DocuSign is undeniably a strong name in the industry when it comes to signing documents electronically. However, there are a number of limitations that become apparent in the use of DocuSign, especially when used by legal teams who are often looking for a more comprehensive and scalable solution for contracts.
In this article, we try to uncover the features and at the same time limitations of DocuSign contract negotiation compared to top.legal's contract automation platform. In other words, an alternative to DocuSign.
top.legal vs. DocuSign: A comparison of functions
As may be apparent from the direct comparison above, there are a lot of essential features that are regularly required by legal and sales teams that are not available via a DocuSign subscription. In addition, many of the basic features needed to build a reasonable process are only available via further add-on fees. With top.legal (a competitor to docusign), all functions for the contract process are available right from the start; we or our legal engineers also provide detailed support in setting up the documents.
From discussions with our customers and other market participants, we have been able to compile a list of the most important points of criticism of the DocuSign signature software:
- No flexibility: any change to the document by either party, no matter how small, requires the document to be uploaded and created from scratch on DocuSign
- No automation: Documents cannot be created and negotiated automatically. DocuSign Signature is only used to sign documents, nothing more.
- No data collection: The recorded contract parameters cannot be evaluated, which makes it difficult to search for and evaluate contract data, especially for contracts that date back further.
In order to provide visionary legal and sales teams with simpler and more in-depth functionality in the creation, management, and negotiation of contracts, contract automation software such as top.legal can be used.
The most important advantages of top.legal's contract automation software
Electronic signature is only the tip of the iceberg
DocuSign is now a household name for many companies that want to sign their contracts digitally. It simplifies the signing process immensely compared to traditional paper-based processes. But decision-makers should know that there are a number of other contract process automation features that are useful for streamlining processes for legal and sales teams.
The electronic signature is only the end of a usually complex contract negotiation process. top.legal's one-stop contract automation platform covers each of the stages of the contract lifecycle, in the browser, with cost transparency that scales with your business.
Benefit from a transparent pricing model and do not pay per contract
DocuSign offers a monthly subscription model, but the plans offered only include a limited number of signed or sent contracts. In the long run, however, the model is a trap, as growth with additional fees for increasing contract growth threatens, which one may not have had on the agenda.
top.legal only ever offers its clients software licences for an unlimited number of contracts and templates for a transparent and previously known monthly or annual fee. Companies can thus simply focus on signing more contracts without having to worry about the cost of signing more contracts. Plus, unlike DocuSign, our customers don't need an enterprise plan to benefit from our integrations with Salesforce, Slack, Microsoft Teams or any other CRM.
Edit your contracts at any time instead of suffering from locked pdfs
If you need to change a document/contract, which happens more often than you might think, this means that, if the process runs via DocuSign, the entire document must be declared invalid and the upload process must be restarted afterwards. If, on the other hand, the contract negotiation process runs via top.legal, the contracts can be edited by both sides, either with comments or in mark-up mode, without the contract having to be declared invalid at any point or the process having to be restarted.
Capture actionable contract data during and the negotiation process
Metadata of a contract is an important component in the digitisation of contracts. However, this is not processed by DocuSign. This means that the negotiation history is not saved and is therefore lost forever.
The contract software from top.legal, on the other hand, creates digital contracts directly via its own infrastructure from the user's input and structured data. Of course, the metadata and key parameters are saved directly and can be used for the further process. This also allows complex contract analysis of individual contracts as well as complete contract portfolios.
Manage not only templates and contracts but also entire teams via top.legal
The typical user experience for DocuSign users is that they manage their PDFs via email, which can become a difficult or impossible task.
The contract software from top.legal, on the other hand, contains a granular rights concept for individual team members or entire teams. Read and write rights can be selected for templates and individual contracts. In addition, user-defined table views and dashboards can be created. This means that documents can be tracked directly in an application throughout their entire life cycle.
