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Bridging the Technology Gap


Alice Alfano

August 24, 2020

While teaching my grandfather how to use his smartphone, he offered several nuggets of wisdom that only an 85-year-old could give:

“What do you mean passcode? What is this, a navy base?”

“The only 'app' I know is the things you eat before dinner!”

“Where is the smart? If it was really smart, it would know what I want to say without typing!”

Regardless whether my texting lessons were successful or not (they weren't), trying to teach anyone how to use a new technology is a good example of how difficult it can be to convince others that change is necessary. Many people, regardless of age or experience, are going to be suspicious of new technology. Few people are early adopters, and even fewer are innovators. According to the adoption curve, most people are late majority or laggards when it comes to technology. That means only about 2.5% of people willingly embrace new technological change from the get-go versus 16% of people who will dig in their heels and resist a new system.

So how do you sell the idea of a new and modern CLM system, like Malbek, to the folks within your company who don’t like to move quickly?

Show Them the Money 

When Barrett Strong first sang the lyrics of "Money, that's what I want" back in 1959, he unknowingly summed up the most powerful tool of persuasion that is known to man: money. A system that has noticeable and immediate effect on costs or revenue may be a little easier to adopt than one that does not. Showing reached goals or figures that contextualize the benefits of new tech might just help people who dig in their heels to consider the alternative, especially when they see corresponding return on investment (ROI) or a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

There are many ways that outdated CLM solutions can cost you, but the most staggering cost is through lost revenue. On average, 9.2% of annual revenue can be lost due to contract management pitfalls, such as slow negotiations and missed milestones. In fact, the percentage of revenue leakage  can be even higher for larger organizations! High-risk contracts can cost upwards of $49,000 per contract, a price tag that can quickly add up. Money is something everyone can put into context, so it's a powerful tool to show just how much benefit a CLM can have for a company. And those who lag behind in adoption can use the amount of money saved or recovered as a justification to invest in a new CLM solution. 

The Individual Benefit

During my texting lesson, every question my Grandpa asked had the same underlying theme: how will this benefit me? Arguably, the benefit of texting is a bit foggy because phone calls are just as efficient for relaying messages, but with CLM solutions the individual benefit is clear cut.

Modern CLM solutions benefit organizations in many ways, while keep system configuration as self-service and reducing your total cost of ownership by avoiding hefty custom services required by the vendor. For sales teams, a modern CLM can help to close deals faster, increase contract visibility, and even streamline contract requests through smooth integration with your CRM (like Salesforce). For legal teams, CLM can help to assemble the ideal contract and contract language, identify risky terms, and accelerate redlining and approval times. Positive individual impacts in areas like productivity and efficiency can help to win over change-adverse team members. Through this, they can understand that a new CLM won't just benefit the company at a macro level but also improve their work process personally as well. 

Smooth Transitions

I once had a boss who, after he asked me to help him with the new customer information system, proclaimed "I don't want to have to learn new things. They should just be easy!" That sentiment rings true for many. CLM software that is clunky, complex, and confusing right out of the box discourages adoption because the benefits might not be "worth the work" to a team member who is suspicious of the benefit of a new system. The logical solution is to forego older CLM systems in favor of a modern one, like Malbek.

Malbek was designed with a user experience similar to Google or Amazon — easy, intuitive, and clean. No confusing system interfaces, never-ending IT calls just to figure out how to find a contract, or lengthy learning curves to surmount. Modern CLM solutions are built with "you" in mind as they offer simple configuration tools that allow you to use the solution right out of the box.  A seamless transition into an intuitive solution keeps users stress-free and confident, two things that encourage and motivate technology laggards to willingly adopt a new CLM solution.  

Showing the saved money and recouped costs as well as the individual benefit of a new CLM can help motivate a change-adverse team member to adopt it. And a smooth transition to a modern and intuitive solution like Malbek reduces stress and motivates your team members to quickly adopt the solution regardless of whether they are early adopters or tech laggards. 

Looking for a CLM solution that anyone can use? Schedule a demo today!

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