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Published: Jan 31, 2023 21 min read
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Best for Growing Businesses
Best for Small BusinessesBest for Medium-Sized BusinessesBest for Large BusinessesMost AffordableBest for Automation
DocuSign Logo
PandaDoc Logo
ContractWorks Logo
Agiloft Logo
Concord Digital Signature Software Logo
Juro Logo
DocuSignPandaDocContractWorksAgiloftConcord Digital Signature SoftwareJuro
Our Partner
Company Highlight

Offers a basic eSignature and contract management suite as well a a more robust CLM line

Smart Content feature streamlines contract creation

All plans include unlimited users

Provides contract management solutions for some of the country's largest companies

Word processing feature looks and functions like Microsoft Word

Simplifies needlessly complex contract management systems

Starting Price per Month

$10 for single user

$19 per user

$700

Custom

$17 per user

Custom

Devices Supported

Desktop, Android, iOS

Desktop, Android, iOS

Desktop

Desktop

Desktop, Android, iOS

Desktop

Best for Growing Businesses
DocuSign
Our Partner
Get Started
Company Highlight

Offers a basic eSignature and contract management suite as well a a more robust CLM line

Starting Price per Month

$10 for single user

Devices Supported

Desktop, Android, iOS

Best for Small Businesses
PandaDoc
Get Started
Company Highlight

Smart Content feature streamlines contract creation

Starting Price per Month

$19 per user

Devices Supported

Desktop, Android, iOS

Best for Medium-Sized Businesses
ContractWorks
Get Started
Company Highlight

All plans include unlimited users

Starting Price per Month

$700

Devices Supported

Desktop

Best for Large Businesses
Agiloft
Get Started
Company Highlight

Provides contract management solutions for some of the country's largest companies

Starting Price per Month

Custom

Devices Supported

Desktop

Most Affordable
Concord Digital Signature Software
Get Started
Company Highlight

Word processing feature looks and functions like Microsoft Word

Starting Price per Month

$17 per user

Devices Supported

Desktop, Android, iOS

Best for Automation
Juro
Get Started
Company Highlight

Simplifies needlessly complex contract management systems

Starting Price per Month

Custom

Devices Supported

Desktop

If you provide services to clients, chances are you or your team spend a lot of time drafting, reviewing, signing and sending contracts — not to mention reminding your clients to actually sign the contracts that have been sitting in their inboxes for weeks.

Contracts are important; they protect and reassure your clients of what your business is going to do for them. But they also protect you, for example, in defining the scope of an engagement so that your company doesn’t end up doing work it isn’t getting paid to do.

As essential as contracts are, it can sometimes feel like a marathon to take them from draft to countersigned. And if your team is manually managing your company’s contract workflow, they are likely spending countless administrative hours doing things that could be automated through technology.

The best contract management software can put those hours back in your team’s hands to use more productively. We’ve reviewed the best contract management solutions out there and have put together a guide to help you pick the one that’s best for your company.

Our Top Picks for Best Contract Management Software

DocuSign — Best for Growing Businesses
PandaDoc — Best for Small Businesses
ContractWorks — Best for Medium-sized Businesses
Agiloft — Best for Large Businesses
Concord — Most Affordable
Juro — Best for Automation

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Best Contract Management Software Reviews

Pros
  • Caters to complex contract management workflows
  • Offers e-Signature and contract management for companies of all sizes
  • Multiple security certifications, including SOC 2
Cons
  • Least expensive plan allows only 1 user and 5 documents/month
  • Non-CLM versions don't allow for contract customization

Why we chose it: While other contract management software seem to be built only for simpler or more complex contract management workflows, DocuSign can accommodate both as a company grows. It offers basic eSignature plans for a fixed monthly cost per user (with basic contract management) as well as full end-to-end contract lifecycle management (CLM) through the DocuSign CLM suite.

If your business is currently in the early stages, DocuSign's basic eSignature plans may fit your current needs nicely. You can then grow into DocuSign CLM as your contract management workflow becomes more complicated.

DocuSign has three standard eSignature plans: Personal ($10/month for one user only), Standard ($25/month per user) and Business Pro ($40/month per user). It also offers an Enhanced plan with custom pricing. DocuSign CLM pricing, however, is not available online (but a DocuSign representative told us it can be expensive).

