Automation In Negotiations:  The Contract Management Hack

Automation In Negotiations: The Contract Management Hack

Written By
Joy Cunanan
Updated on
May 20, 2024
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Every interaction a business has with its suppliers is governed by a contract. When a business has hundreds or even thousands of these contracts, it's just as crucial to manage them effectively from negotiation to execution through fulfillment and renewal. The amount of time spent handling contracts can be drastically reduced. Time is money. In fact, according to World Commerce & Contracting, ineffective contract administration can lose companies as much as 9% of their overall yearly profits.

Complex automation is the answer to the problem of time-consuming, manual, and repetitive tasks. In this article, we will look at how automation in contract management can improve one particular stage in the contract lifecycle – the negotiation stage. 

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What Is The Negotiation Stage?

We’ve previously tackled the stages of the contract lifecycle in this article. In the negotiation stage, parties discuss and agree on the terms and conditions of their contract. The parties will try to strike a balance between their interest and make it as far as mutually beneficial for the stakeholders. Because of the intricate nature of discussions and far-reaching consequences, if any obligation is not thoroughly thought of and decided on, negotiations can stretch for long periods of time and will require multiple back-and-forth communications. 

The negotiating stage of the contract lifecycle is frequently the most prone to disagreement, delays, and other bottlenecks that can cause an otherwise efficient process to come to a complete standstill, as any salesperson, attorney, and contract management will attest. But it's turning out that artificial intelligence is the best lubricant for negotiation processes.

Numerous corporate processes have shifted toward or gone completely digital over the previous few decades. Numerous contract management solutions have been developed by software developers to assist staff in developing contract databases, extracting document data, and identifying compliance and contract governance issues.

Simple robotic process automation (RPA) reduced repetitious operations at the turn of the millennium to speed up workflows. Even this simple automation, according to Goldman Sachs research, can hasten contract negotiation processes by 50% in 2003. But in the 2020s, we've well exceeded RPA's capabilities.

How Can Automation Help Negotiations?

Data-Driven Proposals

Making offers that have a track record of success might help sales teams save a lot of time during negotiations. Using data-driven proposals brings the contract initiation process closer to a conclusion.

AI contract management systems make it simple to extract precise data about prior discounts, closure rates, and other relevant data from business contracts to create a clear picture of the offer that is most likely to succeed.

An example can be derived from sales contracts. The two key components of data-driven sales are contractual data and process metrics. Contractual analytics aids organizations in better understanding their teams. You may strategically optimize team performance using data from sales contracts. Additionally, these contract metrics give information on a company's clientele. Data from sales contracts can be used to ascertain the preferences of your consumers. Your sales process will thus become more individualized to meet the specific needs of your consumers as a result.

Intelligent use of contract data will significantly speed up your sales operations. Sales representatives and legal teams must collaborate on this.

Contracts are necessary for accelerating sales. Businesses need to know which KPIs to monitor in their contractual sales data. The time it takes to execute contract workflows, for example, is a sales measure that can be tracked to gain important insight about its stumbling blocks. You may overcome obstacles and improve your sales process with careful planning.

The annual recurring income is a crucial contract data measure (ARR). ARR is used by businesses with subscription-based pricing schemes to estimate their value. The effectiveness of the sales and retention teams can be highlighted via ARR. You can assess how well expansion revenue is generated and you can cut down on money lost to attrition. ‌

The method of predicting revenue can also be enhanced through ARR. The length and cost of memberships can be planned by sales teams to attract more consumers and boost income.

You can also gauge pipeline sales data from your sales contracts. These comprise all opportunities that have been closed, all sales value, and annual contract value (ACV). These figures can show you which tactics are effective at each level of your sales process. To concentrate on meeting the anticipated sales quota, you can create improvement plans for the weaker areas.

The typical length of a sales cycle is an illustration of a pipeline sales measure. It calculates the length of time a deal spends in the sales funnel before closing. Your data-driven sales process will be more effective and quick the shorter this period is, and vice versa.

