When we think about silos in the sales process, there’s a lot that’s said about how sales teams should be better aligned with marketing and customer success teams. Without strong collaboration amongst these teams, and a collective effort towards achieving the same goals, companies risk having a sales process that’s equal parts stale and ineffective. But these aren’t the only teams that sales should have a strong relationship with.
For software-as-a-service and other cloud-based vendors, there are two other key players: security and legal. However, more often than not, sales, security, and legal teams operate in silos during the sales process. The result? Vendors aren’t as agile as they could be in closing a sale and getting new enterprise clients on board.
In this article, we’re taking a look at the roles each of these teams play in the sales process, and how they can be better aligned to make it more streamlined and effective.
When it comes to the sales process, sales representatives and account executives play a number of roles. On the one hand, they are the primary point of contact with the prospect, and are responsible for managing that relationship. This involves getting to know people as individuals, taking the time to understand their pain points, and clearly articulating how their offering can solve those problems.
These individuals also have to be skilled shepherds. They have to gather (and sometimes wrangle) information from other stakeholders within the organization, and bring the right people into the room with the prospect when it’s required. This can be a challenge, especially when they engage with employees from other teams that have their own set of objectives and projects to attend to.
For tech companies that aren’t SOC 2 compliant, there are often quite a few hoops to jump through to prove that they are secure enough to be an enterprise’s vendor. This will often take the form of extensive questionnaires that probe the various security measures and controls the vendor has in place. The sales team will often send these questions over to the security team, requesting specific answers about the software and the infrastructure it’s built on. This can be frustrating for security, as it takes key individuals away from the work they should actually be doing — or has them work overtime to answer the questions.
Regardless if it’s in-house or outsourced, the legal team will always have a role to play in the sales process. At the negotiation stage, legal can support with anything from ensuring a specific provision is added (as long as it works for both sides) to helping the team navigate what the company is and isn’t willing to do for a prospect. Where issues arise is when prospects ask for something that sits outside those boundaries, and the sales team is more focused on the sale than abiding by legal parameters.
Today’s enterprises operate in a regulatory environment that requires strict security measures and systems in place to protect customer data. This, plus the increased sophistication of cybercriminals, means that enterprises are more pressed than ever to be as secure as they possibly can be. So, when they’re looking for software vendors, it’s no surprise that they ask for guarantees from a security and legal standpoint. This is where a strong relationship between sales, security, and legal can be useful.
We all know the adage “time is money.” Ensuring that sales is properly aligned with both security and legal, and that all three teams are committed to delivering on the same goals, is bound to streamline the sales process so that prospects are more likely to become customers.
This alignment can be accomplished through a number of ways:
Once your teams are all on the same page, then they’ll be better equipped to shorten the time it takes to have a customer sign the contract. As an added bonus, this alignment will also make it easier to generate trust with the customer, as they’ll get to work with a sales team that’s equal parts agile and informed.
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