In addition to reusable templates, the basic DocuSign eSignature plans include automatic signature reminders, Google Drive and Dropbox integration and audit trails. The more expensive plans also include customized branding, advanced fields (such as formulas or conditional fields) and a PowerForms feature, which allows you to embed a signable form directly on your website.

Now, the basic eSignature plans won’t cut it if you want the ability to customize your contracts directly in DocuSign, need multiple parties to review a contract before it goes to a client or are subject to certain compliance regulations (such as HIPAA or FedRAMP). For any of the above, you'd have to opt for a DocuSign CLM plan. These feature contract creation and collaboration tools and over 100 pre-built workflows that can help you get contracts out the door faster.

One last thing to keep in mind about DocuSign is that it’s fairly ubiquitous, so your clients probably won’t be surprised when they see a document signature request from DocuSign in their inbox.

Price Customer support Platform
Paid annually: $10, $25, $40 (per user) Phone, email, online Desktop, Android, iOS
Paid monthly: $15, $45, $65 (per user) Phone, email, online Desktop, Android, iOS
Custom pricing for Enhanced and CLM plans Phone, email, online Desktop, Android, iOS
Pros
  • Powerful Smart Content feature
  • Dashboard makes it easy and intuitive to see the number and value of contracts by status
  • Manage documents from your phone with the PandaDoc app
  • SOC 2 Type 2 compliant
  • 14-day free trial
Cons
  • Not suitable for complex contract management workflows

Why we chose it: If DocuSign’s basic eSignature plans feel too limited in terms of contract customization but your business isn't large enough to merit a full-scale CLM solution, PandaDoc could be perfect for you. It offers competitive pricing to small businesses, and some of its plans have powerful in-software contract customization tools. And if you want to manage both your contracts and invoices on one platform, PandaDoc also offers invoicing software.

PandaDoc has a free plan that is strictly for unlimited eSignature as well as three paid plans that include unlimited eSignature and documents. The lowest-tier Essentials plan costs $19/user/month when paid annually and allows you to upload template documents. It also gives you access to PandaDoc’s drag-and-drop template builder, which we found very easy to use.

Its Business plan, which costs $49/user/month when paid annually, lets you integrate with third-party software through Zapier, use your logo and branding on documents, and set up approval process workflows. It also gives you access to PandaDoc’s Smart Content feature, which is what really makes PandaDoc stand out from its price-point competitors.

Smart Content lets you upload multiple pieces of content — such as a paragraph describing a service or even a full-page graphic — you can insert into contracts as needed. This allows you to create a master template with interchangeable Smart Content fields. While the next option on our list, ContractWorks, offers a similar feature through its clause library, the feature is only available with its $2,000-per-month plan.

Lastly, PandaDoc also offers an Enterprise plan with custom pricing. This plan includes an unlimited number of workspaces, user performance reporting and remote online notary services. Keep in mind, however, that online notarization is not permitted in all states.

Price Customer support Platform
Paid annually: $19, $49 (per user) 24/7 live chat, ticketing Desktop, Android, iOS
Paid monthly: $29, $59 (per user) 24/7 live chat, ticketing Desktop, Android, iOS
Custom pricing for Enterprise plan 24/7 live chat, ticketing Desktop, Android, iOS
Pros
  • Unlimited users on all plans
  • Top-notch storage, categorization and security features
  • Offers telephone support
  • SOC 2 Type 2 compliant
Cons
  • Monthly document limits on Standard and Professional plans
  • Some automation and collaboration features exclusive to Premium plan
  • Smaller businesses may be priced out

Why we chose it: If your contract management process requires a bit more systemization than a simple approval workflow but you don't quite need a full-scale solution like Agiloft, ContractWorks might be what you’re looking for — particularly its high-end Premium plan. ContractWorks specializes in streamlining contract flows for businesses with 100 to 200 employees who need redlining capabilities for multiple internal and external stakeholders as well as an overarching system to keep contracts moving through the pipeline.

