Contracts are a necessary part of buying and selling goods, especially in the B2B sales world. Gartner estimates that 60-80% of B2B deals are managed by contracts. It’s surprising then how many companies leave the contract process up to chance or a sales rep’s discretion.
According to IACCM, ineffective contract management can cost businesses up to 9.2 percent of annual revenue.
9.2 percent! That’s a staggering figure, and a frustrating one when you realize that number can be decreased with a few simple changes to your contract process. These changes don’t require a massive investment in new quoting tools or technologies. You can execute them with the tools you already have at your disposal, like SalesLoft.
While getting to the contract stage of a deal can be exciting, you’d do well to heed the words of Han Solo and “don’t get cocky.” Deals can still fall apart at this stage if not given the appropriate amount of attention and care.
Create consistent intervals for following up on a contract so you can gauge status and answer any questions that may have arisen. SalesLoft allows you to automate this process by creating a cadence specifically for this stage of the buying cycle.
It’s also important to monitor what messages and intervals work best during this stage. Your analytics should give you a good idea of how much follow-up is too much and which messages inspire the most progress from your buyers.
Have Contracts and Resources Accessible
The most unforgivable mistake you can make in the contract stage is for you to be an impediment to a deal. You need to remove all the friction you can from this stage of the buying cycle. While you can’t influence your buyers organization or approval process, you have complete control over your side of the deal and you should do everything you can to make it as efficient as possible.
A no brainer for speeding up this process is to make sure you have everything you need to send, edit, and approve contracts ready to go. You should have contracts in an accessible place, and know how to edit and send them quickly.
You should also make any resources you may need accessible too. The contract phase usually involves some last minute questions or resource requests as your buyer works their way through final approvals. A feature like team snippets can have all of this contract-related content organized and just a click away, right when you need it.
Be Exceptionally Responsive
Finally, it should go without saying that the contract stage of a deal should be the period of time where you’re most responsive to your buyer. Failing to respond to an email or phone call for just a few hours could derail their approval process or in competitive deals, hand the deal off to a competitor.
Make full use of the technology available to you to make sure you know the second a prospect needs you. Make sure your email tool has best-in-class reply tracking and can send you desktop alerts when your buyer responds. It’s also helpful to have a sales dialer that can forward calls to your cell phone or desktop depending on where you are in your day.
All of these are small process tweaks to the contract stage of your sales cycle, but they can have a big impact on your efficiency and effectiveness. Who wouldn’t want to get that 9.2 percent of their revenue back?!
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