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Contract Management Software For Small Business: Finding the Right Vendor

Published: February 2, 2024

Still relying on spreadsheets, shared drives, and emails to manage the contract lifecycle? Not how you want to take your business into 2024 (and beyond). 

But maybe you can’t afford an in-house lawyer to run the contract process. So you pass the contract management duties to your finance manager or chief commercial officer.

And since there’s no streamlined way of managing contracts, they pass back and forth between different departments and people who may not have a legal background or contract management experience. Then throw on top approval follow-up and renewal reminders falling by the wayside.

This approach is unnecessarily tedious, time-consuming, prone to data loss, and risky.

If all this sounds familiar, your business could benefit from contract management software.

Why Small Businesses Need Contract Management Software

Contract management software isn’t a luxury only available to large, enterprise-level companies.

Small businesses can also afford access to tools that enhance contract workflow management. Doing so will make reviewing, approving, and signing contracts fast and easy for your team and its customers. 

That alone makes contract management software a must-have for businesses of all sizes.

But that’s not all it’s good for. Let’s review the top eight benefits of contract automation software.

 1. Get More Out of Your Limited Resources

Doing more with less is how small businesses become great. But to get there (without bursting your brain cells), you need an efficient, cost-effective way to manage your contracts. Contract management solutions reduce the low-value administrative tasks on your small team, so you can preserve your resources while empowering your employees to focus on high-value work (like getting more customers).

2. Cut Down Manual and Time-Consuming Processes

Manual contract management is time-consuming and wasteful. And worse, it makes closing deals slow, costing your business opportunities to grow and expand.

Contract management software prevents these issues by:

  • Automating every manual touch point throughout the contract lifecycle
  • Empowering your team to approve contracts at scale using a similar workflow
  • Cutting down on manual steps, such as finding the right template, copying and pasting information, switching between systems to draft contracts, and endless back-and-forth email chains

In other words, less time on admin and more time on selling.

3. Improve Productivity and Flexibility

Paper contracts get lost, damaged, and lack security. But there is nothing worse than having a contract leaked and losing a customer’s trust.

Thankfully, this is preventable when using secure contract management software.

It transforms legal document management, giving each stakeholder the flexibility to review and sign contracts on the go. When your team has the tools to expedite the contract lifecycle, their productivity soars, ensuring more closed deals.

4. Support Collaboration Across Teams

Lean teams wear many hats and chip in wherever they can. But as your business grows, staying lean becomes a challenge, especially when your team is bogged down with manual processes.

Contract lifecycle management software moves your team away from a manual, fragmented contract process and towards a more collaborative workflow.

Instead of working in silos with different tools across different versions of a contract, your team can easily review, approve, sign, and track legal agreements in a shared workspace with a centralized repository for viewing and accessing files.

It doesn’t get any cleaner than that.

5. Increase Contract Visibility and Control

Manual contract management processes are the bane of the modern business’s existence.

Your legal documents may lack standard contractual terms, language, or clauses, and version control. Plus, you store documents in a decentralized system, making it difficult to find them as needed. This results in delays, missed key dates, workflow tasks, and contract renewal opportunities, which can cost your business.

Automating the contracting process simplifies finding, reviewing, tracking, and extracting important dates and details from legal documents. You’ll have more control over your contracts at all times, ensuring your business remains compliant with contractual obligations, regulations, and deadlines.

6. Streamline Contract Renewals

Contract renewals increase present chances to extend customer relationships, renegotiate terms, and address updates. Plus, it improves existing agreements to continue serving your customers and working with vendors without friction. 

A contract management software solution ensures you never miss an opportunity to renew a client deal. You can easily track and stay ahead of key renewal dates via automated reminders. This gives you time to plan, renegotiate, and renew (or terminate) a contract based on the needs of your business and its clients. 

7. Strengthen Data Protection

Every business needs data protection. If you manage customer information, then you must keep their details confidential and secure from breaches or loss. 

Not possible when you’re still relying on paper deals and filing cabinets.

Fortunately, most contract management systems provide strong data security, so you can store and process data more effectively.

At Docubee, keeping your data safe is our number one priority. Our contract automation software complies with industry best practices and standards, such as HIPAA, SOC 2, 2FA, FERPA, and CCPA.

Some security features Docubee provides include:

  • 256-bit AES encryption at rest
  • TLS 1.2 for data privacy and protection
  • Tamper-proof digital documents (enforced by public-private key encryption)
  • Periodic vulnerability testing
  • Dedicated monitoring systems
  • Service levels and encrypted backups
  • Password-protected signing

8. Scale Without Boundaries

Your business is small-scale…for now. Things can change seemingly overnight, especially when you put the right tools and strategies into play. So prepare now to set your business up for future success. As you grow, more deals and contracts can create legal bottlenecks, which can eat up your company’s budget. 

Contract management software offers various features that can scale your business without expanding your team or wasting resources.

For example, Docubee provides contract templates so you can avoid hiring in-house lawyers just to draft contracts from scratch. You can edit the templates at scale and enable your team to self-serve.

