Contract Collaboration Tips | Benefits, How to Use Cloud Collaboration Software & What to Include in Your Processes

Published:

Feb 27, 2024

In today's fast-paced business world, how you and your organisation handle your contracts has evolved significantly from just a few years ago.

Long gone are the days of cumbersome paper trails and disjointed internal and external communication.

Instead, the focus has now shifted towards contract collaboration. This modern, streamlined approach leverages technology to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of contract management.

Consequently, in this guide, you will find out the benefits this has, from improved internal- and external workflow efficiencies to cost savings, document security and legal risk mitigation.

Table of Contents

  1. Shift Occurring Away From Traditional Contracts

  2. Key Features of Cloud Contract Collaboration Software

  3. Benefits of Cloud Contract Collaboration Software

  4. 18 Critical Tips for Effective Contract Collaboration

  5. Good Contract Collaboration Case Studies

  6. Adoption of contract collaboration platforms

Shift Occurring Away From Traditional Contracts

Pocketlaw’s online contract collaboration platform represents a shift from traditional contract processes - which were often fragmented and time-consuming.

This new way of working instead involves various stakeholders working together in a unified digital platform to create, collaborate, store & manage contracts as a collective team.

The key here lies in its collaborative nature, enabling both the legal and commercial - along with other teams - to work in tandem, thus reducing your contract and legal bottlenecks and, in turn, improving your turnaround times.

Key Features of Cloud Contract Collaboration Software

Contract collaboration software, like the Pocketlaw online platform, has several key features to make you and your company's life easier. Some of these top features, for instance, can include:

☑ Simplified contract creation process, enabling faster drafting and easier management of all of your contracts.

☑ Automated legal contract templates and clauses help maintain consistency and compliance with legal standards, reducing the risk of errors.

☑ Real-time editing, commenting, and redlining capabilities allow multiple parties to collaborate efficiently on a single document - eliminating version control issues.

☑ A single storage repository for all your contracts makes it easy to store, search, and retrieve documents across the whole company - ensuring that the latest versions are always accessible.

☑ Pocketlaw’s contract collaboration platform offers you dashboard views and tracking features, such as metadata tagging, for you. This allows your key stakeholders, and your teams to get better oversight of the contract lifecycle stages and responsibilities, while never missing a contract renewal again.

☑ Advanced security features and that any should be ISO 27001 Certified. This helps to ensure they use state-of-the-art encryption and access controls and ensure the confidentiality and integrity of all your company's contract data.

Consider booking a free demo on how the platform works to find out more for yourself.

Benefits of Cloud Contract Collaboration Software

Pocketlaw's Contract Collaboration Software provides you with many benefits. Such as for instance:

Faster Contract Workflows

You can automate many of the contract drafting, negotiation, and signing processes.

All of this leads to faster contract workflows and often quicker sales and hiring cycles simultaneously.

Automated Task Management

Our task management tool is designed to streamline operations and enhance collaboration across your teams - ensuring that projects maintain speed and control even as they scale.

With seamless integration with the likes of Slack, it builds bridges between multiple teams, facilitating smooth and transparent communication.

This tool is essential in transforming legal operations into a more efficient experience, enabling opportunities to be efficiently facilitated while avoiding any potential friction. 

This empowerment is because it empowers your teams to collaborate easily, regardless of size, by removing obstacles and promoting clear, uninterrupted workflow.

Increased Visibility into Contracts

By centralising all your contract data in one place, we can give you more visibility into contracts occurring in multiple teams across your whole business at scale.

This allows you and your teams to track progress, monitor key dates, and quickly access critical information from all your contracts whenever needed.

Reduced Manual Administration

Pocketlaw’s contract collaboration software also helps automate repetitive tasks involved in contract management - reducing the need for lots of manual administration.

This includes everything from drafting to post-signature management tasks like data entry and contract monitoring.

This is so handy, in fact, that this allows your teams to effectively self-serve themselves while remaining inside your processes and on-brand to reduce the legal bottlenecks and back-and-forth that can come with more traditional workflows.

Enhanced Security

With secure cloud-based storage, encryption, and granular access controls, our contract management platform can ensure that your sensitive contract data is always protected - reducing the risk of data breaches or unauthorised access.

Improved Counterparty Experience

By simplifying and streamlining the contract negotiation process, we make it easier for both parties to collaborate and redline on legal contracts, leading to better relationships with your suppliers and customers.

