Contract management 101 for small businesses

Contract management 101 for small businesses editorial illustration
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The way you manage contracts matters. It can be the difference between…

  • …squeezing in one extra sales presentation versus being bogged down in paperwork.
  • …spotting a new opportunity to grow an account versus wasting hours searching for an email attachment.
  • …growing your business versus just breaking even.


This might sound grandiose, but deploying an effective process can help eliminate much of the manual work associated with contracts. When everything from organizing paperwork, document tracking, and documents for signature is digital and automated, it frees people up to tackle more important tasks and seize opportunities.


But what is contract lifecycles management? What are the features of contract lifecycle management? And how can you get started?


In this blog, we explore what contract management for small businesses means and how eSignature software helps teams streamline the entire process.

What is contract lifecycle management?

Contract management or contract lifecycle management is the process of managing agreements between your employees, customers, clients, and suppliers.


And because it encompasses creating, managing, sharing, tracking, and storing key documents, it’s often one of the most time-consuming parts of running a business. Contract management software for small businesses can give organizations a leg up on the competition by streamlining these tasks, so employees can focus on what matters.


Why is contract management important for small businesses?

Contracts make up the foundation for all types of agreements. They set out the finer details of business deals and supplier relationships, so managing them from creation to execution is incredibly important—especially for small businesses.


But without a process in place, contract management can be incredibly manual and time-consuming—drafting contracts, mailing them out for signature, and keeping track of every deal that goes out the door.


As a small business with growth aspirations, any way you can eliminate manual tasks from the day-to-day grind and laser-focus employees on revenue-generating activities is a step towards success. And contract management is an area businesses can make serious gains. That’s where contract management software comes in.

How to implement contract management processes

In order to realize the benefits of a contract management process requires more than just thinking —it demands action.


Here are some of the contract management workflows and key features of contract lifecycle management you can start using and incorporating into your day-to-day right now to speed up your contract process, save time, and turn around documents quicker—plus some contract tools that’ll make it that much easier.


Save time with reusable templates

If you send out a boat-load of contracts, then Templates will save your teams time. Building a curated collection of contract templates that only need minor tweaks, like name and company, means you never have to draft the same contract twice.  


With the right contract management tool, you can easily create and revise a library of contracts that are tailor-made for each specific engagement. This means you don’t have to spend hours crafting the same document, which frees you up for other, more important tasks.


Equipping your teams with a handy stash of templates for every situation makes contract creation a breeze, and is a useful asset to have at hand to help with the contract management process.


Stay informed with automated notifications and tracking

No one likes spending hours chasing up contracts once they’ve been sent.

Not only is there the question of if the right person has received and read it, manual follow-ups are also time-consuming and risk coming off as pushy compromising a deal.


The right contract management tool takes the uncertainty out of the equation. Automated email notifications let you know when an action is taken, whether that’s the recipient opening the document, signing it, or sending it back to your inbox.

With better visibility over all your agreements, your teams can spend less time chasing contracts, and more time closing deals.


Automatically store contracts

Contract management isn’t just about getting the deal done, it’s also about what happens after. Searching through email attachments, your downloads folder, or a filing cabinet to find the details of a deal—or checking when it’s time for renewal—is another time big time-waster.


Any contract management tool worth its weight will take the effort of storing and finding contracts after they’ve been signed off your plate. The good ones will even automatically save contracts to your cloud storage the minute they’ve been signed. That way, every contract is right where you want it to be without even lifting a finger.


Send contracts at scale with eSignatures

Signatures are the most important part of any contract—no deal is final until it’s signed, sealed, and delivered. If you’re looking for one of the best ways to manage contracts, then look no further than eSignatures.


With eSignatures, you can get your contracts and agreements signed fast.


All your deals can be signed on the move, from any device, which helps you keep pace if you handle a large volume of contracts. Plus, it’s convenient for clients as they can sign instantly, so deals get closed much faster.


A better to manage your contracts

Contract management can be a pain. But with the right tools at your disposal, you can make the process simple and effective for you and your business.


Try adding eSignatures to your contract process for free and see for your self how they can speed up the process.

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