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Do you want to process more contracts faster while ensuring that they remain compliant with your organization's internal standards?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Redline software for contracts can help you strike the perfect balance between speed and compliance, while also making the contracting process more transparent and streamlined.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through what contract redlining software is and how it can help your team be more productive and efficient.

What is contract redlining?

Contract redlining is the process of reviewing a contract and highlighting (or redlining) sections or clauses that have been or need to be edited.

Where does the term “redlining” come from?

Prior to the early 90s, before emails and using computers became really popular, contract negotiations between two parties used to happen via faxes. One lawyer would receive a copy of the contract to negotiate and they would use a red pen to “mark it up” and then fax it back.

While we have thankfully moved on to more efficient systems of reviewing and negotiating contracts, the term “redlining” has now entered the legal vernacular. 

What is digital redline software?

Digital redline software

Contract redlining software allows you to digitally track changes made to a contract, accept or reject suggestions and collaborate with external & internal stakeholders seamlessly. It helps you speed up the redlining process and reduce turnaround time by up to 50%.

Streamlining contract management can have a far-reaching impact on other areas of your business as well. Contract creation, negotiation, and approval make up around 18% of the sales cycle activities. A well-defined contract management process helps to speed up the sales cycle. 

But redlining a contract remains challenging. It is a problem that further gets compounded due to the limitations of Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Research says large organizations lose around $215,000 per day during the contract process due to lengthy contract review processes. 

Let us look at the contract redlining challenges.

Cross department coordination

Contract redlining can involve several comments and reiterations. It leads to a lot of back and forth across parties that can be time-consuming. Tracking and responding to each change possesses a challenge. The chances of a few intricate details getting missed also remain high.

Scattered contracts

Both physical and digital contracts can have multiple versions at different locations, making it hard to know which is the final version. Lack of standardized procedures and decentralization runs the risk of overlooking important redlines. 

Incompatibility with devices

Your counterparties may not necessarily use the same tool and device to redline documents. There is no guarantee of redlines getting transferred when you exchange documents with them. Users on iOS and other mobile devices also may not be able to view the track changes done on a Word document.

Security

Security remains a concern for documents you want to protect from further changes. In text editors like Microsoft Word and Google Docs, it is easy to bypass these protections. Users can simply copy-paste locked content into another document. 

Lack of Clarity

Redlined documents have several comments and changes that become overwhelming to track. Anyone can overlook a few changes here and there.

Contract sharing

Traditional means of sharing documents through emails can lead to many issues. Some redlines may not remain visible, comments are likely to get missed, and changes get overlooked in the transition.

Contract redlining software and its benefits 

Contract redline software helps your teams collaborate and communicate for efficient results. Automating and streamlining processes helps eliminate resource-intensive tasks. Freed resources can then focus on critical tasks that need more attention. Here are some benefits of digital redlining software.

Version control

The contract document will only have a single version for everyone to work on. A contract redlining software helps eliminate confusion due to multiple versions, allowing people to collaborate better.

Approval workflows

During the contract negotiation process, there are often multiple people who will need to add in their inputs. For example, if it is an MSA for your service, you may need to collect approval from your Head of Sales if the contract value is below a specific amount. These approvals are currently collected via a variety of other sources like email, Slack, etc. The right redlining software will allow you to collaborate on a contract during the redlining phase. 

Tracking capabilities

You get the flexibility and ease to track each change as you would with the help of the track changes option on MS word. 

Compatibility with the DocX format

MS Word currently remains the dominant platform that is used to review contracts. Chances are that even if you are using a particular redlining software to review your contract, it will need to be opened by the counter-party on MS Word. Consequently, the software you use must be compatible with MS Word.

Integration with other tools

You can integrate the contract redlining software with other tools like Salesforce. This will ensure that other stakeholders can be made aware of the progress without having to log in to your Redlining software. 

Real-time collaboration

Collaborate with internal stakeholders and get quick approvals. You can leave comments for your team and counter-parties. SpotDraft makes collaboration a breeze. 

Cloud storage

The benefits of cloud storage are advantageous for remote teams. Members can access documents from anywhere as long as they have a stable internet connection.

E-signatures

You can get the document signed on the contract redlining software itself once you have redlined and accepted changes on the contract without having to rely on third-party signature tools.

Auto-redlining in contract automation software to execute changes to contracts at speed 

According to an Aberdeen study, contract automation shortens the approval time by 82% which would’ve otherwise taken 3.4 weeks. You can expect similar improved efficiencies as the negotiation and editing activities get automated. Once your team redlines the document, they can send it to the counter-party for review. 

The relevant authority can suggest and accept changes to the document itself without any downloads. Changes made on the file ensure accuracy and security to eliminate related hassles.

You can also customize the approval process based on your business needs. It will help eliminate the back and forth of emails, which is usually the norm with contract negotiations.

Here are the top benefits of contract redlining software.

Integrating with email

You can redline the contract, accept the changes and send the document for eSignatures, all in one place. This way, you don’t have to worry about uploading a file over email. All this is done for you right in the redlining software with email integration. 

Overcomes human errors

Manual processes remain prone to risks that prove costly in the long run. Tracking the changes can become cumbersome if too many people are involved in the process. Automated workflows of contract redlining software help improve process efficiencies and reduce the scope of errors.

Integrates with CRM

You can integrate the contract's final version with your CRM to ensure the sales team is kept in the loop with the work the legal team is doing. 

-> Read Now: Everything you need to know about contract negotiation software

SpotDraft: the best contract redline software for your needs

SpotDraft - Your favorite redline software

Looking for support and best practices of contract redlining? SpotDraft, the best contract redlining software, has processed over a hundred thousand contracts. Enabling process efficiencies to speed up the contract redlining and negotiation process remains critical for your business.

We help you leverage the power of automation by offering you the right set of contract lifecycle management (CLM) tools. Contract management will be a brisk activity when each stakeholder is aware of their role in the process. Our redlining software for contracts works for any contract that is in a Doc or Docx format.

Your sales and legal teams can collaborate much better to get results using composite workflows. It will help everyone experience improved productivity as all the data remains in one place. No more scratching your head over locating that elusive version of the document or getting access to information.

Get a product demo today to see the software in action. If you have any related questions, write to us. One of our associates will contact you soon.

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