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Contract management is a critical aspect of any business that regularly deals with the creation, negotiation, and execution of contracts with partners, suppliers, customers, and employees — which essentially means all businesses.

But for such a vital function, most businesses find that there is remarkably low visibility into the entire contracting process. Teams often end up scrambling to identify ownership of a particular contract or deal and jumping across platforms to get the full context. This is when it becomes important to have access to a well-designed contract management dashboard that provides organizations transparency into every facet of the contract lifecycle.

We spoke with experts and legal leaders involved in both building these dashboards or onboarding them as third-party tools for their team to create this guide on what your contract management dashboard should look like. Read on to find out.

What should your contract management dashboard look like?

A contract management dashboard helps you compile critical contract data in one place for easy access and visibility. They display key information — such as contract status, pending tasks, extracted metadata, KPIs and metrics, etc. — in easily digestible, visual formats.

However, not all contract management dashboards are created equal – and not all of them serve the same purpose. Below, we’ve outlined three types of dashboards or views that can help you keep track of contracts, measure analytics, and manage tasks.

#1 Centralized contract dashboard: Keep track of your contracts

“At Next Insurance, we wanted to avert risks before they turned critical. I figured the only viable solution was to use a CLM tool. Once your contracts are centralized, it becomes convenient to manage procurement processes, professional services, and NDAs.”

Nadia Louis Hermez
Legal Ops Manager, Next Insurance, Inc.

The most important task for any in-house legal counsel is to manage business risk and ensure compliance at all costs. Unfortunately, most businesses without a proper contract management system in place (or with one that’s collecting dust) struggle with even keeping track of all their historical and ongoing agreements.

Usually, contracts are stored in haphazardly organized folders or drives, embedded within email threads, or living inside a team member’s computer — who may in the future leave the organization, with the information forever lost with them.

“Think about how many contracts sit on someone’s laptop or in multiple databases and then think about the value of contract management. The importance of simply being able to locate all of the company’s contracts and relevant amendments in one place without significant effort cannot be minimized.”

— Sterling Miller

“Ten Things: Minimizing Risk In Commercial Contracts”
Also Read: Tomorrow’s Counsel, Today - Sterling Miller’s Guide to In-house Growth 

That’s where your contract management dashboard comes in. Take a look at SpotDraft’s contract dashboard, for example.

Contract dashboard on SpotDraft displaying all contracts awaiting signature.

The dashboard shows all the contracts currently stored within your contract repository and their status. You can sort or filter them according to the counterparty, the type of agreement, the users it’s assigned to, who it’s pending with, its current status, and so on. So, for instance, if you wanted to see all the contracts that were pending signatures and who they were pending with, you would only have to go to the menu and set your filters instead of asking your team members to create a report manually.

Speaking of reports, if you wanted to export this information as a report, you could simply click on “Generate Report” to download this as an Excel file. This way, your contract dashboard allows you to dramatically reduce the time it takes to create reports and ensures every stakeholder has access to the data they need immediately, without hampering the productivity of the legal team.

SpotDraft’s filters and report generation features.

Additionally, a well-designed dashboard also allows you to create your own custom views according to the information that is relevant and important to you. For example, a sales representative who deals with hundreds of contracts can create a view that tracks all contracts currently going through the approval process to stay updated on all their deals without having to constantly follow up with Legal.

“I like that I have all my contacts in one place where I can easily determine when they expire, who signed them, and what other documents are associated with the contract. Having the review process available to our sales team so they always know the status of their contract negotiations is a big bonus; they no longer have to send emails to Legal to find out the status of their contracts.”

Raleigh H.
Director of Sales Operations and Enablement

#2 Insights & KPI dashboard: Visualize contract reporting

“Most C-suite executives bank on data and hard metrics and not word-of-mouth. When you have certain metrics that shed light on how legal teams have contributed to growing the revenue stream of the company, it becomes easier for the GC to make business cases.”

Gitanjali Pinto Faleiro
General Counsel, Company Secretary & CCO at Greenhill & Co.

For today’s in-house legal teams, data and metrics are increasingly becoming an essential aspect of their role. And while some might be wary of this shift, legal leaders mention that legal professionals should instead view these analytics and insights as something that demonstrates their value to the business, bridges the gap between cross-functional teams, and allows them to identify opportunities for process improvement and automation.

For this purpose, an insights dashboard becomes particularly helpful for modern legal teams, helping them automate tracking, measurement, and analytics against various key performance indicators (KPIs). Besides enabling legal teams with critical contract insights, these dashboards also provide data that is incredibly valuable to business teams like Sales and Finance.

SpotDraft’s insights dashboard for legal, sales, and finance teams.

Facilitating contract reporting for legal teams

An insights dashboard answers critical questions about your contract lifecycle and processes. On SpotDraft’s insights dashboard, legal teams can find data and insights on:

  • Number of contracts closed every month, which can be further divided by contract type as well as templatized and non-templatized contracts.
  • Average time spent on each stage of a contract for different contract types.
  • Contract review requests received each month per contract type.
  • Average turnaround time for each contract type and legal team member.
  • Average negotiation rounds by contract type.
  • Heavily negotiated clauses for different types of contracts.

This allows the legal team to identify opportunities for further templatization of contracts, areas of improvement, ROI of contract management process improvements or tools, and Legal wins to showcase to the rest of the business.

