Market Insight

3 Steps to A Strong Partnership Between Legal and Sales

September 29, 2021

Over the summer, TechGC hosted the 6th annual Fullstack General Counsels (GCs) Conference in San Francisco, a must-attend event for modern GCs that serve as strategic leaders at their organizations. TechGC is an independent, invitation-only, community platform for GCs of leading venture capital funds and high-growth technology companies. 

The conference had inspiring presentations and thought-provoking roundtable discussions, one of which was hosted by Tim Parilla, Chief Legal Officer at LinkSquares, and Gizelle Barany, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary at LendUp. The discussion dove into how Legal can partner effectively with Sales. If you learned one thing from the session, it was this: Legal and Sales need to get to “yes” together. The days of Legal being viewed as a “bottleneck” slowing things are over. Legal and Sales can work together effectively, and as a result, the company thrives and reaches goals faster than ever before. 

For those who were unable to attend this great session, below are the 3 steps to a strong partnership between legal and sales. 

Step #1: Create a strong foundation. 

Roundtable participants learned that the key to a successful relationship between Legal and Sales is to properly set and manage expectations. This is impossible without a true understanding of the existing sales process. Insider takeaway: know the flow.

Action needed: 

Ensure that you are able to answer the following questions 

  • What are you selling? 
  • What is Sales’ preferred customer relationship management (CRM)?
  • At what stage do contracts get prepared? 
  • What provisions get negotiated? 
  • What is the chain of command or communication when Sales has issues, contract edits, etc.? 
  • Where do the contracts get stored?

Step #2: Communicate and maintain alignment. 

Building a relationship is not “one and done.” Once you’re on the same page, the work comes from maintaining that alignment and ensuring the partnership can grow stronger as you scale. This means ensuring regular communication, which enables Sales to understand the issues that Legal is facing (and vice versa). Insider takeaway: align constantly. 

Action needed: 

  • Schedule training sessions for new sales reps, and for the whole team when there are updated processes. New employees especially need to be brought into the fold and understand that at your company, Legal is here to accelerate the right deals, not slow things down. 
  • Meet regularly to keep open lines of communication. Weekly “office hours” are a great place to start. Consistent communication enables Legal to have a complete understanding of what risks are important to understand when working with Sales. 

Step #3: Use tools that help both teams. 

At many companies, Sales has Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, like Salesforce, where they spend the majority of their time. Legal has its own tools, including contract management software. 

The final step in a strong partnership between Legal and Sales is to join these two worlds. Insider takeaway: enable teams to work where they are most effective.

Action needed:

  • Adopt a contract management tool that integrates with your sales team’s CRM. 

Contract management solutions integrate with tools like Salesforce, so the contract creation and approval processes are seamless and efficient for both teams. And by integrating a contract dashboard with tools like Salesforce, Sales gets up-to-the-second statuses on every in-flight legal agreement, keeping Legal and Sales on the same page (literally).  

Legal and Sales work better together. Follow these 3 steps to empower both teams to move your business forward. 

Linksquares is a computer software company that features AI-powered contract management and analytics tool for in-house legal and finance teams.