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What is Contract Lifecycle Management Software?

Contract lifecyle management (CLM) software helps to organize the meticulous and complex contractual negotiation process between buyers and suppliers. These apps typically manage the entire contract lifecycle, from initial request for proposal (RFP) to later re-negotiations. Users can get full control of the contractual procedure which minimizes supplier risk, and also helps them obtain deep insight into contracts, which creates more negotiation opportunities and boosts cash flow. Show moreCLM software systems range from applications that exclusively manage vendor contracts to robust suites that include bidding, sourcing, and procurement features. These solutions can seamlessly integrate with enterprise resourcing planning (ERP), supply chain, and accounting systems. Start by checking our leader ContractWorks, and other recommended solutions in this category.Show less

How was this ranking made?

To prepare this list of best Contract Lifecycle Management Software we have analyzed 98 different systems currently available on the market, studying their features, ease of implementation, client service, available integrations and mobile device support with our exclusive SmartScoreTM rating algorithm. This ranking has been prepared by Nestor Gilbert, our software authority responsible for the Contract Lifecycle Management Software category.

List of Top 12 Contract Lifecycle Management Software

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1. ManageEngine ServiceDesk

Our score: 8.7 User satisfaction: 100%

ManageEngine ServiceDesk is an integrated help desk solution offering asset and project management built on the ITIL framework. It is packed with robust tools and features to help users achieve total visibility of the entire IT infrastructure, enabling better management and quicker response to address identified issues.

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2. SAP Ariba

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 100%

SAP Ariba is a cloud-based procurement platform that enables businesses to connect to their trading partners anywhere, at any time from any application or device. It includes a robust contract management module that makes it easy to manage procurements, sales, internal agreements, and IPs. It streamlines the entire lifecycle from initiation to renewal.

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3. IBM Emptoris

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 100%

Emptoris covers all stages of the contract lifecycle from creation, execution and discovery through renewals, renegotiation, and performance monitoring. With this, you can facilitate better business transactions and foster stronger relationships with your clients.

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4. ContractWorks

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 96%

ContractWorks is the easiest, most secure contract management software, complete with unlimited users, unlimited contracts, and low flat-fee pricing. It leverages artificial intelligence to help companies use less time, smaller budgets, and fewer people when processing contracts. It includes a secure contract repository, document tagging, e-signature, and much more.

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5. Coupa

Our score: 8.8 User satisfaction: 98%

Coupa is a spend management platform that provides a suite of cloud applications for finance, including procurement, expense management, and accounts payable. It incorporates various functionalities such as spend analysis, contract management, supplier management, strategic sourcing, invoicing, procurement, and much more.

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6. Accelo

Our score: 8.6 User satisfaction:

Accelo is a cloud-based software that combines simple and powerful tools for professional services for businesses. It automates various processes to increase productivity and profitability. It comes with tools for sales, projects, services, retainers, and servops. The platform also integrates with many third-party apps such as G Suite, Office 365, Xero, Quickbooks, and more.

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7. Concord

Our score: 8.6 User satisfaction:

Concord is a contract management solutions provider that enables companies to streamline their contract lifecycle management processes. It makes it easy to collaborate on all your contracts, which increases productivity. You can easily create, update, edit, and manage contracts in one place. It also includes an e-signature tool.

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8. SAP Sourcing CLM

Our score: 8.5 User satisfaction: 100%

SAP Sourcing CLM is a platform that works on ensuring process visibility and compliance in contract management. Available for on-premise and cloud-hosted deployment, it comes equipped with features for file documentation, auctions hosting, compliance management, and more.

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9. Octiv

Our score: 8.4 User satisfaction: 75%

Octiv is a provider of a sales productivity platform that drives for efficient process work that empowers teams and businesses. It offers a wide range of CLM functionalities ranging from document generation and localization to e-signature support and real-time reporting.

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10. SpringCM

Our score: 8.3 User satisfaction: 98%

SpringCM is a simple yet intuitive software tool that helps companies of different sizes close deals faster by automating the biggest bottleneck in your sales cycle: the contract management process. It provides tools for workflow automation, document organization, collaborative editing, and mobile document access.

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11. Cobblestone Software

Our score: 8.0 User satisfaction: 100%

Cobblestone Software provides enterprise contract lifecycle management software that helps businesses to successfully manage the entire lifecycle of their contracts.

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12. Apttus Contract Management

Our score: 8.0 User satisfaction: 100%

A world-leading solution when it comes to contract life-cycle management.

