Contract Heroes

Closing The Gap: How Sales and Legal Teams Win Together

Episode Summary

Join Matthew Rinker of DocuSign as we uncover the power of Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) for seamless collaboration and speedy deal closures. Discover how modern CLM tools eliminate the tedious back-and-forth of contract negotiations and bring transparency to the approval process. Matthew's expertise in legal technology and sales sheds light on the transformative efficiencies of CLM systems, revolutionizing sales outcomes. Explore how CLM integrates with platforms like Salesforce, offering a competitive edge in deal forecasting and closure. Learn about shared investment opportunities in CLM tools, reshaping resource allocation for sales and legal departments. Gain actionable strategies for CLM adoption and user efficiency, including management buy-in and CLM champion identification. Explore the importance of a robust support network for successful CLM implementation, with practical examples of streamlined NDA processes and proactive contract renewal notifications. Don't miss out on unlocking the full potential of CLM for your organization's growth and success.

Episode Transcription

0:00:16 - Marc Doucette

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Contract Heroes Today joining us from DocuSign. He is the Enterprise Customer Success Manager there, Matthew Rinker. Matthew, thank you so much for jumping on the show with us today. 


0:00:30 - Matthew Rinkert

Yeah, my pleasure. 


0:00:32 - Marc Doucette

And before we jump into flip things over to Pepe, to give us a little bit more information on what we're going to be chatting about today. We were hoping you could give the listeners just a bit more information on your background. How did you end up in the CLM space? 


0:00:47 - Matthew Rinkert

Yeah, kind of a windy road like most people go into CLM, but that kind of high level is originally from the Bay Area, which is kind of the epicenter of the tech scene. Really. Initially, I cut my teeth with legal technology and data privacy years ago and so that's where I really understood like the intersectionality and how legal folks can empower business users and then fast forward. I moved up to Seattle a few years ago and worked for a CLM startup based here and that led myself to DocuSign, and so I really just think that, believe it or not, I think that legal and business should always be working together and why I'm really fixated and really excited about what CLM is now and what it's become, and excited about this conversation. 


0:01:30 - Pepe Toriello

We've been talking a lot lately well, at least in our previous 10, 15 episodes between this kind of relationship love, hate relationship between legal and the commercial team, especially with procurement. We've been focusing a lot with procurement because, as you know, it's like those are, like most, common champions on the CLM projects inside the enterprises. But this time we would have flipped it to the other side with sales. Then we want to focus this discussion with you, Matthew, on what's like this relationship and how we can use CLM to make it way better and especially, like you know, how can legal and sales team overcome these traditional silos to foster a closer collaboration and drive faster deal closure. I mean, if you go to LinkedIn you can see like a lot of memes, if you follow people in the legal space, when legal receive a request from sales on the Friday and they need it for yesterday. 


This is like the story of every day, and so I'm very curious, Matthew, like what's your experience in this and how have you been helping sales teams and legal team to help them to close deals faster? 


0:02:48 - Matthew Rinkert

Absolutely, and maybe we can take a step back to like pre-CMM. But I was a seller, you know pre-CMM, so I can talk about how painful that was. And then, you know, like even CSM is typically on renewals. So we really do like the memes we all, like Alex who you know coming in the videos and talking about sales meets legal. So you know, once upon a time when I was a seller, account management, you know this was all via email. You know this is done via Word documents back and forth, even sometimes paper, god forbid. And so I remember the bottlenecks just in that era was, you know, I had a general counsel the one, probably the first general counsel that really helped me understand the intersectionality and how legal can partner with the sellers of the business, business counterparts, and so what he would do, he would have us put kind of the deal size on the email subject line and then who it was, and so that would hopefully bump it up to kind of the top of his list. You know there's not necessarily any SLAs per se, maybe high level ones, and I had no idea where it was. So I'll just give you a brief example of that world where I was negotiating with him with a huge China based company Can't name them, but really prevalent now and they were trying to expand into Western markets. You know, they saw that these Western markets were key to their success, not only mobile, and web as well and so, that being said, is there was a lot of like kind of jurisdictional laws that we had to be privy to, kind of the apex Framework and also, just in general, making sure that we were protecting ourselves as a tech startup, especially in data privacy. 


