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Sales Contracting: Status of Contract Management & Legal Support

January 25, 2011

Close to 50% of sales teams see their contracts / legal function as ‘overly risk-averse’ and ‘impeding their potential deals’. That is a key finding from IACCM’s current survey on the state of sales contracting, in which Sales also complain about ‘slow responsiveness to their needs’.

Given this data, it is not surprising that under 7% see the contracts organization as a source of competitive advantage, or facilitating external relationships. In fact, 87% see the function’s primary role as risk management and mitigation – but in the context of compliance and control, rather than partnering to ensure that business is won.

A reasonable judgment? Probably not, but it is a perception and of course, perceptions matter. They drive behaviour – such as the ‘unrealistic expectations of turn-around time’ that is an accusation levelled at Sales by their colleagues in contracts and legal. But the biggest issue is that Sales apparently often fail to set realistic expectations with their prospective customers.

These findings are just a few of the topics covered in the IACCM survey, which looks in depth at the current state of sales contracting and legal support. The study will highlight the main inhibitors to improved performance and suggest ways that these can best be addressed. And it will of course explore the many examples of good practice that are evident in the responses received, which overall suggest that there is trend to greater collaboration and openness between the support functions and their colleagues in Sales.

The survey has already attracted input by more than 200 organizations and it remains open until early February. To participate (and receive a copy of the final report), visit

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