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Contract Lifecycle Management Software Guide

Table of contents

Contract lifecycle management tools (CLM) help you to manage the entire contract lifecycle from the initial proposal stage to later re-negotiations. However, how do you select the best contract lifecycle management tools for your needs from the scores of good quality platforms out there? This buyer’s guide helps you by detailing the list of features to look for and the factors to consider while doing informed comparisons to select a high-quality CLM software solution.

Get to Know Each Product with Free Trial

The best way to start your search is by registering for the free trials or demo offered by leading contract lifecycle management software providers. This will enable you to test drive each app’s features free of cost, do a comparison, and understand whether it is the best contract lifecycle management software solution for small business. You can begin by finding out whether the following popular CLM platforms offer a free trial: SpringCMOctivAgiloftAccelo, and Concord. These tools have received high rankings in our contract lifecycle management software reviews.

Targeted Businesses

CLM software is typically used by the following professionals:

  • Attorneys
  • Paralegals
  • Procurement professionals
  • Sales operations professionals

What are Examples of Contract Lifecycle Management Software?

  • SpringCM: SpringCM’s contract management software transforms the contract review process. It automates the contract process to reduce the sales cycle, enhance productivity, and boost revenue.
  • Octiv: Octiv’s logic-based workflows help streamline the creation and distribution of contracts, quotes, proposals, and presentations. Teams spend less time creating proposals, contracts, and presentations, and more time selling.
  • Agiloft: Streamline your approval process, enhance revenue, and reduce risk with Agiloft. You can use the app to negotiate, generate, and manage contracts with ease.
  • Accelo: Better billing and contract management. Get paid faster for your professional service and support. Accelo streamlines your support with automation and time-saving tools.
  • Concord: It is used by more than 30,000 small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies. Features include compliance, contract management, online negotiation, centralized database, and unlimited e-signatures.

Types of Contract Lifecycle Management Software

Contract lifecycle management tools  typically support a range of contract types including:

  • Vendor contracts
  • Employment agreements
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
  • Enterprise contracts
  • Procurement contracts
  • Sales contracts

Key Features of Contract Lifecycle Management Software

  • Compliance assurance – CLM software offers process automation for ensuring the compliance of contractual negotiations comply with existing laws. You can add additional industry-specific and company compliance protocols as needed.
  • Contract generation & process automation – Users can readily use custom templates to create new contracts, which can be easily exported to MS Word and other document apps. Plus, new contracts can be automatically created using the user’s pre-defined process.
  • Approval administration – The entire contract approval process involves numerous individuals. This software notifies the next person who must provide approval of the contract. This greatly hastens the whole approval workflow.
  • Alerts and notifications – You can create notification criteria to automate alerts for contract expiration and renewal dates, and for other opportunities for renegotiations. You can get alerts within the solution or have them sent to your email account.
  • Creating ad-hoc reports – You can use reporting features to find more opportunities to enhance contractual terms. Plus, you can generate reports based on specific contracts or general search queries.
  • Integration with ERP and accounting systems – Good quality CLM apps integrate smoothly with ERP and accounting platforms to help ensure cash flow data accuracy and financial forecasting efficiency.
  • e-signature – Working remotely is now becoming common. As such, e-signatures are necessary when clients and professionals are not able to meet in person due to geographic and other restrictions. These tools come with their own security layers to ensure authenticity.

Benefits of Contract Lifecycle Management Software

Boosts efficiency

With CLM software, you don’t have to click through multiple screens to search for a vendor contract. Plus, you will not end up misplacing a contract saved on your computer. The CLM software stores all your contracts conveniently in one place, which makes it simple to locate and manage them. You can use easy search features and simple keywords to find contracts which can help you save time and use it for productive work.

Reduces risk

CLM software can help to minimize risk as they enable proactive compliance management and easy auditing. You can use reporting and automation features to evaluate the performance of contracts and to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Cloud software vendors offer dedicated encryption, access, and permissions features you can use to ensure only authorized persons get to view your contracts.

Saves money and time

Time is money in any industry. CLM software helps you save time as you can find and manage contracts easily. Plus, you can also monitor milestone dates effectively. All this can boost your efficiency and productivity. Thus, the money you invest in the software is repaid many times over by the various benefits it offers.

Automate the contract lifecycle

The entire contract lifecycle involves a lot of repetitive processes. Automating many parts of the workflow opens up your schedule to accept more clients and accomplish important work. It also reduces the risks of human error and improves compliance.

