Top 7 Best Contract Management Software: 2024 Reviews & Practical Buying Guide

Find the option that takes your business to next-level contract management excellence.

man looking for a contract management software

Struggling to find the right contract management software (CMS) to fulfill your exact needs? We've analyzed the market and organized the collected insights so you don't have to.

We want to make this experience as easy as possible for you. You can take in all of this information, or jump to what you're looking for most. We're breaking down:

  • Our top 7 noteworthy CMS product reviews– you can model further reviews on your own using our decision-making criteria.
  • A comprehensive yet practical guide to selecting and purchasing the best contract management system for your company.
  • A final FAQ – a snapshot of the most critical questions you likely have in case you're in a hurry to find the best contract management tool.

We know it's no secret procurement's organization-wide influence is growing. With that comes an ever-growing workload and list of responsibilities. Especially when it comes to executing the end-to-end contract lifecycle with the excellence your team demands of you, but more so, that you expect of yourself.

  • Lack of visibility
  • Inefficient manual processes
  • Compliance & risk management
  • Expired contracts & missed renewals
  • Poor reporting & analytics
  • Departmental silos
  • Missed key dates
  • Damaged vendor relationships

The list goes on. Fortunately, at the same time Procurement is transforming, so too are the tools that supercharge human capacity. When it comes to meticulous contract execution, we're talking about finding the best contract management solution that meets your specific needs.  

Adopting the right CMS is a critical decision that hinges on being incredibly informed. So, let's overview the top seven 2024 contract management solutions on the market to get you started.

More importantly, following the reviews, check out our Essential Buyer's Guide for a practical vision of how the road to a successful purchase decision is paved.

Discover the Transformational Power of Contract Management Software: Top 7 Product Reviews

When it comes to software that elevates your contract management, the choices are endless–from the simplest contract management systems to the ultimate in sophistication.

To keep this review digestible, we'll overview seven noteworthy contract management tools. You can use this quick breakdown to guide further reviews you may do on your own. Then, don't miss the guide below the reviews to explore the selection and purchase process.

The following contract software solutions are reviewed in no order of rating; each suits different customer sectors in unique ways. Contract management software is in no way a “one size fits all.”

1. PayShepherd

Why PayShepherd: PayShepherd centralizes and digitalizes all third-party cost submissions, automating compliance verification against contract terms and notifying users of any deviances.

Key benefits: Dynamic dashboard reporting, actionable data insights and visibility, real-time performance and compliance monitoring, process efficiency and systematization.

Best feature: Intelligent automation auto-flags non-compliant contractor cost submissions on labor, equipment, and materials into the PayShepherd platform for early correction and accuracy in cost reporting. These controls and checks eliminate contract term deviation for incredible savings, improved safety and stronger long-term client-contractor partnerships.

Common complaints: It can initially take some time for users to adjust to new processes, but PayShepherd's customer solutions & support team helps overcome change management challenges for quick, smooth internal and external user training and adoption.

Best for: Heavy industrial facilities that manage contracted workers in their daily operations and during maintenance and capital projects.

Support level: 24/7 above-and-beyond service and support by humans with industry-insider expertise who truly care.

Mission: “We believe contractor relationships are the core of industrial success. Our Vendor Relationship Management solution is revolutionizing the path to contract management excellence.”

2. GateKeeper

Why GateKeeper: The cloud-based, contract management software solution centralizes agreements, uses AI to track compliance status and gives users a view of key dates.

Key benefits: User-friendly while helping streamline contract management processes with a central searchable repository of contracts and renewals dates.

Best feature: The platform helps with the entire contract lifecycle management, includes automation tools and offers unlimited integrated electronic signatures.

Common complaints: No access to multiple data points on each axis and slow issue resolution with tech support.

Best for: Small business, mid-market to enterprise-level businesses of 50-1000+ employees across multiple industries and countries.

Support level: Help center self-serve search, online support request form, chat and 24-hour customer service hotline.

Mission: “We are on a mission to make our customers' working lives easier, more productive and highly valued by solving contract and vendor management problems that deliver demonstrable ROI.”

3. PandaDoc

Why PandaDoc: The all-in-one platform digitizes and centralizes contract and quote workflow from creation, to tracking, editing, e-signing and notarization.  

