-serve confidently on contracts with minimal oversight from legal. 

To see Juro's rich-text contract editor in action, book an interactive demo with our team.

2. Approval workflows

Approval workflows are another useful feature in contract management tools. They enable teams to get contracts reviewed and approved faster without bypassing senior stakeholders. 

Without the right tools in place, approvals can become a bottleneck for businesses. Approval requests sit in a backlog of other tasks. Before you know it, these delays in the sales cycle have resulted in lost revenue. Contracts may even sneak past the approval stage altogether. 

Contract management software removes that risk. Juro’s customizable approval workflows mean that you can be selective about which contracts require approval. You can also send approval reminders to move things along.

To find out more about Juro's approval workflows, book an interactive demo with a Juro specialist.

3. Browser-based redlining 

Browser-based redlining is one of the most sought-after contract management software features since it enables teams to negotiate contracts in real time. 

Without this feature, teams are forced to jump between multiple different tools to negotiate contracts. This process of switching between Word files, emails, and PDFs can slow sales cycles down and make it difficult to track edits.

Contract management software like Juro centralizes contract negotiations, with browser-based redlining, detailed audit trails, and split internal and external versions.

If you're interested in finding out more about browser-based redlining, book a demo with one of our specialists.

4. Native eSignature 

You should also look for contract management software with native eSignature functionality. This enables teams to add legally binding electronic signatures to contracts from anywhere, on any device. Some contract management systems, like Juro, even allow users to mass-sign routine contracts. 

In a manual workflow, contracts are signed using wet ink signatures or scanned signatures. Some businesses use a separate eSigning tool like DocuSign or Adobe Sign to sign contracts electronically. But this still means moving between multiple tools just to get contracts over the line. 

Choosing contract management software that offers native eSignature removes this friction and makes it possible create and sign contracts in one workspace.

To find out more about Juro’s secure and legally binding eSigning solution, book a demo with our specialists.

5. Renewal reminders 

It is also worth choosing contract management software with automated renewal reminders. This feature allows you to track your contracts and manage upcoming deadlines with ease. 

Businesses that don’t have a contract management tool usually track their contract data manually in a contract management spreadsheet. This involves extracting and inputting data from individual contracts, which can be a waste of legal’s already stretched time.

All of these deadlines are captured automatically in Juro, so you don’t have to worry about the admin work. You can also set up automated contract reminders so you never miss a renewal deadline again. 

Want to find out more about Juro's automated contract reminders? Book a demo today.

6. Smart storage

Where you store your contracts matters, particularly as your contract volumes grow. That’s why it’s important to find a contract management platform with a smart storage solution. 

In many businesses, contracts are scattered across shared drives. This means they’re difficult to find, hard to monitor, and virtually impossible to report on. 

Contract management software like Juro enables you to get more from your contracts post-signature. Not only does Juro let you store your contracts securely, but it also has an analytics feature that enables you to report on contracts and track progress against legal KPIs

To find out more about how Juro lets users track and query contracts in seconds, book a personalized demo.

What is the best contract management software?

1. Juro 

Juro is the all-in-one contract automation platform that enables all teams to streamline the creation, execution and management of routine contracts at scale. This means that teams no longer have to jump between a fragmented stack of tools. Instead, they can manage their contracts from end to end - all in one workspace. 

Juro powers contracts for some of the world's fastest-growing companies, including TrustPilot, WeWork, Soundcloud, Deliveroo and AngelList.

Independent reviews of Juro

Juro is one of the top-rated contract management tools on the market, with ratings of 4.8 out of 5 on Capterra and 4.7 out of 5 on G2.

Juro is also #1 rated by for speed of implementation by G2, meaning Juro’s customers get to value quickly with Juro - unlike some other contracting tools. 

Below are some independent reviews from Juro users:

“Juro completely lifted the burden off our legal team by empowering our Sales team to handle the majority of small business contracts from start to finish” - Independent review, G2
“The Juro platform has saved my team 90% of the time we used to spend writing and sharing contracts. The platform is efficient and intuitive” - Independent review, G2

Hit the button below to find out more about how Juro can reduce contract admin and create scalable contracting processes for your business.

Book a personalized demo

Find out what all-in-one contract automation can do for your business

Get a demo

2. DocuSign CLM 

Previously known as SpringCM, DocuSign CLM is one of the oldest contract management solutions on the market. 

Given DocuSign’s reputation, the tool is often considered by businesses looking to invest in contract management software. It offers renewal reminders, approval workflows, and many other features that help to streamline the contract lifecycle. 

But it does have some drawbacks. 

According to independent reviews on G2 and Capterra, DocuSign CLM’s user interface isn’t as intuitive as more modern tools. There are also some templating restrictions due to DocuSign CLM’s reliance on Microsoft Word for contract drafting

Most notably, DocuSign CLM’s users report long delays in time-to-value. This is because DocuSign CLM is designed for enterprise-level businesses so it can have a costly and lengthy implementation period.

Independent reviews of DocuSign CLM

DocuSign CLM is one of the lower-rated contract management tools, with a score of 4.3 out of 5 on Capterra. This is considerably lower than Juro’s Capterra score of 4.8.