Real collaboration on contracts and templates your team will love
In addition to quickly creating contracts based on approved templates, top.legal also software improves internal and external communication for faster approvals and identifies bottlenecks in the contract process. By bringing together emails, ad hoc conversations, redline markup, etc. in one place, team members can collaborate across departments to create, review, negotiate, manage and approve contracts.
By having real-time access to the latest version of a contract, companies also reduce contract risk and delay by keeping everyone on the same page. Here are some reasons why automation improves team collaboration:
- Integrated tracking function for negotiation and post-processing of contracts including audit trail
- Accepting and rejecting changes is possible directly in the contract editor
- Seamless export function at any time from contracts and templates back to MS Word or PDF in the company's design
Avoid mistakes and unnecessary duplication during negotiation
Using top.legal for contract negotiations can help your team reduce the risk of mistakes during the negotiation process. As the process is always started from an up-to-date template and alternative and agreed clauses can be made available for the negotiation case. This also leaves nothing to chance during the negotiation.
Your team will also no longer have to spend time searching for the current status of a contract's negotiations in a never-ending email chain. Overlapping and duplication of work or overwritten negotiations will then be a thing of the past.
Frequently asked questions
Can I move my existing signed contracts to top.legal?
Of course, this is possible. On the one hand, you can upload your existing and signed PDFs to top.legal. Here, all metadata and key parameters can be saved for later processing.
On the other hand, you can have existing contracts converted to a template on top.legal. Our AI converts the uploaded contract into a machine-readable format. Afterwards, our legal engineers will guide you in creating a process for efficient and expedient contracting.
How quickly can the software be implemented in the company?
Immediately after your consultation with one of our account managers, you can implement the software in your company. Our legal engineers will of course assist you in creating the first documents and processes. Furthermore, we can integrate your existing software (as well as CRM and ERP systems) into the contract drafting processes.
Does top.legal stand by you at the beginning?
Of course. If you wish, we can also advise you on further steps. We support you in generating the designs and processes, in training your employees and in embedding them in your company. Wherever you need us, we will actively support you!
How does the electronic signature work?
Signing a contract using an advanced electronic signature is done through a simple and intuitive process. First, the other parties to the contract are invited to sign. The software creates a hash of the document, which ensures the integrity of the document. The other contracting party now receives an email invitation with a secure link that directs them to the document to be signed. At the moment of opening the document, the signatory gets a request to enter a mobile phone number to send a PIN number. With the help of the PIN sent, the contract can finally be signed.
Is top.legal's native eSignature legally binding?
The eSignature is legally binding. It meets the requirements of the EU Commission Regulation of July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS). The eSignature can be used very conveniently for the mobile phone.
Demo and pricing
To try out all the other features, book a demo of the top.legal contract management software today. You can simply contact one of our experts for more information, including costs.
What other functions does top.legal offer?
Reminders: You can set automated contract reminders to never miss a deadline again.
Analytics Dashboard: The Analytics function shows you information on contract negotiations and their duration, as well as an overview of the results of the key parameters of your contracts. The respective details for the team and the employees can be broken down to a separate level.
Tasks Dashboard: Deadlines and To Do's that you or your employees have created can be kept in view via an additional overview on the dashboard.
Distribution of rights: Distribute the tasks, which team member can view or change which contracts and drafts.
Team-based access rights: It is possible to share the contract templates with your colleagues, allowing access to the most recent versions. This eliminates the risk of outdated templates being edited.
Status tracking: Keep an eye on the development of a contract throughout the entire processing period: from the creation of the template to the final eSignature.
Approvals: You can approve changes to drafts directly in the document editor. You can then immediately release the approved changes for selected teams for further editing and use.
Tasks: To increase productivity, tasks are designated and delegated across teams.
Different teams: An unlimited number of teams can be created, with team-specific task distributions for specific documents.
Template management: Organise your templates in a global account that is accessible to the whole company so that people always work with the latest templates.
Intelligent search: The intelligent search function allows you to search all parameters and contracts quickly and effectively.
External guests: By inviting external colleagues, for example lawyers, you can have your contracts checked directly for legal validity.