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Contract automation

Comparison top.legal to PandaDoc: functions and limitations

  • With a powerful CLM software (Contract Lifecycle Software) such as top.legal, contracts and documents can be negotiated directly in the software and changes can be made visible to the other party. A subsequent compliance workflow for the release of changes is currently not included in the PandaDoc software package.

PandaDoc's proposal software is popular with sales teams in Germany as well - but does it also work for legal issues and contracts in particular? This article compares PandaDoc's features and limitations with top.legal's one-stop contract platform. 

While PandaDoc is popular with sales teams for providing simple documents and quotes due to its quoting capabilities and good selection of integrations, teams often need further functionality beyond the scope of a CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote Software) system when creating and editing contracts.

For example, when it comes to functions related to editing and negotiating contract texts in mark-up mode, this cannot usually be done on PandaDoc directly. In this case, the software and also other CPQ systems deliver a frustrating experience for users.  

With a powerful CLM software (Contract Lifecycle Software) such as top.legal, contracts and documents can be negotiated directly in the software and changes can be made visible to the other party. A subsequent compliance workflow for the release of changes is currently not included in the PandaDoc software package.  

Further problems and restrictions for users of PandaDoc

  • No negotiation option: In-platform negotiation is not available - documents must be downloaded as .docx to be re-uploaded after negotiation.
  • No change recognition: Styling and formatting of previous changes can no longer be recognised after the import/export process.
  • Process logics and conditional paragraphs are missing: As CPQ software, PandaDoc cannot map conditional paragraphs and conditional logics in documents, let alone nested logics. 
  • Missing metadata from contracts: Metadata in contracts helps in archiving contracts and potentially searching for them. Without it, audit trails for negotiations or collaboration are not preserved and it is difficult to search even within contracts.
  • e-signature function costs extra: This causes friction for end users as you would have to pay for an additional licence to unlock the e-signature function, which is essential for legal teams.

In summary, visionary lawyers and sales teams are better advised to use more comprehensive contract automation software when agreeing and managing contracts, although CPQ software provides complementary benefits for certain areas of use. 

Why is top.legal a better platform for contract automation? 

Negotiations can take place directly via the browser

Users of PandaDoc have to resort to alternative software when negotiating contracts. It is not possible to negotiate directly with the other party via the application. With CLM systems such as top.legal, you can edit documents in markup mode, write internal and external comments, as well as chat asynchronously with the other party about the terms of the contract. In addition, you and your team can set tasks at any time to check changes or keep track of deadlines. 

A beautiful editor specially designed for contracts

CLM systems such as top.legeal usually offer customised editors built for optimised contract processing. For example, intelligent comments can be used to guide colleagues in the sales department during contract creation, and customers can be persuaded to sign more quickly by means of explanations in written and video format. All contracts are available in a machine-readable format and can be searched and evaluated both during and after signature. 

Designed to support and empower legal and sales teams

Legal teams often need the following functions that go far beyond signing offer documents. In top.legal you can:

  • Use conditional logic at text and paragraph level to accommodate complex documents and multiple logics in your documents.
  • Create in-depth analyses for your contracts
  • Negotiate contracts directly via your browser and have changes approved by authorised employees 

With top.legal's all-in-one contract automation software, legal and sales teams can empower their colleagues to create and manage contracts independently and without losing control. 

Contract management takes into account analysis of the filed contracts

With top.legal, contracts and the sections and records contained therein are searchable at any time, including review protocols and negotiation histories, as everything can be traced back to structured data. 

Another advantage of this type of architecture is that selected data can also be passed on to CRM and accounting systems in a structured way. Further processing of the data is thus easily possible and does not have to be painstakingly searched out from the contracts. At the same time, the exchange of data is easy with all authorised departments and teams. Thus, all persons always have access to the data, even if a colleague is on holiday.  

The electronic signature is not an add-on, it is included!

When you subscribe to top.legal, you should always remember that the e-signature function is included without you having to purchase an additional licence. Moreover, it works on any device whenever you need it. You can do your contract management along with other important functions without even leaving the platform.

Frequently asked questions

Is top.legal designed for sales teams?

Yes, top.legal was even explicitly designed for joint use by sales and legal teams. The average implementation phase for top.legal is 14 days. The all-in-one contract management platform has been adopted by the sales teams of fast-growing companies.

Can I move my existing signed contracts to top.legal?

Yes, this is possible. Firstly, you can upload your existing and signed PDF to top.legal. In doing so, key parameters and metadata can be captured and used for later evaluation. 

On the other hand, you can have existing contracts read out into a template. In a first step, our AI takes over and transforms your contracts into a machine-readable format. In a further step, our legal engineers support you in setting up a process for faster and more valuable contract conclusions.

How quickly can the software be implemented in the company?

You can start using the software in your company immediately after a discussion with one of our account managers. Of course, our legal engineers will support you in setting up the first processes and documents. In addition, we can integrate your existing software (as well as CRM and ERP systems) into the contract drafting processes. 

Will top.legal help me from the beginning?

Yes, of course. We can support you every step of the way, if that's what you want. We can help create the templates and processes, train your teams, and implement them in your organisation. No matter where you need us, we can support you! 

How does the electronic signature work?

Signing a contract with an advanced electronic signature is a simple and intuitive process. In a first step, you invite the party whose signature you need to your contract. In this step, the software generates a hash of the document, which can ensure the integrity of the document. The invited party then receives an email invitation and a secure link to the document to be signed. Once the document is opened, the person signing the document is prompted to enter a mobile phone number to receive a PIN number. With the PIN received, the document is finally signed. 

Is top.legal's native eSignature legally binding?

Yes. top.legal's secure native eSignature complies with the EU Commission Regulation of July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS). The execution of the electronic signature is also possible via mobile phone.

Demo and pricing

Book a demo today to experience the full functionality of top.legal's contract management software. Simply contact our experts for more details on our prices.

What other functionalities does top.legal offer?

How it works Description
Memories Use automated contract reminders to make sure you never miss a deadline.
Analytics Dashboard The Analytics function provides you with an overview and evaluations of the key parameters of your contracts, as well as information on negotiations and the duration of a contract cycle. Information can be broken down to team and staff level.
Tasks Dashboard The dashboard provides you with an additional overview of all tasks and deadlines that you or your team have set.
Distribution of rights Define roles for each team member to determine who can read or edit specific contracts and templates.
Team-based access rights Share your templates with your team to ensure that all staff have access to your designated contracts at all times. This way you reduce the risk of old risky templates still being used.
Status tracking Track the status of a contract throughout its lifecycle: from draft to signature to follow-up tasks
Permits Approve templates and changes to templates directly in the document editor. Release contracts based on approved templates for use by selected teams without delay.
Tasks Define tasks and delegate them across teams to maximise productivity.
Different teams Create multiple teams and set team-based roles for selected documents.
Global Playbook- Management Manage templates securely from a central account so you're always working with up-to-date versions across the organisation.
Intelligent search Search all your contracts and individual parameters with an intelligent search function.
Tags Organise your contracts with keywords to find them more quickly.
External guests Invite external guests as well as external lawyers, for example, to have your contracts checked legally on a selective basis.

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