Here’s Our List of 8+ Must-Have Contract Management Software Requirements

If your business deals with contracts regularly, understanding the software you use to manage them is a must.

The right software can streamline contract creation, approval, and management processes, saving time and reducing errors. The wrong software can cause delays, create confusion, and leave you with a messy contract system.

At SignWell, we’ve spent hundreds of hours testing contract management tools to understand what features your business can benefit from. In this guide, we’re summing up the must-have contract management software requirements to help you make an informed decision about what’s best for your business.

Let’s dive in.

What Is Contract Management Software?

Contract management software is a digital tool that simplifies and automates managing contracts throughout their lifecycle—from creation to renewal. 

At a basic level, contract management tools store copies of contracts, allowing businesses to save and access contracts in a secure and easy-to-use format. The best contract management tools go beyond document storage. They provide features that simplify essential aspects of contract performance–from task scheduling, compliance monitoring, and risk management to analytics and reporting.

By leveraging these capabilities, businesses can streamline the entire contract management process.

Uses Cases for Contract Management Software

Contract management software has a wide range of uses that can greatly benefit businesses. While not every contract management tool will fulfill all of these use cases, many are available that offer the following features:

  • Contract Creation: Create contracts with drag-and-drop blocks, customizable templates, and e-signature capabilities.
  • Contract Storage: Store contracts in a secure digital repository, allowing easy access for authorized personnel.
  • Contract Analytics: Monitor contracts to understand performance and identify key trends.
  • Risk Management: Reduce risks associated with contractual agreements by ensuring compliance with the terms of each agreement.
  • Workflows & Approvals: Automate approvals, signature collection, and other processes related to contracts.
  • Negotiation Support: Streamline negotiations by easily tracking changes to negotiated terms.
  • Monitoring: Monitor contracts in real-time to ensure compliance and timely execution.
  • Reporting: Generate reports on contract performance and track key metrics over time.

8+ Contract Management Software Requirements

1. Contract Creation

This is the core functionality of any contract management software. One of the key aspects of reliable contract management software is an intuitive interface that allows users to easily create contracts.

There are a few related features to look for here:

  • Template Library: A template library can greatly simplify the contract creation process by providing pre-designed templates that can be customized to meet specific business needs. For example, SignWell’s template library offers a wide range of contract templates that can be tailored to your requirements. Creating a template is as simple as saving a frequently used document to your library.

Contract Creation: Template Library

  • Clause Library: A clause library allows users to quickly add specific sections, clauses, and terms to their contracts. This feature saves time and reduces the likelihood of errors.
  • Document Editor: Many contract management tools have built-in document editors that allow users to easily create, edit, and format contracts. These can simplify the process of creating new contracts by providing a powerful interface for making quick and efficient changes.

2. E-Signing

Once you’ve created a contract, you need an efficient and secure way to get it signed. E-signing capabilities give you the ability to securely initiate, negotiate, and sign contracts electronically. This eliminates manual steps from the process and reduces errors associated with wet signatures.

SignWell’s document editor makes it easy to set up documents for e-signing. From there, you can send them to key stakeholders and track the status of each document right from the dashboard. Plus, with industry-standard encryption, you can rest assured that your contracts are secure.


Remember—not all e-signatures are legally binding. The tool you use should be compliant with digital signing laws, like the U.S.’s Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN)

SignWell meets that standard (and many more internationally) and provides a secure, reliable way to complete contracts quickly and cost-effectively. With e-signing capabilities, you can open up new possibilities for efficient contracting and take advantage of greater growth.

3. Contract Management

Managing hundreds (or even thousands) of contracts is no easy task. The contact management process can take days or even weeks—especially if you’re dealing with multiple teams and stakeholders around the world.

To simplify this process, look for features like:

  • Document Dashboard: Contract management software should provide a centralized dashboard that allows users to quickly view and manage all of their contracts in one place. This makes it easy to identify expiring contracts, track milestones, and spot opportunities for optimization.

Document Dashboard

  • Workflows: Automation can help streamline the contract approval process and make sure that all parties involved are kept informed. For example, you can use SignWell to define signing orders so that contracts are routed to the right people and signed in the correct order.
  • Alerts & Reminders: A reminder system is important to ensure timely contract signing and to prevent critical dates from being overlooked. Alerts and notifications can also be used to trigger key tasks or events related to a contract.

