Knowing both which contract management software to choose and which prices are reasonable can be a bit difficult, so we’ve compiled some research to help you make a well-informed decision so you make the most of your contract management software investment. There are several software capabilities and cost structures to be aware of, and we’ll discuss them in depth below.
Storage size, quantity of users, feature sets, and security capabilities are some factors that influence the pricing structure of the contract management systems on the market today. The size of your company will also determine the type of contract management software you’ll need. For example, a smaller organization will typically require less room to store their contracts, need less user access, and the most basic feature set – resulting in a less expensive solution. When considering a solution fit for a large or enterprise-level organization, you will want to adopt a solution with more integrations, capabilities, security features, and user access licenses, and this translates to increased costs.
Let’s discuss some key features that play a role in the pricing of contract management software.
Some software pricing structures are based on the quantity of users, which is one key reason why enterprises usually invest in a more expensive solution. Costs per user may influence the cost per month of a particular solution. Consider all the departments that pay an important role in your contracts – from sales and procurement, to finance and legal, your employees contribute to contract lifecycles and should have access to your contract lifecycle management software.
Contract lifecycle management software solutions often integrate with other business and collaboration software solutions to streamline and optimize contracts. During contract lifecycle management, you may find that integrating with electronic signature solutions, business solutions, and customer relationship management solutions are the key to simplifying your contracts. We recommend considering which areas of your contract lifecycle management would benefit from specified business tools and integrations. Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Power BI, SharePoint, and Jira are some commonly used technologies for contracts. The more integrations you leverage, the more money invested into your software platform.
Every company operates in unique ways to support their specific needs and business objectives. Contract management software platforms offer varying capabilities with feature sets fit for specific business types. According to your business’s needs, you can leverage a software solution with a feature set fit to fill those needs. Some standout contract management software features that tend to be on the pricier side include:
Contract authoring – a feature that gives users the ability to build new agreements from preapproved templates within your contract management system
Automation – enterprise-level organizations typically opt for a solution with contract workflow automation and approval automation, allowing for systemization of complex processes
Redlining – in your contract management solution, users can collaboratively redline, track changes, and comment within documents, allowing for streamlined reviews prior to approval
Several industries are subject to strict compliance policies, and keeping your contract data and confidential client information private and secure is of top priority. The strength of security you wish to leverage will play a role in the price of the contract management system.
Many software solutions offer single sign-on integrations, audit trails, user permissions, role-based access, multi-factor authentication, and other risk mitigation features that will influence pricing. Some systems allow for deployment on separate servers while others work on premise. We recommend making the worthwhile investment into a solution with increased security features to keep your documents and data protected.
Some platforms do not offer complimentary user support, so getting a response or simply having access to customer support may cost you a premium price. If you wish to have 24-hour support and guaranteed response times, you may have to pay a monthly or annual user support fee.
Our recommendation? Find a user-friendly solution that is easy to train others on to cut user support costs or choose a system with complimentary user support.
Some contract lifecycle management solutions allow users to simply sign up and begin uploading documents immediately. Other solutions require a longer implementation process that could take months or even years before reaching full organization-wide adoption. Configuring user accounts and downloading contracts can take an exorbitant amount of time and energy, and some solutions provide support during this process in the implementation phase. Post-implementation, it’s important that employees are trained effectively on the new solution. Dock 365 offers complimentary training and user support during implementation, while many other solutions charge training and implementation fees.
With a dedicate contract management software solution, your company can gain the benefits of a centralized contract repository to store, organize, and archive contracts. Depending on the size of your company and the quantity of contracts worked with on a regular basis, you’ll want to get a solution with enough storage space – and this certainly impacts the cost. Many platforms charge based on the total quantity of documents stored, so it’s key to know your current contract volume before making a selection. We recommend taking your company’s growth under consideration, as you may want to choose a solution with extra growing room. Several providers offer upgrades to increase storage space as needed.
Contract management software providers often charge several hidden recurring and one-time fees to support system maintenance and implementation. Here at Dock, you won’t have to sweat about those hidden fees.
Let’s take a look at some common additional software fees.
Many software providers charge implementation fees to integrate your existing contracts into your new platform or to assist in training your employees on the system. Some vendors may charge thousands for implementation, while others support you for free. We suggest leveraging a contract management software solution that integrates your documents for free and assist your employees during implementation and deployment at no extra cost.
Premium feature sets can be purchased for an extra fee for many solutions. E-signature, automation, and third-party integrations are some examples of additional features that may require an extra fee depending upon the provider. These fees can range widely and may be charged annually or monthly.
Customer support fees to cover employee training, ongoing support, integrations can end up costing you a significant amount of money in the long run. Some providers offer complimentary customer support while others charge hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Integrating with e-signature solutions, single sign-on, business solutions, and other integrations can be another source of additional fees. With integrations, costs related to technical support and development are typically passed to the consumer, or the integration may be more expensive initially.
Platform license fees are very common among contract management solutions, and this fee typically is the minimum price required to implement and deploy the system. License fees are generally charged monthly or annually. Some solutions charge them at a fixed cost, and they may vary according to the feature set selected, storage space, and other characteristics.
Many organizations invest thousands into a contract management software platform to optimize their contract lifecycle management. However, there are many free solutions available today, and these might be the best option for smaller businesses and organizations with a low contract volume. If you wish to learn about contract automation and to gain familiarity with contract lifecycle workflows, a free platform can be a good place to start. But keep in mind, you’ll likely have minimal access to additional features and storage.
There’s a rare chance that a free contract management solution will be able to fill all the contract-related needs of a larger business with complex, high-volumes of contracts. If you decide to settle for a free solution, you’ll likely find yourself upgrading to a paid version soon after adoption.
However, many contract management software systems are worth the investment, as they cut costs in the long run by mitigating risks, reducing bottlenecks, automating tasks, standardizing processes, and increasing operational efficiency. Prior to making a software selection, we recommend assessing your organization’s needs and goals, then deciding on a reasonable price range.
Here at Dock, we offer an affordable approach to contract lifecycle management that delivers results in productivity and efficiency. Leveraging your existing Office 365 and SharePoint investment, you can easily deploy your contract management software and get started right away. With complimentary user support and unlimited training, you’ll be guided down the road to success with us here at Dock.
Learn more about our Dock 365 Contract Management System here.
Learn more about Contract Lifecyle Management (CLM) Software here.
For more information, we welcome you to schedule a free demo with us today.
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