Legal software firm gets boost under new leadership

Keywords Law Firms / Technology

When John Shane took a sales leadership job with contract-software maker Ntracts LLC in March 2015, the company had about 40 clients and was getting one or two inbound leads a month.

Today, the company's client roster is closing in on 80, Shane said, and inbound hits lately often have topped 15.

Ntracts was founded in 2007 as a subsidiary of Hall Render, the second-largest health-care-focused law firm in the U.S. But the slow-growing operation got a growth jolt under Shane, particularly after the 50-year-old former software sales executive purchased a majority stake in it and became its CEO last summer.

"It hockey-sticked once we were able to shift the leadership and become a little more entrepreneurial than a law firm," said Shane, noting that year-over-year revenue is on track to double in 2017.

"We were pretty law-firmy."

Ntracts sells contract-management software, primarily to health care organizations. These enterprises often have multiple hospitals and more than 10,000 contracts under their control, and the software has features that help automate workflows, check for compliance lapses, send alerts about expiring contracts and more.

While health care is and will continue to be its mainstay, Shane said, the company is venturing into other verticals, recently signing on Pacers Sports & Entertainment and accounting firm Crowe Horwath as customers. It's also looking to raise venture capital to further boost growth.

"I don't intend for this to be a lifestyle business," Shane said. "We're built for growth."

The Danville, Illinois, native and Purdue University alumnus has worked for a variety of tech and consulting firms over the past two decades. His most recent stint was with publicly traded IT-services firm EPAM Systems, where he was vice president of North American sales.

When he took the vice president of sales job at Ntracts, Shane said the sales pipeline was relatively dry and the product was selling for about $6,500 a year. Before long, he started attending industry conferences, turning up the dial on marketing, leveraging Hall Render's national reputation, and increasing the heat on its primary competitor, Chattanooga, Tennessee-based MediTract.

The software now sales for about $60,000 a year, and that sales pipeline is about nine times bigger.

"Competitively in the market we're still underpriced—we still have room to grow our price," he said. "But we're looking for market share right now, we're looking for high growth, so we don't need to be the most expensive provider."

Ntracts has about 16 employees, and it moved from Hall Render's digs into its own space in the Stutz Building downtown last spring. Shane said he intends to add employees this year and possibly expand office space.

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