Native eSignature Functionality

With the esigning ability, you get the quick and easy signing of contracts electronically, including mass-signing functionality, which can quickly unblock multiple teams and projects.

Detailed Audit Trails and Timelines

You do more than just get a data creation and storage platform at its core. Still, you can also run off detailed audit trails and analyse critical data such as timelines, for one, offering you and your managers visibility into the changes made to a contract throughout its lifecycle.

Automated Contract Reminders

The automated contract reminder features for signing and contract renewals also help ensure that critical deadlines are met, streamlining the entire process.

Automated Digital Contracting

With a Digital Contracting system (a cloud-based system that streamlines every step of the contract management lifecycle, from preparation to execution), you get automated contract generation, streamlined negotiations, and multiple signing options to name.

18 Critical Tips for Effective Contract Collaboration

There are many ways to be effective with your contract collaboration. Some of the top 18 tips, though, include:

1. Use Clear Language 

When it comes to contract writing, clarity is paramount. Consequently, using plain language in contracts to avoid ambiguity makes our number 1 spot.

This, for instance, can involve avoiding legal jargon and complex vocabulary, favouring plainer, everyday language for better understanding.

Contracts should be concise and direct, using an active voice to define responsibilities clearly. Furthermore, a well-structured document with logical headings, bullet points, and defined terms also enhances its readability.

All of this not only aids your customer but also other teams of critical stakeholders who are also working on the contract / sales process to avoid any misunderstanding from occurring.

2. Have Version Control in Place

Implementing a system for tracking different contract versions during negotiations is crucial.

This is because version control is a crucial aspect of contract collaboration - ensuring that all parties are working on the most current version of a document.

Consequently, as changes can occur, knowing who, when, and how they changed prevents confusion and overlap that can occur when multiple revisions are made.

By maintaining a history of changes, version control provides you with a clear audit trail - showcasing who made what changes and when.

This enhances your internal transparency and aids in efficient collaboration and dispute resolution - making it an indispensable tool in modern contract management.

3. Implementing Access Control

Access Control in contract collaboration platforms is crucial for maintaining confidentiality and data integrity. After all, you want only some people in your company to access every contract.

This feature allows you and your administrators to set permissions and control who can view, edit, or sign specific contracts.

By assigning roles and access levels, your organisation can ensure that only authorised stakeholders have access to sensitive contract information - minimising the risk of unauthorised alterations or, more importantly, data breaches in this day and age.

As a result, effective access control protects your sensitive contract details. It aligns with compliance standards while safeguarding the organisation against legal and security risks.

4. Have Audit Trails in Place

Audit trails in contract collaboration platforms are essential for maintaining transparency and accountability throughout the whole contract lifecycle.

For instance, they meticulously record every action taken on a document, including who made changes, what changes were made, and when these modifications occurred.

This detailed tracking enhances your security by preventing unauthorised alterations and simplifies the review process.

Furthermore, in the event of disputes or audits, these trails provide a clear, chronological history of the contract's evolution. All of which makes it easier to understand the decision-making processes and simultaneously ensure compliance with internal policies and external regulations.

5. Keep Contract Templates Up-to-date

Keeping your contract templates regularly updated ensures that all your contracts adhere to current laws, regulations, and industry standards - thereby minimising your legal risks.

Consequently, regularly revising your legal templates to reflect changes in legislation, corporate policies, or market conditions keeps your contracts relevant and enforceable.

This proactive approach helps maintain legal compliance and foster trust and clarity between contracting parties.

Updating contract templates and terms is essential for effective and secure contract management.

6. Ensure Strong Data Security

You should always ensure strong data security in your contract collaboration process, which is paramount to your company's edge and legal regulatory compliance.

For instance, this involves employing advanced encryption for:

  • Data at rest

  • Data in transit

  • Implementing rigorous access controls

  • Regularly auditing security protocols

Implementing these measures will further protect your sensitive contract information from unauthorised access and data breaches. Which in turn maintains confidentiality and compliance with legal and regulatory standards.

7. Compliance Checking Ability

Next on the list comes compliance checks in your contract collaboration process.

These checks ensure that all your contracts adhere to relevant legal standards and regulations.

For instance, by automating this process, the platform significantly reduces the risk of legal issues and non-compliance penalties from occurring. It also streamlines your contract approval processes simultaneously - as compliance can be verified quickly and accurately, ensuring that all contracts meet the necessary legal requirements before they are put into action.

