List of 10 Essential Contract Management Software Features

Planning to digitalize contract management? If so, you must pick the right contract management software that serves your business’s objectives and helps solve your contract-related challenges.

You can streamline your contractual processes and digitalization by knowing the right contract management software features. Wondering what are some must-have features in contract management software? You are at the right place.

In this blog, we have listed 10 important features that your contract management solution must have. Whether you are a startup or an enterprise dealing with 10 or 1000 contracts, these features are universally important for all businesses.

Let’s look at our curated list of 10 essential contract management software features without further ado.

10 Important contract management software features

Important contract management software features

1. Contract drafting and editing

Contract drafting and editing feature

What does the contract drafting and editing feature do?
The contract drafting and editing feature helps users self-serve contracts within minutes through dynamic templates, intake forms, and clause libraries. Non-legal teams use this feature to self-serve contracts, reducing dependency on legal professionals to create agreements. This gives your legal team more space to focus on other important tasks.

Key functionalities of contract drafting and editing

Drag and drop contract creator: Build a new contract by dragging and dropping elements.

Contract templates: Use publicly available formats for contracts and agreements. Build templates through no-code template builders to standardize contract formats.

Pre-saved clause library: Use a library of pre-approved clauses to standardize contract language and speed up drafting.

AI drafting assistant: Leverage generative AI’s assistance with contract creation. Use GPT programs to generate clauses and get feedback on contract terms for errors.

Collaborate: Work with multiple team members and departments to collectively draft a contract.

2. Contract import and metadata extraction

Contract import and metadata extraction feature

What do the contract import and metadata extraction features entail?
The contract import feature helps transfer all your existing contracts from sources such as Salesforce, Google Drive, Gmail, Zoho Mail, Outlook, and OneDrive to your contract management repository.

Once imported, all your contracts are digitally stored in the contract management software. The system then extracts and tags key contract terms like counterparty name, effective date, expiration date, contract value, liabilities, risks, and more for better contract visibility and obligation tracking.

Key functionalities of contract import and metadata extraction

Multi-source import: Import legacy contracts from sources like cloud storage, CRMs, and local drives. Leverage OCR technology to scan paper documents and import data.

Metadata extraction: Extract contract-related information (key terms), store, and monitor them in a centralized space.

Automatic tagging: Tag important clauses of imported contracts automatically through artificial intelligence.

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3. Approval workflow automation

Approval workflow automation feature

What does approval workflow automation do?
Once the contract is drafted, the review, revision, approval, and signing process begins. The contract approval workflow builder helps automate and accelerate the contract negotiation process and sets guardrails for risk management. Create automated contract workflows for your organization’s contract approval process and accelerate your contract TAT (turnaround time).

Key functionalities of approval workflow automation

No-code workflow builder: Build tailored workflows through a drag-and-drop builder.

Conditional rules: Set conditional logic waterfalls in the workflow and decide how contract approval moves in your organization.

Notifications: Set alerts and email reminders to notify the relevant stakeholders at every approval step.

Pre-built workflow templates: Implement pre-built workflow templates for any contract.

Assign responsibility: Assign contract tasks to different individuals based on their role in the organization.

Redlining: Collaborate with contract stakeholders to redline, negotiate, and revise the contract.

4. AI-based contract review

What does AI-based contract review do?
Once drafted, the contract needs to be reviewed by the internal team and counterparties. The AI review and redlining feature helps accelerate contract reviewing by automatically detecting and flagging faulty clauses. This saves manual contract review time and boosts contract TAT. Automated redlining improves collaboration and reduces time spent on manual counterparty follow-ups.

Key functionalities of AI-based contract review

Automatic contract review: Deploy AI to review your contract and scan lengthy documents.

Redlining suggestions: Get suggestions to modify highlighted clauses and improve review consistency and efficiency.

5. Version control

Version control for contracts

What does version control do?
Keeping track of contract versions helps maintain accountability and trace revisions. The version control feature helps log version changes to maintain contract traceability. You can use version control to trace all redlining changes of a document in one place.

Key functionalities of version control

Audit trails: Get detailed activity logs of all contract versions and see who has viewed, edited, and approved each version of the contract.

Version comparison: Compare two versions of the contract to identify critical changes.

Version locking: Lock the current version of the contract to disable further changes until the version is approved.

Version restore: Restore any previous contract version.

6. eSignature

eSignature for contracts

What does eSignature do?
The eSignature feature helps sign contracts effortlessly. Use multiple flexible signing options like hand-drawn signatures, OTP-based signatures, and integrations with e-signature software like DocuSign, Zoho Sign, and Adobe Sign to collect signatures. These options comply with regulations like eIDAS, UETA, and the E-Sign Act.

Key functionalities of eSignature

Sign documents: Agree contracts through simple and legally binding digital signature methods.

