Challenges in conventional negotiation methods
Traditionally, businesses negotiate contracts by sending contract documents as email attachments back and forth. When there are multiple rounds of negotiations, tracking changes and version control becomes tedious, and the chances of human errors are high. Though modern word processors enable real-time collaboration and version control, in the absence of a holistic contract lifecycle management (CLM) system, businesses miss out on the valuable insights that could be gleaned from all their negotiations.
With the fast-growing emphasis on compliance across all industries, not having granular control over every aspect of your contract lifecycle and the inability to log each activity with a timestamp within a single central system exposes businesses to numerous risks. Implementing a contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution will address all the above challenges, saving your legal team a significant amount of time and effort and improving compliance.
Benefits of using a CLM for negotiation
- Secured access to counterparties
- Granular control over your contract
- Effortless collaboration among
- Improved version management
- Ability to compare negotiation cycles
- Analytical insights from negotiation patterns
- Faster negotiation cycles
Negotiation in Zoho Contracts
Zoho Contracts enables businesses to send contracts for negotiation using password-protected links. The contract's critical information is secured such that only the authorized counterparty negotiator(s) can access it. The counterparty primary contact can submit the review. The contract owner can choose the suitable access permission for every other negotiator from the following permissions: edit, comment only, or view only.
When the contract owner sends the contract for negotiation, the counterparty negotiators will receive the password-protected link via email. The counterparty negotiators do not need a Zoho Contracts account to negotiate and collaborate in real time. The negotiators can suggest changes, add comments, set visibility for them, and view the live cursor of other negotiators with the write-level access permission. With automatic redlining, they can also instantly spot changes instead of screening through the whole contract.
View review status
Usually, the contract owner encounters a blank space after sending the contract for counterparty review, as they're unaware of the proceedings within the counterparty organization. The Activity tab in Zoho Contracts informs the owner whether each counterparty negotiator has received the access link, viewed the contract, and submitted the review, depending on their access permission along with the timestamp for each action. This feature promotes better visibility into the progress of the contract negotiation in the counterparty organization, eliminating the need for inquiry emails.
Zoho Contracts generates and displays a Review Summary for the contract owner when the counterparty negotiator submits the contract review. The contract owner gets an overall idea of the review at a glance, without having to scan the entire contract. The contract owner can accept or reject the changes, and resolve and reply to the negotiators' comments. Later, the owner can resend the contract for negotiation or mark it as negotiated and proceed for signature.
Negotiation can be a prolonged process involving multiple back and forths until both parties mutually assent. Zoho Contracts saves every negotiation cycle as a version, and counterparty negotiators can compare any two versions at a time. This feature helps the counterparty negotiators identify all the differences between any two cycles of choice.
Negotiation-based reports provide special insights for admins by analyzing past negotiations. These insights will help them revisit contract negotiation strategies. There are also general reports that give an overview of the contracts pending execution, enabling better operational efficiency.
History tracking enables stakeholders to view and analyze the evolution of the contract document throughout the entire negotiation. When a contract goes through multiple rounds of negotiation, the counterparty negotiators can view the contract document version from any past review cycle. The contract owner can also view the negotiation activity, review summary, and contract document version of the previous negotiation cycles.