Contract Lifecycle Management Scenario
Contract Lifecycle Management often starts with e-mail and a shared network drive in small to medium business. In the beginning, this usually scales just fine, but with growth this solution quickly starts to fail sales teams and ultimately the customer:
- Inability to locate the most recent versions of contracts leading to misquotes and lost revenue.
- Sales team members lose what would otherwise be productive “floor time” trying to track down and validate content.
- It’s almost impossible to run any real metrics against sales contracts and performance. All data critical to effective mining and analysis is embedded directly in the documents.
- There aren’t only multiple versions of the same contract (that can’t be distinguished), but there are multiple versions of the sales contract template(s) that have been used over time – there is a learning curve, cognitive dissonance, frustration, and yet again lost productivity as sales team members manage contracts in their various formats.
- Sales contract related data cannot be tied back to its initial marketing efforts in terms of marketing metrics and gauging the success of sales-oriented marketing projects.
Moving Contract Lifecycle Management into SharePoint
Managing sales contracts in e-mail and in shared drives will eventually create a mess. Equally, simply copying the same structure into SharePoint document libraries without planning to add metadata and correctly organize content will also lead to issues. Most of the problems defined above will still exist, and then there will be a whole new set of frustration and problems around:
- Misleading or lack of useful Search results.
- Lack of ownership – team members don’t understand exactly what they are supposed to be managing in the site and what they can-or-cannot do.
- Duplicates of the documents that Sales uploaded are somehow showing up in other sites.
The rest of this series will describe how to architect the contract information to improve content discoverability, enhance user experience, deliver automation, create useful reporting and metrics solutions, define a common taxonomy, and overall demonstrate a measurable return on investment in O365 and SharePoint.