Tracking contract closure for sales teams

“One of the revenue leaders I worked with told me, ‘Time kills all deals; you gotta close deals fast,’ and I keep this in mind every time I’m pulled into a sales deal.”

Sue So, Head of Legal, Hopin

Closing contracts quickly is everything for the sales team. The insights dashboard provides crucial information on matters like:

  • Contracts closed every month per contract type and their average deal size.
  • Average contract closure time for different types of contracts.
  • Average time spent on each stage of a contract for different contract types.
  • Contracts closed by sales team members each month and their contract values.
  • Number and value of contracts abandoned by each sales team member per month.
SpotDraft insights on number of contracts closed every month.

Enabling accurate forecasting for finance teams

It’s essential for finance teams to have visibility over every dollar that goes in and out of the business — and consequently, contracts are the most valuable source of data for them. With an insights dashboard, finance teams can easily track and obtain insights on:

  • Value of closed sell side and buy side contracts every month.
  • Cumulative net margin.
  • Contract value vs contract term.
  • Contracts due for renewal for different contract types.
SpotDraft’s insights dashboard visualizing the company’s cumulative net margin.
Also Read: How Are CLMs Useful for CFOs & Finance Teams? 

#3 Task management dashboard: Streamline communication

Task management in modern-day contract lifecycle processes is a behemoth of a task in itself. It’s essential for contract management tools to provide a streamlined way to track, assign, and manage tasks.

SpotDraft’s solution to this is a Task Center, that creates visibility and provides a single dashboard for managing all ongoing tasks.

A centralized task management dashboard allows users to:

  • Engage in effective communication, so they don’t have to jump platforms to recall task assignments or gather context.
  • Access an intuitive to-do list, whether that’s for personal tasks or with other team members.
  • Create tasks and reminders for work that may not be directly related to specific contracts.
  • Gain instant visibility over all ongoing tasks relevant to them.

The importance of contract management dashboards

Now that you know the various types of contract dashboards at your disposal and what they have to offer, you might be wondering whether you should bring them in for your legal team. To help you make an informed decision, here are a few important ways a contract management dashboard can enable legal and business.

The importance of contract management dashboards

#1 Ensure transparency and visibility

A CLM dashboard ensures that all stakeholders are in the loop without having to spend a significant amount of time looking for specific information. All the data they need — whether that’s a particular contract, additional context or related documentation on deals, or a report for contract audit — is instantly accessible.

Watch to learn how increased visibility, facilitated faster approvals and thus, enabled business and legal collaboration with the help of SpotDraft.

#2 Reduce legal dependence

By enabling business users, leaders, and executives to easily access the information they need, the legal team frees up the time that goes into having to constantly respond to requests or create manual reports.

#3 Streamline performance reporting

An insights dashboard simplifies performance measurement and reporting for legal teams through automated data visualization in the form of charts and diagrams. They can then use the insights derived to report on Legal wins and areas of focus to executives and within the organization.

#4 Stay ahead of deadlines and renewals

A well-designed contract dashboard helps the legal team and relevant stakeholders keep an eye on upcoming renewals, contract expiry, and deadlines. This helps the business stay compliant, minimizes risk, and protects against costly mistakes or auto-renewals.

#5 Make prioritization effortless

By providing a single source of truth for all contracts within the organization, contract dashboards help the legal team efficiently prioritize all the tasks on their plate and create workflows for automating repetitive manual tasks.

Best practices for setting up contract management dashboards

Have you decided to introduce contract management dashboards within your legal processes? Here are some best practices you should follow when setting up your dashboards.

Best practices for contract management dashboards

#1 Ensure proper access control

Given the sensitive nature of contract data, it’s essential to be mindful of who exactly can access what information through these dashboards. It’s recommended to keep all information on a need-to-know basis.

#2 Consider insights reporting thoughtfully

It’s worth giving a thought to which metrics and insights should be shared when reporting on legal performance. Instead of directly sharing the entire dashboard with them, you should instead present this data alongside context and qualitative information.

“It is difficult to quantify the value of all the work legal teams do as many of the tasks are strategic and complex in nature, such as advising the leadership, risk management, etc. As a GC or Head of Legal, you should highlight the work done by your team to the top leadership and key stakeholders in addition to sharing data tracked as part of KPIs.”

— Diwyata Burbure
Senior Vice President – Legal Tech @SpotDraft

#3 Ensure universal adoption and facilitate training

“Everybody knows no contract can be signed or executed without going through our CLM tool, and every stakeholder has clarity on where the contract is in the pipeline.”

Nadia Louis Hermez
Legal Ops Manager, Next Insurance, Inc.

A dashboard is only as good as its implementation and adoption within the organization. Once you onboard a new contract management tool or dashboard, it’s essential that you facilitate training for all users and ensure that everyone involved actually uses the platform.

Also Read: How to Successfully Implement a Contract Management System
Also read: 8 Top Contract Management Software Platforms

#4 Maintain consistency

Lastly, your contract management dashboard must follow a universal set of rules when it comes to naming conventions, labels, tags, or reference IDs. This ensures proper data management and prevents future clean up of unorganized data.

Use SpotDraft’s intuitive dashboards to ease contract management

SpotDraft offers intuitive and easy-to-use contract management dashboards to help businesses streamline contract data management and reporting as well as create transparency within their contracting process.

If you’re interested in learning how SpotDraft can revolutionize the contract lifecycle for your organization, request a demo to speak with our experts today.

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