Microsoft and Contract Management: Connect Sales and Legal Systems for Positive Gains

As the leading developer of contract lifecycle management software (CLM) for Microsoft customers, many users within our customer base are responsible for drafting, negotiating, executing, and managing contracts in support of their sales teams. At the same time, many of these sales teams use Microsoft Dynamics as their CRM, or Customer Relationship Management application. It’s reasonable to think that in many cases, the CLM and CRM applications are purchased by separate stakeholders to solve different problems. This might explain why integrating these systems is sometimes an afterthought.

This post will discuss 6 ways sales and legal often benefit by integrating contract management software with Microsoft Dynamics 365. While the CRM application discussed in this blog post is Dynamics 365, the examples can easily apply to nearly any CRM capable of supporting enterprise-level integration scenarios.

6 Benefits of integrating Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Contract Management 

1. Improved Visibility and Communication

As deals advance through the sales cycle, it is important for relevant information to be accessible to sales leaders and other internal stakeholders. The current state of a contract in an approval workflow or in the process of being negotiated is often considered high-value information in the later stages of closing a deal. By integrating these applications, stakeholders can be proactively alerted by the system as milestones are achieved or things go off track.

2. Increased Productivity

A recent survey conducted by BusinessWire reports that the average number of apps used by the modern worker is 9.39. Also reported in the findings is that 67 percent of respondents believe it would be easier to focus on work if important information from all of their apps appeared in a single window. There are quite a few more findings in this survey that suggest that employee efficiency, agility, accuracy, and performance suffer when more applications are required to perform normal business functions.

A contract management software/CRM integration exposes contract data, contract documents and self-service request functionality within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 user interface, allowing sales reps to operate within their primary application of choice for all contract-related tasks, updates, and contract requests.

3. Shorter Sales Cycles

Building on the topic mentioned in the previous section, self-service contract requests and automated contract drafting can drastically reduce the time it takes to request and draft a contract and ultimately get it into the hands of the prospect or customer. Minutes, hours, or days saved on the front end of this process can mean the difference between meeting sales quota or not.

By integrating contract management software with your CRM applications, the sales rep can initiate a contract request at the press of a button within Dynamics 365. This action can send a request to the legal team to begin drafting the contract, or the document can be automatically assembled and made available for the sales rep in a matter of seconds.

4. Improved Contract Compliance

Most business contracts have obligations that need to be met in order to maintain compliance. These obligations are often contained deep in the legal language of a contract and nowhere else. For companies executing hundreds of contracts per year, exposing the contract terms to appropriate businesspeople to ensure contractual compliance presents a significant challenge. Common examples of post-sale obligations are new customer onboarding activities or monthly tracking, and ensuring service level commitments.

Integrating your contract management software and Dynamics 365  addresses this challenge by automatically extracting important business terms contained in the contract and creating compliance obligation tasks for their appropriate owners across the business. Task owners have the opportunity to capture and store proof of compliance that can be produced if the company is ever audited.

5. Increased Data Accuracy

Traditionally, when a salesperson gets close to closing a deal, they reach out to their legal contracts resource and begin sharing details about the deal that needs to be accounted for in the contract. Sharing this information over email, Teams, or some other similar means increases the chance that mistakes will happen during the exchange.

An integration between your contract management software and Dynamics 365 can remedy this potential problem. During the contract request process, sales data from Dynamics 365 can be automatically pulled into the contract request with no manual effort or potential for error.

6. Enforce Contract Standardization, Eliminate Rogue Contracting

In larger companies, it's often difficult to ensure the latest approved contract language is used consistently across the organization. Contract templates often live on a network folder or on someone’s desktop, which makes tracking and standardization difficult or impossible. It also makes it relatively easy for rogue contracting behavior to take place.

A CLM/CRM integration that enables the sales rep to request a contract from within Dynamics 365 can enforce which contract template is used for any circumstance.  Contract management software will ensure the most recent approved language is always used for every contract template.

Final Comments about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Contract Management

Although I’ve only scratched the surface of this topic, an enterprise contract management software integration that connects your best-of-breed sales and legal systems may be worth considering for its potential to provide a scalable foundation for improved operational efficiency, contractual compliance, and revenue growth.

Contracts 365 –the Leading Contract Management Software for Microsoft 365 Customers

Contracts 365 is the leading contract management software for businesses that run Microsoft 365. With usability, functionality, and security at the forefront of development, Contracts 365 addresses all aspects of the contract lifecycle through a modern, intuitive interface. 
With over twenty years’ of experience and thousands of satisfied users, Contracts 365 can take your business’s contract management to the next level. Get in touch today for a free demo and let us show you how it works in real time.