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Build Trust in Your Terms and Conditions to Reduce Negotiations and Close Deals Faster

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Commercial counsel at leading firms promote their balanced contract terms to enhance collaboration with their sales teams and build trust with their counterparties. The end result: customers sign on their terms without negotiation up to 85% of the time and transaction cycles are reduced by 30% in the event of negotiations. Interested to learn more? 

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The holy grail in contracting efficiency is to get the other party to agree to your standard contract terms with no negotiation whatsoever, much like what happens when someone buys an app from an app store. When this occurs, the parties typically experience negligible transaction costs, complete their deal in minutes rather than days, and have a contract that (at least from the drafter’s standpoint) is perfectly tailored to the specifics of this transaction.  From a business standpoint, this means spending less on legal, getting revenue/product access faster, and having a lower likelihood of contract value leakage.

Today’s contracting innovators are using data and AI tools to benchmark and optimize their contracts to drive dramatically higher levels of acceptance from counterparties. While contract benchmarking and optimization have been occurring for decades, offering terms that are objectively balanced or even counterparty friendly is not enough to get counterparties to accept them as-is.  For years, drafters have commonly slanted terms significantly in their favor, causing counterparties to approach the transaction with deep levels of mistrust.  

To overcome this, innovative commercial counsel at leading companies are taking a proactive approach to talk about what makes their terms not just ‘market’ but also reasonable and even desirable for the buyer. They have found that having contract terms objectively reviewed and certified by an independent third party is conducive to building trust not only with their counterparties but also with their sales teams who need to close deals faster. 

An emerging best practice among innovative commercial counsel is to complement efforts of benchmarking, optimizing, and certifying their contracts, with a low-friction communication strategy. This includes:

  • - Embedding link to the independent report in the contract template itself so that the other party can easily validate that the certification is real. See Automox’s Master Service Agreement as an example. 
  • - Educating Sales and Other Business Personnel about Legal’s efforts to reduce negotiations, including the independent certification, and explaining to them how the deal can get done more quickly on the company’s standard paper.
  • - Pushing Back in a standardized fashion on attempts by counterparties to use their paper or negotiate terms before they actually read the independent report in detail.

This combination is proven to drive significant increases in counterparties’ willingness to do business on the company’s standard terms with reduced negotiation — or better yet, with no negotiation at all.

Automox

For example, in the quarter following the implementation of these steps at Automox, an IT Operations cloud solutions provider, 85% of all new label deals (i.e., deals with companies that did not already have a contract with Automox) were done on Automox’s standard paper without negotiation.  Automox’s GC, Paul Shoning, had expected it to take a year to reach these levels and is now looking to increase his target for the year, observing that ”this is significant for us because every percentage point we add to the number of deals we do without negotiation directly impacts the number of lawyers we need to get the company’s business done.”

Freshworks

Freshworks, a SaaS business solutions provider, had a similar experience.  By taking the steps described above, Freshworks believes it has reduced its negotiations of sales contracts by over 30%.  Justin Widlund, the Freshworks AGC driving this exercise, noted that “these changes have allowed our company to close business faster, speeding our time to revenue and allowing us to develop better relationships with our customers.”

Are you ready to take advantage of data-fueled solutions to drive contracting speed, efficiency, and success?

To become the latest in an established line of organizations who have reduced contract negotiations by up to 30%, get started with a free demo today.