Customer Zero: streamlining legal operations with Conga CLM
Conga transforms contract management with Conga CLM and Conga Sign to increase speed and velocity
Conga, referred to as Customer Zero here, is pioneering a business-changing category called Revenue Lifecycle Management, seamlessly connecting every business process in the revenue lifecycle from quote to renewal. This innovative approach propels operational excellence, enabling businesses to attain revenue growth goals while maximizing customer satisfaction and lifetime value.
Conga empowers organizations by providing a unified end-to-end selling and buying experience across all channels by delivering an open, extensible platform that ties to existing and future systems, enabling businesses to move at the speed of change.
Thoughts from Noel Goggin—CEO and Culture Leader: "As Customer Zero, we don't just embrace transformation; we embody it. We relentlessly push the boundaries of what's possible, never settling for mediocrity. We understand that true growth and success come from an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement. At Conga, we lead the charge, innovating, adapting, and refining our solutions to exceed the expectations of our customers. We believe that transformation is not a destination—it's an ongoing journey toward excellence. Together, as pioneers in Revenue Lifecycle Management, we shape the future of business and empower organizations to thrive in a world that demands constant evolution."
Renowned for its leading CLM technology, Conga has been instrumental in streamlining negotiation and execution processes for numerous businesses. However, like many organizations, Conga needed to overcome some significant hurdles to efficiently optimize their own legal operations. The lean legal team grappled with the burden of inefficient systems and processes that hindered their ability to operate in a true end-to-end lifecycle. Conga embarked on a transformative journey to overcome these challenges and build a best-in-class solution with Conga CLM and Conga Sign.
Following the strategic merge of Conga and Apttus, the legal team encountered the challenge of operating within multiple legacy systems with foundational elements that had become antiquated and broken to scale with the new combined needs of the business. Even the principal tool Conga relied upon for optimizing redlining during negotiations lacked full integration to the workflow, leading to more challenges than it was solving. The overall fragmented nature of the systems and contract management processes hindered teams across the organization from achieving a seamless end-to-end solution, spanning from document generation to signature.
Manual workflows demanded legal intervention for every contract, from NDAs to MSAs, burning significant hours of legal expertise on standard, low-complexity, high-volume contracts. With sales reps being required to enter a Legal Service Request (SR) for every contract, the legal team was faced with a constant battle to keep up with a never-ending queue of contracts.
One of the most important aspects of data collection in the contracting process revolves around accurate version control. Without the presence of a centralized repository, Conga attorneys were forced to house contract versions in One Drive customer folders, hindering efficiency, and necessitating time-consuming searches. This lack of visibility across the team impeded effective control and decision-making.
In today’s business landscape, legal teams are being asked to do more with less, resulting in the need to be more organized and efficient in their contract lifecycle management processes. Customers expect a simple and user-friendly experience, while sales leaders want to quickly close deals without the frustration of legal bottlenecks. Conga realized that to be an innovator and trusted leader in its own solutions, the organization must lead by example—accordingly, the Customer Zero transformation began.
To overcome these challenges, Conga implemented a comprehensive Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution, combining the powerful capabilities of Conga CLM and X-Author for Contracts. Starting with the most frequently encountered standard contracts – nondisclosure agreements (NDA) and master service agreements (MSA) - they initiated a profound transformation of the legal team’s contracting process.
Acknowledging the infrequent need for redlining in NDA contracts, Conga identified that requiring the sales team to submit a legal request every time a standard contract was needed, contributed to sales cycle delays. Conga leveraged the power of Conga CLM to establish a streamlined self-service process within their CRM, embedding legal playbooks and guardrails into the contract request and generation process. This empowered sales to autonomously generate NDA contracts and facilitate e-signature using Conga Sign, bypassing the need for direct involvement from the legal team, thus expediting the sales cycle significantly.
Conga’s master service agreements included an added layer of complexity based on a series of variables. To help navigate, Conga implemented a booking policy that established specific thresholds for contracts, ensuring that necessary approvals were secured when required. Conga realigned the workflows to match the booking policy in order to segment MSA contracts into three main categories:
- Flow 1 - High volume, low complexity standard MSAs with no negotiation.
- Flow 2 – Medium volume, medium complexity MSAs on Conga’s terms, allowing for negotiations.
- Flow 3 - Low volume, high complexity MSAs on third-party terms, necessitating significant negotiations.
This strategic approach makes certain that contracts undergo proper scrutiny and that the appropriate individuals participate in the decision-making process, preventing any unauthorized entries. This drove accountability, transparency, efficiency, and sound financial management within the contracting processes for easy, assured decision-making.
Similar to the new NDA workflow, Conga CLM facilitated a self-service approach for MSAs that fell under the first workflow, empowering the sales teams to handle the process independently, while maintaining appropriate legal oversight. This shift allowed Conga’s attorneys to focus their attention on the MSAs that truly needed their expertise.
For the remaining MSAs requiring legal assistance, Conga CLM’s integrated redlining and collaboration tools proved instrumental in expediting negotiations within their CRM. The legal team could swiftly and effortlessly accept or reject requested changes to terms and clauses within the contract. Freed from the weight of a lengthy queue of standard contracts, the legal team now processes requested redlines with remarkable speed, enabling sales to quickly close their deals and provide customers with a great experience.
