No one can argue against the critical role contracts play in sales. But here’s a lesser known fact: the power of contracts extends well beyond the final stages of an agreement when the ink is drying. When expertly managed, contracts have the power to help sales teams maximise the ongoing business value of the customer relationship.
Effective contract management enables sales professionals to ensure obligations that were originally agreed to in contracts are being met, and that all possible up-sell opportunities are being pursued fully. Despite this potential, many companies are still largely unaware of exactly what is lurking in their customer contracts, not to mention the hidden revenue opportunities they are missing out on.
Without effective contract management and analytics, standard business operations such as enforcing previously negotiated Retail Price Index increases can be missed and end up costing an organisation dearly.
There is no doubt that the use of automation in the workforce is on the rise. Software and systems now routinely automate repetitive parts of contract negotiation, execution and management. However, the latest technology goes much further than this, and for a very important reason: the data and intelligence aspects of contracts are truly capable of maximising the value of customer relationships and growing the business.
Having clear visibility into contracts as well as their contents – information on terms, conditions, obligations, incentives, products, pricing, limitations of usage and more – allows field teams to strategically assess account potential and determine how to best build upon the value of the relationship.
Another day spent negotiating the contract is another day with less revenue
The key to success in sales: good business done in a timely fashion. While sales targets and revenue expectations need to be met, they must be met within the guardrails of appropriate and regulated business practices.
Using the right contract discovery and analytics solutions, sales professionals can better understand how to prioritise their time when developing contracts and focus on the unique aspects as opposed to standard components and language used throughout.
Contract reviews become much more focused and solicitors can hone in on pre-executed redline agreements to identify non-standard or unfavourable terms, matching them against new contracts. This saves time and effort, benefitting both the business and the customer.
It is essential that renewal dates are easy to find, as this allows for added value by taking advantage of open opportunities. How? By planning ahead for negotiations, considering up-sell opportunities, and ultimately leading the way to potential revenue return.
With simple, searchable access to contracts, sales professionals can become better informed and respond more quickly to queries in relation to in-progress or historical customer relationships. It also ensures intelligence contained within the contracts is not lost, if and when sales people move on to the next job or transfer within the enterprise.
The rewards that contract discovery and analytics solutions offer to the sales team can be a huge help with revenue recognition, up-sell opportunities, forecasting and analysis, and more. It is set to play a bigger, more valuable role in assisting the sales function as more organisations embrace process automation in contracts. The time to start taking advantage of this technology – and reaping the benefits – is now.