We sat down with Tim Parilla, Chief Legal Officer at LinkSquares, and discussed his experience with some of his clients. We discussed what his customers’ main pain points are and issues they are looking to solve when searching for a contract management solution.
Tim also shared how organizations that don’t have defined contract management processes can become more efficient. He also emphasized the significance of reporting and turnaround time. Tim shared his insights on other KPIs that need to be considered to evaluate the viability of a CLM platform and how you can assess the ROI of a platform.
Tim Parilla has extensive and comprehensive experience leading legal operations in both public companies and private companies in various highly regulated markets. Tim oversees LinkSquares’s legal posture and acts as a strategic advisor to the organization’s management as well as corporate counsel customer base.
Tim previously spent 7 years as General Counsel for DraftKings. DraftKings is one of the top digital sports entertainment and gaming companies with different products that range across regulated gaming, daily fantasy, and digital media. Tim joined DraftKings in 2014 as the organization’s first in-house attorney.
LinkSquares is one of the leading providers of the best AI-powered contract lifecycle management and analysis tool. LinkSquares is different from many other tools in the market because of its reliable and powerful AI insights, ability to centralize everything, and speed to offering tangible and meaningful results.
Common Pain Points
Tim thinks that as a general counsel, you are constantly looking at whether your team is serving their internal clients in the organization in a way that keeps those clients happy and satisfied.
Tim is of the view that anyone who has worked in an in-house capacity recognizes that one of the most important metrics that any business considers is how quickly the business gets its contracts turned around. There is always a desire at the top management level in any organization to minimize turnaround time. And this applies to not just contracts but also everything that a business does.
From the perspective of a person reviewing contracts, in Tim’s opinion, it is important to easily and quickly alternate from one project to another. Commercial counsels at most organizations manage and execute various types of agreements, such as major strategic deals that are heavily negotiated.
Tim thinks that a challenging aspect of contract management is that you are handling multiple deals with multiple organizations, and it is hard to stay focused on one project.
As a leader of a legal organization, Tim tries to find ways to maximize the amount of time that his attorneys are spending on doing specialized things that only attorneys can do rather than performing trivial or menial tasks.
Lack of Defined Contract Management Processes and Procedures- How Organizations can Become More Efficient
Many large organizations don’t have suitable processes in place with regard to contract management. Tim thinks that one of the most crucial things is to know and understand the problem you are trying to solve with a contract management platform or tool before considering a solution. For example, an organization may be trying to reduce the workload on its legal team.
You also have to consider the type of business or industry you are in when considering a contract management tool. For example, a company may engage in a lot of M&A activity. If that is the case, a lot of legal work that the company does may be surrounded by due diligence, and developing various types of disclosure schedules.
This is why it is essential to understand what is important to your organization and what benefits you will get from a contract management solution. It is not productive to train a software tool as it wastes organizational resources.
Reporting is Critical
Tim thinks that as a general counsel, reporting is a crucial factor to keep in mind. Being able to report on the activity of your team is vital. As a general counsel, you are like a business unit, and you have to enable other teams and functions, such as the product team, in your organization.
Turnaround Time and other KPIs to Keep an Eye on
Tim is of the view that it is important to understand what is in your contract. For example, X% of contracts have some automatic renewal language, and they automatically renew Y% of the time in your contract portfolio.
On the pre-signature side of things, it is important to understand the evolution of the contract and how versions of contracts move. For instance, it may take, on average, 5 turns to get to signature. You may have to consider how that changes with dollar value and industry vertical. These types of insights are valuable.
According to Tim, software should enable people to do things the way they want to do it. The tool should be built in a way that facilitates and helps lawyers by prioritizing their needs and preferences and should have minimum friction.
Software Adoption Challenges- Tim’s Recommendations
While Tim’s role is not customer facing, he thinks that integration with tools like Salesforce and DocuSign can help improve adoption rates within organizations as they make the process seamless. This also lowers the time to implementation.
Calculation of Dollar and Time Savings (ROI of a CLM Platform)
Tim is of the view that there is time to value and ease of use matters a lot. The longer and more challenging it is to train somebody to use a CLM platform, the more challenging it can be to have broader adoption of a tool. This is one of the main concerns in many organizations. The frequency of recurring training makes a significant difference.
The ease of implementation has a considerable impact on the ROI of a CLM platform. And having a post-contract analysis is also crucial, especially from the perspective of the person who has to justify the spending. It is also important to demonstrate to your top management how the contract management tool can have broader implications for your organization as a whole, such as how the tool can help other functions in your organization.