Just like how every business is unique, every company’s individual deal execution process is unique too. For some businesses, most deals are transactional and fairly straightforward. However, for many businesses, deals are more complex in nature. An increase in deal complexity can originate from the size of your account team, the size of your prospective customers, or the complexity of your product(s). As deals get more complicated, the team involved in closing them tends to get larger and span multiple departments, as well.
While there are pros and cons to every type of deal, the more complex deals need full team & process optimization during the deal process for revenue and overall organizational growth impact. A team selling platform can help with that optimization and make allocating resources easier. However, it’s not always clear to every business when they need help with driving more effective deal execution. So, here are the tell-tale signs you need to look out for.
A deal desk is a cross-functional team gathered together to close high-value and intricate deals. It often includes representatives from sales, finance, legal, product, marketing, customer success, and/or support. Generally, they will also have a project manager to spearhead and coordinate everything. This structure is great because it makes sure that all of the relevant teams are involved and aligned. However, without software built to manage the deal desk, the coordination and communication are generally spread across multiple places like communications tools, docs, spreadsheets, etc. There’s also not usually any central tracking so that processes can be reviewed, optimized, and duplicated easily. Unfortunately, this lack of visibility adds up to multiple deal deliverable delays that impact close dates and revenue growth.
To keep communication around a specific customer or deal organized, teams will often create deal/customer-specific channels in Slack or Microsoft Teams. There are three main problems with this strategy: unnecessary distractions, lack of tracking, and unclear accountability & ownership. With everyone involved in the deal on one Slack or Teams channel, that means that everyone is getting notifications for each message sent, even when it’s not relevant for them. This creates unnecessary distractions and may cause them to pay less attention so that they miss the messages that are relevant to them. In addition, those messages are in an unstructured format and not tracked back to your CRM with any high intent information or data, which makes it virtually impossible for revenue leaders to gather any learnings or insights on how their team is closing deals. Finally, without clearly assigned tasks or built-in status updates, there’s a lack of ownership, visibility, and accountability. The team loses track of who’s supposed to do what and when, and ultimately, this causes deal slippage and missed forecasted revenue targets.
3. The team working on the deal includes departments outside of Sales & Presales (Legal, Finance, Marketing, Sales Operations, etc.).
When you have individuals and groups across departments being pulled into a deal, it can be difficult to keep them aligned and coordinating effectively with complete visibility to the same goal as a team. You also want to strategically loop each person or group into the deal only when they’re specifically needed so that you’re making efficient use of team resources. It’s almost impossible to optimize how to best leverage different individuals and departments during the deal based on past success when the deal coordination is only handled via email, messaging apps, and/or live meetings instead of a centralized and structured platform.
4. Technical counterparts like Sales Engineers and Solutions Architects are involved in product implementation and earning technical wins.
Technical counterparts are involved in the deal process to ensure a technical win, buy-in around the product needs from the prospective customer, or often security and infrastructure needs. They can be involved in scoping, solutions, custom demos, the configuration of specific features or explaining technical or security details, and proof of concepts (POCs). This process is incredibly important to the ultimate goal of winning the deal, and thus it’s paramount that you’re able to make sure your technical resources are correctly allocated to the right activities based on the optimal capacity needed at all times. If not, there will be delays in the deal buyer coordination, customer needs, and in turn, delayed close dates and go-live dates.
Salesforce cases were built to track customer issues and feedback, and they’re meant as a way for your team to work with a customer. Because of that, trying to use them as a way to make internal requests and put resources on a deal is clunky, slow, inefficient and an overall bad experience for your internal team. In addition, they are hard to update and duplicate as you learn about processes, they shift with new products, leadership changes, and needs. Cases are limited in scope by not providing full lifecycle communication or status tracking, leaving teams to revert to using communications tools, calendars, etc. to collaborate around deal needs, limiting the data input inside of Salesforce. Unfortunately, using Salesforce cases for resource allocation in your deals is like trying to stick a square peg in a round hole since it just wasn’t built for that use case.
6. You have expensive resources such as VPs and CXOs dropping in to assist deals in an unorganized way.
All deal resources need to be allocated efficiently, and this is especially true with more expensive resources like the C-Suite or VPs. Sometimes executive sponsors are needed to get high-value deals across the line whether it’s to negotiate directly with the prospect or review deals and discounts before they’re approved. However, that process can get very expensive for the company if their time isn’t utilized properly because of unstructured processes. When they’re constantly being pinged and pulled into deal activities, it’s difficult to prioritize their time properly on which are the top deals where they need to get involved, let alone find time for the rest of their organizational priorities. If everything is “important”, then nothing is important, and the wrong things may be prioritized. There needs to be structure added so that the revenue team knows the role of executive sponsors, what deals they should and should not be involved in, as well as when it’s the right time to bring them into the deal.
7. You don’t have insight into how your team leverages deal resources through the process or the current capacity of deal support teams.
When your deal coordination process is spread across multiple disjointed collaboration 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, revenue leaders 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.
Additionally, if you don’t know your deal support teams’ current workload or capacity, then you don’t know if they can handle a new project or quick deal need. You also have less insight into if they’re being over or underutilized, and thus hiring decisions aren’t as straightforward. In addition, if there isn’t a set process, then sales teams may use deal resources unevenly by working with the individual they feel most comfortable with, who’s been on the team the longest, or some other personalized criteria. That creates a lot of reorganization and causes deal resources to be allocated inefficiently.
If your business meets any of those tell-tale signs, then it’s time to check out a team selling platform like Prelay to help you better allocate your deal resources. With Prelay, deal coordination is organized within one purpose-built platform integrated with the other software that’s key to your deal process like your CRM (Salesforce, HubSpot) and communication tools (Slack, Microsoft Teams). It leverages Plays for process management and Assists for resource and deliverable management, so you can strategically loop the right individuals or team into the deal at the right time. No more endless email threads or deal-specific Slack/Microsoft Teams channels with the full deal team. Team members get notified only when they’re needed, getting rid of the extra noise and distractions.
Revenue leadership can also manage and track the full deal process with the complete history of both Plays and Assists. With all deal coordination and communication in one place, it’s all tracked together along with bidirectional data pipelining with your CRM. 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.