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Becky Holloway

Got a CLM Hangover?

Recently, two of our customers, Square and SurveyMonkey, joined us for a webinar hosted by Legal Operators and we tackled the topic of the CLM hangover. Legal operations professionals sit at the hub of many other departments. Whether sales, finance, procurement, or others, legal ops wears many hats and is often severely resource constrained . The fatigue and headaches this causes are very real. Here are some tips that can help you overcome your CLM hangover. 

Improve Your Game

KEY TAKEAWAY: Use data to determine where process improvement is needed most.

Start by asking yourself what is your current set up? Do you have the right people and processes in place? Your best first step might be the very establishment of a legal ops team. But if this is not possible and you are just a one-person team, try to focus on one or two areas rather than boiling the ocean and trying to do it all. 

Next, wherever you can, capture data to tell the story of what your team is doing and where improvements are needed. Identifying metrics is a critical part of making data-driven decisions. It’s hard to argue with data. Sometimes those who complain the loudest appear to be the ones in greatest need, but data will not lie. Remember, legal teams are often supporting large numbers of people in other department, like sales or procurement. From a tech perspective, this is where self-service tools that don’t rely heavily on IT will keep you lean and streamlined when time and money is limited.

The Devil You Know or the Devil You Don’t

KEY TAKEAWAY: If colleagues stop using a system, that’s a red flag you need to investigate.

Change can definitely be difficult and scary, and you might be asking yourself whether replacing a known system is worth it. How will those in your organization who need to be involved and who already have full-time jobs fit that type of change into their schedule? But consider the fact that when you have a system that isn’t working, people do more than just complain about it. They stop using that system altogether. What are the downstream consequences of that? As you contemplate changing solution, you should start by identifying what problem you are trying to solve for. Document your challenges, your processes around those functional areas, and build out true requirements. What do you need the system to do that it currently isn’t doing? You might start by building a requirements questionnaire that you circulate across your whole organization. Talk to legal ops colleagues to get ideas from them. 

User Adoption

KEY TAKEAWAY: It doesn’t matter how fancy a system is if it’s not being used.

Think about what will get you the highest user adoption across your organization. You can start by prioritizing what is important. Maybe it’s the user interface, which when it’s not simple and intuitive, can hinder adoption. Maybe it’s powerful, simple search for finding a contract. Maybe it’s streamlined redlining and workflows that don’t involve a ton of clicks. Maybe it’s finding a system that isn’t training intensive, which can become another obstacle to user adoption.

Be a Legal Ops Superhero

KEY TAKEAWAY: Contracts impact many areas across a company, so get all stakeholders involved.

You will find the greatest value and highest ROI in a CLM solution if you expand its functionality across your entire organization. Especially if you’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from different functional areas, involving them collaboratively and showing them how they will benefit will make the transition much easier. If they’re complaining, give them a voice in the decision-making process. In addition, be sure to ask prospective vendors for a sandbox to play in and test drive the product, and then get everyone who will be using the product involved in try before you buy. Be on guard if a vendor says it’s difficult for them to set-up a sandbox to try the product. This is a red flag.

Find a Team You Trust

KEY TAKEAWAY: The best vendors will be an extension or your team.

Find a vendor that wants to grow with you and that is customer-centric. Finding a vendor partner is a critical piece in getting over your CLM hangover. People buy from people. You will want to make sure the functionality is there, but don’t neglect to really consider the team you’re buying from. Customer service and a vendor partnership is key.

To see the full webinar, click on the video above.