And so this is a scenario where there was a lot of back and forth of the contract via email, via, like me literally going into his office in certain times and stuck in a strategy, a lot of bottlenecks, and then he actually had left for another opportunity, and so it's almost back at I wouldn't say square one, but square one and a half, and the other gentleman on this team really took it. He didn't know about the red line history, he didn't know about the kind of late night conversations we had with them on the West Coast, with their early mornings in China, and so it was back to square one. He had to understand the red line. You know, he didn't see kind of the versioning and, by the way I didn't do a good job of really keeping the versioning under control and so that's where I kind of led to see them is understanding like not only see them For the end user like a seller, like I was formerly, or a CSM, but legal and partnering with that workflow. 


Because, as you understand my I guess my example there, I had no idea what the workflow was. I didn't necessarily know if it was with the client. I had like go into my inbox, look at send. I didn't know how much time it was unless I just added up kind of the dirty math and my email inbox Okay, it's been with them seven days, no reminders. 


There was no like key attributes we were fixating on, and so if you look at now, I think what I like about the intersectionality of sales meets legal is that you have a workflow in most seal items. You can see where it is, you can see where that documents been, you can easily see that version control and then you can agree on specific attributes that maybe illegal ones to see and the business users as well. So you can talk the same language single painted glass. And I think the other thing as well is that you know as we Move into AI as well. 


What do you need to surface? What are the end users need to surface as a seller? What do they care about? Really quick, grab an information, provide a summation and same thing on illegal, and I think the core Tenets of CMM is to get to the deal quicker. I think you mentioned pet day on the outset, and so you don't want to see those bottlenecks that even occurred ten years or even in a Lot of organizations today. So I would say the net net is you want a more expeditious and collaborative partnership in CMM With legal and sellers right then, and that's ununderstandable. 


0:06:38 - Pepe Toriello

Right, because, if you think it from the buyer side, of course legal team will like to be a little bit more involved because they would need to protect the budget of the company and they need to be sure that they're receiving what their vendor promise to deliver, while on the sales side, usually the contract templates are shorter. 


Yeah, because they just want to quick win, right, just like close the deal. And this is very interesting because I think I Mean we all know that CLM is might be well right now with AI, that can be a little bit on a discussion, but still CLM is one of the most look for technologies, for the legal department at least. And yeah, I understand there are like certain Tricks that legal used to do or the sales team used to do, to put to put on the subject line so the legal team could see that email. Or maybe putting the subject lines on mayor caps, you know so, so they can see it with priority, highest priority. But Besides that kind of you know the back and forward during the negotiation process. How do you think technology can help them, not just with the communication between Legal and commercial the department, but also with those work flows, right, yeah, like approvals or any other type of workflows that need to, you know, being in place for any kind of corporation. 


0:08:04 - Matthew Rinkert

Yeah, well, actually I kind of hit on a couple different points, and that's a great question, pepe. So I think a couple of things is that you have clauses, and so a lot of people you know it's an afterthought, especially if you're a commercial team or seller. But what I like about all CLMs is that you have the ability to legal can bless certain clauses, and so the expedite, maybe lower dollar value contracts or maybe ones that are not as risky. Maybe it's like a renewal, maybe you've already done business, but this said, client empower the commercial team to insert agreed upon language or agreed upon clauses, versus back in the day you know it was a back and forth and then legal oftentimes thinks there might not be a pattern of clauses typically there actually are, and so then that way you empower the legal team to get those contracts out quicker order forms, even sales or MSAs in some case and then the legal team is really passed with the high level strategy. You know really what they're paid for is to be that SME or that thought leader when it comes to legal. Maybe it's a data privacy issue, Maybe it's a could be a damaging commercial consideration, but if it's a very high dollar, maybe you're willing to take the give to get, and so that's one thing I like about clauses the empowerment. 


I think the other thing is to a lot of CLMs have collaboration tools as well. 


So within the document itself, maybe through the lifecycle journey and I think the biggest thing you hit on to is you can have risk scorecards, and so maybe you know the commercial team and just that, based on certain attributes, right away it's a red flag you know, based on what's been trained, you know from the outset and it automatically is routed to a set legal team. 


Maybe it's a legal team that deals with data privacy matters, maybe if it's a healthcare or someone who knows HIPAA quite well, or maybe it's something where oftentimes you have to have certain amount of insurance. Is insurance, maybe you actually increase that cap. It's ushered to the right legal team, depending on the size of the organization, and also it's treated right away. I mean you don't even have to like noodle on it as a commercial folk, you know it needs to be routed. Or maybe right away it needs to be diverted to a finance for even consideration, or you can have integrations with kind of done in bad street. Is this company solvent that you're even going to enter into business as well and with Salesforce we can talk about that to the integrations there where you know you can actually get rich data as a commercial team and then incorporate that with the rich data, the legal team as well. 


