This topic will walk you through our best practice recommendations for collaborating with counterparties in Ironclad. These recommendations will help your team be more efficient when negotiating contracts in Ironclad.
This topic contains best practice recommendations for collaborating with counterparties with Ironclad. These recommendations will:
- Help your team be more efficient and productive.
- Help you take advantage off all of Ironclad’s built-in capabilities.
- Save time and effort when negotiating contracts in Ironclad.
Ironclad was designed around managing business contracts. It has a robust set of features to help you manage simple or complex contracts.
When you think about contract negotiations and how to accomplish them in Ironclad, we recommend that you consider the following when building workflow templates:
- Does this contract require information from the counterparty?
- Do you plan to have multiple contracts in place with this counterparty?
- Can you reduce the number of contract revisions by getting the information correctly the first time and reduce the number of iterations and time required to manage to create the first contract draft?
- Does this contract require an external signer ?
- Does the contract terms need to be negotiated or redlined?
- Does this contract require additional support or reference documents?
- Does your legal or executive team want visibility into external conversations and contract activity?
- Does your legal or executive team want better reporting capabilities in the future with turn tracking?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of the questions above, we recommend continuing to the recommendations below.
1. Efficiently Collect Counterparty Info
Ironclad provides you with a few ways to collect information, data, and documents from counterparties. The fastest and more accurate way to collect information from your counterparty is through a counterparty form. A counterparty form can be sent to your counterparty to proactively collect information from them. When you collect information directly from the counterparty, you can limit the need to revise your contract for misspelled names and avoid delays from incorrectly designated signers due to incorrect contact information. When you use a counterparty form, it has proven to significantly reduce the number of document revisions, redlines, and time.
2. Required Redlines or Document Feedback
When you share a document and invite a counterparty directly in Ironclad, it ensures that your team knows exactly which document have been shared, reviewed, or commented on by a counterparty. Ironclad can help move discussions out of email inboxes and into the Activity Feed to help improve visibility speed up the contract process.
3. Align and Negotiate with Internal Counterparty Team Members
Your team benefits from having contract discussions consolidated in the same place that the contract is drafted and reviewed. Your counterparty can use Ironclad to do the same with their internal stakeholders and team members. A counterparty can make a quick edit to the contract using Ironclad Editor, or they can ask a question through external comments. Once the document is shared or completed, all workflow participants are notified with the latest document version and are given access to the finalized agreement.
4. Allow Counterparties to Manage their Own Signers
So much time can be taken by legal teams having to manage the final steps of getting a contract executed and signed. Have you ever had a counterparty’s authorized signer go out on vacation without giving your team notice? When your counterparty signs up for Ironclad, you can let them reassign their authorized signers, upload a signed agreement, and add a required document for your records directly in Ironclad without having to contact your business or legal teams.
5. Manage Supporting and Reference Documents
Some contracts may require additional support or reference documents to be included in the discussion or signed agreement. Your counterparty can use Ironclad to upload, review, or add a reference document. You can then track and manage your discussions and drafts in Ironclad.
6. Improve Team Visibility
Business contracts can take many days, weeks, and months to negotiate. Team members can change during the deal, or roles may change. In Ironclad, external conversations are managed so team members can quickly gain background and context to any outstanding questions, shared documents, tasks, or previous discussions that have taken place. This reduces the time and effort it takes to get up to speed.
Today, most negotiations take place in the margins of .docx files and email threads. It can be easy to lose track of the most recent versions, task assignments, or to get up to speed as a stakeholder is introduced late in the process. Ironclad offers a simple, straightforward place where all activity is captured and documented in chronological order, and the assigned actions can often be completed directly in the tool itself.
7. Restrict Permissions and Specific Users from Inviting a Counterparty to Ironclad
Not all contracts require a counterparty to provide information, negotiate, or sign an agreement. We recommend that you update these workflow templates to restrict counterparty collaboration features to prevent these workflows from unintentionally slowing down. For example, you can set workflow template permissions to only allow admins or the Legal team to invite a counterparty if the first contract draft is not accepted and requires revision.
When establishing what user groups you want to be able to invite counterparties to collaborate in Ironclad, you should consider the following:
- Will this contract type benefit from counterparty collaboration being enabled?
- Does the user group with invite permissions include every user who would benefit?
1. Will this contract benefit from counterparty collaboration?
We recommend waiting to enable counterparty collaboration if you do not want your team to use Ironclad to communicate with the counterparty and prefer other communication methods such as Asana or Slack. We also recommend waiting if a majority of your workflows go straight to signature or do not require counterparty negotiations.
Your contracts might benefit from counterparty collaboration if:
- You plan to work with the counterparty on multiple WFD contracts. If you use Ironclad for multiple, collaborative, or highly negotiated agreement workflows such as NDAs, SOWs, order forms, renewals, amendments, etc.
- You want more visibility into external conversations that typically take place in emails.
- Your agreement has reverted back to the Review step. You are looking to streamline the communication process to minimize the delay resulting from reverting back to the Review stage.
- You have multiple stakeholders involved on the counterparty side of the agreement. Even if your team is using Ironclad, your counterparty may be trying to move the contract forward through email threads and Slack reminders. Enabling your counterparty with their own Ironclad instance, as well as the ability to invite their teammates into the space, provides a better user experience and speeds up the process.
2. Does the user group with invite permissions include every user who would benefit?
Ironclad’s counterparty collaboration features were designed to centralize the communication of all stakeholders in a contracting process. This means that the more groups you give permissions, the more your organization can benefit.
The ability to invite counterparties can be controlled by the administrators at the workflow level. When selecting the appropriate group to permission, you can limit the ability to select groups. This can be applied by agreement type when relevant to ensure permissions are strategically applied.