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Jan 2, 2020

Maximize your Return on Contracts with this comprehensive “Getting Started with CLM-CPQ Checklist”


We strongly recommend our clients follow this comprehensive checklist which is monumental to their success in the implementation of their CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management) and CPQ (Configure Price Quote) strategy. It is the pillar of Mainspring’s success principles for the Middle Office. The following “Getting Started with CLM-CPQ” checklist shows the value of a solid strategy, project discovery, implementation, and analytics.

Conduct a CLM-CPQ Maturity Assessment.

It is important to clarify your company’s current state of maturity relative to operational dimensions of the Business Transformation model: Strategy, Process, People (Governance), Data, Functionality, and Enabling Technology. This assessment indicates your starting off point. It will serve as critical input in prioritizing your business challenges and key functionality to assess during software selection.

Develop a To-Be Process.

Understanding the future business process is key to a successful development of your CLM-CPQ solution. Create a high-level solution design and technical assessment to pinpoint the most important components in support of process changes and best practices. The future process may include streamlined pricing, templates, workflow, and approval processes.

Prepare a CLM-CPQ Roadmap.

While there might be a strong appetite for implementing all of the exciting features and functions to achieve a Return on Investment (ROI) overnight, moving along the maturity continuum over phased releases is strongly recommended.  Stakeholders and executives will require a detailed outline with milestones, goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to understand the potential revenue increase, cost-cutting benefits, and risk management to achieve ROI and meet the business case over time. Scope components such as minimum viable products (MVPs), contract types, functionality, business function, and geography against factors such as strategic value, financial value, risk, and business timing offer different options for compartmentalizing scope by release. 

Prepare a Data Migration and Analytics Plan.

Migrating your data, including contracts, should be more than just cleansing and moving data to a “new home.” With the advent of AI and Machine Learning, contracts, for instance, can be a rich source of behavioral and business performance data. As data is reviewed, cleansed and prepared for migration, Mainspring urges clients to draw insights and learnings from this process for empirical information to determine requirements for workflow, approval rules, contract templates and pricing tiers. For instance, Mainspring clients have benefitted from extracting data to support Business Performance KPIs that are closely aligned with metrics that credit agencies use to assess the financial viability of companies.


The KPIs may include:

  • Payment Terms
  • Time vs. Deal Value
  • Cash Flow Management Score
  • Auto-Renewal Impact
  • Time by Type
  • Touchpoints vs. Deal Value
  • Auto Renewal Prioritization
  • Obligations Missed
  • Renewal Rate and/or Failure

Assess Implementation Readiness and Simplify.

This assessment will clarify the start date and any further preparation needed for companies to “hit the ground running” with their implementation.This is also an ideal time in which to review and simplify existing business content, such as pricing tiers and contract templates, so your implementation is more straightforward and less costly while making operational support easier and your Technical Cost of Ownership (TCO) less costly. For instance, Mainspring advocates using facilitated workshops for template rationalization and deconstruction that minimizes the number of templates based on a balance between increasing user adoption and improving operational effectiveness without compromising risk. 

Facilitate a Streamlined Supplier Selection and Decision.

This selection should include standard demonstration scripts based on emphasizing high priority requirements, actively facilitating demonstrations and client reference calls, while documenting and assessing stakeholders scores and feedback. Any decision should also be supplemented by anecdotal, non-public information, decision analysis, and negotiation advice that only experienced global system integrators (GSIs) can provide. The GSI’s expertise should extend beyond technology. Consider a GSI who offers strategy, information management, implementation, and operations support that will assure the ultimate success of your CLM-CPQ implementation, aligned with learnings and decisions made in each of the prior action items of this recommended “Getting Started” checklist.

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