0:10:33 - Marc Doucette

Yeah, and I just I love this, this talk track and this kind of avenue that we're going down, because so often, you know, I mean our listeners are in house, right, and we always cater towards them and the procurement teams. 


Right, those are the folks that are always listening. But I, you know, I really was excited about this conversation because I wanted to get a seller's perspective or from the sales team's perspective, right those commercial teams and it's definitely things that you know that we see as well right In our day to day when we're working with our internal legal teams. So I think there were some great takeaways there and, you know, one of the questions that I wanted to ask was how, as an account rep or a sales manager because you know that the sales team has a larger budget right to go out there and look at applications. So you know, if somebody's listening to this podcast, they're on the sales team and they're like man, this is going to help me close deals faster. How do you go to the team and bring this up so that maybe some of your budget gets thrown into the mix a little bit so that you can start to evaluate? You know some of the the Cadillacs of CLMs out there. 


0:11:36 - Matthew Rinkert

Yeah, I think that's a great question and I also think that you know, clm did kind of start with the legal team in mind and it's really branched out from there. You know, I think the legal team, they always have a very low budget, in my experience, and then you're usually doing more with less. You're usually a very small constituency within the organization. So I think to your point, mark, that maybe sales should take some ownership. You know, having been a seller, you know sales for us is kind of the source of truth for many years now, going on 20 plus, and then you have, like, the prospecting tools. So why not CLM? I think we had talked in a other call, mark, that I actually think CLM could become part of the fabric or kind of muscle memory of a sales person. And this is why, you know, and most good CLM tools, whether it's small, small, small, medium business, medium, mid-market to enterprise, this could be part of your one-on-one. So I think we had discussed this. 


I think that why not? You know, if I'm going to forecast with my manager, you know my former self or even sales folks today usually open up the sales for us or maybe to use a prospecting tool like outreach and they'll say, okay, these are where I am in the conversation. I predict this one. To close, why not weave in contractual data from CLM and say, no, this has been sent out and maybe historically you can see this client is maybe within seven days. They typically, you know, are able to send it back, execute it, or just you've seen it open multiple times You're seeing, like, who it's at the client side is actually at the finance stage versus maybe the initial pass. So I think you can be more predictive with CLM. 


In my experience, and you know, updating to the day, you have that rich data from Salesforce to pull from, whether it's like CPQ data or whether it's just you know the specific terms you need to bring in and so it's less error prone to like yesteryear as well. And you can also push a lot of this data into Salesforce. So the seller never wants to meet Salesforce, great, you push that reporting data in there and you kind of meet them where they are. It's kind of two trains of thought. But I think that we're moving into an evolutionary thing where a lot of other teams are seeing the value in contract and whether it's a procurement team trying to get the best deal and negotiate, or it's a sales team to get the maximum revenue quicker. I think CLM can be just as important as a CRM or ERP for the said said teams. 


0:13:54 - Pepe Toriello

Yeah, that's very interesting because you know it's one of the main problems for big corporations that they use a lot of different softwares is that they work as silos and the integration part is very useful so data can just flow between each other. Because, like, if you see the CRM like Salesforce, and then your CLM, just for contracts, you might not be using 40% of the data that you have there, right, Because if you think about it like, what do you do on Salesforce? You look for leads, then you do the follow ups. You'll be working a lot just to close the deal. And if you see the contract, that's just like the tip of the iceberg because you already spend a lot of time, especially if you're into B2B sales. Right, Because it's a whole process.


And of course I understand Alex's memes because it's it's got to be frustrating for a sales team that after spending months to close the deal, it will take another couple of months just to close up the final version of the contract. But at the same time, if you can see, like, the terms and conditions for all of your active contracts and you can use that data during the, you know the commercial relationship that wants like the posting interface, which is like the most important part of the contract, and use that information for your sales team when they're looking for leads or their like closing deals or doing the quotes. I mean this is going to help you and the ROI for implementing a CLM system is a no brainer if you think you're like that. 


0:15:29 - Matthew Rinkert

Yeah, I think you actually hit. I think it can't be understated, because a lot of sellers you know if it's a publicly traded company that they're going after don't look at the SEC fines or 10K and kind of reading between the lines and, to your point, post-signature there's such rich data there. So, like if you're, let's say, you're, attached to a vertical, like maybe consumer package goods, for example, and to your point, you can see historical contracts and like how they're negotiated, what type of language got it quicker? Or maybe you can lead with the type of personas that were in that workflow as well. What got it done? You always wanted and going back, you also wanted to be multi-threaded, multi-touched in a sales cycle anymore, and so you can see who is touching these other contracts and executed and maybe provide the application to a net new prospect. 


