The best way to explain contract management software to your boss
It’s not easy convincing upper management of the need to buy yet another “labor saving” piece of software. We know.
But if you’ve been doing your homework on a solution such as Contract Assistant, you may have convinced yourself that a database for contracts is a good idea. You are probably more than convinced if it’s your job managing an unorganized, ad-hoc collection of contract files.
This blog has written about making the case for contract management software (see list below), but the other day we heard a great analogy. Try this explanation next time you get a skeptical response from your boss about the need for a contract management solution.
Ask your boss if it would be OK if you printed out half of their email inbox – and filed the printouts in the department they originated from. If your boss hasn’t lunged over the desk, feel free to continue with the analogy.
The other half you’d like to store electronically, in different formats (Word, PDFs, Excel sheets) and scatter throughout a few folders on their computer’s desktop. Or, better yet; store one-quarter of those electronic versions on other people’ computers (and nested within folders-in-other-folders).
“Would that be OK?” you can ask your boss. Assuming security isn’t called to escort you from the building, you may have helped frame the issue a little differently.
Of course you wouldn’t consider parsing your email inbox to half the company – but that’s what you do when you don’t have a central database for contracts. A company email inbox is a central repository of key information, available with a few clicks, and searchable – and safely stored (one hopes) for future reference. That’s exactly what a contract database does (and what contract management software is for) and why it’s so handy, functional and why it vastly improves productivity on contract work.
For medium and large enterprises especially, the idea of an unorganized collection of contracts should be as horrifying as going back to inter-office memos written (on paper!) for communication instead of email.
A contract management solution can bring your company up to speed, and hopefully up to the 21st century way of doing things.
If the idea of making this analogy to your boss sounds a bit daring, try directing your boss’s attention to these other blogs that help make the case:
- 10 quick facts about contract management software
- Top ten contract management practices for large enterprises
- 3 terrible ways to spend your time on contracts
- Contract Assistant ranks among Top 3 contract management solutions
- Contract management: The ‘missing piece’ of the best-practices puzzle?
- Make-goods: A sure sign your company needs contract management
- Five quick benefits from the contract management process
[About the author: Todd Hyten is a former business journalist who now writes about B2B topics and consults on content marketing. You can find him on Twitter and Google+.]