What is enterprise contract management? Processes and solutions explained

June 6, 2022

Legal teams have contracts. Sales teams have contracts. People and talent teams have contracts. Procurement teams love contracts. 

Finance, ops, facilities, marketing … seen as contracts are pretty much essential to commerce, they tend to pop up in some form or other in almost every function in a large business.

That’s why enterprise contract management is a key process for forward-thinking companies in 2022. How can every team align on how they agree terms with third parties, and make all that legal and operational data available centrally?

It’s possible. Let’s find out.

What is enterprise contract management?

Enterprise contract management is a comprehensive and holistic system or process that enables all the contracts and legal agreements that a business processes to live in one central repository, and be managed in the same way.

As the name suggests, this approach to contract management is required at large enterprise-size businesses, if there is to be a single source of truth for all the legal relationships to which the company is subject.

But creating one system that can cater to teams with needs as diverse as, say, sales, HR and finance? Well, that requires a sophisticated enough set of features to cater to lots of different types of document.

So that probably means that the contract platform with the most features (and most enterprise-grade pricing to match) is probably best for enterprise contract management, right?

Well, actually, no - it’s not quite that simple. 

Although certain features are key for enterprises, like renewal reminders, conditional approvers, bulk actions, high-end security and a rich stack of integrations, ‘more’ does not always mean ‘better’.

The unfortunate reality of enterprise contract management (or contract lifecycle management, depending on which term you prefer) is that a high proportion of implementations fail.

Overwhelmingly, this is because although the platform has a rich set of features, in doing so it becomes so complex that it’s too hard for end-users in commercial teams to actually use. Too few people adopt it, and the software sits unused until it’s eventually abandoned.

Platforms positioned for enterprise contracts also usually suffer from lengthy and expensive implementations, often advertised at six months (as if this is something to be proud of!), and unresponsive or impersonal support. And if you laboured through a 6-month RFP before you got started, this is even more painful.

Not all contract platforms are created equal. Juro is the #1-rated contract platform globally for ease of setup and admin, according to independent G2 reviews. If your business needs to get a grip on contracts, but without the 12-month implementation, hit the button below to get in touch.

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Enterprise contract management systems: which is right for your business?

In 2022, enterprise contract management is a crowded market with lots of providers for you to consider. Here are five of the key players to compare.

1. Juro 

Juro is the all-in-one contract automation platform that helps visionary legal counsel and the teams they enable to create, execute and manage contracts at scale. Juro empowers commercial teams in enterprise-level companies to self-serve on contracts by removing bottlenecks that otherwise slow down the contracting process. 

Juro users have access to a wealth of features, including those that supercharge the contract management process for growing businesses, like bulk actions, conditional logic and integrations with key business platforms like Salesforce. 

Juro is the only platform that truly enables large teams to process contracts end-to-end within one solution, instead of switching between Word, email, eSignature, Excel and shared drives.

Juro: key enterprise features 

✅ Conditional approvers

✅ Renewal reminders

✅ Single sign-on 

✅ Bulk actions 

✅ Salesforce integration 

Independent reviews 

Juro is rated as above average for ease of use, ease of setup and quality of support, according to G2:

⭐ 9/10 - ease of use

⭐ 9.7/10 - quality of support

⭐ 9/10 - ease of setup

“The product is simple, easy to use and largely intuitive. The team is a delight to work with - they take time to get to know you and your particular challenges which you need Juro to solve”

2. DocuSign CLM 

After acquiring SpringCM in 2018, DocuSign rebranded the tool to DocuSign CLM and sought to improve the product by adding electronic signature functionality. Unlike DocuSign’s electronic signature tool, their enterprise-level contract management tool offers a wide range of features that prove useful throughout the contract lifecycle stages

However, one of the biggest criticisms of DocuSign CLM is their lengthy implementation period and costly setup fees. This makes it both costly and challenging to adopt the software, and it can be a long time before customers can recognize value from it. 

DocuSign CLM is also reliant on the use of offline files. This means that, unlike more dynamic software, DocuSign CLM continues to build contracts as static Word and PDF files, not as structured data.

DocuSign CLM: key enterprise features 

❌ Conditional approvers

✅ Renewal reminders

✅ Single sign-on 

✅ Bulk actions 

✅ Salesforce integration 

Independent reviews

DocuSign CLM has below average ratings for ease of use, ease of setup and quality of support, according to G2:

⭐ 8/10 - ease of use

⭐ 8.4/10 - quality of support

⭐ 7.2/10 - ease of setup

“The initial setup was a nightmare. It was confusing and took nearly a year while we paid for the service but could not use it”

3. Agiloft

Agiloft is one of the oldest enterprise contract tools on the market. It is among the most customizable contract management solutions available and it seeks to deliver value throughout the contract lifecycle. 

However, this flexibility and customizability makes the software complicated for many users, particularly commercial teams that need to self-serve on contracts without prior experience. 

Although, if you can look past the software’s unintuitive interface, it does offer many of the key features enterprise businesses need to manage contracts at scale. 

