Are you a fan of superheroes? The contract lifecycle management (CLM) world is in need of one, too. When the routine is your sworn enemy, when lawyers throughout your organization suffer, a hero with incredible contract management skills comes to the rescue.
Many organizations suffer the sorrows of inefficient CLM. These include disorganized workflows across different stages of the contract lifecycle, lengthy drafting processes, and data vulnerability. And let’s not forget the need to use multiple software programs to move contracts through different CLM stages, which leads to delays across the contract lifecycle.
All of these pain points contribute to the suffering of your organization’s legal department. The need for a hero is real. Let’s find out which superpowers will help save lawyers in your organization.
What is a contract manager?
A contract manager (CM) is the person responsible for managing your organization’s contracts. This means managing across the full lifecycle, from negotiation to drafting, signing, monitoring, and closing. CMs negotiate a variety of contracts and agreements with suppliers and vendors.
In short, the CM makes sure that every signed contract supports your business’s goals and ensures that all parties perform according to the terms they agreed to.
You might not notice their work and they might not have a fancy title, but the power their position wields is vital to your organization. This is no easy job. It bears great power, and with great power comes… you guessed it, great responsibility! Let’s go over some of the key responsibilities entrusted to contract managers.
Typical responsibilities of a contract manager
The CM ensures your organization enters into beneficial deals. CMs help organizations maintain financial, operational, and legal health. Great contract managers serve as a bridge between a business, suppliers, and employees, stealthily contributing to your organization’s day-to-day operations. To understand their value, just take a look at some of a contract manager’s responsibilities:
- Negotiate with clients, learn about their requirements and expectations
- Draft, review, and oversee a variety of contracts with vendors and clients
- Develop good communication and strong working relationships with all parties contractually involved with your organization
- Track the execution of contracts, including renewals and expirations
- Manage contract-related risks and solve problems with both internal and external stakeholders
- Complete contract renewals, adjustments, extensions, close-outs, and terminations
Serious stuff, huh? Let’s now talk about some of the superpowers contract managers need to excel at their duties.
Top contract manager superpowers
Contract managers should be resourceful and have well-honed contract management skills. These range from technical to interpersonal skills.
Superhuman collaboration skills
Not all superheroes like to play well with others. That’s why this is such an important power. Contract managers work with individuals from different backgrounds, in different roles, and from different industries. These individuals may come from both inside and outside of your organization. In addition, they manage contract lifecycles across a variety of business departments.
Having superhuman collaboration skills means that CM superheroes can communicate clearly. They can actively listen to others, take responsibility for mistakes, and respect the diversity of colleagues. CMs with superhuman collaboration skills can share ideas, create effective solutions, and build positive relationships. This helps organizations maintain a healthy perspective.
Omniscience: Industry knowledge and keeping track of agreements
This is a big one. Contract managers need to know all things related to contract lifecycle management. In addition, they need in-depth industry knowledge, meaning they know their business, from the company’s area of specialization, down to the culture, structure, and staff.
Having an omniscient CM also comes in handy in terms of keeping abreast of multiple contracts. Omniscience helps our hero handle hundreds, even thousands of contracts, and keep up with their statuses. This skill is especially important to prevent misadventures with end or renewal deadlines.
Project management precognition
This superpower facilitates the project management dimension of contract management. This involves following up on any issues that arise, tracking contracts, and auditing performance. It means monitoring and controlling the contracting. All contract managers should have a little bit of project manager in them. And precognition helps them see the end of the contract coming before everyone else so they can not only prepare for renewal, extension, or closeout, but also see how the contract will play out.
By anticipating the future, contract managers can accurately evaluate whether cost and schedule estimates are realistic. They can better analyze the risks and opportunities the contract contains, and recommend special terms and conditions for tailoring the contract to its goals.
Master of negotiation
Negotiation mastery is often underestimated. This superpower lets contract managers negotiate at a high professional level to protect the organization’s best interests. This way, our hero makes sure the organization enters into solid and beneficial contracts.
Negotiation mastery also plays an important role in the ability to execute contracts smoothly. Contract managers have to skillfully negotiate with internal and external parties. They track changes and comments in the contracts, and gather all relevant documentation associated with the contracts. If necessary, they make reasonable changes to contracts, adjusting clauses as needed. The goal is to find compromises and solutions that benefit all parties involved.
Detail-focused, hawk-eyed vision
The devil is in the details, and in contracts the devil peaks in every corner. Significant legal complications can arise from neglecting small details. This may mean a missing comma, omitting of a word, or unintended capitalization. Unclear contract wording can lead to costly legal disputes and operational disruptions.
That’s why hawk-eyed vision, or, in other words, attention to detail, is an essential superpower of contract managers. Searching and identifying errors, inconsistencies, and ambiguous language is crucial to avoid future legal headaches. It also facilitates the smooth execution of contracts.
CLM software: the indispensable CM’s sidekick
To keep up-to-date with industry trends and succeed in contract lifecycle management, our superheroes need to be tech-savvy. This is where advanced CLM software comes in. For contract managers, it’s their indispensable sidekick.
Like Robin to Batman, CLM software helps our CMs fight the evils of non-compliance and lack of standardization in contracts, among others. This means they can boost the quality of your company’s contracts, ensure compliance with regulations, audit agreements, and stay organized.
The list of contract manager superpowers could go on. Contract lifecycle management is challenging. Our hero needs to be an industry expert, a skillful communicator and negotiator, and attentive to detail. These are some of the contract management skills needed to earn the superhero title.
Such a powerful and unique superhero is not easy to come by. But at least now you’ll know when you meet one. Until then, AXDRAFT CLM software can help your organization tackle the hardships of CLM. This robust software can be Robin to your Batman, or, if you are more of a Marvel fan, War Machine to your Iron Man. By leveraging technology and automation, organizations can manage the complex processes of contract management. Actually, you can
book a demo meet your Robin right now!
Did we miss any important contract manager superpowers? Which ones do you think are the most important?
Contract manager skills include a high level of expertise in their business sector. Advanced know-how in negotiation is a plus. Strong communication, attention to detail, and collaboration are also very important.
Contract analysts should have well-developed legal skills, including a deep knowledge of contract laws. This is essential to draw solid contracts and safeguard the organization’s legal interests. Negotiation skills are also important. Negotiating favorable contract terms with other parties is key to successful contract management. And let’s not forget excellent writing skills to write and rewrite contracts. A contract’s effective phrasing protects the company’s interests.
Contract managers handle the day-to-day activities associated with delivering a contract. They manage contracts for procurement, sales, finances, HR, and other agreements. Their goal is to make sure every contract your organization signs meets its business goals. They oversee the process by which contracts are negotiated, created, and executed.