Key Benefits: Simplified, faster contract creation, management and approval process.

Best feature: Document automation and the ability to streamline various document approvals with automated notification and electronic signing.

Common complaints: Pricing can be a barrier for smaller businesses. While there is a free version, it restricts activity without an account upgrade.

Best for: Freelance, small business to midsize and large enterprises across numerous international industries including IT, education, non-government services and others.

Support level: 24/7/365 live customer support.

Mission: “PandaDoc empowers teams to easily communicate with customers through personalized documents that can be created in minutes, build meaningful relationships and save more time.”

4. Juro

Why Juro: The collaborative, all-in-one platform is used for creating and managing contracts, as well as signing them for faster close with real-time visibility and routine task automation.

Key benefits: Dynamic, self-serve templates accessible by all users, reduced bottlenecks and secure contract storage for instant obligation and key date identification.

Best feature: Collaboration. Team members create documents using templates; customers review, comment, make suggestions, fill out and sign contracts within the platform.

Common Complaints: Text editing functionality, such as, to amend a document after it's sent to the customer, a copy and new draft must be created, leading to unnecessary duplicates.

Best for: Plans attuned to businesses from start-ups to scaling-up, enterprise-level companies in over 85 countries.

Support Level: Email/help desk, phone support, 24/7 (live rep)

Mission: “Collaborative, flexible and data-rich, Juro's all-in-one platform enables teams to create, execute and manage contracts in one unified workspace.”

5. Legito

Why Legito: Entire contract lifecycle management and workflow tools with automated routing, approvals, dashboards and data.

Key benefits: Centralized, automated workflows and approval process with secure negotiation, collaboration and data extraction.

Best feature: User-friendly experience with faster contract creation and straightforward editing capability.

Common Complaints: Slow loading time and incorrect document population if the user neglects to wait for full load.  

Best for:  Global users in freelance, small business and medium-to-large enterprises offering professional services.

Support Level: Email help desk, 24-hour chat, phone support 24/5 (Monday to Friday).

Mission: “We want to provide the most user-friendly solution for advanced document drafting and management automation.”

6. Contract Works

Why Contract Works: Easy contract storage, tracking and execution with an easy-to-use interface that's accessible to teams and businesses in all sizes.

Key benefits: Central repository for contracts and key aspects that is easy to access and has various search capabilities.

Best feature: Customized notifications for key dates.

Common Complaints: The ability to send a signature request to others beyond a primary signature line contract is limited.

Best for:  Small to mid- and large-market-sized businesses, commonly used in healthcare, health & wellness and hospitality.

Support Level: Help center, resource library and 24/7 support.

Mission: “Our suite of solutions help businesses work quickly, efficiently and securely.”

7. Parley Pro

Why Parley Pro: Automated and simplified end-to-end contract management.

Key benefits: Faster cycle times, improved compliance, greater control and visibility.

Best feature: Enables dynamic multi-party negotiation on a single platform for better decision making, time and money savings.

Common Complaints: Upfront planning and customization can take time.

Best for: Small businesses to large enterprises across Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Support Level: 24/7 live rep and chat.

Mission: “Parley Pro replaces labor-intensive contract negotiation processes that involve redlines, emails and manual reconciliation with an easy, fast, and elegant process.”

These seven reviews should give you a head start with key considerations in the contract management software decision-making process as you explore your options.

But this is just a snapshot. Nailing the purchase process takes a deeper dive.

So, without further ado, let's break it down from the basics of what contract management systems are to the technical decision-makers and breakers.

Purchase CMS with Confidence: Your Essential Buyer's Guide

The endless contract management software products on the market can blow your mind. Rein that profuse selection into a strategically narrowed-down list of the best CMS providers to meet your needs by understanding three main components of the purchase process:

  1. What a CMS is & what it can do for you.
  2. The unique & must-have features your team and other department users need today, but also in the future.
  3. How to evaluate your final choice(s).

Time is money and the competition is already looking at various contract management systems if they haven't already implemented one, so let's dive in.

What is Contract Management Software?

CMS refers to digital solutions that provide improved end-to-end, cross-departmental, company-wide contract management by automating tasks and processes.

Enabling complete contract document management throughout the entire contract lifecycle, the contract management system brings confidence that value-generation opportunities are not missed.

