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Qualities of a Successful Contract Manager


Having the right contract manager on your staff can make a big difference. It can make all the difference. So when it comes time to hire one for your small to medium sized business, you want to get it right. What should you be looking for?

A Good Communicator

Although the initial view of a contract manager might be that of someone who sits behind a desk and keeps themselves to themselves, that's really the opposite of what you want when you hire one. A good contract manager (and really, that's the only kind that counts) is one who can communicate effectively with every member of the team, and every member of the supply chain. They need to be able to negotiate, and to come out of the process with a good deal on the table for everyone. Only someone with great communication skills can manage to do that.

But it's not just about the deal. A successful contract manager also needs to be able to listen to what the suppliers and departments want and need, linking the right people to the right contracts. At intelligentcontract that's exactly what we do, so we know how important it is to get it right - if your clients and suppliers don't know who they can turn to who'll have the time to hear what they're saying, they may go elsewhere.

Organised And Then Some

Being a contract manager is all about being organised. Who else is going to have all the facts and figures of any given contract to hand? And who else is going to enter all of this information into your contract management tool? Once it's in there, anyone can access it, and everyone can make use of it, but until all the alerts, to-dos, contract renewal dates, names and contact details, and other key information is inputted, your contract manager needs to be able to find all of this useful info and utilise it whenever and wherever it is needed. Knowing who someone is when they phone, for example, makes a big difference to how they think of you and your company. If your contract manager is scrabbling for the details, that person on the other end of the line will know it. And they won’t appreciate it.

A Team Player

Being a contract manager is not an individual kind of role. It is essential that whoever you hire can work well collaboratively. They'll need to work with others when it comes to ensuring all the details and requirements of the contracts are entered into intelligentcontract's approvals and central repository, for example. They will need to be able to allow others to find the information if and when it is needed. This is not a role for someone who is precious about their customers and who doesn't want anyone else to know anything about them (and yes, these people do exist). The contract manager is part of the larger whole, and should be someone who is happy to be one of the team, not just one on their own.

Have Flexibility

Having a contract manager who knows how to deal with just one type of contract, or just one type of customer, isn't much good. You'll miss out on some great deals if that's the case. The best kind of contract manager is a flexible one, one who understands that each different contract is unique, and needs to be treated by its own merits, rather than in the same way as every other contract is treated. The contract manager you want to hire needs to be able to assess each individual case, and decide how to allocate time and resources to it to achieve the best result. This is, of course, made so much easier when using intelligentcontract's customisable contract management features.

Be A Diplomat

Diplomacy is definitely something that a good contract manager needs to have. They need to spot the signs of a problem early on, and then speak to the people involved to resolve any issues or conflict straight away. If a supplier is not delivering what or when they are supposed to, having a diplomatic contract manager to discuss the problems with them is worth its weight in gold; they can sort out the issues, and you won't have to (probably) source a new supplier - unless you really want to that is.
A contract manager who just bulldozes right in and alienates that supplier before getting all the facts is a liability, not an asset. One way to determine who is doing what - and whether that's what you want them to do - is to check the KPIs that have been set on intelligentcontract's contract management system. Track supplier performance and see how everything is ticking along, and your contract manager can take care of the rest.

intelligentcontract is a highly customisable solution that provides a hub to store all your important contract paperwork plus you get loads of useful tools that make your contract management process a breeze. We don't have a limit to either the size of documents of the total amount of storage - so you don't have to worry about extra bills if your central store of documents gets big.

Pricing starts at £9 per user, per month. For more information, to get a free trial or to organise a demo give us a call on 0333 344 3905 or visit

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