Contract automation

Why contract and quotation software belong together?

June 28, 2021

Are you looking for a decent DocuSign alternative that offers an all-in-one contract automation platform? A software that gives you access to a wide range of features that the legal team should have to work faster and scale?

Are you looking for a decent DocuSign alternative that offers an all-in-one contract automation platform? A software that gives you access to a wide range of features that the legal team should have to work faster and scale?

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 compared to top.legal's contract automation platform.

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, 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 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?

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. 

Does top.legal stand by you at 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.


Read more

Why contract and quotation software belong together?

Companies usually have different sales cycles, which can vary greatly depending on the framework conditions and the business model adopted. Sales cycles can quickly last several months. If these sales cycles are shortened, profitability and turnover figures can be increased quickly. Quotation software or CPQ software (Configure-Price-Quotation) can help to reduce the duration of these sales cycles by helping salespeople to create standardised and optimised quotation documents with just a few clicks.

Selected articles

The advantages and best practices of contract management software

Considering how much time and effort critical contracts require - from the timely involvement of all parties involved (internal as well as external) to the definition of the scope of the contract, the rights and obligations contained in the contract, deadlines and much more - the use of effective contract management can dramatically improve the performance of organisations.

5 reasons why contract management software is important

Well-implemented contract management software is also more likely to generate more business opportunities per year, as contracts are more likely to be signed and more frequently.

Contract management tools and processes: from Microsoft Excel to professional software

Many companies regularly ask themselves, where are our contracts and how are they stored? Regardless of the size and industry of the company, this seems to be a ubiquitous problem. A problem with often far-reaching consequences.

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