Using intelligent workflow automation features to collect, monitor and analyze all the data flowing through the contract lifecycle, the best contract management system creates more efficient workflows and effective processes while saving time and effort across teams.

Here are just a few of the many reasons to find and implement the ideal contract management system:

  • Eliminate manual errors.
  • Achieve complete compliance.
  • Boost & systematize process efficiency.
  • Manage risk proactively.
  • Build strong, lasting vendor relationships.
  • Realize incredible spend efficiency.
  • Compound cost savings.
  • Communicate effectively.
  • Gain an accountable workplace culture.

In an increasingly complex and litigious world, managing the entire contract lifecycle meticulously with human effort alone is just not possible.

How does a contract management platform overcome these limitations? Let's find out.

More than Unimagined Functionality, Get the Features of Your Dreams

Contract management software, at its most basic level, takes on four core functions.

  1. Contract Creation. Create customized contracts more quickly using templates and/or automation features where you just note down the key contract details.
  2. Contract Collaboration. Contract management tools support procurement and other stakeholders to access, organize and understand the contract, take care of contract negotiations and reach agreement more quickly.
  3. Contract Management. Overseeing the contract end-to-end based on key action items–signing, renewals, expiration date notifications and more.
  4. Contract Storage. Secure, centralized storage for easy access to exactly what authorized personnel need.

How the best contract management software handles each of these functions will factor largely into your decision-making. Going beyond that, you'll examine its features through the lens of your company's essentials.

What Are Your Must-Haves?

Integrating the best contract management software is a game changer for your procurement team and all users across your organization. Implementing it is an investment in time and finance, so ensuring it has all the key features your business demands is a must.

For all those who interact with the contract management software day-to-day, whether it's for contract drafting or document management, you should make sure that you pick the CMS tool that is user-friendly and has customizable options and settings while offering secure access to organized documents.

You should expect your contract management platform to provide the following features:

Central Repository of Contract Intelligence

Anyone needing contract-related information at any time can quickly access the documents and contractor data they need through a secure contract repository, i.e. a centralized, cloud-based platform with secure mobile access as they're on the go.

Compliance Monitoring and Reporting

To make the impact you expect, your contract management software must ensure compliance throughout the entire contract lifecycle. The right software recognizes user-defined attributes and provides customized, actionable dashboard reporting.

Customized Alerts and Automated Threshold Reminders

User-defined auto alerts ensure action is taken at critical contract cycle points such as contractor certification renewals, training obligations or insurance renewal deadlines. Turning those concerns over to contract management software, you can loosen the leash on your complete control over these processes and put your energy into more strategic contract planning, review and renewal.

Accelerated Approval Processes

With stamped contract verification that all documentation has been cross-checked between activity, performance and contract terms, approvals and payments are vastly quicker while requiring much less human effort.

Exceptional Client Support & Solutions Team

A highly qualified and motivated client support team not only ensures you're getting maximum value from your contract management software, they support change management for all users.

They also optimize vendor onboarding through implementation and work with you to address your customized needs from the contract management system as user proficiency grows.

Pull the Trigger: A Simple 5-Step Purchase Guide for Contract Management Solutions

Implementing contract management software is a critical decision. But selecting the best solution for your unique company needs is equally important.

With the right steps taken, this decision is a long-term investment that streamlines the workday for all platform users.

Step 1: Consider

Before you even review any contract management options, it's important to communicate with your internal teams and stakeholders to define the specific impacts your organization needs the contract management software to deliver.

Step 2: Evaluate

With goals defined, you're ready to explore some good contract management software options. Keep in mind:

  • What are your contract management priorities?
  • Where do you need the most support?
  • What are your business teams' preferences and which features can meet them?
  • Do industry insiders have any good recommendations for contract management software you should check into?
  • What market trends are likely to come into play for your industry?

After this initial exploration, it's time to select the top contract management software options and take a deeper dive.

Step 3: Discover

Now you're ready to reach out and talk to your final contract management software selection representatives so they can demonstrate how their features fully support your mission. If their product remains top of the list, involve your key stakeholders in a discovery call, bringing all pertinent questions.

Step 4: Demo

If the contract management software providers you've shortlisted stand behind their product, they will offer you an opportunity to demo the software and experience its potential to fulfill your contract management needs. Sampling key features allows you to see how the contract management software elevates your own processes.