So yeah, I think that's something that is not talked about a lot and I think in general, like people are fearful of contracts historically, whether it's sellers or whether it's procurement. But I think CMM really kind of democratizes contracts for everybody. And I think the other thing and this might be a little bit controversial, but you had mentioned in-house counsel I also think that CMM oftentimes sellers, we're relying some kind of external counsel, maybe more mid-market enterprise, and I think that becomes your intellectual property too, because once that is executed, same thing post signature. You have that contract that was kind of weighed in bond an external counsel, and that becomes your IP and maybe you don't need to farm it out to external counsel in the future for that specific issue. And so again, quicker contract because you can recycle some of that language or just polish your playbooks. 


0:17:08 - Pepe Toriello

Yep, that's another important things. 


Like you want to close business, you'll try to make your commercial department, you know self Contracting as possible. Yep, absolutely 100%. What about your experience? We already cover a lot of the on how we can improve the how can sales team and legal team can work together. But let's talk about, like some of your, some of the pitfalls that you have encountered when you try to align their Objectives. Like what do you think it's like Top two or top three pitfalls, so people that are looking for a CLM can avoid a durian during this process? 


0:17:47 - Matthew Rinkert

Yeah, it's a great question. I think it also Kind of spans out to other adjacent teams as well. I think one of the biggest pitfalls and, having been a seller, there was a lot of software thrust at me when I was a seller and even today, like one could argue, there's even a coho you probably have a myriad of different software and for you you get to choose, but still there's a learning curve, this change management. So I think one of the biggest pitfalls is not Communicating the why. As CLM for any department, specifically commercial, if I'm a seller to your point, I'm prospecting, I just want to get the deal then. 


So how do you surface up the key thing of the CLM? It'll help them sell quicker, bigger deals, more rich data. So again, bubble that up. It needs to be communication, that kind of a higher level management. So management needs to be bought in as well. But it understand, like, the impact of the end user and individual contributor. And then I think, like how can they use this data? Like, is there reporting that they can surface and Incorporate into like their one-on-ones, their daily activities, kind of thing, and then make sure? 


I think the other thing it's a little easier for sales teams, but a lot of times there's not the consideration of the center of excellence, like who will own this? The good thing about the sell side is it Larger. You can grab talent or fractional a bandwidth from a Salesforce team or a Bizox team, but that needs to be communicated from the outset, that just like an outreach tool, salesforce or sprinkling any other sales software, somebody needs to own it from a COE perspective. And so if a end user has an issue, especially the first 30, 60, 90 days, who can they reach to internally that Help make sure that they understand the software and then any troubleshooting or workarounds and then I would say a good repository like trainings, job aids, that kind of thing. So maybe I hit on 4 or 5 key ones, but I think all 3 of us is seeing the pitfalls and you know I'm curious like if you agree about those pitfalls, whether it's sales, procurement or any adjacent team. 


0:19:47 - Marc Doucette

Yeah, I think you know, I think you touched on something right. And it's not just CLM, it's any software that a team is purchasing, right, you need to One. Folks need to be excited about it, they need to understand why they need to use it and they need to understand how to use it. And if you can, if you can touch on all those points and get people excited to use a new application, get them to understand how to use it and know why they're using it, I mean that's kind of the trifect user adoption right. And that's the biggest downfall of any any software application is the users just not using it right, going back to their old ways and trying to work around it. 


0:20:21 - Matthew Rinkert

Yeah, 100%. And you know it's interesting, I had a commercial team once where they took a little bit of a draconian approach, but if any contract was outside the system it wasn't honored. So again, you know maybe that sometimes you need that tough reinforcement, but I think to your point, you want to keep it in the system, not just for the sellers but the whole business can be better. And I think the last one too is that CLM, because it's fairly nascent, even five, seven years in of being popular. I think that people need to realize that it should be on the same pedestal, in my opinion, as a CRM, as a ERP moving forward. And so to your point, Mark, you need to plan accordingly, yeah. 


0:21:00 - Pepe Toriello

I mean, a lot of the times they cannot just see that and what, just following what Mark just said, it's you got to get them excited from from the beginning. That's one of the things that we've been working a lot with. All our implementation is just like bring everybody from the beginning, because we've seen with earlier implementation they just told the procurement team or the sales team hey, this is our CRM, you want to request a contract, this is the software. And then they're just like again, do we need to do another training? You know we've been doing fine. 