Below are some independent reviews left by DocuSign CLM users:

“The UI seems pretty dated. Sometimes certain features are difficult to track down, and the configuration can be a bit confusing at time” - Independent review, Capterra
“It took a year longer than promised to "launch" and then when it was done it still didn't work” - Independent review, G2


3. Outlaw 

Outlaw is another popular contract management tool. But it’s also one of the most expensive solutions on the market. 

This contract management software allows users to create templates, negotiate within the platform, and store contracts securely - just like Juro. 

However, there are some important differences between Outlaw and Juro. 

According to G2, reviewers find Juro easier to use and set up than Outlaw. This means Outlaw may not be the best option if you’re looking for a user-friendly contract management software. 

Independent reviews of Outlaw also mention that populating a template can be ‘slightly confusing’. This may be a problem for commercial teams that need to self-serve on contract creation. 

Independent reviews of Outlaw

Independent reviews of Outlaw on G2 rate the tool 4.6 out of 5. This is slightly lower than Juro’s G2 rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Below are some independent reviews left by verified users of Outlaw:

“The implementation has been challenging as we have had to do a lot more on our end than we were aware of" - Independent review, G2
“I would like for the template creator to be more like word or pages; sometimes it can be a little difficult to make the document look the way you expect” - Independent review, G2

4. Cobblestone

Cobblestone is enterprise-level contract management software that best serves teams managing procurement contracts. It is also one of the oldest solutions on the market, having launched back in 1995. 

Since Cobblestone is an enterprise contract management solution, it offers a wide range of useful features. These include contract storage, tracking and reminders. Although, some of these features will be locked behind Cobblestone pricier plans. 

It’s also worth noting that Cobblestone doesn’t include native eSigning in any of its plans. Instead, users will need to integrate the contract management system with a separate eSigning tool. This works well for some businesses, but if you want a truly all-in-one solution, a tool like Juro could work best. 

Cobblestone is also described as ‘clunky’ in independent reviews on G2 and Capterra. This is worth considering if you’re looking for a simple and intuitive contract management platform.  

Independent reviews of Cobblestone

Cobblestone is rated 4.8 out of 5 on both G2 and Capterra. Below are some independent reviews left by verified Cobblestone users: 

“UI is clunky and not very pretty” - Independent review, Capterra
“There's a big learning curve initially, which is tough” - Independent review, G2

5. Conga

Conga is a contract management software solution for sales teams. Like Juro, the tool integrates with Salesforce and other CRMs, making it easier for sales teams to manage contracts in the tools they know and love. 

Users have access to approval workflows, native eSignature and more. Conga also own a range of other sales-focused products, such as quoting software. However, these would need to be purchased separately.

There are also some limitations of Conga. 

In fact, many of the features that legal teams need from contract management software are missing from Conga. For example, contract drafting still happens in Microsoft Word, rather than in a native template editor created specifically for contracts. 

They also have a separate eSigning tool, Conga Sign, that they integrate with. Connecting all of these different tools can complicate the contract process further, rather than simplifying it. This is clear from independent reviews. 

Independent reviews of Conga 

Despite being popular, Conga is one of the lowest-rated contract management platforms on the market. It has an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 on G2, which is significantly lower than Juro’s G2 rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Below are some reviews left by verified Conga users: 

“High barrier to entry for configuration - need to know all the nuances of the system in Conga Solutions, Conga Queries, Conga Templates, Word, etc” - Independent review, G2
“The worst aspect is the integration with their in-house electronic signature product, Conga Sign. It actually circumvents the core Conga Document process” - Independent review, G2

Do I need contract management software?

Legal and business teams typically implement contract management software when contract volumes increase to a point where managing them in Word and shared drives is impractical.

If you are signing more than 10 contracts a month, you have likely felt the pain of a manual workflow and would benefit from implementing contract software. This pain can be felt differently across teams and businesses. 

It could be that your legal team is buried in low-value contract admin, or that you’re struggling to manage contract volumes without scaling your headcount. 

Or, that slow and inefficient contracting processes are slowing down your sales cycles and resulting in lost revenue

It might even be that missed renewal dates and contract management mistakes are costing your business in the long-run.  

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s probably time for you to consider contract management software. To speak to a specialist about how contract management software could benefit your business, fill in the form below. 

Frequently asked questions about contract management

Is contract management part of CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management, which contracts play a part in. However, most CRM systems don't have contract management functionality, so you'll need to integrate a contract management system like Juro to create and manage contracts within them.

Does contract management software help with searching and reporting?

Contract management software is extremely helpful for searching through and reporting on contracts. Contract management solutions like Juro enable you to store, query, view and report on contracts with ease.

Is contract management software secure?

Contract management software offers a secure storage space for your contracts. Juro's contract management software provides a secure home for your contracts, with granular access controls, consolidated document records and additional security options.

How is contract management software different from eSignature solutions?

Contract management software seeks to add value and streamline the process at every stage of the contract workflow, meanwhile eSignature solutions only seek to add value at the point of signing.

Both contract tools offer eSignature functionality, but contract management software will deliver lots of additional features that enable legal teams to manage large volumes of contracts more efficiently.

Where can I find out more about contract management?

To find out more about contract management, fill in the form below to speak with a specialist. Alternatively, check out the following resources:

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