Enterprise vs mid-market contract platforms: what's the difference?

March 28, 2022

Not all contract management solutions are born equal. Some contract tools are designed to help large corporations manage huge volumes of post-execution documents. Others have been built with scaling businesses and lean legal teams in mind. 

But what are the differences between enterprise and mid-market contract software solutions, and how do you know which best serves your business’ contracting needs? This Juro deep-dive explains everything you need to know about enterprise and mid-market contract tools and how to choose the right one for you. 

What are enterprise contract platforms? 

Who uses enterprise contract tools?

Enterprise contract lifecycle management software is typically bought and adopted by large established businesses with big legal teams. This is because they usually manage a higher volume of contracts and need a more complex feature set to facilitate these. 

Since this category of contract software is targeted at large, more established businesses, it typically has a high price point, with providers like DocuSign CLM, Ironclad, Icertis, ContractpodAI and Agiloft typically charging large sums for their software, integrations and implementation.

Benefits of enterprise contract tools

🧰 Extensive range of features

The biggest and most obvious benefit of enterprise contract management software is that it’s more heavyweight than mid-market tools and offers a more extensive range of features. 

This wide array of features isn’t usually necessary for mid-market companies, so investing in an enterprise-level solution usually means these businesses pay more for less. But for large corporations with bigger legal teams and more complex contracts, these features are extremely useful and often worth the price they pay. 

🔄 Good for more complex contract workflows

Enterprise contract solutions are also better equipped to deal with more complex business contracts that are more heavily regulated and negotiated. This is because they have a rich set of features designed to address these. 

As a result, this type of software is best suited to businesses trying to manage large numbers of complex contracts, rather than routine ones. This functionality is unnecessary for standard contracts but useful for managing higher-value ones at scale. 

📰 Larger, more established companies

Another benefit of enterprise-level legal software is that it’s often delivered by more established businesses, so users are naturally more inclined to trust them. This can be useful when entering high-profile contract negotiations and inviting counterparties to work on third-party paper.

However, it's worth noting that just because a contract management system has been around for longer, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more reliable. Although the big names in contract management are more readily recognized by other enterprise-level clients, they are often reviewed more poorly than mid-market tools like Juro. 

In fact, Juro is rated 4.7 overall by users in G2, while Ironclad and DocuSign CLM are rated 4.3 and 4.1 respectively, based on dozens of independent reviews.

Disadvantages of enterprise contract tools

⌛ Lengthy implementation periods 

The biggest complaint about enterprise-level contract software is often that it typically has lengthy implementation periods, spanning between 6 to 12 months, if not more. With onboarding periods like this, it takes a long time before large corporations see value from the software. In some cases, this can even result in failed implementations of CLM systems, or just unmet expectations, as this DocuSign CLM review describes:

"We didn't feel like the proper expectations were set with the implementation team about where we were in firming up our internal process which lead to some heartburn"

Whilst this works for more established corporations, this turnaround time isn’t suitable for scaleups that need to scale their contract workflow rapidly. 

Fast implementation and easier adoption are two of the biggest differentiators between our mid-market solution and enterprise systems. In fact, Juro users typically get to value within 30 days. To find out more, read this case study with Appear Here or get in touch for a demo by hitting the button below.

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✍🏻 Caters to traditional contract workflows

Enterprise-level contract solutions are also less efficient than mid-market alternatives. This is because most of them are legacy CLM systems that rely on traditional contract workflows involving Word’s .docx file format and separate eSignature solutions

Switching between Word, eSignature and your inbox while you chase files creates admin for legal and friction for the business, which slows down your growth. Mid-market, VC-backed tech companies can’t afford to have the friction that comes with static files, so more modern digital contracting systems suit them better. 

💰 Non-scaleable pricing 

Another limitation of enterprise-level contract tools is that they’re significantly more expensive than mid-market alternatives. It typically costs at least six figures, making it unaffordable for smaller companies. For growing businesses, this is almost equivalent to what it costs to hire a second lawyer. 

The cost of enterprise solutions typically increases for each individual user and workflow added, meaning the cost of the software increases rapidly as your business grows. This is because the software is more complicated than mid-market systems, so setting up new workflows and users requires a lot of manual work on behalf of the provider. This is distinct from Juro where users and workflows can be added flexibly and free of charge. 

🛑 Challenging to access customer support 

Another common complaint about enterprise-level contracting tools is that the quality of support received by customers is lower. We often hear from customers that switch from these enterprise solutions that it can take weeks to receive a response to a simple support ticket, and this can create blockers for the business when trying to edit contract templates, add users or get legal documents over the line. 

This is usually because these enterprise solutions have a larger customer base and more users to respond to and because they often have to do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to setting up workflows and templates. This is distinct from more simple tools like Juro where you can self-serve on making these changes with live in-app support from our team of legal engineers. 

🧠 Complex and difficult to adopt company-wide

It’s also common knowledge that enterprise-level contract systems are more challenging to use than mid-market solutions, simply because they’re more complex and tend to have more dated interfaces.

This is problematic considering that legal teams already face an uphill battle getting other departments to adopt new technologies and processes. If the commercial teams within your business are familiar with agile SaaS tools like Hubspot and Salesloft, for instance, they will want be more likely to adopt a system that's just as lightweight and user-friendly.

In these instances, a mid-market solution like Juro is preferable.

Examples of enterprise contract tools

What are mid-market contract platforms? 

Who uses mid-market contract tools?

Mid-market contract software is designed to aid fast-growth businesses with lean legal teams to scale their contract workflow without needing to hire more lawyers.

At Juro, we've worked with a wide range of the world’s fastest-growing companies during their scaleup phase, including Trustpilot, Cazoo, and Deliveroo.

