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Legal Ops Best Practice



Legal Ops Best Practice

Legal ops best practice is something that a lot of early stage startups struggle with. They are too busy getting their product and sales motion set up, understandably so. But as the volume of those sales start to rise so does the manual work of processing the contracts. This in turn will slow down your sales cycle as you grow and give your legal team, sales team and finance team headaches. In the face of challenges of growth caused by the unstructured data in contracts we’re going to talk about how implementing a contract management software streamlines negotiations, improves legal team efficiency, and provides strategic oversight for founders and sales leaders in small to medium-sized tech startups.

Setting up best practices for your SaaS legal ops team can help streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and mitigate risks. Here are some key best practices to consider implementing.

Standardize Contract Templates

Develop standardized contract templates for common agreements such as subscription agreements, service level agreements (SLAs), and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Standardizing templates ensures consistency, reduces the time spent on drafting contracts from scratch, and minimizes the risk of errors or omissions.

Implement Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) System

Invest in a CLM system like Contract Sent to centralize contract storage, automate workflows, and track contract status throughout the lifecycle. A CLM system streamlines contract creation, approval, execution, and renewal processes, improving efficiency and visibility for the legal ops team.

Establish Document Management Protocols

Define document management protocols to organize and categorize legal documents systematically. Implement version control mechanisms to track revisions and updates to contracts, ensuring that stakeholders are always working with the latest version of documents.

tracking contract details

Develop Contract Review Processes

Implement standardized contract review processes to ensure thorough legal review while minimizing delays in contract negotiation and execution. Define clear roles and responsibilities for legal team members and establish service level agreements (SLAs) for contract turnaround times.

Automate Contract Generation and Redlining

Leverage contract automation tools to generate routine contracts and automate redlining processes. Automation streamlines repetitive tasks, accelerates contract creation, and reduces the risk of human error.

Provide Legal Training and Education

Offer regular training sessions and resources to educate internal stakeholders on legal best practices, contract terms, and compliance requirements. Empowering non-legal teams with basic legal knowledge fosters collaboration, improves communication, and reduces reliance on the legal ops team for routine inquiries.

Monitor Compliance and Regulatory Changes

Stay informed about relevant regulatory changes and industry standards impacting the SaaS business model. Establish procedures for monitoring compliance with data privacy regulations, intellectual property laws, and other legal requirements applicable to the SaaS industry.

Implement Contract Analytics and Reporting

Utilize contract analytics and reporting tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs), monitor contract metrics, and identify areas for improvement. Analyzing data on contract volume, cycle times, and risk exposure enables the legal ops team to make data-driven decisions and optimize processes.

Facilitate Cross-Functional Collaboration

Foster collaboration between the legal ops team and other departments such as sales, finance, and product development. Establish regular meetings or cross-functional working groups to align priorities, address legal concerns, and streamline processes that span multiple departments.

Continuous Improvement and Feedback Loop

Encourage a culture of continuous improvement by soliciting feedback from internal stakeholders and external partners. Regularly review processes, identify bottlenecks, and implement enhancements to optimize efficiency and effectiveness over time.

By implementing these best practices, your SaaS legal ops team can enhance productivity, mitigate risks, and support the company’s growth objectives while ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

manage contract negotiations
Set Tasks, Negotiate Faster

Communication: Legal Ops Best Practice For Sales And Legal Teamwork

In the back and forth of contract negotiations, effective communication between the sales and legal teams is one of the most common things that can speed up your sales cycle. In fact, of all the things that derail legal ops best practice communication failures is the number one issue. As the sales team pushes to close deals and meet revenue targets, the legal team plays a important role in protecting the organization’s interests and mitigating risks. By fostering collaboration, transparency, and mutual understanding, companies can streamline contract negotiations and achieve those grand sales targets. Here are some best practices for communication between sales and legal teams during contract negotiations.

Establish Open Lines of Communication

From the outset of contract negotiations, it’s essential to establish open lines of communication between the sales and legal teams. Encourage regular meetings, check-ins, and status updates to discuss deal progress, address concerns, and align on strategy. By fostering a culture of transparency and collaboration, teams can work together more effectively towards common goals.

Define Clear Roles and Responsibilities

Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the sales and legal teams in the contract negotiation process. The sales team is responsible for understanding customer needs, articulating value propositions, and negotiating deal terms, while the legal team focuses on reviewing contracts, identifying risks, and ensuring compliance. Clarifying each team’s role helps avoid misunderstandings and facilitates smoother collaboration.

Provide Comprehensive Training and Education

Offer training and education sessions to both sales and legal teams to familiarize them with key legal concepts, contract terms, and negotiation strategies. Sales team members should understand the basics of contract law, common clauses, and legal risks, while legal team members should grasp the business context, customer requirements, and sales objectives. Shared knowledge enhances communication and empowers teams to work more cohesively.

Establish Clear Communication Channels

Define clear communication channels and protocols for sharing information and feedback between the sales and legal teams. Whether it’s through email, instant messaging, or project management tools, ensure that communication channels are easily accessible and conducive to collaboration. Establishing dedicated channels for contract-related discussions helps streamline communication and avoid unnecessary delays.

Provide Timely Feedback and Guidance

Sales teams should proactively involve the legal team in contract negotiations early on and seek their feedback and guidance throughout the process. Legal team members can provide valuable insights into potential risks, suggest alternative language for contentious clauses, and offer strategies for reaching mutually beneficial agreements. Timely feedback ensures that legal considerations are addressed promptly, preventing last-minute surprises or delays.

Maintain a Collaborative Mindset

Build a collaborative mindset among both sales and legal teams, emphasizing the shared objective of achieving successful outcomes for the organization. Encourage teams to approach negotiations with a problem-solving mindset, focusing on finding solutions that meet both customer needs and company objectives. By working together as partners rather than two groups that are constantly fighting for opposite goals, teams can build trust, resolve conflicts, and navigate negotiations more effectively.

Document Decisions and Agreements

Document key decisions, agreements, and action items discussed during contract negotiations to ensure clarity and accountability. Use collaboration tools or shared repositories to track changes, document comments, and capture meeting minutes. Clear documentation helps prevent misunderstandings, provides a record of discussions, and facilitates follow-up actions by both teams.

Make Legal Ops Best Practice The Norm

Encourage ongoing feedback and reflection from both sales and legal teams to identify areas for improvement in the contract negotiation process. Conduct post-mortem reviews after major negotiations to evaluate what worked well and what could be improved. By continuously refining communication processes, addressing pain points, and implementing lessons learned, teams can enhance their effectiveness and efficiency over time.

Effective communication between sales and legal teams is essential for successful contract negotiations. By establishing open lines of communication, defining clear roles, providing comprehensive training, and maintaining a collaborative mindset, teams can navigate negotiations more effectively, mitigate risks, and achieve favorable outcomes for the organization. With proactive communication and a shared commitment to excellence, sales and legal teams can build stronger partnerships and drive greater success in contract negotiations.

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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