The Buy Side: What's happening when a deal is in legal?

Ryan Neu, Sep 9, 2019

In The Buy Side, we provide quick hits to help sales people sell better, and to help companies buy software more efficiently. 

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"Hello, this is Ryan Neu with Vendr and we've got another quick hit for The Buy Side and this topic came about from John Sherer who is a VP of Sales in Boston and who also happens to be a really really good friend of mine. John and I worked together at HubSpot years ago. So John has the question about what's going on when a deal is in legal. So you're a salesperson and you're selling software to someone, and now that contracts and legal, and it's being redlined and what often times happens is it takes a long time. So maybe it's two weeks. Maybe it's four weeks and you have no visibility into what's actually going on. So John asked from our opinion as a buyer: what is happening? And we see this a lot, and a lot of our deals do go to legal and we are trying, on behalf of the salesperson, we’re trying to get it through legal, but there's very little we can usually do because companies prioritize sales contracts first. Meaning the contracts that will bring the company revenue, those are prioritized with legal resources and the contracts that are for purchasing stuff that costs the company money, those are prioritized second. And so you as a salesperson you're in that second bucket. Now, there's not much you can do about that. So what I'd caution you against is trying to create incentives for the company to move faster to get your deal through legal quicker because you're in a different bucket. There's not much you can do and what's likely going to happen is if you offer an incentive the buyers just going to ask for the incentive anyway, and they're not going to build to influence the timing so when the deals and legal ask questions about, realistically, what does the buyer think is realistic? What is the queue like? How many contracts are ahead of yours? Those are totally fair questions, but truthfully, let it play its course and instead of trying to influence the timing, it's probably better off to spend your time and energy on finding the next deal that needs to get to Legal. So John, thanks for the comment. This is Ryan with The Buy Side and if there are other topics that you think we should cover or that would be helpful put a comment below and we will do it very quickly. Thanks!"