You may examine all of the calls made, emails sent, meetings arranged, and much more with the help of activity sales metrics. Concentrate on the tasks that have a direct impact on the sales pipeline. If these actions fall short of expectations, you can give the sales team advice on how to improve.

Early Renewal Discussions

It might be difficult to manually keep track of all contract expiration dates when a company manages hundreds or thousands of contracts annually. With the aid of artificial intelligence (AI), contract management technologies may extract this data from databases and then issue alerts 60 to 90 days prior to the contract's expiration date. This enables contract managers to prepare a renewal strategy before sitting down to negotiate. No matter how much needs to be renegotiated, the lengthy lead time significantly lessens the pressure of the clock on the negotiations.

Quick Compliance Issue Detection

Users may use AI to identify and notify them when crucial information, like signatures, is missing from contracts since it can accurately extract specific data from them. By monitoring and proactively addressing compliance needs with artificial intelligence and machine learning, AI compliance is streamlining the process of adhering to regulations.

For instance, the platform may be able to identify bills that haven't been paid on time based on contract due dates if it extracts data from documents stored in an organization's accounting software. Since suppliers aren't meeting the standards they promised to, compliance and governance negligence can be used as leverage in negotiations for better prices.

Complying with regulations is a never-ending effort, and they are continually changing across most industries. This is especially true for industries with strict regulations, like financial services (FS). The regulatory requirements for FS organizations have increased as a result of new rules like MiFID II and MAR, and initiatives like GDPR that have not yet been implemented will also have an impact on what is required to maintain compliance.

When you have AI working in the background, you can identify compliance terms and categorize them accordingly, flagging any pertinent dates and required action while ensuring that these terms are in line with any regulatory changes that may have occurred in the present day. The assessment and mitigation of risks are made more efficient by barely lifting a finger.

Contract Performance Analytics

Value leakage in contracts isn't always the consequence of carelessness or errors; sometimes the quantity or quality of goods or services bought was just not necessary. Automation Hero may instantly gain insight into how a contract with a specific vendor affected KPIs on market share, growth, and revenue and assist stakeholders in making a decision regarding a renewal by extracting data from any document. This kind of performance information makes the case for changing the order volume in the next contract.

Contract analytics are essential for staying on top of any legal agreements your business writes and signs. Even the most basic goods and services will be accompanied by a new set of legal agreements and contracts, thus creating contracts might be a daily chore for businesses. In order to simplify the procedure and reduce risk, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning are fundamentally altering contract administration.

Since they are so advantageous to businesses across all industries, analytics in contract management are becoming more and more common. It should be clear that this technology is essential to the success of your business when you consider the advantages of contract analytics technology and how competitors are utilizing it.

It is essential for businesses to use analytics technology in ever-competitive industries due to its many advantages. Contract analytics software significantly improves upon existing Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems by acting as an updated version of the basic CLM system. Contract analytics will help in the following aspects: 

Regardless of the amount at stake, negotiations can be time-consuming and difficult. AI contract management systems can assist users in streamlining the tedious duties that support fruitful dialogues and even better utilize priceless data.

Lexagle Provides AI-Driven Solutions

Lexagle can help you take control of your negotiations through the help of our AI-powered tools on the platform. You may track your data in real-time to identify any gaps that can be remedied in current and future contracts while automating repetitive tasks to free up your employees to do more revenue-generating activities. 

Contact us today to explore our solutions.

Automation In Negotiations:  The Contract Management Hack
Joy Cunanan
Joy is the Digital Transformation Manager at Lexagle. As a marketing professional in the Tech and B2B industry for over seven years, she is always on the lookout for the next best solution in the ever-changing online world. With a passion for helping businesses thrive and optimize operations, she shares her expertise in the power of contract lifecycle management and its capacity of easing the contracting process for busy organizations worldwide.

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