HOT OFF THE PRESS | Snag a copy of CLM For Dummies, published by Wiley.
Main illustration for Malbek blog

Allison Martyn

Lessons Learned From a Tough CLM Implementation

We won’t sugarcoat it — implementations can be challenging. But we’re here to help you navigate even the most complex implementation processes. Even though it can be tough, it can be a great learning experience. So, here are five lessons learned that you can take with you to your own CLM implementation.

Lesson #1: Know Who You’re Connecting With

Beware when connecting to an eSign program like AdobeSign or Docusign. Not all of their packages include API access, and it’s unlikely that you will know this upfront. Make sure to check on your eSign API support ahead of time. This keeps you from experiencing nasty delays or surprises along the way. 

Lesson #2: Customer communication is critical

As much as we would like to be, vendors are not mind readers. Without clear communication, we can’t know what you are thinking, what issues you have, or what problems you are experiencing. It doesn’t matter if it’s nerves, uncertainty, fear, or something else that is causing you to stall your communication. We need to know what’s going on! It’s the only way we can help you.

The best method to combat this is to pick a style of communication and stick with it. Let your vendor know if you prefer a phone call or email. Make sure to answer their questions and be prepared to elaborate on issues you are experiencing. 

Lesson #3: Charts will Save you

Without a clear representation of the problem and solution, it can be hard to understand what’s going on. That’s why charts can be your best friend. With complex rules, it might be best to use free diagram software to help you map it all out. It will be easier to think through complex conditions if you can see it all in front of you.

This helps you understand your process better and helps your vendor understand what workflows and processes need to be in place. That’s a win-win!

Lesson #4:Take one step at a time

Vendors sometimes have to push really hard to get a customer to try the new system. It could be a time constraint or fear of learning a new tool, but some people just don’t want to click the buttons.

The best solution to adoption hesitation is to schedule a block of time for the vendor and new user to run through it together. This can help with the fear factor and once you see how easy it is, you’re more likely to do it on your own in the future. Occasionally when all else fails, understanding that clicking the buttons is required to get the full benefits may do the trick.  Suddenly you will see how it all works together and just might become a system expert overnight.

Lesson #5: We’re a team

We are here to support you as you go forward, so think of your vendor as part of your team. Remember, achieving success is a team sport! We are all after the same goal: an easy, quick, and successful implementation. Keep this in mind as you continue to work through an implementation and you’ll find it’s much easier. 

Not all implementations are challenging. The vast majority, despite a few hiccups, go smoothly. I’m glad I could share my lessons learned with you. If you are looking for a CLM that is as easy to implement as it is to use, request a demo from Malbek today!