Contract Management
· 7 min read

Essential Questions to Ask During Your CLM Software Evaluation

Choosing the right Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software is a critical decision for any organization. Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software offers a powerful solution, but with a plethora of options available, choosing the right one can be challenging. But with a well-structured demo you can witness the platform's capabilities first-hand and assess its alignment with your specific needs. However, to ensure you get the most out of this crucial evaluation stage, it is vital to have a clear understanding of your needs and a set of insightful questions prepared.

Understanding your Organization’s challenges and needs

Consider your organization's current unique challenges and goals. What pain points does your current contract management process have? Are you struggling with manual processes, lack of visibility into contracts, or missed renewal deadlines? Are you looking to improve contract turnaround times, enhance collaboration, or ensure regulatory compliance?

Identifying your pain points will guide your questioning and help the vendor tailor the demo to your specific situation.

Important briefs to keep in mind:

  • Ask for a demonstration of the software's workflow for key contract stages: drafting, negotiation, approval, execution and post-execution management.
  • Inquire about features that facilitate internal and external collaboration, such as document annotation, version control and secure access for stakeholders.
  • Check into the software's data security protocols.
  • Ask about vendor's implementation process, including training and data migration assistance.
  • Explore the vendor's support offerings, including response times and available support channels.

Following is a comprehensive set of questions to ask during a CLM software demo categorized into key functionality areas.

  1. Core functionalities and Workflow Management:
    • Can you walk me through the entire contract lifecycle within the software, from creation to execution and renewal?
    • How does the platform handle contract collaboration and approval workflows?
    • Does the software offer customizable workflows to adapt to our specific contract types?
  2. Automation and Efficiency:
    • How can this CLM system automate repetitive tasks such as contract drafting, redlining and routing for approvals?
    • Does the software support AI or machine learning to streamline contract analysis and risk identification?
    • Can you demonstrate how the platform helps us improve contract turnaround times?
  3. Search, Reporting & Analytics:
    • How can we easily search and retrieve specific contracts based on various criteria?
    • What kind of reporting and analytics tools does the software offer to gain insights into our contract portfolio?
    • Can we generate reports on key metrics like contract value, expiration dates, and potential risks?
  4. Security and Compliance:
    • How does the platform ensure the security and confidentiality of our sensitive contract data?
    • Does the CLM software comply with relevant industry regulations and data privacy laws?
    • What disaster recovery protocols are in place to safeguard our information?
  5. Integration and User Experience:
    • Does the CLM software integrate seamlessly with your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) or customer relationship management (CRM) systems?
    • How user-friendly is the platform? Can our team learn and route the software easily?
    • Can you provide details on training and support resources available after implementation?
  6. Scalability and Customization:
    • Can the CLM software scale to meet your growing business needs?
    • Does it offer customization options to fit your specific contract management workflows?
  7. Additional questions:
    • Customer Success Stories: Can the vendor share success stories from clients in your industry to understand how the CLM has benefited similar businesses?
    • Implementation Timeline and Cost: What is the expected timeframe for implementation and associated costs?
    • Ongoing Support: What level of ongoing support does the vendor offer, including technical support, user training and future updates?

Beyond the Checklist

Remember, the demo is an opportunity to assess the software vendor themselves. Pay attention to the presenter's responsiveness to your questions and their understanding of your specific industry and challenges. Do not hesitate to ask additional questions specific to your organization's unique requirements. For instance, if managing high-volume contracts is a concern, inquire about the platform's scalability and bulk upload capabilities.

By asking these insightful questions during your CLM software demo, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the solution's capabilities and its suitability for your organization. A well-conducted demo is an interactive experience. Armed with this knowledge, you will be well-equipped to make an informed decision and select the CLM software that enables your organization to streamline contract management, optimize efficiency and achieve your strategic business goals.

Also read: How to choose the best Contract Management Software in 2024?

Veda Dalvi
Hello, I'm Veda, the Legal Content Writer with a knack for decoding the complex world of laws. A coffee aficionado and a lover of sunsets, oceans and the cosmos. Let's navigate the Legal Universe together!

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