Revenue leaders are getting more strategic about when and how support teams are looped into deals. But that's easier said than done, given the increased complexity that characterizes modern enterprise sales.
Today, a single deal can spans over 20 stakeholders. Dozens of internal deliverables requires sales reps to navigate manual and often ad-hoc workflows. Is it any wonder the vast majority of B2B buyers complain about the difficulty of their recent purchase journeys?
As businesses scale, the volume and complexity of your sales, especially upmarket, will demand a new approach to resource allocation. Without a better process, you could be losing opportunities due to unforced errors in your deal support processes. Worse? You might not even know it's happening.
Here are some tell-tale signs that your deal management is leaving money on the table.
1. You have pooled deal resources
In both mid-market and enterprise sales, a variety of departments and specialized experts are needed to move deals towards close. Some of the critical teams and players that might get involved include:
- Deal Desk – Cross-functional managers for high-value and/or nonstandard deals, handling pricing, contracts, compliance, and more.
- Back Office – The legal, finance, and security specialists that help Desk Desk teams negotiate terms, gain approvals, and close deals.
- Sales Engineers – Technical counterparts who address infrastructure needs or run evaluation events, such as custom demos, managed trials, proof of concepts (POCs), and much more.
- Product Specialists – Overlay teams looped into a deal to explain advanced solutions and work through complex integrations or reference architectures.
- VPs & CxOs – Executive sponsors needed to negotiate directly with the prospect or review terms and discounts before they’re approved.
Maybe you’ve tried to appoint a project manager to spearhead this intricate web. But, without the right tools built to manage these workflows, collaboration will ultimately be spread across multiple places, such as docs, sheets, emails, and chats.
Without centralized tracking, it’s impossible to review and optimize these various sales motions and essential information may slip through the cracks.
2. You're using ad-hoc communication channels
To wrangle communication around a specific deal, teams will often create a dedicated thread in Slack or Microsoft Teams. In addition to violating the unspoken truth that “no one wants another channel,” there are three main problems with this strategy:
- Unnecessary Distractions – Slack or Teams channels ping everyone with notifications for each message sent, even when it’s not personally relevant. This deluge causes key stakeholders to miss the messages that really matter.
- Lack of Tracking – Since chat messages are unstructured and not tracked back to your CRM with any high-intent data, it’s virtually impossible to gather learnings or insights on how your team is closing deals.
- Unclear Ownership – Without clearly assigned tasks and built-in status updates, there’s a lack of visibility and accountability. The team loses track of who’s supposed to do what and when, leading to deal slippage and missed revenue forecasts.
3. You've hacked together an internal deal support solution
Many teams try to use or build on existing capabilities to manage deal resource allocation. This process is often time-consuming and can be just as expensive (in opportunity costs) as buying a purpose-built solution. Plus, it’s unsustainable: forcing a doc or sheet into complex use cases is like trying to stick a square peg in a round hole.
Take, for example, Salesforce Cases: Since this format was built to work through issues with customers, using them as a way to make internal requests is clunky, inefficient, and an overall poor user experience for your team’s needs. They’re also hard to update and duplicate as you learn about processes and navigate new products, leadership changes, or team needs.
Most importantly, cases — and other ad-hoc tools — don’t provide full lifecycle communication or deal status tracking, leaving teams to revert to using separate comms tools, calendars, etc. to collaborate around deal needs, limiting the data input inside of your CRM.
4. You need better visibility into internal team SLAs
In order to plan effectively, deal teams need to know how they can rely on each other. That begins with transparency into how long different types of requests will take throughout the deal lifecycle.
If your team isn’t tracking deal deliverables, or internal service-level agreements (SLAs), your reps may be confused about how to efficiently progress and close an opportunity. It’s also hard for managers and sales leaders to assess where deals are blocked or behind schedule, if there’s no central tracking or benchmark.
Defining SLAs only matters if you have live tracking around them as well. If those promises live only in static docs or sheets, and if projects are being conducted across ad-hoc emails and chats, you won’t have any centralized way to review and improve your team performance.
5. You're unable to see capacity of deal resources
With deal coordination spread across disjointed tools, revenue leaders don’t have the oversight they need to know what their team is working on and where each deal is in the process. Additionally, they don’t know what types of deals the support teams are being pulled into or how effective they are at helping to generate a technical win or closed deal.
If you can't see your deal support teams’ current workload or capacity, then you won't know if they can handle a new project or quick deal need. And, without a set process, sales teams may work with the individual they feel most comfortable with, who’s been on the team the longest, or some other personalized criteria, leading to a disorganized and uneven allocation of deal resources.
How a Team Selling Platform Can Help
If your business meets any of these tell-tale signs, then it’s time to check out a team selling platform like Prelay to help you better allocate your deal resources. Revenue leaders use Prelay to organize their deal coordination within one purpose-built platform, integrated with your key sales software. Our “Assists” workflow streamlines resource allocation and deliverable management, so you can strategically loop the right people or teams into the deal at the right time.
No more unstructured data and lost deal context. No more endless email threads or siloed Slack and Teams channels. Every player gets notified only when they’re needed, and with upfront deal context, reducing the noise and distractions.
With deal coordination in one place, revenue leadership can manage and track the full deal process, and granular reporting is piped bidirectionally to your CRM and other key business and analytics systems. This means you have more visibility into what it took to close your deals, and you can create more consistent, repeatable, and scalable processes across your team, to maximize your winning potential.
Check out our LaunchDarkly customer story to see how the DevOps pioneer scales deal management in the Cloud 100, and get in touch if you're interested in learning more. We’re ready to talk use cases, answer questions, and walk your team through a live demo so you can start selling better together.