It's likely primary users will interact with the software at the demo stage but it's also important to bring in other stakeholders who will use the platform.

Step 5: Purchase

At this point, you should feel confident you've made the contract management tool selection that will grow with your company and help you manage contracts better. Their customer solutions representatives will work with you to create an effective implementation plan for all users.

They should also support data migration planning, onboarding and share tips for maximizing product features to your benefit while answering all user questions.

As everyone becomes increasingly comfortable using the platform, the sky's the limit to realizing all the benefits your contract management solution has to offer over time.

Master the Market: Trends That Matter in Your Contract Management Software Search

As you're shopping around, keep in mind that your CMS should address the challenges of today, but also those likely to come at you in the near-to-further-out future. Here are some current market trends to consider.

Inflation, Probable Recession & Uncertainty

With profits under pressure, increased margins are a top priority. While cost reduction and productivity improvements are key aims, procurement holds the potential to create profit-boosting strategies with low disruption, including improving contract management practices.

Growing Implementation of ESG Standards & Goals

Organizations–and the public–increasingly value ethical considerations and sustainability efforts in contract management and procurement practices. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects factor into supplier evaluation more than ever, as do sustainable sourcing and supply chain transparency.

Race to the Competitive Finish Line

Procurement is experiencing a progressive shift, especially in digitalizing contract management and other daily procurement activities. Those who delay adopting intelligent automation and other cutting-edge innovations risk being left behind.

Collaborative Contractor Partnerships

The competition to secure high-performing contractors is only expected to tighten over the coming years. Procurement teams that focus on building more strategic, collaborative and long-term vendor partnerships guarantee ongoing operations today, and tomorrow.

Risk Mitigation Rules

With tighter profit margins and uncertainty across the board, risk mitigation is more important than ever. Turning to solutions that enhance risk assessment, monitoring and proactive mitigation procedures is the way of the future.

A Few Final Words. . .

It's natural to feel hesitant when change is upon us. Whether it's a choice or a shift we're compelled to make, the key to managing it confidently is information. The more you know, the less you feel uncertain and the better you can make an informed decision that benefits your organization in ways that continue to compound over time.

We hope this guide supports you to ask the right questions and get all the answers you need to boldly navigate the contract management software purchase process.

If you have questions or thoughts, talking all things Procurement, Technology and Vendor Relationship Management is what gets us revved up! Reach out to our expert team anytime.


What does CMS do?

The best contract management software solutions use intelligent automation to collect, monitor and analyze all the end-to-end contract lifecycle data. They create efficient workflows and effective processes, saving time and effort for all users and stakeholders.

Why do businesses need a contract management solution?

In today's environment of uncertainty, pressured profit margins and the race to adopt next-gen tools and practices, it's never been so important to implement the right CMS.

Improved efficiency and productivity, real-time visibility, controls and checks for compliance and risk mitigation are all essentials for stronger contract management that reduces costs and improves business outcomes.

Who uses contract management systems?

Users vary between different organizations, but typical key users include: procurement teams, legal departments, accounting teams, contractor managers, sales, business development representatives and executive teams.

Most contract management software solutions benefit a variety of industries, including small business, medium-to-large enterprise and government agencies across various sectors. That's why it's critical to determine your unique needs before exploring your options.

How do I chose the right contract management system?

You can avoid feeling overwhelmed by breaking your search and purchase process into three key phases. First, understand what a CMS is and what it can do for you. Then, spend time to determine the unique and must-have features all users need today and for the longer-term. Finally, strategically evaluate your narrowed-down final choices, and don't focus solely on the contract management software cost.

PayShepherd Supercharges Contract Management

Performed manually, contract management is extremely time and brain-power-consuming – sometimes plain impossible. Turning manual monitoring over to an automated solution provides an accurate view into contract management throughout the entire lifecycle for strategic decision-making and continuous improvement.

PayShepherd empowers procurement leaders across the world with high-quality contractor daily data analytics for real-time performance management.

Our proprietary Vendor Relationship and Contract Management solution analyzes six areas of performance: Spend, Safety, Compliance, Communication, ESG, and Process Efficiency.

How can we help you unlock efficiency and streamline your contract management process for unparalleled excellence?

Together, let's shape the future of procurement and drive unparalleled progress.

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