Whether you are a VAR, VAD or manufacturer, the first step in implementing a contract management solution is uncovering the contract data within your company and organizing it in a useful way. This discovery process can be handled internally or outsourced to a consulting company such as Managed Maintenance, Inc. It is imperative that this task be executed by a team that is knowledgeable about data discovery and conversion and that they establish an easy process for ongoing data upload and verification.
When it comes to the contract management solution itself, companies developing or purchasing a solution platform should focus on a few key criteria:
• Proactive Opportunity Identification
An intelligent contract management solution will proactively notify the sales team or support personnel of opportunities for end-user renewals. The user should be able to set specific preferences for alerts and their frequency based on customer and expiration date criteria.
• Ability to Forecast Annuity Business by Month and Year
In addition to contract details, the application should include detailed budgeting and forecasting reporting, with capabilities to filter data from one to 36 months.
• Ability to Push Data to End Customers
Not only should your business have access to contract expiration data and financial data, but you should be able to extend that information to customers with ease. In some cases, you may wish to have the tool notify your sales team and end customers of impending expirations.
• Campaign Management
The application should provide the ability to target marketing campaigns at multiple end customers based on defined criteria such as type of asset or geography. By pushing announcements to customers that fit selected criteria, the tool further enables proactive sales and opportunity development. The solution should also track click throughs and/or responses for a complete campaign management solution.
• Ease of Use
The contract management solution should require minimal training and include flexible options for data presentation based on the user’s log-in ID. For example, a sales representative may only wish to see those contracts that pertain to his or her particular customers.
• Low-Cost Implementation
Custom-developed solutions can be labor intensive and expensive to implement. If you elect to purchase an established solution, be sure that it provides a flexible pricing model for your business. Savvy providers will price the solution by contract line item, enabling smaller VARs to capitalize on solution benefits as easily as larger manufacturers.