8. Third-Party Integration Capabilities

Third-party integrations with your contract collaboration process are crucial for enhancing your business's functionality and streamlining workflows.

For instance, integrating with other business systems, like, for example, Salesforce, allows for seamless data transfer and process automation to co-occur.

This interconnectedness ensures that your contract data remains consistent and up-to-date across different systems, reducing the need for manual data entry and facilitating quicker decision-making. All of which leads to a more cohesive and efficient operating team.

9. Automatic Contract Reminders

Regarding contract collaboration, automatic reminders are a pivotal feature that significantly enhances your and your team's efficiency and compliance.

These reminders, for instance, can be set for various vital dates, such as contract renewals, deadlines, or milestones - ensuring that no critical actions are missed.

10. e-signature Legality Ability

Having the ability to e-sign legally is a critical aspect of contract collaboration. For example, this ensures that electronic signatures are recognised as legally binding and compliant with relevant laws.

Most countries have regulations, such as the eIDAS in the EU and the UETA & ESIGN Act in the US, that validate signatures, for instance.

Consequently, these laws typically stipulate that an e-signature is as legally binding as a traditional handwritten signature, provided it meets specific criteria like clear intent to sign and consent, along with the signatory's identity being verifiable.

Ensuring your eSignature legality is crucial for the enforceability of contracts and the smooth operation of digital transactions.

11. Ability to Have Customisable Contract Templates

Customisable contract templates are essential for contract collaboration; this is due to the fact that they can empower your teams to self-serve whilst maintaining control with predefined legal boundaries. While simultaneously helping to ensure your legal teams have more capacity for more high-value work than prior.

Consequently, they can be seen more as a game-changer when compared to traditional contract workflows.

This way of working is seen as a game changer, for instance, as they finally implement efficiency and consistency in your contract management process.

These templates, for instance, can allow your teams to quickly generate contracts without starting from scratch - simultaneously ensuring uniformity and adherence to legal standards.

By using conditional logic, templates can automatically adjust clauses based on specific contract details, minimising errors and enhancing your compliance simultaneously.

12. Use A Platform That Has a Simple User Interface, is Intuitive Easy to Use

When it comes to contract collaboration, ensuring all users understand the process and the platform's features and abilities is vital for effective team collaboration.

Consequently, user training makes our list in contract collaboration as this is essential for maximising the team's potential.

13. Implementing Feedback Mechanisms

Incorporating feedback mechanisms into your contract collaboration process is crucial for continuous improvement.

These mechanisms enable your team to provide real-time feedback on their experience, raise issues, or add comments to highlight areas of strength and identify potential areas for enhancement.

By systematically gathering and analysing your team's feedback, you can make informed decisions about your contracts and templates moving forward.

14. Easy Document Formatting Ability

As part of your process, having the ability for your team to format the document in an accessible format aids heavily in the collaboration process and, consequently, makes our list.

Easy document formatting, for example, can streamline the process of creating and modifying your contracts.

This needs to be user-friendly with customisable templates, allowing for quick adjustments to layouts, styles, and formatting - without affecting the brand elements or changing the main focus of the contract to no longer align with your business.

This feature enhances the visual appeal of your documents and ensures consistency across all your contracts simultaneously.

As a result, by simplifying the formatting process, your users can focus more on the content - leading to more efficient contract drafting and review.

This efficiency is especially crucial in fast-paced business environments where time and clarity are of the essence.

15. Facilitate multi-party collaboration

Having the ability to facilitate multi-party collaboration in the contract collaboration process allows you, various stakeholders, and third-party providers to work together seamlessly on a contract.

Having this ability, for instance, enables different parties to edit, comment, and negotiate in real-time, all within a single, unified digital environment.

It, therefore, streamlines the contract development process, reducing miscommunication and delays typically occurring when multiple contract versions circulate among different teams or parties.

Providing a centralised platform for contract creation and review ensures consistency and transparency, allowing all involved parties to stay updated and aligned throughout the contract lifecycle.

16. Encourage Clear Dispute Resolution Clauses

Contracts should offer dispute resolution clauses in contracts. They are essential for predefining how potential disagreements will be managed.

Before resorting to litigation, these clauses typically outline the steps for resolving disputes, which may include negotiation, mediation, or arbitration.

Consequently, by encouraging these procedures, parties can resolve conflicts more efficiently and cost-effectively - often avoiding the time and expense of court proceedings.