Agiloft: key enterprise features 

✅ Conditional approvers

✅ Renewal reminders

✅ Single sign-on 

✅ Bulk actions 

✅ Salesforce integration 

Independent reviews 

Agiloft also has below average ratings for ease of use, ease of setup and quality of support, according to G2:

⭐ 8.8/10 - ease of use

⭐ 8.5/10 - quality of support

⭐ 6.9/10 - ease of setup

“Since it is so customizable, Agiloft can take a while to exit the implementation phase”

4. ContractPodAi

ContractPodAi is a CLM system driven by AI and marketed towards in-house legal counsel for large businesses. Like most AI contract systems, the software seeks to improve visibility around contracts and capture important contract data

However, numerous ContractPodAi reviews have described the software as complex and difficult to navigate. This criticism is typical of many heavyweight contract tools marketed towards enterprise-level businesses, but it’s worth considering if you’re seeking a tool that’s both easy to use and implement. 

ContractPodAi also lacks some of the key features for enterprise contract management, like single sign-on, bulk actions and conditional approvals. 

ContractPodAi: key enterprise features 

❌ Conditional approvers

✅ Renewal reminders

❌ Single sign-on 

❌ Bulk actions 

✅ Salesforce integration 

Independent reviews 

ContractPodAi isn’t as widely reviewed as other enterprise contract management systems, so it doesn’t have an overall rating for ease of use, quality of customer support and ease of setup. However, there are some individual reviews of the platform: 

“The aim was to have people in the business have access to templates and to use the system to generate contracts: it isn't easy to use so has not been adopted”

5. Ironclad

Ironclad is among the most popular enterprise contract management software on the market, with a customer base that includes MasterCard, L’Oreal and Dropbox. The product is built around Microsoft Word and so replicates the traditional approach to contract drafting and editing but with some additional functionality. 

Although this is great for change adverse lawyers, it means that the software also presents some of the disadvantages of using Microsoft Word for contracts, too. For example, it’s difficult to lock down contracts and prevent accidental or unapproved edits. This can be problematic when handling the types of high-value contracts enterprise businesses typically manage. 

Ironclad: key enterprise features 

✅ Conditional approvers

✅ Renewal reminders

✅ Single sign-on 

❌ Bulk actions 

✅ Salesforce integration 

Independent reviews 

Ironclad also has below average ratings for ease of use, ease of setup and quality of support, according to G2:

⭐ 8.8/10 - ease of use

⭐ 9/10 - quality of support

⭐ 7.9/10 - ease of setup

“Ironclad, while helpful during complex contracting purposes, seems to be time-consuming & problematic in instances when a simple contract is needed for a client”

Enterprise contract management software: features

For enterprises looking to manage contracts at scale, but with a lightweight implementation and quick time-to-value, a challenger vendor like Juro can offer nimble support and an obsessive focus on ease of setup and admin. 

This is why Juro is the top-rated contract solution globally for ease of use, and the contract platform of choice for companies that started as scaleups and now handle huge volumes of contracts, like Cazoo, Deliveroo and Trustpilot.

If you’re wondering whether the solution you’re considering is right for your enterprise, check for each of these features, to make sure your provider can handle your core contract workflows at scale.

Many of these features distinguish enterprise vs mid-market contract platforms.

1. Unlimited templates

Access to unlimited contract templates is a core feature for enterprise businesses that manage contracts at scale. Without them, large corporations will need to pay per template, or worse, will be blocked by limited templates. Given how many contracts enterprise companies process, this quickly becomes expensive. 

2. Conditional logic 

Conditional logic is yet another useful feature for enterprise legal and business teams, as it enables commercial teams to self-serve on contract creation and negotiation at scale. 

Conditional logic allows businesses to set rules and bake fallback positions into contract templates, making it seamless for commercial teams to negotiate agreements without constant oversight from legal. 

3. Conditional approvers

Legal teams in enterprise stage companies won’t have the capacity to review every contract that lands on their desk. Conditional approvers enables businesses to ensure that only the contracts that require legal approval are pushed to legal, unblocking those that don’t in turn. 

This works by automating when certain contracts require approval from certain individuals, based on the terms or value of a contract. 

Set conditional approval workflows for contract templates in Juro

4. Single sign-on

Simple and secure sign-on is important for businesses of all sizes, but particularly enterprise-level businesses with multiple business systems and lots of employees. Single sign-on enables users to sign in using quickly and securely using one set of credentials to streamline the process. 

5. Advanced electronic signature 

Although most contracts won’t require a specific type of electronic signature, offering a more secure way to sign can be a dealbreaker for some large enterprises. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose a contract management software that offers advanced electronic signature. 

6. Renewal reminders

Monitoring contract renewals as a large business can quickly become chaotic without the right safeguards in place. After all, the more contracts you process, the harder they become to manage. 

Renewal reminders are a fantastic way to improve this process, as it enables key contract stakeholders to manage contract renewals at scale and minimize unnecessary spend. 

7. Custom branding 

Trust is critical as a growing business. Custom branding is a fantastic way for large companies to build and maintain this trust. Within Juro, for example, users can update the text used within transactional emails, as well as insert company logos and colours to increase trust and engagement from counterparties. 

Add custom branding to transactional emails in Juro

8. Bulk actions 

As a large business, you’ll need a contract workflow that scales. Bulk actions empower legal and business users to manage the creation, sending and signing of contracts at scale, thus making large contract volumes more manageable. 

9. Popular enterprise integrations

Enterprise users will typically move between different business platforms within their roles, so it makes sense to integrate these with their contract tool. When selecting an enterprise contract management system, it’s worth seeking one that’s compatible with core business systems, like Salesforce, Workday and Zapier

Ready for enterprise contract management?

If contracts are proving painful for your business, but the idea of a 6-month RFP and a 12-month implementation gives you a headache, then it might be time to consider a more agile solution like Juro. To find out what all-in-one contract automation can do for your business, get in touch below.

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