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As soon as the size of the legal team increases beyond two professionals, it gets difficult to take objective decisions during contract negotiations. These decisions could range from clauses that should be included, language used in contracts, fall back options, or non-acceptable positions to the process of review and approval matrix. 

How do you manage the varying risk appetites of different legal professionals in the team? What may be unacceptable to one, may be acceptable to the other. As teams scale, this subjectivity brings in multiple risk factors for the organization. 

Internal playbooks for different contract types help solve for this. They act as guides to standardize the negotiation process, bringing in clarity, transparency, and efficiency in operations for legal teams. In short, playbooks help move negotiations from subjective to objective, reducing the overall risk for the organization.

Why use an NDA playbook? 

Simply having an NDA template might not be sufficient to address the unique challenges and complexities involved in confidentiality agreements. This is where an NDA playbook proves invaluable.

#1 Consistency and standardization

An NDA playbook serves as a comprehensive guide that outlines best practices, standardized procedures, and key considerations when drafting, negotiating, and executing NDAs. With an NDA playbook, you can ensure consistency in your confidentiality agreements. This consistency streamlines the process and enhances efficiency, allowing businesses to save valuable time and resources.

#2 Tailored and scalable approach

Every business encounters unique circumstances, risks, and requirements when dealing with confidential information. An NDA playbook allows organizations to customize their confidentiality agreements to suit specific situations.

#3 Risk mitigation and legal compliance

An NDA playbook plays a pivotal role in risk mitigation and legal compliance. It ensures that organizations are well-informed about legal considerations, industry standards, and relevant regulations associated with confidentiality agreements.

#4 Enhanced negotiation and collaboration

Negotiating the terms of an NDA often involves multiple parties, each with their own interests, concerns, and expectations. An NDA playbook serves as a valuable resource during these negotiations, offering a framework that promotes effective communication and collaboration.

Why use SpotDraft's NDA Negotiation Playbook?

Since NDAs are one of the most commonly used contracts by businesses, we’ve put together an NDA negotiation playbook for legal teams of all sizes.

This playbook was based on analysis and conversations with over 100 law departments across industries.

With this initiative, 70–80% of building an NDA playbook is already taken care of. All you need to do is edit some parts based on your organization’s legal purview. This will help you: 

  • Create a comprehensive  playbook: A single source of guidance that helps legal, sales, and other business departments to be on the same page during contract negotiations
  • Provide a crystal clear process for contract negotiations with fall back positions, negotiation strategies, escalation points, common language across the organization, approval processes, and quicker deal closures
  • Spend less time training new team members and drafting and negotiating contracts; just follow the playbook
  • Have a detailed implementation and adoption plan for your playbook

The FREE NDA Negotiation Playbook by SpotDraft

In this template, you will find an end-to-end playbook to negotiate NDAs that can also be adapted to negotiate other contract types. The playbook includes:

  • An exhaustive list of key clauses that need to be reviewed
  • Classification between negotiation position as a recipient or disclosure of confidential information
  • Simple explanation of key clauses so that business teams can understand the relevance and significance of the clause
  • Standard and fall back positions for each clause
  • Recommended approval workflows for deviations
  • Sample standard clauses for easy copying and pasting

With a little effort, you can customize this template to meet your organization’s specific criteria.

And to implement it, you can always seek SpotDraft. Our AI-assisted templating engine can automatically implement all playbooks across a company’s contracts, saving hours for both legal and business teams. To learn more about how SpotDraft has helped legal teams bring down their contract review time by almost 90%, you can set up time with our team here.

Also read: Mastering the Art of Contract Negotiation: Strategies for Success


1. What is a contract playbook?

A contract playbook is a library of standard contract templates and associated guidance that is designed to streamline the contract drafting and negotiating process.

2. Why is a contract playbook important?

A contract playbook allows legal teams to quickly and efficiently create contracts that are legally sound, while avoiding any risks of non-compliance. It also ensures that contracts are consistent across the organization, strengthening the organization's legal position.

3. How is a playbook different from a contract template? 

Contract negotiation playbooks are often confused with contract templates. While they seem fairly similar, the key difference lies in their use case. 

Contract templates help you draft contracts faster. Playbooks help teams review contracts faster. They also help other teams understand the organization’s legal stand with respect to different clauses.

4. How does a contract playbook add value to legal teams?

Contract playbooks enable legal teams to quickly and efficiently review contracts ensuring they are compliant with legal and regulatory requirements. It also gives legal teams confidence that they are using the most up-to-date and legally-sound standardized clauses, helping to reduce errors and risk. 

5. How do contract playbooks add value to other business teams?

A contract playbook enables business teams to easily understand the company’s legal position regarding particular contracts and efficiently negotiate contracts while complying with the organization's legal and regulatory requirements. As such, it helps reduce the time required for negotiation and ensures that the organization has strong negotiating integrity as a team. 

6. How do I implement a contract playbook?

Implementing a contract playbook can be done in several steps. First, identify your organization's most frequently used contract types and the highly negotiated ones. Next, create a playbook for each contract type that includes the relevant clauses. Finally, create a standardized process for reviewing contracts with the help of your playbooks.

7. Do I need a playbook for all my contract types?

Not necessarily. It is important to categorize your contracts based on two parameters: contract volume and negotiation frequency. The decision matrix below will help you prioritize which playbooks to start with. For high volume contracts that are highly negotiated, playbooks are a must. Additionally, you may want to consider building playbooks for the other two buckets as well. 

8. At what stage of an organization does building an internal playbook make sense?

Typically, any organization big enough to have a dedicated legal team should start building contract playbooks. The general rule of thumb is a legal team consisting of more than two professionals. This will help ensure that all your teams have the necessary resources to properly draft, review and negotiate contracts.

9. How do we ensure higher adoption of playbooks?

To ensure higher adoption of playbooks, it is important to focus on making the process as efficient and user-friendly as possible. Make sure to involve key stakeholders in the process, educate users on how playbooks can help streamline operations, and provide support and training in the use of playbooks. It is also important to make sure the playbooks are regularly updated and reviewed to ensure accuracy and relevancy.

10. Implementing playbooks seems exhausting, how do we break this up in phases?

When implementing playbooks, it is important to break the process into smaller, manageable phases. Start by defining the purpose and goals of the playbooks and identifying the stakeholders involved in the process. From there, focus on the development of the playbooks, ensuring the content is accurate and up-to-date. Once the playbooks are developed, focus on the implementation process, including user training and support. Start by breaking playbook development into different phases of priority using the decision matrix mentioned above.

11. There are so many contract playbooks out there, how is SpotDraft’s playbook different from others?

Generic playbooks take longer to tailor to your specific requirements. SpotDraft has broken these playbooks into specific use cases. Moreover, these playbooks are built with the knowledge and experience of industry experts. Implementation and adoption of playbooks is a different ball-game altogether. SpotDraft playbooks have a step-by-step guide to ensure these playbooks don’t get buried in your folders as a one-time initiative, but are used by your teams on a regular basis.

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