Importantly, these clauses offer you and your partners a structured approach to dispute management, ensuring that both parties clearly understand the process - which can help maintain your business relationships - even amidst disagreements - long into the future.

17. Implement A Secure Archiving System

When it comes to effective contract collaboration, implementing a robust archiving system, or data room, comes in at tip 17 and is a crucial feature of good contract collaboration platforms.

For instance, this feature is a secure repository for storing finalised contracts, ensuring they are easily retrievable for future reference, audits, or legal compliance.

Consequently, a good contract archiving system not only safeguards the confidentiality and integrity of the contracts but also provides organised, chronological storage simultaneously - making it simple to track the history and evolution of your company's contractual agreements.

Furthermore, it is really important that the platform you use has excellent functionality for folder and document structure. This then allows you to save easily and find your documents with ease. 

Also that access levels and permissions can be set on both document and folder level.

By streamlining the retrieval process simultaneously, an archiving system significantly reduces the time and effort required to access historical contract data when needed for the business - thereby enhancing your overall operational efficiency and legal readiness.

18. Provide the Ability for Contract Analytics, Metadate Tagging & Insights

Lastly, collaborating on contracts would only be complete if we talk about contract Analytics and how much of an important role they play for you and your team.

As a result, this is a pivotal feature in modern contract management, offering businesses deep insights into your contract performance and trends.

By analysing data from various contracts at scale, your organisation can identify standard clauses, track compliance, and assess risk exposure.

This analytical approach enhances your decision-making and highlights areas for improvement in your contract drafting and negotiation stages.

Furthermore, it allows for monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), ensuring alignment with your business objectives and helping to optimise contract terms for future agreements.

In essence, contract analytics transforms raw contract data into strategic business intelligence, allowing you to improve moving forward.

Consider booking a free demo on how the Pocketlaw platform works for Contract Collaboration to find out more for yourself.

Good Contract Collaboration Case Studies

A couple of great case studies on good contract collaboration can include, for instance:

Good Contact Collaboration At Nicks

Nicks is a company that manufactures and sells snacking products, everything from ice cream to protein bars to confectionary bars. The challenges we face here at Nicks, while we have grown so fast from a business and an organisational perspective, have been to ensure that we keep up to date with the latest from a legal and HR standpoint.

The process today with Pocketlaw has meant that we could automatise a lot of flows and a lot of contractual work; this has led to fewer errors for us; we have definitely saved both money and time because the platform is so intuitive that it's very easy for me to hand out accesses to the employees and for them to go in and handle their own matters by themselves.

Good Contact Collaboration At Teya (Formerly SaltPay)

With great contract collaboration at Teya, they saw:

"Initially, much of the legal work was focused on M&A activities. As Teya grew, so did their legal needs. The legal team could no longer spend hours going back and forth on low-complexity and low-value contract negotiations. It was clear that the legal team was not spending their time effectively. Teya needed a centralised system and a standardised approach to contract drafting, management, and storage. Recognising the need for a comprehensive legal management solution, Teya adopted Pocketlaw to address its challenges and improve efficiency."

Adoption of contract collaboration platforms

The adoption of contract collaboration platforms, like Pocketlaw, is driven by the need for speed, accuracy, and transparency in contract management.

Browser-based Contract Editing & Redlining

For instance, our platform offers features such as browser-based editing and Redlining of our contract collaboration software, automated contract templates, and real-time commenting, which not only streamline the contract creation process but also ensure all parties are on the same page.

Faster Contract Workflows

Furthermore, this platform significantly enhances your visibility into the contract lifecycle, offering benefits like faster contract workflows, reduced manual administration, and heightened security than ever before.

Automating Routine Tasks

By automating routine tasks and providing a central repository for all your contract-related data, our tools reduce the risk of errors and oversights while ensuring compliance and facilitating better decision-making within your business.

Contract Collaboration Overall

In essence, contract collaboration is not just about technology; it's about transforming the contract process into a strategic, efficient, and collaborative operation that aligns with the dynamic needs of your business in the modern era.

Consequently, these tips ensure that your contract collaboration process is efficient, user-friendly, legally sound, and secure. Furthermore, they can be adapted and expanded upon depending on our platform's specific features and capabilities.

Consider booking a free demo on how the Pocketlaw platform works for Contract Collaboration to find out more for yourself.

Disclaimer:
Please note: Pocketlaw is not a substitute for an attorney or law firm. So, should you have any legal questions on the content of this page, please get in touch with a qualified legal professional.

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