Building a Business Case for Contract Management Software: Be the Unexpected Salesperson!
Everyone’s a salesperson when trying to explain the benefit of new technology to key stakeholders and those who will ultimately back the implementation project.
It is very difficult at most companies to fund new projects, so hedging your bets early on with a rock-solid business case that outlines CLM best practices, pointing out benefits that are particularly pertinent to your company’s needs, is critical to getting project support. Here are a few key points to keep in mind as you being constructing your “sales pitch.”
Show enterprise-wide applicability
A CLM deployment that is departmentally focused could shortchange your company out of the maximum benefit that contract management can provide. Taking a holistic view of how your entire organization interacts with contracts can save your company time and money, and prevent contract processes from becoming fragmented with different homegrown contract solutions in each department. Your entire organization is impacted by contract processes, so in your business case, delineate the benefits of CLM for the company as a whole and get input from everyone impacted by the new initiative. Your project is more likely to be funded when there are more voices speaking in support of the cause.
Align business case ROI with your level of commitment
Take a step back and analyze where your company is at in its journey, and where you hope to go in your business case. How much budget can you invest in a CLM solution? What are the key contract process problems you need to solve? What primary goals do you expect to achieve with a CLM solution? Set the right expectations and use the most applicable metrics to outline how CLM will be able to impact your organization specifically based on your company’s level of commitment.
Identify specific capabilities that achieve your business goals
If you say that your goal is to cut sales cycle time, but the majority of your RFP speaks about a central repository, it will be a clear indication that your business goals and desired capabilities are not parallel. Matching your goals to necessary capabilities early in the CLM selection process will build your credibility for your business case and show a well-thought-out plan, as well as ensure that you’re picking the right CLM tools for your company.
Leverage solution experts early in the process
Challenge solution experts to tell you exactly how their solution will help you achieve your goals. Doing so will not only help you fill out your business case with critical information, but will also save steps later in the vendor selection process. Organizations such as the IACCM also have a comprehensive body of resources available for you to pull information and statistics to fortify your business case.
Compliment your ROI data with real-life “problem” vignettes
Just about every company has specific incidents forever engraved in their minds that call out the need for a solution. While being careful not to overload your business case with negative recollections, don’t be afraid to reference the incidents that best illustrate the business pains you are planning to remedy with CLM.
Consider the big BIG picture
Can your organization benefit from connecting other processes (CRM, configure-price-quote, etc.) with your contracts? A selling point for the value of investing in CLM is thinking about how it might ripple out and make other processes better for sales, finance, and legal.
Want more information on contract lifecycle management solutions? Download our Top 10 Contract Lifecycle Management Comparison Report or check out our Contract Management Research Center page.