The need for implementing an end-to-end solution to handle both CPQ (Configure Price Quote) and CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management) is becoming increasingly required specifically in the high tech, manufacturing, professional, and financial services verticals.
Some of the top players in the market are Salesforce.com CPQ, SpringCM, and Conga Contracts for providing Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions. In an ideal world, CLM and CPQ technologies should work hand in hand to support a seamless end to end business process; however, solutions for supporting CLM and CPQ processes are often configured as separate applications. Few third-party applications exist today to support the ease of integration between the two applications.
The question then becomes “how do I integrate a CPQ solution with a CLM solution as seamlessly as possible to allow for maximum ROI?” And “which processes should be handled in my CPQ system and which in my CLM system?” Here are a couple of best practice methods to consider when integrating the two.
Manage your Product, Pricing & Discount Approvals in CPQ
Any approvals and negotiations related to products, pricing or discounting should be managed before the document is generated in CLM. Doing so will allow you to retain a single source of truth for your product, pricing and discount data within CPQ. Unfortunately, CLM applications are not wired to host this type of data. Managing these types of approvals in CLM could result in potential out of sync data between your CPQ and CLM systems.
Leverage CLM to generate documents
Conga and SpringCM both come fully equipped with powerful document generation tools, allowing you to standardize, automate, and simplify the document generation process. These tools provide capabilities which will allow you to include dynamic content in your templates, pre-populate them with data from SFDC and CPQ and, most important of all, make it easy for you to maintain these templates after implementation. Analogous to how CPQ should retain a golden copy of your product, pricing and discount data, CLM tools should be leveraged to manage the single source of truth for your contracts. Documents should be generated and reside in one central repository. Managing contracts across different or siloed systems can create challenges when it comes to searching for and accessing your documents.
Leverage CLM for managing approvals of terms & conditions
Both SpringCM and Conga provide repositories for managing and storing your clauses, these are also referred to as ‘Clause Libraries.’ Clause Libraries provide you with a single and centralized repository where standard clauses can be easily accessed and maintained within templated contracts without the needed for writing code. As a legal reviewer, if I’m reviewing a contract in the negotiation process and I have to apply changes to terms and conditions or insert a pre-existing clause into the contract, I can do so easily within CLM by leveraging Clause Libraries. Capabilities within both SpringCM and Conga such as SpringCM’s Term Sync and Conga’s True Up functionalities can update any changes made to clauses in real time and also write back to Salesforce.com making it easy to determine how frequently certain non-standard terms are requested in contract negotiations.
The harmonization of business processes is no easy feat. It takes a keen understanding of both your pain points and where you want your business to be in the near future. The marriage of your CPQ and CLM solutions is just one way you can begin breaking down the disconnect between your business entities to approach a more balanced business environment.