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Best Tools For Legal Operations



Tools For Legal Operations

Legal is more than just the guys that sift through mountains of paperwork and reduce risk. In a SaaS startup your legal team is an essential part of your sales cycle. Getting them the best tools for legal operations will speed up your sales cycle. It will also have great flow on effects to the rest of your business when it comes to renewals, cashflow and fundraising. We’ve collated the best tools for legal operations along with the pro’s and con’s of using them in your tech stack. Keep in mind that this has been built for early stage startups. There are a lot of high end enterprise tools that you can use with bells and whistles. But if you can’t justify a $10,000 budget for legal tools just yet (product or go-to-market spending is more important), then read on.

Best Tools for Legal Operations – Contract Storage

Contract storage is a basic of getting your legal operations to be a useful part of your business. Collate all your signed contracts in one place (not trapped in an email inbox) for them to be useful. There are a lot of tools for legal operations in this category and it often depends on your operational tech stack (Microsoft vs Google). Let’s have a look at some of the key ones.

Google Drive For Contract Storage

Many startups who are just getting started with selling find Google Drive a simple go-to. If you’re in the Google Suite it makes sense and there’s no extra cost (unless you’re storing hundreds of contracts).


  • Easy and accessible, everyone knows how to use it so there’s no new processes to set up
  • Easy to understand and create folder systems
  • Integrations, a lot of integrations
  • Searchable


  • Almost too easy to set up folders, between this and a lack of control around contract naming conventions it is very easy for your contract storage to become a garbage pile which is extremely hard to search
  • No process for managing contract negotiations or version control
  • No overview of where contracts sit process wise

Sharepoint For Contract Storage

Again, very dependant on where your tech stack sits. If you’re a Microsoft company Sharepoint is often a go to, similar to Google Drive.


  • Similar to Google Drive, you have your whole team living in Sharepoint already
  • Easy to share links
  • Very searchable


  • Again, it can easily become a trash pit without proper management for naming conventions and folder structures
  • We’ve found the document permissions to be a little difficult if you’re looking to share externally

Hubspot For Contract Storage

Seems intuitive but a lot of startups don’t store their contracts in Hubspot. Often, because they are early-stage startups and haven’t reached the point of having line items built into their CRM, things are quite manual. This manual contracting work tends to live outside of Hubspot because it’s not where the legal team spends their time.


  • Can link a contract to a customer (easier for your customer facing teams to find)
  • Timestamps help (kind of) to understand what the most recent contract is
  • Easy access for all of your go to market team


  • Need to train the legal team on Hubspot
  • No ability to mark what is a signed contract or not (again relies on naming conventions)
  • If you want to create automations from the data in the contract you need to extract data manually

Contract Sent For Contract Storage

Contract Sent is a tool for contract storage that will help you automate many features around this and have a clear view of what’s going on with current negotiations and renewals.


  • Structured contract storage
  • Data extraction so you’re not diving into a thirty page document every time you want to review something
  • Advanced contract comparison to make version control and decision making easier
  • A dashboard to have overview of your contract negotiations in process


contract management software for startups

Contract Management Software

Beyond simple contract storage you’ll start to get into the area of contract management software. Many purpose-built software solutions are out there for managing your contracts. The issue is not many pitch themselves at very early-stage startups, which we are looking at here. So we’re focusing on tools of legal operations that we’ve used at this startup end of the market.

Trello For Contract Management

Trello is a tool that is often used to visualize and manage the contract negotiation process. It’s simple to use kanban board style makes it super easy to project manage this process.


  • Easy to use, set up and customize
  • Can attach documents and communicate with other users on your board
  • Integrates with Google Drive


  • Gets very messy very fast
  • No easy to access dashboards
  • Need to move data in and out of Trello manually
  • No features around document management

Hubspot Ticket Pipeline For Contract Management


  • In the flow of work for your customer facing team
  • Can attach contract negotiations to deals in Hubspot


  • Not purpose built so can get messy if you don’t have someone keeping an eye on things and getting naming conventions correct
  • Can become confused with your support tickets.
  • No data extraction and you’ll need to manually read contracts to understand what’s in them

Contract Sent For Contract Management


  • Specially build for startup B2B contract negotiations
  • Maintain a clear dashboard of the location of all your contracts at any time, enabling you to manage your legal resources and close deals faster.
  • Advanced contract comparison so you’re not diving into contracts line by line
  • Collaboration between your sales team, legal team and decision makers


Best Tools For Legal Operations – What To Look For

There are a lot of tools out there that you can use for legal operations, whether they are purpose built or not. We all love a good hack around to get us where we need to go for cheaper and faster. The issue with legal operations is that the jump from a free hack around to your first contract management software implementation is often a large leap. Both in terms of cost and left to get set up. That’s why we built Contract Sent, to make a great tool that’s low cost and low lift. While you’re looking for the best way to get set up here are the things you should look for:

1. Business Stage Fit and Room For Growth

The stage of your company often determines the type of tool that you need. At five contracts tools like Trello and Google Drive make complete sense. When you get to thirty contracts and you have a team that need to access contracts and contract data you’ll start to run into issues. This is also where you don’t have money to spend $10,000 on a large scale solution. This is where Contract Sent sits.

2. Team Collaboration

Probably one of the most ignoring things when it comes to contract management. When you’re staring down the barrel of a quarter end and wanting to get deals over the line you’ll soon see that team collaboration and contract communication is essential. Don’t get stuck in two day turnarounds to get use case information to your legal team. Delays kill target acheivement.

3. Document Management & Version Control

Half of the battle is knowing which version to look at and the changes that have been made between versions. Every change is a business decision and you want to quickly and easily dive into these changes. This is where things like advanced contract comparison come in handy.

4. Contract Storage Structure

Once a contract has been signed you want to be able to do two things. First is simply storing the contracts in a folder hierarchy that allows all users to find the correct contract at a moments notice. The second is extracting the data from the contract so you can view the information in the contract without reading the entire thing.

Contract Sent

A contract management system built for startups to manage, negotiate and report on their SaaS contracts.

Contract Sent is not a law firm, this post and subsequent pages on this website do not constitute or contain legal advice. To understand whether or not the ideas and guidance on the Contract Sent website is applicable to your business, you should consult with a licensed attorney. The use and accessing of any resources contained within the Contract Sent site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and Contract Sent.


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