ContractWorks offers three plans that all come with unlimited signature requests but with a limited number of eSignature licenses. Standard costs $700/month for five electronic signature licenses, Professional costs $900/month for 10 electronic signature licenses and Premium costs $2,000/month for 20 electronic signature licenses.

All plans come with automatic contract outlining and annotating, audit log reporting, custom branding and automatic signature reminders. The only difference between Standard and Professional is that Professional allows for 10,000 rather than 2,500 documents to be sent per year, accommodates 10 electronic signature licenses rather than five and offers Salesforce integration.

The Premium plan provides some of the more advanced features that a complex contract management workflow would require, such as drafting templates, collaboration capabilities, redling, smart workflows and a clause library. The Premium plan is the only one that serves middle-market clients in need of a true contract lifecycle management solution.

Price Customer support Platform
$700 (for up to five eSignature licenses) Telephone, email, live chat Desktop
$900 (for up to 10 eSignature licenses) Telephone, email, live chat Desktop
$2,000 (for up to 20 eSignature licenses) — all billed annually Telephone, email, live chat Desktop

Pros
  • Can handle the most complex contract management issues
  • Extensive customization and automation capabilities
  • Multiple security certifications, including SOC 2 Type 2
Cons
  • Not a fit for smaller businesses with simpler contract management needs

Why we chose it: Agiloft can handle the most sophisticated and convoluted contract management processes, regardless of how many lawyers, managers and executives need to sign off on contracts or what inventory management systems you need to have integrated. So if you own or make decisions for a large business with complex contract management needs, Agiloft may be the solution for you.

Agiloft specializes in tailor-made solutions, from a customizable interface to editable templates and a clause library. It gives users absolute control over their contracts and workflows. But where Agiloft really shines is after the contract is drafted and has to go through a myriad of approvals and permissions before being finalized.

With Agiloft, you can set up the following kinds of approvals:

  • Sequential approvals: Send to Person A and then Person B for approval.
  • Parallel approvals: Send to both Person A and Person B for approval.
  • Conditional approvals: Send to Person A for approval. If Person A approves, send it to Person B for approval. If Person A does not approve, send it to Person C for revision.

If your contract approval workflow has multiple layers of review and revisions, this sort of automation can save your team a lot of hours, emails, spreadsheets and contract version control issues.

Of course, this is just a high-level overview of Agiloft’s services; as described in its many case studies, it has the ability to create a completely custom solution for your CLM software needs. This kind of service, however, comes at a price. Like many contract management software products, Agiloft’s pricing is based on the number of monthly users, but you’ll need to reach out to the company to get a quote.

Price Customer support Platform
Custom Email, phone Desktop

Pros
  • Solid, affordable solution for small teams
  • Looks like a word processor and has word processing functions
  • Multiple security certifications, including SOC 2 Type 2
  • 14-day free trial
Cons
  • Not for very complex contract management workflows

Why we chose it: Concord offers a competent, no-frills contract management and eSignature solution for $17 per user/month with its Standard plan. This plan gives you unlimited eSignatures, documents and templates and some basic automation tools like deadline reminders and bulk send. And since its word processing feature looks and feels very similar to a standard word processor, it’s also very easy to create contracts and templates directly in Concord. Lastly, similar to Google Docs, multiple users can revise documents in Concord in real time.

Now, while advanced automations like approval workflows and third-party integrations are missing in the Standard plan, Concord’s Pro plan has you covered on these fronts. The Pro plan costs $49 per user/month, while Concord’s Enterprise plan — which includes a clause library and custom branding — requires a custom quote.

So if you’re looking for an affordable, easy-to-use contract management and eSignature software for your small business, Concord just might be what you’re looking for. Note that while DocuSign does have a $10-per-month Personal plan, this plan is for single users only; it cannot be used by a small business team. Concord’s Standard plan, on the other hand, is intended for small business team usage.

Price Customer support Platform
Paid annually: $17, $49 (both per user) Ticket system only Desktop
Paid monthly: $23, $59 (both per user) Ticket system only Desktop
Custom pricing for Enterprise plan Ticket system only Desktop

Pros
  • Most core functionalities available in Lite plan
  • 15% discount on all plans for non-profit organizations
  • Track record with high-volume companies
  • SOC 2 Type 2 compliant
Cons
  • Custom pricing required on all plans

Why we chose it: Juro specializes in contract management automation for businesses sending out a large number of contracts that don't need much customization or review. While Agiloft is appropriate for big businesses whose contracts require layers of internal sign-offs and revisions before they go out the door, Juro is more focused on automating the contract management process for companies that just need to send out a lot of somewhat similar contracts.