“There’s no greater ROI than the fact that by enabling our teams to self-serve, Juro reduced our need to hire a second lawyer” Sophie Salisbury, Head of Legal, Appear Here

Benefits of mid-market contract tools

ℹ️ Higher quality customer support

One of the biggest benefits of mid-market contract software is the standard of customer support available. Mid-market contract tools typically have faster response times and more personalized support. 

This is because, unlike solutions geared towards enterprise corporations, mid-market solutions like Juro have fewer clients to respond to and a dedicated customer support manager for accounts. This means that mid-market contract tools like Juro can respond to support requests in minutes rather than weeks. 

“Juro’s customer success team worked at lightning speed to assist with adoption and get the legal team accustomed to Juro’s platform as soon as possible” Willem Wellinghoff, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, Shieldpay
💰 Non-punitive pricing

Since mid-market solutions are targeted at fast scaling businesses, they usually have flexible pricing to accommodate this growth. They make it easier to add users, increase your contract limit, and access new integrations quickly and efficiently - something that isn’t possible with more clunky enterprise-level tools. 

Whilst many enterprise-level solutions charge based on the number of users, Juro’s mid-market solution offers a plan specifically for scaling businesses. This plan caters to unlimited users without these extra costs adding up. 

Growth is a good sign, so we set our plans to scale with you as you reach new milestones, removing friction and blockers along the way.

“I would definitely recommend Juro - I think the platform responds well to the needs of small legal teams at scaling companies" Alicja Kwiatkowski, Head of Legal, Iptor
🕐 Faster implementation time 

As mid-market contract software is more lightweight than enterprise-level equivalent, it’s also far easier to implement and adopt. It’s faster too. 

Mid-market platforms offer personal deployment to ensure rapid time to value, with Juro users benefitting from a typical implementation time of just 21 days - a far stretch from the 6 to 12 months offered by enterprise-level providers. 

This light touch implementation also means low setup costs for your business, unlike most enterprise-level solutions that have various add-ons and surcharges throughout the implementation process. It generally doesn’t require hiring external experts either.

"Onboarding was so fast - we were using Juro on the second day after signing" Olivia Horsley, Head of Customer Success, Tempo
👌 Ease of use

Mid-market contract tools are often considerably easier to use and adopt than enterprise-level solutions too. This is because they have a more refined set of features and aren’t as complex as heavyweight solutions targeted at large enterprises. 

This makes the software easier to adopt and roll out across the business as it enables commercial teams to self-serve on simple contracts without legal and technical support. 

Juro is exemplary of this, having been rated the #1-rated contracting platform for ease of use.

“Juro’s interface is well-designed, intuitive and just makes sense. A lot of clutter and ‘noise’ is removed” Rohan Paramesh, General Counsel, Habito

Disadvantages of mid-market contract tools

🛒 Off-the-shelf rather than highly personalized

A potential drawback of mid-market contract software is that they are typically off-the-shelf solutions, rather than being highly customized. This explains why Juro and other mid-market offerings are much faster to implement and adopt than the more complex packages offered by the likes of Ironclad and DocuSign CLM.  

Whilst this may make the software less suitable for companies looking to scale their complex contracts, it doesn’t affect most mid-market companies negatively. This is because their growth is mostly contingent on being able to scale routine contracts instead. 

⚙️ Fewer features 

Mid-market contract solutions are more lightweight than enterprise solutions. This means that they often have fewer features than some of the larger, more heavyweight alternatives. 

However, these missing features are usually not necessary when automating routine contract workflows, so this is only really a problem for large corporations that need to manage large volumes of complex, heavily negotiated contracts.

Examples of mid-market contract tools

Juro is perfect for mid-market businesses experiencing fast growth. It’s the only platform that truly enables you to process contracts end-to-end with one solution. It does this via a flexible template editor and data model which can be set up in minutes. So it’s no surprise that we’re rated #1 for ease of use

Not only that, but Juro’s rapid implementation time means that customers get to value in 21 days on average, whereas businesses that invest in enterprise-level solutions often wait up to a year and often longer to receive value. 

Which is right for your business?

Both enterprise-level contract solutions and mid-market equivalents have their benefits. But each serves a different part of the market. 

When deciding which solution is best for your business, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • How big is my legal team, and how quickly is the company scaling?
  • What features do we need? Which ones aren’t necessary?
  • How quickly do you want to see value from the software? 
  • What does your budget look like? What can you afford?
  • What level of customer support would you need for successful adoption?
  • Do you have a lot of technical resources to help with implementation?
  • How important is flexibility within your contract process?

If you’re a large corporation with a big legal team and complex contracts, an enterprise contract tool like DocuSign CLM or Ironclad might prove beneficial for your business. But if you’re a fast-growth company with a low legal headcount and the desire to scale routine contracts at an affordable cost, a mid-market contract solution will be fitting. 

Likewise, if you need to implement and adopt the software rapidly, enterprise-level products won’t be suitable, as they take between 6 to 12 months to implement on average. By comparison, mid-market solutions like Juro take just 21 days. 

You also need to consider how much flexibility your business needs when creating and editing contract templates, for example. Since enterprise-level solutions are more technical and complex in their template setups, most of this work is carried out by the software provider itself. This makes it difficult to amend contract templates and action changes quickly. Mid-market solutions, on the other hand, enable users to make these changes independently and with ease. 

Looking for a mid-market contract tool?

Juro’s all-in-one contract automation platform helps visionary legal counsel in scaling companies, and the teams they enable, to agree and manage contracts in one unified workspace. Want to find out more? Fill out the form below.

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