How do you think your sales team should spend the majority of their time: making sales or managing contracts? It isn’t a trick question but it is a tricky situation that most sales teams have to navigate on a daily basis. Regardless of your existing processes, a truly effective sales team has the time to win business.
By simplifying your sales contract process, you can spend more time focusing on landing quick wins and less time helping your team play email ping-pong with customers and colleagues.
Your team shouldn't lose any more time reproducing the same general contracts from scratch with each new sales cycle. Rather than start from square one, spend time developing a library of contract templates.
Templates give your sales team a head start when drafting a new contract, ensuring they can spend more time nurturing the sales prospect and less time poring over clauses. All your team needs to do is customize the information to reflect the customer's and send the contract out for approval. The faster you get a contract in the hands of a client, the faster you can count a prospect as new business.
Template tip #1
Each time you encounter a new, unique contract type, create a template for it immediately. That way, if a similar contract arises, you’re already prepared.
Template tip #2
Keep those templates organized so everyone, even new sales reps, can find the contract they need easily.
When everyone on your team is kept in the loop and moving forward in lock-step, you'll find your sales cycles tend to resolve quicker (and with more positive results). Any number of collaboration tools enable your team to suggest changes or address any potential issues without the chaos of multiple email threads and conference calls. In addition to encouraging an expedited sales cycle, you've created a detailed record of the negotiation process for anyone who may join the account in the future. Or perhaps most important, it provides you with a level of scrutiny necessary to conduct an audit down the line.
Collaboration tip: Save and organize previous versions of a contract throughout the process, you never know when you’re going to need to reference past negotiations.
Even the simplest tweaks to how you organize your sales contracts can yield huge results for your sales productivity. Consider the possibilities of the cloud when it comes to how you manage your sales contracts and the accompanying process. By keep all working and completed contracts organized in the cloud you empower everyone in the department to find the version they need as quickly as possible. There's no need for the finance department to email the sales rep for the latest copy.
A perfect example and use-case for better organizing your sales contracts: a new sales rep is assigned to an existing client. Instead of spending the better part of the morning hunting down all the relevant information for his inherited deal, she can easily pull the necessary contract materials from your cloud. Nw she can spend more time managing the success of your customer and less time navigating email attachments.
It's common for sales cycles to slow down due to lack of information. By keeping all prospect and customer-related information organized and accesible, your sales team can get they need and get back in the field.
Your sales team should be selling, not reinventing the contract wheel or chasing down information every time a new deal is being drawn up. The suggestions above can do a lot towards improving your contract managment process in a way that improves the efficiency of your sales team and wins more deals.