A major success of implementing Conga CLM into Conga’s legal workflows was that it eliminated the need to manually track contract versions outside of Salesforce in One Drive. Conga CLM became the single source of truth for the legal team and automatically updated, tracked, and stored all negotiated versions of a contract. Attorneys could be fully confident they were working with the latest version and could easily audit past versions to resolve disputed changes. Additionally, stakeholders outside legal have full visibility into where the contract is in the negotiation cycle at all times.
Streamlining workflows with technology is one challenge, while fostering behavioral change and organization-wide adoption for successful business impact is another. Conga’s legal team created adoption coaches across critical stakeholder teams to help boost adoption of the new solution. The assessment conducted by these teams enables Conga to adapt and improve its processes as the company scales.
In a testament to its strategic vision and pursuit of excellence, Conga’s transformative initiatives have yielded a series of successes. The introduction of Conga CLM for the legal team has created a comprehensive contracting solution, freeing up resources, and creating a cohesive, efficient negotiation process. This includes automated version control, a streamlined e-signature process, and strengthened security and compliance measures. These foundational elements will pave the way for further innovation as Customer Zero.
Conga X-Author for Contracts is seamlessly integrated with Conga CLM, empowering the legal team to confidently leverage its enhanced negotiation and version tracking capabilities. Unnecessary bottlenecks were eradicated from the process, fostering accelerated sales processes while allowing the legal team to dedicate its focus to contracts requiring specialized attention. Notably, since implementation of the aligned booking policy workflows, Conga went from requiring 100% of MSA contracts to include a legal touch down to just 8% - an increased efficiency of 92%. By identifying and working to correct the inefficiencies in the original system, Conga’s legal team was able to build a strong foundation for a streamlined solution, encompassing contract generation through to customer e-signature via Conga Sign.
By leveraging Conga CLM for the redlining and negotiation of contracts, Conga achieved improved collaboration and communication with their customers. Serving as the centralized hub, Conga CLM facilitates seamless document sharing, granting both parties instant access to review and edit the contract. This real-time collaborative capability not only expedites the review timeline but also ensures that all stakeholders are aligned and can provide timely feedback, mitigating potential bottlenecks and misunderstandings.
In addition to enhancing negotiation workflows, Conga CLM has significantly improved the organization’s control and tracking of contract versions. Every contract detail is meticulously contained within the MSA record, and the system automatically organizes the versions, eliminating any ambiguity about the most recent version. The elimination of the need to manage versions externally and navigate through them has translated into a notable reduction in effort, offering the entire legal team substantial time savings.
Conga Sign took the place of a competitive e-signature tool that remained post-acquisition, resulting in an 80% market value cost savings on e-signature licenses. With Conga Sign in place, the process flows to a simplified final step. Contracts are effortlessly deployed from Salesforce for e-signature with the advantage of an automated audit trail that tracks back to the contract record. Both the sales and legal teams can easily see the status of the signers on each contract in one easy-to-find view instead of having to scour emails for the last touchpoint.
With a unified platform, Conga benefits from enhanced security and compliance measures. The centralized and auditable nature of Conga CLM ensures that contract-related activities are logged and tracked accurately, providing an audit trail for compliance purposes. This heightened level of security gives Conga and their customers the confidence that sensitive contract information is well-protected and accessible only to authorized individuals.
Looking ahead, Conga will deploy Conga Contract Intelligence (CCI) to help optimize the ingestion of third-party paper contracts and significantly decrease the burden on the legal team to manually re-enter those documents back into the system. Enhanced use of the clause library is planned to continue streamlining negotiations. Today, most contracts can effectively be negotiated within one hour, but with the full functionality of clause library applied, the business estimates that negotiation time can be reduced to just minutes per contract. Additionally, Conga plans to further automate delegation of authority within the Conga Sign e-signature solution to eliminate remaining manual touchpoints and further accelerate the time to signature.
The legal team's successful solution implementation has piqued the interest of the sales engineering division, inspiring them to optimize their CLM workflows similarly. This success has sparked a desire to replicate it across other departments, highlighting Conga CLM's potential to enhance operational efficiency organization-wide.
- Removed legal team intervention on 92% of standard MSAs.
- Cut 80% of e-signature license cost by displacing competitive software
- Freed of large contract queue delays, legal can efficiently negotiate requested redlines within one hour of receipt, expediting the process for the customer and sales team
- Developed a self-service solution for sales to generate and send standard NDA and MSA contracts without legal bottleneck
- Realigned booking policy to easily determine contracts that require legal intervention
- Automated version control within platform for better visibility and control
- Improved collaboration with customers through real-time document sharing and review
- Stood up adoption coaches to provide agility and flexibility for business
- Centralized and auditable data within CRM, ensuring enhanced security and compliance
To learn more about Conga CLM and Conga Revenue Lifecycle Cloud, request a demo and learn what this kind of transformation can do for your business.
**A push for CLM enablement
To optimize the effectiveness of Conga CLM and encourage adoption among end users, including our own teams, proper enablement is crucial! The Conga Learning Center serves as the primary hub for continuous training and improvement, product updates, and supportive resources. The Conga Customer Community is another resource that offers CLM user groups, webinar programs, and virtual user group meetings to advance learnings. Instructor-Led Training provides expert support for hands-on learning of the technical details of the product. These tailored programs are designed to help customers (and Conganeers) maximize the solution’s numerous benefits and drive organizational impact. Learn more here.