This isn’t to say that Juro doesn’t have approval workflow functionality — it does. But rather than focusing on streamlining unavoidably complicated contract management processes and protocols, Juno’s focus is on simplifying avoidably complicated contract management systems.

Juro has three plans — Lite, which includes up to five users; Team, which includes up to ten users; and Scale, which supports an unlimited number of users. None of these plans’ pricing is publicly available, however, meaning you’ll have to fill out a form to get a quote.

Based on the information on Juro’s website, the Lite plan appears to offer most of the functionality of the two more expensive plans; the main upgrades in the more expensive ones are additional users, custom users, enhanced support and more integrations.

Price Customer support Platform
Custom Ticket system only Desktop

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Other companies we considered

Here are some other contract management software products that we considered.

Conga

Pros
  • Supports large, enterprise-level contract management systems
Cons
  • Customer report growing pains as a result of recent merger

Conga is another contract management platform that, like Agiloft, focuses on servicing very large companies with complex contract management needs. Conga, in its current form, is the result of the 2020 merger of two companies, Conga and Apttus, and some customers have complained that this merger resulted in frustrating limitations with regard to customer support and product development. However, Conga could become a top contract management software as it works out those issues in the coming years.

Cobblestone

Pros
  • Offers a 30-day free trial
Cons
  • Success stories oriented toward public enterprises

Cobblestone is a contract management software that can accommodate complex contract lifecycles. That said, based on Cobblestone’s published case studies, it appears that the company has more of a focus on non-corporate enterprises. Of course, Cobblestone is used by for-profit businesses as well, but we found it noteworthy that Cobblestone doesn’t have the depth of corporate case studies that companies like Agiloft and Juro provide on their websites.

Outlaw

Pros
  • Proprietary system for managing legal contracts
Cons
  • 12-month minimum contract

Founded in 2017, Outlaw is a relatively new contract management software company. It was acquired in 2021 by legal tech platform Filevine and purports to have a proprietary contract management system specifically for legal templates. That said, we did not include Outlaw in our list of the best contract management software products because despite not offering a free trial, Outlaw requires customers to sign up for a minimum of 12 months.

Contact Management Software Guide

The following guide covers everything you need to know to choose the best contract management software for your business.

Main things to know before choosing contract management software

When selecting any product for your business, you should first take stock of your business’ needs and pain points. This will help you define what you want to get out of that product. This step is particularly important when it comes to choosing a contract management software, as you have a full spectrum of price points and capabilities from which to choose. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that more expensive products are better — they may have features that a business like yours doesn’t currently need.

For some businesses, contract management is a relatively simple process. You or someone on your team determines the engagement’s scope, fees and other details, puts that information in a contract and then sends it to a client or prospect for electronic signature, following up with them periodically. Most contracts may be quite similar, and perhaps you need to substitute only a few standard paragraphs, so they don’t need extensive review from the company’s legal or compliance team. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably looking for a product that provides flexibility and automation rather than rigorous workflow management and redlining capabilities. Examples of good contract management software in these cases are PandaDoc at a smaller scale and Juro at a larger scale.

For other businesses, each contract is a project that needs to be managed separately — a living document that requires substantial review, revisions and possibly amendments from multiple parties, both within and outside the company. If this sounds more like your business, and you’re currently managing this process manually via emails and multiple documents or spreadsheets, you need a solution that can help you draft, review, revise and finalize contracts with an automated workflow. Examples of these solutions include ContractWorks for mid-sized businesses and Agiloft for larger operations.

Finally, check out what other components of your tech stack your contract management could integrate with for enhanced productivity. For example, maybe your contract management software can integrate with your accounting software to automate customers’ payments according to the schedule indicated in their contracts.

What is the average cost of contract management software?

