Sales teams want contracts signed as quickly as possible. Legal teams want to protect the business. But both teams are worried about risk—the risk of losing momentum in deals.
5 ways to get legal on your side
Legal hurdles are in place for a good reason, but they don’t have to slow your process. You can eliminate delays in the sales cycle by improving lines of communication or collaboration.
These five steps will help you build trust and get legal on your side.
(Download a PDF copy of this checklist for free here).
1. Help your legal team understand the product
If you want to gain the confidence of your legal team, you need to help them understand the selling process. Get your in-house counsel up-to-speed about what the company is selling, how you position it, and who your competitors are.
This way, when negotiations arise or terms are in question, sales and legal will be operating with the same information. You’ll close deals faster when the legal team understands which aspects of your product are most valuable to your customers.
2. Set up regular one-on-ones with in-house counsel
As your company grows, it’s easy for departments to become siloed. Intentionally reduce silos and increase collaboration where it matters most—between sales teams and legal departments.
Keeping your legal team in the loop isn’t a one-time thing. Regularly meet with your legal leader or contracts manager to stay aligned. Consider adding these questions to your one-on-one agenda:
- What changes in the product will affect customer terms?
- Have there been any updates to our privacy policies?
- Which deals are in review and which should be prioritized?
3. Understand which clauses your legal team is always going to flag
Objections are a normal part of the sales cycle, but you can cut down back-and-forth by using standard language and contract templates whenever possible. Partner with your legal team to create a contract playbook or sales guidelines that outline non-negotiable contract terms and potential options for more flexible matters.
For example, limitation of liability, indemnification, and termination clauses are all going to flag legal attention.
Sometimes, your standard language won’t cut it or a customer will have specific needs. When that’s the case, you can rely on legal to be a creative problem solver and business partner—especially if you’ve done the work ahead of time to build trust and share information.
4. Make sure your CRM integrates with their CLM
It took your sales org long enough to understand how to use Salesforce. You’re not interested in learning a new software to submit your legal requests. Rather than requiring drastic changes in your sales and legal workflows, find legal software that integrates with your CRM.
Your legal team is likely using a contract lifecycle management solution (CLM), so support them in choosing one that integrates with the software you’re already using. The right CLM won’t require your sales team or your legal team to change how they work—many CLM solutions offer Salesforce integrations and automated email intake for this reason.
Plus, with an integrated solution, you’re not distracting them from making the sale.
Learn how the Outreach legal team improved their collaboration with sales by integrating Lexion: “The sales team doesn’t even notice there’s a new software—they’re just in there using it."
5. Make the intake process more visible to keep everyone accountable
Sometimes you submit a legal request and you don’t have a clue where it goes next; we call this the “legal black hole.”
Maybe you’re inputting the same data points across multiple systems. Maybe you’ve got an old version of a contract and you don’t even know it. Maybe you’re waiting on a legal review that’s sitting in an inbox somewhere.
Work together with your legal team to create a workflow that everyone can see and understand. Outline what every status means, set clear deadlines, and unify version management. You can do this manually or automate it with a CLM dashboard.
Bonus: Be nice to your legal team
A little kindness goes a long way. Legal isn’t intentionally ignoring your deals, they just have a lot going on—especially if they’re a small in-house team.
Get on their good side. Check in respectfully. Send them a gift card. It might just improve your win rates.
When sales and legal collaborate, deals get done faster
Faster contracts mean faster business. Following these five steps will help you create harmony between your sales and legal teams and bring success to your entire company.
Learn from our Sales Director, David Smart, and Senior Legal and Business Operations Manager, Krysta Johnson about their recommendations for driving faster deals with better collaborations in our recent ebook.