Request signature: Send contract signing requests to counterparties and stakeholders.

Signature reminder: Send automated or manual reminders to counterparties to accelerate the signing process.

Signer authentication: Verify signatures through authentication techniques like OTP.

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7. Centralized repository

Centralized contract repository

What does a centralized repository do?
A central repository stores all your old and new contracts in one place to avoid juggling between platforms to locate contracts. Having a centralized contract repository helps create a single source of truth where all your contracts are stored in a secure and searchable database.

Key functionalities of a centralized repository

Folder structure: Organize all the related documents in structured folders based on contract types, departments, counterparties, contract value, and other criteria.

Search: Retrieve contracts in seconds with powerful AI filters for key terms, counterparties, and other metadata.

8. Data visualization

Data visualization for contracts

What data visualization does
Contract data is useful for gaining insights into your contracts’ performance and helps with strategic decision-making. The data visualization feature captures all your contract’s information and represents it in a user-friendly way, offering an in-depth analysis to help you with your strategic initiatives.

Key functionalities of data visualization

Data visualization dashboard: Get a visual overview of all your contracts based on pre-defined criteria like expiration date, contract value, liabilities, risks, contract type, etc.

Interactive charts: Access dynamic, clickable charts to see how your contracts perform in real-time.

Risk assessment: Track contract risks based on contract variables like cost, expiration date, and obligations to mitigate risks proactively.

9. Role-based contract access

Role-based contract access feature

What does role-based contract access do?
The contract access management feature helps maintain the contract’s security. You can set granular access to the contracts and define who works on them at which stage. With access control, your contracts are searchable, trackable, and safe. This feature ensures secure contract execution and compliance with GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA guidelines.

Key functionalities of role-based contract access

Add user: Add a new user to your contract workflow and invite new members to collaborate.

Remove user: Remove a user with existing access for complete contract security.

Access level: Add default, conditional, or ad hoc approvers to safeguard contracts at every step.

10. Obligation tracking

Obligation tracking feature

What does obligation tracking do?
Contracts come with numerous legal and business obligations from payments to expiration dates, renewals, and contract terms. Tracking and complying with these obligations, while mandatory, is challenging.

With the contract obligation tracking feature, you can generate automated alerts and email reminders to keep track of all upcoming contract obligations. The obligation tracking feature turns contracts into digital assets to ensure that you never miss a deadline again and comply with contract terms.

Key functionalities of obligation tracking

Set obligations: Manually prioritize obligations and ensure end-to-end compliance.

Automated obligation tracking: Set up email and in-app reminders to track obligations.

Set alerts: Set frequency-based alerts based on contract requirements and legal obligations.

These are the 10 must-have contract management software features you should consider while evaluating different contract management systems for your business.

To save you the trouble of finding contract management software with these features, we have prepared a list of the top 3 solutions offering all or most of them.

Our 3 software picks for the right contract management system features

We selected these CMS (contract management systems) based on features and functionalities, G2 and Capterra ratings and reviews, and market popularity. Make sure you pick the contract management platform that solves your contract management challenges.

HyperStart CLMLinkSquaresIronclad

5x faster contract review

75% faster ROI realization

80% faster contract TAT

75% less negotiation time

2-sec contract retrieval with AI

99% AI accuracy

100+ smart value extractions

99% accurate OCR interpretation

194+ automatically detected contract terms

80% higher contract efficiency

60% faster contract review

>90% accurate AI

40% cost savings

Know moreKnow moreKnow more

Manage contracts effortlessly with HyperStart CLM

Choosing the right contract management system is important, whether you are a startup, a growing company, or an enterprise-level business. By picking a scalable contract management solution, you can ensure that your contract management tool’s features grow parallel to the needs of your company.

HyperStart CLM offers end-to-end contract management functionalities. Our unique AI-focused features help you solve complex contract management challenges, increase CLM efficiency, and reduce contract costs. Book a demo call with our team today to learn more.

Frequently asked questions

Contract management software is a tool for digitalized contract lifecycle management. This tool automates contract-related tasks like drafting, editing, redlining, negotiation, signing, retrieval, tracking, and organization. Implementing contract management software helps streamline your contract process and reduce manual work on contract-related tasks.
Yes, most contract management software system vendors offer you to choose contract management features as per your requirements. You can pick the features that serve your business goals and solve your challenges, ensuring maximum benefit from contract automation.
Every business has unique requirements. Choosing the right features means understanding your business’s unique challenges and problems. At HyperStart CLM, we make sure you have everything you need to manage contracts effectively and realize ROI 75% faster.
If you are using a contract management system that lacks the required features, we recommend you request the CLM vendor for them. If crucial features are unavailable, switching to one that has these features would be your next best move.
No, having all the contract management software features is not important. However, you must ensure that your contact management software has critical features that are indispensable to your contracting needs and legal operations.

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