The demands facing global companies today are immense. The Internet and cloud services allow new billion dollar competitors to emerge seemingly overnight. Automation is fundamentally changing the way companies do business and emerging machine learning technology will only accelerate the process. In fact, the Allianz Risk Barometer places market developments second only to business interruption in the global rankings of business risk.

On top of this market disruption, business velocity continues to increase. MGI Research estimates that by 2020, the majority of Fortune 500 companies will shrink their time-to-market by over 40% through the use of cloud computing, big data, 3-D printing, mobile technologies and process and organizational innovations. To capitalize on these new technologies, companies will require faster execution from all departments, including sales, finance and legal.

Central to all commercial activity in the enterprise are contracts, and contract management systems have the potential to dramatically accelerate commercial activity, including sales, while improving compliance and cutting costs. Unfortunately, many current approaches haven’t kept up. Lengthy contract cycle times are slowing down revenue recognition and companies are losing an average of 9% of annual revenue due to poor contract management.

New technology and approaches are creating opportunities to increase business velocity and agility. SaaS and the emergence of the cloud as the software delivery vehicles of the future have made it easier to get access to information and make smart decisions. Companies are recognizing that, in order to meet the demands of the next 10-20 years, they must transform their commercial foundation by combining best-of-breed systems like the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform and PROS pricing solutions.

Mastering the quote to contract process by making it faster, smarter, and more profitable can help sales organizations speed up revenue recognition, close more deals, and increase deal value. It starts with getting the offer right. PROS provides guided selling, scientific upsell and cross-sell, and micro-segmented, Dynamic Pricing Science to deliver offers that make sense to your customers at that moment in time. Then, you can carry all the quoting details into the Icertis platform, where automated contract authoring will apply the right contract terms and conditions to the offer and control the redlining process within a shared repository. Once the deal is done, you can track contract compliance and manage renewals inside Icertis to better inform future deals in a closed loop process.

In the very near future, machine learning and artificial intelligence will help make the process even smoother. Bots will help locate all contracts with a customer and deliver them to your mobile device. Smart algorithms will identify favorable contract terms most likely to be approved by customers based machine learning. Eventually, entire contracts will be negotiated between contract management systems based on preset business rules and escalation paths with legal teams getting involved only when the machines hit an impasse.

This year at PROS Outperform, we’ll be sharing how Icertis has already helped customers like 3M, ABB, Airtel, Becton Dickinson, Cognizant, Jeppesen and Microsoft transform their contract management systems to speed up sales. We look forward to helping more leading global enterprises to create a strong foundation for the new world of commerce.