Does this sound familiar?
The sales team has a last-minute contract request again. The agent sends you an email asking for a sales agreement with a 15% discount and if they can have it before 3pm. The problem is, you don’t know any details for the other party. Or what product they are purchasing. Or if there were any additional negotiations made during the sales process. And, you have a deadline.
The legal request intake process has had plenty of room for improvement for a while now. Many organizations have used stop-gaps to help the legal department manage requests, like online or paper/PDF forms for the requestors to fill out. I used this method myself in a previous career when I was a communications director. And if you’ve used this method and it only benefits the department receiving the requests…you know it usually fails.
So, how can we improve the system so that the legal department can get the information it needs from requestors (and can stop spending their time chasing down information) while the requesting departments also see the benefits?
This isn’t actually as hard as it sounds.
Automation on its own isn’t going to make or break your requestor’s habits, but when it’s paired with consistent intake practices, like online request forms, it means your requestors are going to get their requests fulfilled more quickly (and with less pain from the legal department).
Intake isn’t just about making the legal department’s life easier, which is a big benefit. It’s about smoothing the relationship between the legal department and requesting departments, reducing the amount of time it takes to complete requests, and getting to signature (and revenue-generating activity) faster.
When we start looking at legal request intake holistically, like in the below video, we can start thinking about the ways our intake impacts the rest of our department’s functions.
This video shows a highly-automated example of using the intake form to then auto-generate a simple NDA form and send to signature – without needing any of the legal department’s time. This benefits both the requestor AND the legal department. Not every agreement can or should have this level of automation. But using legal operations tools to automate reasonable parts of your work can only improve your time to signature – and your relationships with your requesting departments.
Legal departments love our tool ALOE. And requesting departments do, too.