No matter what business you’re in, contracts play a critical role. Whether you sell products or services, your contracts set the tone between you and your customers, defining the terms upon which you do business. The problem is, because contracts are so critical, getting them right is a complicated process.
Every contract will have a number of clauses, most of which are standard, but frequently require tweaking. And while most of the clauses are standard, the specific clauses you include in a contract can depend on the customer and specifically what you’re selling them. Manually ensuring the correct clauses are included opens the door for mistakes, and a mistake in a contract can cost you a lot of money.
Once you’ve got all the right content, the next challenge comes in: negotiations. Nothing is more exhausting than the back-and-forth while you and your customer redline a contract. Every detail of that contract you’ve already sweated over is put under the microscope. And some of those changes may be around vital customer information—a new office address, a misspelled name, updated branding. Not only do you have to keep on top of the contract changes, you’ve also got to make sure your CRM is updated with the latest information about your customer, or fulfillment may wind up shipping a product to the wrong place. Finally, after you’ve dealt with all of that noise, you still need to get the contract executed and out to the right people.
I’m guessing this whole process sounds familiar to a lot of you, and I feel your pain. As a Solution Architect on the Salesforce platform, I’m always looking for ways to solve problems with technology. In the past, my go-to solution for alleviating some of the contract migraines was always Conga Composer, truly one of the most powerful and versatile products on the Salesforce AppExchange. Using Composer and some fancy Microsoft Word kungfu, you can create a template that always generates a document with the right content ready to be tweaked before sending out for redlining.
The problem, though, is that once you click your handy-dandy Conga button, the entire rest of the process happens outside of Salesforce. Your team has to make sure they make any updates to your Salesforce records manually and keep uploading the latest version of the contract. I’ve been dying to find a better, more powerful solution that follows my mantra of “if it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist.”
Well, my friends at Conga have delivered once again!
Released early 2017, Conga Contracts is a real next-gen tool designed to streamline your whole contract process from start to finish. Conga Contracts marries the power of Composer to seamlessly merge perfect, well formatted, branded documents every time with the comfort and familiarity of redlining documents directly in Microsoft Word. Out of the box, Contracts comes with a prebuilt tool to manage contract clauses individually or in bundles and track them in Salesforce, all without having to be a Microsoft ninja. And if you have a CPQ or a custom solution around clause management, you can use those in place of what Conga provides.
When it comes time to redline, a click of a button sends the document out to the right people, and when they reply with their updated version, you can easily review those changes directly within Salesforce. Better yet, you can push a number of the changes they make to the right places in the system, whether that’s an update to a clause, a change of address, or anything else, meaning your team can review the doc and update the database all in one step. And when all is said and done, you’re able to use the same tool to send the document for electronic signature. BOOM! Everything in Salesforce!
If all that wasn’t enough, because everything happens in Salesforce, you can now leverage the power of the platform to take your contracts to the next level. Need to add new clauses to bring your contracts up to speed with the latest in your offerings? Approval Processes ensure the right minds from across your team weigh in. Noticing that some clauses seem to need changes more than others? Reports and Dashboards can surface these pesky line items and let your team address them proactively, speeding up the contract process and freeing up your team to sell more while saving on legal costs. Field History can track changes over time; you can collaborate directly on each line item using Chatter; and as Einstein brings machine learning to the platform, who knows what other cool things are on the horizon!
If contracts are giving you migraines, it’s time to up your game. Fill out the form below to learn how we can help you supercharge your contracts process with the power of Salesforce and Conga Contracts!