Enhanced efficiency

Emerging technologies in CLM software are helping to create synergy between the different business units of a company as they can learn the contractual obligations of the firm. The new systems provide info that can be customized for specific companies and industries. They can offer even advanced fields of info such as the contracting parties, limited liability, indemnification, expenses, obligations, venue or jurisdiction and more. This information is useful particularly in the post-execution phase of contracts and these new technologies are helping to boost an organization’s efficiency.

Intuitive and user-friendly method

The new technologies are simplifying the contracting process by using an intuitive and user-friendly method to filter strategic info. These technologies are helping business analysts to better understand the relationship models and terms of the contracting process. This helps analysts to offer more simplified and accessible contracts. The new technologies also help to make contract drafting more efficient.  

Potential Issues

Excluding stakeholders from the selection process

You should ensure to include all important stakeholders in your company in the software selection and usage process. Ask them all to attend a product demo and inform them about the benefits of the CLM system. Bring all the important parties on board to ensure there are no problems later on in the implementation and usage of the software.

Rushed implementation

Do not attempt a big bang implementation which may backfire. Rather, implement the CLM software in stages. Use a phased and gradual approach, and segment the process. Take feedback from users after a stage and use it to improve the implementation in the next stage.

Do not leave it to the vendor

Do not leave the entire implementation process to the vendor. You need to customize the CLM system for your company’s unique needs. While smaller businesses can do with a basic CLM solution, larger enterprises typically use different way to administer and monitor their contracts. So they need more customization to ensure the software fits their greater needs.

How to Manage a Contract Lifecycle Using Business Tools

Modern contract lifecycle management platforms include various business tools to provide a centralized solution to your daily operation.

Creating contracts and related documents can be done right on the platform. Most solutions now include rich-text editing, formatting, and document management. Some apps may even include drag-and-drop interfaces, which make it easy to create branded content.

Processing such contracts is now much easier as contract lifecycle management applications allow collaboration. You can invite stakeholders to access a contract with varying permissions based on their roles. Some even allow you and your team to chat, comment, and annotate various parts of a contract.

At the end of a successful contract development process is the signing. Luckily, there is no need to mail hard copies in order for your clients to sign the contract. Esignature tools are integrated into the solution itself. Some even automatically email clients where they are notified when the contract is ready for signing.

Smart Contracts Using Blockchain

While modern contract lifecycle management software includes security layers, they still need third-party services to protect sensitive information. Fortunately, smart contracts are now being developed to create a robust and secure system.

It leverages blockchain technology. Blockchain is a distributed system that provides an immutable foundation to create a more secure and stable system. Every action in the blockchain becomes a digital transaction that is stored across a worldwide network along with a unique cryptographic signature. These transactions cannot be deleted or modified, which effectively secures the entire system.

Smart contracts can be built on top of the blockchain, where protocols can be created, verified, and enforced without the need for a third-party. Contract clauses can be agreed upon and entered into the system. These can be self-executing and self-enforcing. Since the underlying system is secure, many parts of smart contracts can be automated with minimal security risks.

List of Contract Lifecycle Management Software Companies

Order by:

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  • Newest
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  • User Score
Product name:
Category:
Smart Score:
Price:
User Satisf.
User reviews:
ContraxAware reviews

ContraxAware

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
$500
95%
Onware reviews

Onware

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
6.5
By quote
100%
Ironclad reviews

Ironclad

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
7.9
By quote
96%
intelligentcontract reviews

intelligentcontract

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
$49
-
Ultria CLM reviews

Ultria CLM

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
By quote
100%
A1 Tracker reviews

A1 Tracker

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
By quote
100%
Outlaw reviews

Outlaw

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
by quote
98%
Apttus Contract Management reviews

Apttus Contract Management

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
By quote
100%
ZenQMS reviews

ZenQMS

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
6.9
$250
-
CTM eContracts reviews

CTM eContracts

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
$28
-
Accordium reviews

Accordium

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
by quote
100%
CMx Contract Experience reviews

CMx Contract Experience

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
$99
100%
ISETIA reviews

ISETIA

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
by quote
100%
eContractHub reviews

eContractHub

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
$99
-
Revvy Contract Management reviews

Revvy Contract Management

Contract Lifecycle Management Software
8.0
by quote
100%

Things to consider when you invest in a SaaS

SaaS software offers many advantages such as simple setup, access, and integration as well as data security. To select the perfect platform for your requirements, you need to do your research thoroughly. To start, begin with the following suggestions to consider and evaluate the various products:

Know your needs: First, be certain about your organization’s needs and requirements. Why do you need to invest in a SaaS system? What tasks and goals do you intend to achieve with the system? If you are clear about your requirements, you can easily find a suitable app that fulfills them.

