Top 3 Office 365 Features to Accelerate Contract Lifecycle Management

Contract lifecycle management (CLM) software is a must-have tool for legal, procurement, and sales teams... but investing in an entire platform is often expensive and failure prone. Instead, explore these freely available Office 365 apps and launch a minimum viable CLM at a fraction of the cost and effort.

Top 3 Office 365 Features to Accelerate Contract Lifecycle Management
Written by
Insights Team

Contract lifecycle management (CLM) software is a must-have tool for legal, procurement, and sales teams.

The costs associated with poor contract management are steep. On average, managing a contract costs $6,900, and it can cost up to $49,000 to manage more complex contracts.

The more complex a contract, the more room for error, and the more opportunities for you to pay way more than you need to on contract management. Plus, tracking a contract’s lifecycle reduces risk, improves productivity, and helps maximize a contract’s value.

That’s why modern firms and organizations use CLM software to manage their contracts every step of the way. However, the challenge with the CLM is the high up front cost, and more recently, failure rates in implementation.

The good news is that you don’t need to shell out more budget on software that manages the lifecycle. If you already have Office 365, you might have all the tools you need for effective CLM that you can use to streamline your contracts to benefit your bottom line.

3 Crucial Office 365 Tools to Use for CLM

Office 365 has over 25 tools that can help with various business processes. Fortunately, you don’t need to use all of them simultaneously to benefit your contract lifecycle management.

Instead, start with the basics. Here’s how the three underutilized Office 365 tools of Microsoft Forms, Microsoft Lists, and Microsoft Power Automate are complete game-changers for CLM.

Microsoft Forms for Contract Intake Workflow

You can easily implement contract intake from your business clients using Microsoft Forms. Get information such as contract requests, approvals, intake, and more.

Many companies use Microsoft Forms for surveys and quizzes. The great thing is that you can use these capabilities to get essential information from clients that you can use to manage the contract lifecycle.

You have a few options for creating questions in Microsoft Forms:

  • Choice: This is a multiple-choice option, which lets a user select one answer from a series of response options.
  • Text: This free-form response option allows users to craft a multi-word response to your question.
  • Rating: This option lets users give a rating on a scale of 1 – 5 stars.
  • Date: This is a date input, which lets the user input a specific date.
  • Branching Logic: Create responses dependent on answers (e.g., business unit)

Once you have the questions ready, you can format your Form using a pre-designed theme or adding your own image. This makes it easy to brand your form using your company’s logo and style guide.

After sending the form to your client(s), Microsoft Forms will collect them all in one accessible location. You can download the form responses using Excel to get a spreadsheet with all your requested information.

Microsoft Lists for Triaging Requests and Tracking Renewals

This new feature from Office 365 makes it easy for teams to visualize and track your contract request workflow. It can help legal manage the workflow and repository with out-of-the-box reminders that ensure all relevant stakeholders are alerted when a contract requires their attention including expiring contracts.

Microsoft List has templates you can use to get started, or you can import your own list. The existing templates include:

  • Issue tracker
  • Employee onboarding
  • Event itinerary
  • Asset manager
  • Recruitment tracker
  • Travel requests
  • Work progress tracker
  • Content scheduler
  • Gift ideas
  • Expense tracker

For CLM, a work progress tracker may be the most helpful template. It allows you to track progress and priorities as you and your team work on delivering a contract. In some cases, we recommend two lists to manage your contracts:

  • Contract Workflow to triage requests for review, drafting, and negotiation
  • Contract Repository to track signed contracts, expiration dates, and automatic renewal

You can create work items and add descriptions, categories, and a progress chart. You can also list different priorities so everyone knows which steps are the most critical.

Power Automate for Integrating Apps and Processes

Finally, Power Automate adds a touch of automation to your workflow, which saves everyone time and ensures that critical steps don’t get overlooked.

Microsoft Power Automate is a tool that lets you create a flow for Microsoft Forms and other apps including DocJuris. Use that flow to perform specific tasks after an event triggers them automatically. For example, with contracts, Power Automate can help you facilitate renewals and integration with e-signature, or automatic routing to products like DocJuris to facilitate automatic inspection against a playbook.

It’s relatively easy to set up Power Automate, and there are many ways to customize it. All you need to do is create an automated flow that gets triggered automatically by a chosen form. Use an existing form or create a new one based on what automation you want to set up.

Need a Better Way to Manage Contracts? Try DocJuris

Contract management software from DocJuris is another game-changer for CLM. Best of all, it can integrate with your existing software to streamline the process of contract management.

Learn how you can use it to improve your workflow and keep all stakeholders on the same page by booking a demo today.

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