3 signs the contract process is broken - and how legal teams can fix it

Contract process
March 22, 2023
When it comes to contracts, legal teams want to be enablers, not blockers. 

How can you tell if your contract process is broken, and how do you fix it so legal and business teams can get to revenue faster by collaborating effectively?

Here are three signs that your contract process is broken, with three suggestions on how to improve it. 

1. Contracts are time-consuming

An in-house lawyer’s time is expensive, and valuable - so if you find yourself sinking a considerable amount of time into contract admin, then it could be an indication that your process needs an upgrade.

This contract work can involve anything from:

  • Finding the right template
  • Copying and pasting information from one system into another to draft the contract
  • Back-and-forth email chains during contract review 
  • A similar back-and-forth during contract negotiations
  • Post-signature admin work - keeping track of renewals, trying to find contracts that are scattered across multiple desktops, shared drives, and so on

These steps can be a problem for lean legal teams at fast-growing companies - with so many responsibilities on their plate, and little chance of additional resource or headcount, contracts can easily take up a huge chunk of time.

Deviations from standard terms and back-and-forth negotiations would take up three to four hours of legal’s time, per contract
- Clio Anderson Garwood, senior legal counsel, Paddle

The legal team at $200m scaleup Paddle faced a similar problem. The contract process involved back-and-forth comms between legal and sales, and multiple tools, which took up a significant amount of the lean legal team’s time. 

How can legal fix this?

An effective way of resolving this problem is by implementing a collaborative contract management platform, like Juro, that brings all your contracts into one collaborative workspace.

  • Contracts can be initiated from integrated systems in a couple of clicks - streamlining collaboration between legal and business teams
  • Flexible templates and workflows allow legal to safely automate tasks on routine contracts, freeing up time for high-value work
  • Collaborate, comment and redline in one collaborative workspace, in real time - no more lengthy email chains
  • Get instant visibility into your contract data

Having a collaborative contract management platform in place helped Paddle’s legal team save “at least three and a half hours per contract” according to Clio Anderson Garwood, Paddle’s senior legal counsel.

Find out more about how Paddle uses Juro to eliminate manual work and enable the sales team.

2. The contract process is too complicated

Fragmented contract workflows create friction for everyone; complex contract processes take up too much of legal’s time. Having several steps in the process from drafting a contract to signing can also be a huge contributor to this.

This problem frequently drives legal teams to search for a technology solution. For example, Funnel’s legal team had a fragmented process that involved several manual steps, as Funnel’s CLO, Victoria Sörving, explained:

It took fifteen manual steps to agree a contract. The CCO was signing all our customer contracts and commercial offers, which didn’t make sense as we continued to scale

Having several steps in place for each contract is inefficient as the business grows, contract volumes increase, and there’s a stronger need to agree contracts faster.

How can legal fix this?

Having a collaborative contract management platform that integrates with various systems and automates all the manual touchpoints can make a big difference. 

Funnel implemented Juro, and integrated with HubSpot, Slack, and email, to save the legal team over 8,000 manual touchpoints a year. 

We handled over 800 customer docs in 2021. Before Juro, legal would review each and every one. Now, thanks to Juro, we’ve eliminated all reviews of standard paperwork

Find out more about how Funnel's legal team reduced legal contract reviews by 88 per cent in our case study.

3. The contract workflow doesn’t scale efficiently

Businesses often focus their hiring efforts on revenue-centric roles, such as sales and customer success. 

Legal, by comparison, doesn’t scale at the same rate as the commercial team - and this means that businesses often have a lean legal team of one or two lawyers serving a commercial organisation with hundreds of employees. 

Contract workflows that are effective when the business is in its early stages begin to show cracks as the business grows. And this could lead to delayed time-to-sign, lengthier contract cycles, and friction between teams.

Appear Here faced a similar problem, where a manual contract process was having a negative impact on HR and the candidate, creating a poor experience. Sophie Salisbury, head of legal at Appear Here, explained:

When you’re the only lawyer in the business, your time is expensive - I spent too much of that time scanning signed documents and saving them to shared drives

While businesses are slowing down on their hiring objectives due to economic uncertainty, it might be the perfect time to revisit collaborative contract management, and see how it can help you build a robust, scalable contract process.

How can legal resolve this?

Sophie and the team at Appear Here implemented Juro to safely automate tasks on routine contracts to free up legal’s time for high-value work.

Juro helped Appear Here build a more scalable contract process, with:

  • Complete visibility on the contract lifecycle, so teams are notified when a contract is edited, negotiated, or signed
  • Streamlined collaboration between legal and business teams - Juro’s user-friendly interface allows anyone to create contracts, without needing legal involvement
  • An improved candidate experience, allowing HR to draft engaging, welcoming offer letters that candidates actually want to sign

This sets legal and the wider business up for success as they continue to grow efficiently. Sophie Salisbury also mentions another valuable benefit:

By enabling our teams to self-serve, Juro reduced our need to hire a second lawyer

Find out more about how Appear Here uses Juro in our case study.

If your business is suffering with contract processes that are too slow, too complex and unscalable, it's time to explore collaborative contract management

The right solution could help you: 

  • Get to revenue faster by streamlining collaboration between legal and business teams 
  • Safely automate routine contract tasks to free up time for high-value work 
  • Get instant visibility into your contract data 

Hit the button below to get in touch.

Want to save 90% of time on contracts?

Book a demo to find out how Juro is helping 6000+ companies to agree and manage contracts up to 10x faster than traditional tools.

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