Legal teams are often viewed as slow to respond to internal colleagues, including those working in sales. This reputation for delay is particularly acute in the area of contract review, surveys indicate.
More than one in four (26%) sales professionals say contract reviews and approvals take more than 10 days, according to a report from AI-powered contract management provider Lexion.
Legal department professionals have a different view, as just 3% of them say contract reviews and approvals take more than 10 days.
This contrast in viewpoints is seen across other survey questions that were asked in conjunction with Lexion’s 2023 State of Legal Tech report.
Roughly 82% of legal department respondents say contract reviews and approvals take five days or less compared to 59% of sales professionals who agree with that statement.
One particular type of contract where sales and legal teams have a different view of turnaround times is non-disclosure agreements.
Sales teams’ most anticipated turnaround time for NDAs is 3-5 days, while legal departments most frequently expect those deals to be turned around in 1-2 days. The type of NDA survey participants were asked about was one on first party paper from an internal team member.
The Lexion report highlighted several pain points sales professionals identify in their interactions with legal department colleagues.
Topping the list was the 44% of sales pros who say a document isn’t being returned quickly enough by legal.
Additionally, 31% of sales professionals say contract review reduces deal velocity and 24% say contract review isn’t necessary because an agreement is simple.
Slightly more than half of the surveyed legal department professionals say they believe AI could help speed up the contracting process.
Upwards of six in ten (62%) say they expect AI can also help remove repetitive tasks they would normally handle.
The survey conducted last year found that 35% of in-house legal professionals were working in departments that were already utilizing AI technology.
Roughly 28% of legal team respondents say their department is using or planning to use AI for contract review, and the same percentage say their department is utilizing or planning to utilize the technology for workflows.
One in four respondents say their legal team is using or planning to use AI for contract creation.
“Contract review remains tedious, slow and costly as organizations grapple with approval processes that take far longer than they should,” said Gaurav Oberoi, Lexion’s co-founder and CEO. “To alleviate this pain point, and with recent advances in AI, legal and sales professionals increasingly turn to tech to close deals faster while also mitigating risk.”
Lexion said its survey respondents included “hundreds of general counsel, senior counsel, associate counsel, paralegals, contract managers and legal administrators – as well as sales managers – across a wide array of industries.”