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The Magic Word is Approvals: Getting Finance Invested in Your New CLM

The Magic Word is Approvals: Getting Finance Invested in Your New CLM

The Magic Word is Approvals: Getting Finance Invested in Your New CLMCraig Sadowski
VP of Finance

As the VP of Finance at Lexion, I know first-hand how crucial the contract approval process is to an organization's financial health. Contract approvals aren’t just another item on Finance’s to-do list. In fact, every approval my finance team grants or withholds has the potential to significantly influence our cash flow, manage risks, and safeguard our revenue's integrity.

So a CLM system that makes the approval process faster, more efficient and reduces risk? It’s a no brainer. 

The challenge is getting your busy finance department to adopt all the features of the CLM they got excited about during the buy-in process. 

How do you do that?

Pre-Implementation: Your Game Plan

  1. Lean on your vendor’s CLM implementation team: There are a number of reasons that Lexion has an exceptionally high rate of adoption compared to other platforms. For starters, it’s an intuitive tool that integrates easily with existing systems, and its workflows are extremely easy to set up. But just as importantly, our implementation team works closely with customers to ensure a smooth transition. No matter which CLM provider you choose, leverage their expertise and support during the ramp-up period.
  2. Keep enthusiasm high: Remind Finance why they got excited about a CLM in the first place by recentering their focus on the ROI. Reiterate how the CLM's streamlined approval processes, increased efficiency, and strategic benefits like risk management, revenue protection, and improved cash flow will make their lives better.
  3. Share your post-implementation plan: Share a detailed schedule of what will happen after the CLM goes live, including training dates and support availability. Get those dates on their calendars early-on and provide detailed agendas about what you’ll be covering when you meet.

During Implementation: Show Finance CLM Features That Make Their Lives Easier

Implementation is the perfect time to highlight features that will directly benefit your finance team. While diving into these features, remember it's not about showcasing every bell and whistle but rather focusing on the functionality that will make a tangible difference in their workflow. 

Not every CLM is built the same, but these are key features in Lexion that we encourage legal teams to highlight with Finance:

AI-Backed Clauses and Reporting

Introduce AI-backed clauses, which allow finance teams to pinpoint and track contract language specific to your business or industry effortlessly. 

Lexion tracks many critical clauses out of the box. And with Lexion's AI-backed custom clauses, by simply highlighting examples of revenue recognition-impacting clauses, the system can automatically keep tabs on them across all contracts. This eliminates the manual labor of sifting through contracts for specific clauses, saving valuable time. 

Moreover, setting up reports that capture crucial deadlines, like contract renewals and fiscal deadlines, can be a game-changer. They ensure your finance team is always one step ahead, avoiding unexpected auto-renewals or lapses that could impact the bottom line.

Seamless Integration with Existing Tools

Emphasize how the CLM integrates seamlessly with tools the finance team already relies on, such as CRM systems. Integration helps data flow smoothly between systems, reducing the need for duplicate entries and minimizing errors. 

Highlight specific examples of how this integration works in practice, showing them the direct benefits: reduced workload, improved accuracy, and a single source of truth for financial data.

By focusing on these key features during the implementation phase, you're not just implementing a new tool; you're upgrading how your finance team operates—showing them a future in which manual, time-consuming tasks are minimized, and where they can focus more on the strategic aspects of their role. 

Post Implementation: Ensure Smooth Adoption

After the implementation of your new CLM, you want to ensure a smooth and effective transition for the finance department. Successful post-implementation processes can mean the difference between a system that's fully utilized and one that's underused. 

To ensure your finance team not only adopts but also loves your new CLM, follow these actionable steps:

  1. Conduct bespoke training for Finance: Organize comprehensive training sessions tailored specifically for the finance team. Focus on the features most relevant to their daily tasks, such as the approval process, risk management, and financial reporting within the CLM.
  2. Show them what they don’t need to be trained on: During training sessions, emphasize how the CLM you chose integrates with the tools and systems Finance is already using. Show specific examples of the CLM pulling data from or pushing data to these existing platforms, such as Coupa or Salesforce. This not only reduces the learning curve but also showcases the CLM’s value in enhancing their current tech ecosystem without requiring extensive new training.
  3. Set up a support and feedback loop: Establish a clear process for ongoing support, including a dedicated internal champion or point of contact for immediate CLM-related queries. Schedule regular check-ins to discuss how things are going so your finance team feels supported and that the CLM continuously evolves to meet their needs.

To learn more about how Lexion can help your finance department embrace CLM, request a demo today. Let's work together to turn approvals from a bottleneck into a strategic asset for your organization.


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