The average cost of contract management software for simple workflows is $15 to $50 per user/month. However, if your contract management needs are more complex, you will need a more custom solution that could be significantly more expensive.

How does contract management software work?

Contract management software works by streamlining the entire contract lifecycle, from drafting to countersigning. It does this by allowing users to create contracts quickly from templates or by uploading their own contract they created in a word processor, indicating who should review and sign the contract.

Once the user has drafted the contract, the contract management software then manages the approval and signature process according to certain rules the user has set. These rules can be as simple as, “First send to signer A, and once they have signed the contract, send it to signer B.” They can also be extremely complex, involving multiple layers of milestone-based contract review and revisions by executives, legal teams, compliance teams, third-party stakeholders and more.

Why is contract management important?

Contract management is important because it increases productivity, compliance and cash flow for companies. A good, streamlined contract management system using one of the software products on this list can enhance productivity by cutting out many hours of manual work by your team members when it comes to creating contracts and getting them signed.

Contract management can also help with compliance by ensuring that whoever needs to review and revise a document has done so before the contract moves to the next step in the workflow. Lastly, contract management can increase cash flow because it helps companies get contracts signed much faster, which typically means getting paid faster as well.

Contract Management Software FAQs

Is it secure to use contract management software?

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It is secure to use contract management software, as long as the software you use has taken steps to safeguard your data. There are two primary security measures that your contract management software should take — measures to protect your stored data, such as completed contracts stored in a repository, and measures to protect contract data in transit, meaning the information users input into the contract management software to appear on the contract.

Since you're probably not a security expert, you'll have to rely on various certifications awarded by third-party companies and organizations that specialize in security. When it comes to stored data protection, look for certifications such as SOC 2 Type 2 and Cyber Essentials. When it comes to protecting data in transit, make sure that your contract management software uses advanced encryption — ideally 256-bit.

Is contract management software different from eSignature?

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While contract management software products include eSignature as a baseline feature, they offer much more than that. eSignature refers only to the electronic gathering of signers' signatures on a document, such as a contract, along with an audit log of when the signatures were made.

Contract management software, on the other hand, has features that go beyond mere eSign capabilities. For example, a good contract management software will help ensure that the language in new contracts you send out is the most up-to-date and accurate used in your company. It will also allow you and your team to customize contracts for specific clients or prospects.

For complex contract lifecycles, contract management software can ensure that everybody who needs to review a contract has reviewed it before the contract goes out to the client or prospect for signature.

Does my CRM include contract management software?

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Your CRM might include native contract management software. But even if it does, it may not be the best fit for your business or offer all the contract management tools you need. You may still want to test out third-party contract management software products that better suit your needs and see if any integrate with your CRM.

Which industries use contract management software?

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Any industry that relies on contracts in its business processes uses contract management software. Common examples of industries that use business contracts include real estate, finance, healthcare, law, SAAS and construction.

How We Found the Best Contract Management Software

We used the following factors to pick the best contract management software:

  • Customizability: Contracts aren’t always one-size-fits-all, so one thing that we looked at when analyzing contract management software is the ability for users to easily modify documents within the software itself.
  • Appropriate features for target customer: Rather than having a single set of features we looked for across the board, we considered each software’s target market and evaluated software based on the features relevant to that market. For small businesses, we looked for software with a simple, user-friendly interface and a transparent pricing structure. For larger companies with more complex needs, we weighed the ability to handle more intricate workflows.
  • Security: Contracts often contain confidential and sensitive information about your business and your customers, so we made sure that all of the software on our list is, at a minimum, SOC 2 Type 2 certified.

Note that affordability is not on our list, though we did keep an eye out for the most affordable contract management software. This is because the contract management process for a small business is likely very different from that of a large business that requires multiple departments to sign off on each contract.

Obviously, a solution that can seamlessly work into a more complex contract workflow will likely come at a higher cost than one that handles a simpler contract workflow. We opted to include options that serve different needs and, therefore, come at different price points.

Summary of the Best Contract Management Software of 2023

DocuSign — Best for Growing Businesses
PandaDoc — Best for Small Businesses
ContractWorks — Best for Medium-sized Businesses
Agiloft — Best for Large Businesses
Concord — Most Affordable
Juro — Best for Automation