It’s a well-known fact that Salesforce has the potential to be a lifesaver for any organization. With its ability to remove data silos between departments, provide a bird’s eye view of the sales pipeline, pull customized reports, and deliver a personalized view of a business’s customers, Salesforce can drastically improve efficiency and reduce errors.
When it comes to finance & legal departments, Salesforce is valuable because it reduces many of their traditional pain points like inefficient communication and lack of oversight. However, Salesforce does fall short in one area crucial to finance and legal divisions: contract generation.
Salesforce Contract Object Limitations
Although most editions of Salesforce come prepackaged with a standard contract object, its out-of-box functionality is limited. The contract object is great for keeping track of details such as a contract’s account, status, term, and billing information, but when it comes to creating the thing all these details are tied to -- the physical contract itself -- finance and legal are pretty much left on their own.
This limited functionality leaves lots of room for error if firms opt to create contracts outside of Salesforce by hand. Among other things, this manual workflow can result in:
- Outdated or inaccurate data being used
- Lost time due to inefficient revision processes
- Reduced security and compliance to company policies
- Inconsistent branding and verbiage
With all of this room for error on the line, it’s quite clear that any finance or legal department using Salesforce shouldn’t continue to risk slowing down the contract life cycle and losing deals by creating their contracts manually.
Luckily, there are solutions available on the Salesforce AppExchange that can considerably simplify the contract creation process in Salesforce by reducing and even eliminating these pain points and errors. These are called document generation solutions.
Simplifying Contract Creation in Salesforce With Document Generation Solutions
Document generation solutions simplify the contract creation process in Salesforce by accomplishing the tedious, error-prone work automatically. They can dynamically pull vital information straight from Salesforce into your contracts, eliminating the risk of human error where it matters most.
There are four main ways that document generation solutions simplify the contract creation process in Salesforce:
- Data is pulled straight from Salesforce, reducing errors
- Pre-made templates save indispensable time
- Conditional business rules maintain security and compliance
- Branding, verbiage, and other design elements remain consistent
Let’s dive into these four points and explore how document generation solutions can help you streamline your contract generation process in Salesforce.
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Pulling Data Dynamically Reduces Errors
One of the biggest (and often easiest) missteps that organizations make during the contract authoring lifecycle is incorporating outdated or inaccurate data. Depending on what kind of contract is being created, individuals might have to search through hundreds of excel sheets to find correct pricing, product, or service information, as well as ensure that they are using consistent terminology throughout the document. If any of this information is changed after it is input into the contract, valuable time can be lost making sure the contract is updated accordingly. If this is not done correctly, the contract will contain misinformation and may even be voided.
A Salesforce document generation solution can simplify this aspect of contract creation by dynamically pulling all relevant information straight from any Salesforce object, meaning that if the information is updated in Salesforce, it will be updated in the contract, too. Typically, this is all done with the click of a button. Finance and accounting can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that all contracts being generated are financially accurate.
S-Docs allows you to take this a step further. You can set up contracts that prompt users to answer questions when they generate a contract -- say, the US state where a client is located -- and then automatically merge their answers into the document as it’s generated. S-Docs will also conditionally render sections of the contract based upon those answers -- but we’ll touch more on that in a bit.
Pre-Made Templates Save Time
Building out a contract is no small feat, especially when you’re trying to think of every possible situation that could arise and making sure you’re not leaving room for ambiguity. Sure, you could try copying and pasting from a word doc, but even this simple act leaves room for human error. And what about when a single clause that’s included in multiple contracts needs to be updated?
Having a library of easily-accessible contract templates can be a lifesaver for organizations who constantly need to generate similar contracts. Document generation solutions allow users to click a button on a Salesforce record and select from a variety of contract templates, then rest easy knowing that all of the necessary provisions are included. If you need to make edits to a clause that is included in multiple templates, you’d only have to do this once, and the change would be reflected in all of your contracts.
With S-Docs, you can apply advanced filters that dictate which contract templates users can choose from based on a diverse array of criteria, saving users time, making sure no irrelevant contracts are able to be selected, and always ensuring that the accurate template is chosen. It’s also possible to pre-select templates for your users based on a variety of different factors, reducing or even eliminating the possibility of human error.
Finally, S-Docs allows you to insert templates into other templates. If you have a single terms and conditions clause that needs to be updated, it would be a simple process of editing the master template. Everywhere that master template is included would be updated immediately.
Our template library contains an array of pre-built finance and legal templates like standard master service agreements, property listing agreements, business checks, and more. Enjoy 2 free templates today!
Conditional Logic Ensures Security & Compliance
Not all contracts are created equal. If your organization is doing business in multiple different countries, you already know that your contracts need to comply with the various different laws governing legal agreements in those countries. In this case, static templates can only get you so far.
Fortunately, a document generator can simplify this aspect of contract creation by applying conditional logic to your documents and including or excluding certain provisions based on criteria that you define. If you have a different set of terms and conditions for each US state, your document generator could automatically include the correct one based on the billing address specified in the contract record -- no user edits needed. These business rules can be set to make sure company policies are being followed, and prevent any fiscally irresponsible contracts from being generated.
The S-Docs Runtime Prompts feature allows you to dig even deeper into conditional logic. As users generate a document and are prompted with questions, the answers to these questions can trigger certain sections of the contract to be included or excluded. Since this feature uses decision tree logic, it can be easily stacked. For example, if a user selects California as the location of the client, they might be prompted to choose from three different California-specific clauses to include. Once they choose one of these clauses, they could then be prompted with three different terms & condition options based on that one clause.
Branding Remains Consistent
There are lots of different ways to convey the same thing. While this is good for creativity, it’s not the best for maintaining consistency across all of your contracts. Document generation solutions allow you to carry your company’s branding through all of your contracts and documents. They also ensure that the correct verbiage is being used every time, making certain that two of the same contract won’t be interpreted differently.
For tips and tricks on good document design, visit our guide to designing beautiful documents.
Get Started Today!
The points we described here are just the beginning when it comes to simplifying your contract creation workflow in Salesforce with a document generation solution. In just a few minutes on the AppExchange, you could start saving time and boosting productivity by implementing document generation for your Salesforce org.
S-Docs is the only 100% native document generation solution available on the AppExchange, meaning it’s one of the most secure tools on the market since your data never leaves Salesforce. Paired with our 100% native e-signature solution, S-Sign, S-Docs can help you generate the perfect document and close the deal faster. Take the step towards generating secure contracts today by trying it free today or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a customized demo.