Key Features to Look for in Contract Management Software

Finding the right contract management solution is tricky, but possible. You need a tool that’ll make your business operate as smoothly as possible.

So we compiled a list of the top six major features to consider when purchasing contract management software. 

1. Contract Tracking and Organization

Organization in a paper-based contract process can be a real headache. Documents get lost, misplaced, and forgotten.

Issues you won’t find when you select software that makes tracking every stage of the contract lifecycle possible in real time. 

With Docubee, you can see where contracts are in the process and who is holding up the line. Plus, you can track any changes to the contract at a granular level, making it easier to share, review, approve, and sign legal agreements. 

There’s even an audit trail of the timeline of events from when the contract was generated to the signing stage, making it easier to spot workflow bottlenecks.

Your documents are in a central repository and accessible on any device. No wasting precious time rummaging through file cabinets to find documents. And with automated reminders for key dates, you can alert your team ahead of contract milestones and avoid costly auto-renewals.

2. Contract Workflow Automation

As your business grows, so will the volume of contracts. That’s not anything to complain about—at least not until it starts to slow your team’s progress and revenue generation.  

The answer is simple: contract workflow automation.

This will level up your contract management processes, reduce risks, increase your time to market, and improve your team’s productivity.

Automated workflows also ensure your team is legally compliant and simplify the approval and signing processes, creating an oh-so-satisfying customer journey.

Docubee takes workflow automation a notch higher with its automated invoice solution. It’s a secure, convenient system that makes billing and payments quick for you and your customers.

3. Approval Process Control

Manual contract approval processes are riddled with flaws, like loss of version control,  miscommunication, and long execution times, to name a few.

Contract management software speeds up internal approvals so you can get contracts sent and signed faster in a single workspace.

4. Reporting and Analysis

Missed contract deadlines, friction from last-minute demands or unmet promises, and potential contractual risks. These are the types of problems that contract reporting and analysis safeguard your business against. 

Contract management systems accurately track each contract, delivering analytics from critical data, such as workflow tasks, financials, renewal dates, and compliance.

These tools generate detailed reports with actionable insights you can use to:

  • Understand your contracts
  • Make better decisions
  • Identify mistakes and adapt your processes for better results 
  • Identify opportunities and risks

5. Document Storage

As your contract volumes grow, you’ll need a smart, secure document storage system to protect sensitive and confidential data—not shared drives or filing cabinets. 

Contract management software like Docubee provides a secure home for your contracts, so goodbye to physical paper trails.

Our cloud-based platform stores your files for quick access and tracking in real-time. It also saves your team time and energy, while ensuring accurate record-keeping of all your legal documents.

6. eSignature Integration

Switching between business apps to get contracts signed—never again. With eSignature integration, it’s easier to send contracts for signing once approved, making the process seamless for you and your customers. 

Docubee’s eSignature software for SMBs lets you apply fields and signatures on documents, sign the contract yourself, or send it to other signatories to fill in the required details and sign. Then with our API, you can connect electronic signatures with forms and workflows, quickly edit contracts as needed, and send them along for signatures.

What to Consider When Choosing a Contract Management Software Provider

Choosing new software for contracts isn’t to be taken lightly. It can be the difference between compliance and security, and embarrassing data breaches that end valuable customer relationships.

So to make sorting through all the contract management software options easier, keep the following key factors in mind. 

Pricing Plans And Scalability Options

Price matters because…well, your budget matters. So start there—search for a contract management solution within your spending limits.

Some tools offer free versions or trial options for small teams. These have fewer features and customization options and are ideal for simple workflows.

Docubee offers advanced capabilities to automate approval steps involving multiple stakeholders. We also offer multiple price points to match different budgets and to allow businesses to scale as needed.

User-Friendly Interface

New software without employee adoption is a waste of time and money. But low adoption isn’t always due to low morale. Sometimes, teams struggle with new software when there’s minimal to no onboarding and training. Or worse, that’s not user-friendly.

So look for a clean user interface, that loads fast, reacts speedily to user input, and displays and functions well on various devices.

Tools like Docubee eliminate the long ramp-up times for staff to learn and access needed features. Involve your team throughout the selection and testing process to get an idea of each tool’s pros and cons, before settling on the right one.

Customer Support 24/7

Waiting days or weeks to get a response from customer support is unacceptable when you have time-sensitive contracts in the air.

Check whether they have a reliable support team that’s available and responds quickly to your problems or questions. The last thing you want is to be left in the dark when something goes wrong.

Learn More About Docubee Contract Management Software

Docubee is one of the best contract management software for small businesses—not because we say so. But because our loyal customers do. 

Our software offers the necessary features customers and teams desire. Docubee creates a seamless, frictionless, secure, and fast way to close deals with just a few clicks. And it’s all thanks to its custom contract generation (and templates), automated approval workflows, eSignatures, and document tracking.

Ready to automate your contracting processes? Schedule your Docubee demo to get your small business on the growth path.