Legal as a Sales Engine

I was listening to a podcast the other day and the interviewee (a lawyer) claimed that Legal could be a sales engine. That struck me (another lawyer) as a bit far-fetched, but there are a number of ways in which Legal, done correctly, can make the whole sales-contracting process a lot easier.

 

To give some context: this applies mainly to businesses selling B2B where the contracts are negotiated. If that’s you, here’s a few things to think about.

  1. Are you measuring the cycle time from the customer wanting to buy to the contract being signed? The shorter the time, the quicker you are to the money + less cost + less customer friction. If you don’t know your cycle time, it’s hard to improve it.
  2. Does your process distinguish between customers that want to negotiate and those that can be persuaded not to? Have you optimised your process for the latter? There’s a lot of ways you can optimise: less paper, simpler contracts, explanatory videos (eg. here’s how we comply with GDPR), third party reports (eg. here’s why our infosec is really good).
  3. Does your contract address the key issues that the customer is concerned about? There are usually about 8 issues that customers are concerned about, but you have to know what they are.
  4. Are the terms of your contract reasonable and market standard? Trying to impose clauses that take the mickey is not an effective way to close deals quickly.
  5. Is your contract clear and easy to understand? Yes, a lot of lawyers like to write confusing gibberish, but your contracts don’t have to be like that. If your contract can’t be understood by an intelligent 10-year-old, there’s probably something wrong with it.

Does your process distinguish between customers that want to negotiate and those that can be persuaded not to?