It wasn't the CLM just for for legal. Why are we going to use this new software? But when you give them some quick wins like there's one that I always use, like for for demos, right, which is very simple, expiration dates for the sales team, that's important because if a contract with a customer, it's expiring in the following 90 days, then you can just notify them and start calling them. Hey, you know, just try to keep that account and so they can renew that contract and and you don't lose that client. That's a big one, you know it's. It's. It's very simple. Maybe people will think, ok, we don't need a CLM for that. Ok, so why you don't have any notification when a contract is coming to expiration date. This is going to help you to, you know, reach your goals, milestones or whatever, and and this is a good way on on how to make them excited to use this new system. 


0:22:36 - Matthew Rinkert

And I think the yeah actually following in that you just triggered a thought is the most rudimentary of contracts or NDAs, and so anytime you engage with the new prospect you have to sign an NDA. So a quick way in is historically maybe back and forth and you just put a borough plate, non editable, like hopefully it's your paper, and same thing, like you can expeditiously send it through CLM and get that conversation going and then you can be more at more at liberty to talk about you know kind of behind the curtain, of what your product does and doesn't do, and then likewise, the prospect can talk about their pain points and talk about their ecosystem. 


0:23:10 - Marc Doucette

Today, yeah, I mean as a salesperson, right, that's something that you could definitely bring up to Finish sales people are listening. You can bring that up to your boss, right? Hey, we can fill out our own NDAs. We don't have to wait for legal to approve this, right, it's our, it's our terms. But you know, they didn't redline it. What you know, why can't we just sign this ourselves, right? And if it's a pre-approved template, that's, you know, a quick win as well with these CLM tools. Yeah, good, pepe. 


0:23:37 - Pepe Toriello

Yeah, and it's a pain for everybody especially in these like it's not even a customer or a vendor from the procurement side, like you can just use a template and sending for a signature. I've been working lately with a bank and when I saw like the workflow for NDAs, I'm like yeah, yeah, really, yeah, yeah, you need, I mean. And I asked them like how long do you take just to get this sign and start sharing information? Like three, four weeks? And I'm like yeah, that's insane. 


Yeah, you know we it could only take. I mean, it could take minutes. 


0:24:13 - Marc Doucette

But realistic. 


0:24:14 - Pepe Toriello

I mean two, three days to sign it. That's fine and that's like 1000% more Efficient than you'd be doing lately, you know yeah, absolutely. 


0:24:24 - Matthew Rinkert

And then there's this concept. I think you've both seen the one NDA, so there's kind of like this approach that some people are thinking like a universal NDA and I think that's an interesting concept. I, you know, I haven't seen too many clients utilize it, but again, if it's a rudimentary contract, let's all agree on something kind of one said template or templates, and you know, then it's all blessed from both sides of the partnership. 


0:24:48 - Marc Doucette

Yeah, we, I actually funny enough, I saw my first one, the other day oh, okay, and. I was like, well, this is great. I was like we don't, we don't need to review this, we're good to go. 


0:24:57 - Matthew Rinkert

Yeah, you agreed on right. Yeah, you're both agreeing that's. Yeah, I do interest in offline. I want to learn about that a little bit more, yeah. 


0:25:03 - Marc Doucette

Yeah, absolutely. And and you know you I think you brought up something else right I mean, I we could go on on these types of topics. We could go on forever, but we do like to try to keep these brief and you know, like we said, we wanted to keep this targeted source Swords, this towards the sales team. I think we've done a good job of that. So, Matthew, I think we're gonna we're gonna wrap up here, so I really appreciate you coming on. If folks want to connect with you, learn more about you know you were the the team over at docusign. Where's the best place to do that? 


0:25:29 - Matthew Rinkert

Yeah, so I'm very active on LinkedIn. So, Matthew rink on a LinkedIn, and then you can also reach docusign. We have a very prevalent presence on the web and also LinkedIn as well, and you know I've really appreciated the chat. I think we covered all of dynamics. That illegal means sales on this call. 


0:25:46 - Marc Doucette

Yeah, I think this was great. This is definitely a different perspective and and one I hope some new listeners appreciate. So thanks for joining us and thanks everybody for listening to another episode of contract heroes. 


0:25:57 - Matthew Rinkert

Thank you have a good one, you guys. 


0:26:00 - Marc Doucette

This episode of the contract heroes is sponsored by coho consulting. Coho helps organizations of all shapes and sizes Find, implement and manage their chosen CLM tool. Whether your project is by or sell side led, coho can help you navigate the waters of the CLM space to make sure that you're Getting a product that's going to fit like a glove years to come. If you'd like to learn more about coho, visit their website at koho consulting com.