Alerts and Reminders

  • Contract Version Control: When creating a contract, it’s important that all stakeholders have access to the latest version. Contract management software needs to provide built-in version control capabilities so that users can keep track of every change made to a contract throughout its life cycle.

4. Document Search & Retrieval

With potentially hundreds or even thousands of contracts to manage, being able to quickly find and retrieve a specific contract is essential for efficient contract management.

The software should not only provide powerful search capabilities, but also ensure that users can effortlessly search for contracts based on various parameters such as contract type, parties involved, or key dates. This will enable users to easily locate and access the required contracts, saving valuable time and effort in the process. 

Document Search

SignWell’s search feature is designed to cut through the noise with advanced filters and query structures, allowing users to quickly and accurately locate the contracts they need. It also provides a central repository for quick reference and retrieval of all contracts.

5. Reporting

The ability to generate simple reports on contract performance and other key metrics is another important requirement. These reports can provide valuable insights into the contract lifecycle, helping businesses identify trends, monitor performance, and make data-driven decisions.

SignWell Audit ReportFor example, SignWell’s audit trails offer a comprehensive record of document activity, including access times and user data. This allows for easy tracking of contract progress and ensures compliance with changing regulations.

Speaking of compliance…

6. Security and Compliance

Security and compliance are absolutely crucial when dealing with contracts. The software you choose should implement strict security measures to protect sensitive contract data. This includes encryption, access controls, and audit trails. 

Additionally, the software should help ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. For example, SignWell provides a secure and compliant platform for electronic signatures in various contexts:

  • Regulatory Compliance: SignWell follows the U.S. and international laws that regulate e-signatures to ensure that they’re legally binding. These include the ESIGN Act, eIDAS, and more.
  • Data Security: SignWell uses 256-bit SSL encryption and other security measures to safeguard data and protect it from unauthorized access. We also adhere to GDPR and other privacy laws to ensure data protection.
  • Industry-Specific Compliance: SignWell complies with specific data privacy, security, and authentication requirements set by certain industries with certifications for HIPAA and SOC 2 Type 2.
  • API Security: The SignWell API allows for secure integration with other applications, using encryption and authentication methods to safeguard the data exchanged through the API.

7. Integrations

The solution you choose should be able to integrate with the other tools you use to manage documents.

Common integrations to look for include:

  • CRMs (Hubspot, Salesforce, Zoho, etc.)
  • Productivity Suites (Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, etc.)
  • Accounting Software
  • Storage Solutions (Dropbox, Google Workspace, etc.)

The specifics will depend on your use case, but these are some of the main types of integrations to look for. Prioritize major third-party integration services like Make (formerly Integromat) and Zapier, as these can help you extend the capabilities of your document solution dramatically.


With SignWell’s integration with Zapier, you can easily connect SignWell with more than 5,000 widely-used applications, such as Slack, Gmail, Salesforce, and Airtable.

 8. API & API Documentation

API documentation is important as it provides the necessary details for integrating the contract management software with other systems. This integration allows for seamless data exchange, enhancing the software’s functionality and making it a more powerful tool in your tech stack. 

SignWell’s API is designed to be developer-friendly. You can easily embed e-signing features into your existing solutions and use the API to integrate with other systems. Our comprehensive documentation allows for fast and easy integration, so you can get up and running quickly.

SignWell API

Plus, our API offers pay-as-you-go pricing with 25 free API documents each month. You can also create a free Developer account that includes unlimited API test usage—perfect for building and testing new integrations.


For organizations seeking to streamline operations and minimize risks tied to contractual agreements, it’s important to find and implement efficient contract management software. This guide highlights the importance of thorough requirements, with a focus on user-friendly interfaces, powerful security features, and scalability to adapt to evolving business needs.

For those ready to elevate their contract management processes, SignWell offers a user-friendly and feature-rich platform. Create documents, add fields, invite signers, and securely manage contracts with ease.

Sign up for free to see how SignWell can transform your contract management workflow.