Compare features and price: Make a shortlist of SaaS products that offer the features you need and are within your budget. Read online reviews of the shortlisted programs to get an idea of what each one offers.

Use the free trial and extend it if necessary: Subscribe to the free trials of the shortlisted platforms and check out their tools firsthand. This will help you to understand if the system offers what you need to enhance your company’s competence and productivity. Ask for an extension of the free trial if the time is too short to learn about the program’s effectiveness.

Talk to the vendor: Finally, talk to each provider about the assistance and support they can offer. Try to negotiate the cost and get discounts. Ask about the training and consultation they offer to assist you to use the system efficiently.

Frequently asked questions about Contract Lifecycle Management Software

What is the best contract lifecycle management software?

The best contract lifecycle management software is ManageEngine ServiceDesk. It combines powerful features to create an enterprise-level solution for many business processes. It was designed around best practices in ITSM, smart automation, integration, and customization.

One of its features is contract management, where you can centralize your entire contract lifecycle. It streamlines all processes while improving visibility and control. You can create primary contracts and establish a parent-child relationship with related sub-contracts. This functionality makes it easy to manage complicated agreements.

The platform also ensures that you will not miss anything important. You can set-up a trigger when a contract expires so you can renew them on time. The notifications can be customized, so only relevant stakeholders receive them. Additionally, you can view a history of past contracts, organized contracts, standardize your entire workflow, and more.

What are the benefits of contract lifecycle management software?

Businesses often have to juggle contracts that need monitoring. As such, it is important to use platforms such as contract lifecycle applications to make things significantly easier. Here are some of its benefits:

  • Standardized workflow. Having a dedicated platform for your contracts ensures that you have a consistent workflow. Each step can be managed using the same tools. Additionally, transitions from one phase to another are streamlined.
  • Minimizing manual tasks. Aside from automating repetitive tasks, platforms are using advanced technology to aid the development and processing of contracts. Some can auto-generate contracts based on the agreements. Notifications and approvals are also done quickly in most systems.
  • Increased collaboration. Working together with clients and stakeholders is easier with a contract lifecycle management system. You can assign roles to users along with respective permissions. As such, you can control their access to the contract.
What are the features of contract lifecycle management software?

Contract lifecycle management applications often include features that allow you to manage various parts of your business. However, they should include the following primary functionalities:

  • Contract and document repository. Documents and related content are produced on the fly during the entire lifecycle of the contract. As such, there should be a system in place, which makes it easy to create, edit, update, and organize files and other data.
  • Workflow management. The increased collaborative capabilities of most platforms mean you have full control of the entire process, including the roles of stakeholders. The software should allow you to define a workflow for each contract for easy monitoring of the entire lifecycle.
  • Reporting and analysis. You should be able to generate reports easily based on the collected data about the contracts. Having a big-picture view should provide valuable insights into the status of your contracts. It should also show you opportunities and issues so you can make data-driven decisions.
What is the easiest contract lifecycle management software to use?

A contract’s lifecycle is complicated in itself. That is why the platform used to handle such business operations should be intuitive and user-friendly. Here are some of them:

  • ManageEngine ServiceDesk. The IT help desk software is one of the most fully-featured options in the market with its numerous modules and functionalities. However, by following the existing best practices and ITSM, smart automation, and codeless customizations, it is one of the most usable platforms out there.
  • SAP Ariba. The software consolidates all contracts and spending processes from its early phases to the last stages. As such, all functionalities flow from one feature to another. Its solid core features are flexible and configurable to fit your existing workflow.
  • ContractWorks. The application provides a simple and customizable contract management solution that you can implement in minutes. It is easy to understand its functionalities, such as document tagging, OCR, reporting, notifications, and more.
What is a good free contract lifecycle management software?

A full-suite contract lifecycle management software is often too expensive for solopreneurs or startup. Fortunately, free options are available in the market, such as:

  • Agiloft. The service provider offers a free trial plan that is limited to five users. It includes contract authoring, contract comparison, templates, and more. You can also use integrations such as DocuSign or Adobe Sign.
  • Tradogram. The procurement software includes a powerful contract management module, among others. It is also a part of the free features that are limited to one user. You have access to additional functionalities such as project management, inventory management, expense management, and more.
Nestor Gilbert

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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