September 30, 2022
How to Use Contract Management to Automate the Post-Sales Handoff (So Your AEs Can Get Back to Closing)
Congrats on your sales team getting so many Closed Won deals! You should definitely celebrate! But before you do, you’ll need to make sure all your post-sales teams have the information they need to make good on the nitty-gritty details of the sales agreement.
Your sales team’s job is almost done, but first, they’ll need to share all the relevant contract data with the people responsible for things like:
- Invoicing - Without payment, it isn’t a sale
- Onboarding - If new customers don’t understand the benefit of your product, they’ll stop using it and churn
- Renewals - It seems early to think about this, but it’s better to plan now because the renewal date will certainly creep up on you
But, of course, your closers just want to go back to closing. And who can blame them? That’s their job. That’s their top skill. That’s how they earn those fat commission checks.
Here’s how to handle the post-sales handoff:
Option 1: Nag your AEs until they update the CRM. (Risks include human error, low team morale, poor customer experience, your CS team low-key hating your sales team, etc., etc.)
Option 2 (highly recommended): Automate the post-sales handoff with contract management software
We’ll assume you went with option 2 and share exactly how to go about that. (If you chose Option 1, sorry, but you’re on your own. Best of luck to you!)
What should you be automating after your prospect signs the sales agreement?
Contracts are your source of truth. They show everything your team has promised in the sales agreement, which means that many teams need to know what’s in them so they can deliver on your promises. But so often, contract data is locked away in a PDF, and AEs are left manually updating Salesforce (or HubSpot or Pipedrive or whatever other CRM you’re using) when they should be doing what they do best: Selling.
Automating your invoicing process
A sale isn’t a sale until you get paid. That’s why it’s so important to invoice quickly and accurately so you don’t slow down the flow of revenue or accidentally charge customers the wrong amount.
Manual invoicing means that your Sales and Finance teams have to communicate perfectly (incredibly rare, unfortunately). And if communication isn’t perfect, then your new customers may receive an invoice for the wrong amount. Ask for less than you agreed upon and you accidentally give a discount. Ask for more than you agreed upon and you suddenly lose trust with your customer.
Instead of making your teams do more manual work (which means more room for human error), you can automate your invoicing process by connecting your contract lifecycle management software to your invoicing software. That way both the price you agreed upon in the contract and the payment timeline all automatically transfer to your invoicing system.
Automating your onboarding handoff
You’ve probably been in this situation before. You’ve just signed up for new software after telling a sales rep pretty much every detail of your job and life. Then when you jump on the onboarding call, you’re asked all the same questions by your new CSM. It’s almost as though the two teams were completely siloed and all CS knows about you is whatever sparse data is in the CRM.
In short, if your sales team isn’t relaying the appropriate information to your CS team, customers are getting a bad experience and are more likely to churn and less likely to become brand advocates.
But obviously, you don’t want your sales team doing too much handholding when it comes to the onboarding process. Their job is done. Again, you could have them manually update the CRM, but let’s be realistic about those expectations. Instead, you can sync all the relevant contract data to your CRM directly from your contract management software.
Automating your renewal flow
Time flies when you're busy closing new deals. That's why it's important to automate your renewal flow so you're not neglecting your existing customers when it's time to renew their contracts. You keep your customers happy and continue to enjoy that recurring revenue year after year. You can automate the sending of the contract within your contract management software, plus send alerts to any teams who need to step in by connecting to Slack or your other messaging platform.
Automating the post-sales handoff with contract management software
There are so many sales automation tools worth implementing. But since the contract contains the actual terms you agreed upon with your customers, automating everything tied to your sales agreements with contract management software is a great first step. You'll make your customers happy to reduce churn. Plus, you'll improve the cross-functional collaboration with all your post-sales teams like CS and Finance and yes, even Marketing, no matter how bad their leads were.
There are lots of contract management tools to choose from. Of course, we're biased to prefer our own. You can see an interactive walk-through without even talking to another salesperson. Or if you would like to talk to a fellow salesperson, you can book a live demo.
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