For growing SaaS businesses, it’s common for sales and legal to butt heads.
While sales teams are driven by the urgency to close deals and generate revenue, legal teams are tasked with safeguarding the company’s long-term interests, sometimes appearing as a bottleneck in the fast-paced sales process. While alignment between the two departments is often overlooked, it holds the golden key to accelerating deal closures and fostering company growth.
With an effective partnership, as we’ve seen at G2, legal can even be an accelerator for sales. This was the central theme of a presentation recently delivered at the SaaStr Annual conference by G2’s General Counsel Eunice Buhler and VP of Enterprise Sales Colin Danaher.
Through a candid conversation, these two leaders shared their experiences and strategies on how their seemingly disparate departments can work hand in hand to achieve the company’s objectives.
Building a partnership based on open communication and mutual respect
A crucial component of their collaboration, Eunice shared, has been their commitment to regular meetings and discussions to align the goals of both departments. This approach has not only facilitated smoother operations but also fostered a culture of respect and trust between the teams.
Acknowledging how Eunice is consistently available via various channels to assist with urgent matters, Colin underscored the value of open communications between teams. It’s been a cornerstone in building a strong and successful partnership.
A specific example of how the teams at G2 built trust and respect comes from the early days of Colin and Eunice joining G2. The sales team was frustrated by the lengthy service level agreement (SLA) turnaround time of five days – slowing down the process of closing deals.
Legal committed to shortening this to two days. Eunice’s team has held true to this new SLA, often coming in at just one day (a 60-80% decrease!). This success story, celebrated company-wide, serves as a testament to the positive changes that can be achieved through collaboration.
Marching toward the same goals that move the business forward
The G2 leaders also shed light on the role of the CEO in aligning the goals and responsibilities of different business units to achieve a common objective. This alignment has been instrumental in achieving business goals with greater efficiency and effectiveness.
At G2, this is done through the Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measures (V2MOM) planning process (from Salesforce), where not only do we have the company vision and goals clearly articulated, but all department-specific V2MOMs ladder up to it.
Knowing the ultimate goal everyone is mapping to – regardless of team or role — helps minimize and resolve conflicts, so Eunice, Colin, and their teams can balance long-term risk with short-term gain. For example, Colin will partner with Eunice to ensure he doesn’t sign a deal that exposes the company to undue risk – which is something that, despite the immediate win, wouldn’t support longer-term goals.
Understanding the other side’s perspective
To effectively partner on customer negotiations, sales and legal at G2 partner to get their positions in line in advance so they are a united front. To prepare for these conversations, it’s beneficial when sales understands where legal is coming from, and vice versa.
Each has a different vantage point, so it’s helpful when they discuss things in the right language, not their industry’s jargon, and explain the relevance. This leads to mutual understanding, better collaboration, and improved outcomes for G2 and the customer.
Having the right team with a proactive, collaborative approach
In driving toward those shared goals, Eunice emphasized the importance of having attorneys who are focused on moving deals forward. By fostering a “get to yes” mentality, this proactive approach has encouraged the sales team to respect and adhere to the few instances where the legal team needs to assert a ‘no.’
Recognizing the role of soft skills, Eunice advises leaders to seek out collaborative candidates with a commercially focused mindset.
Open the door to communication
In this masterclass on how to foster collaboration between legal and sales teams in SaaS businesses, Eunice and Colin showed not just how we’re doing this effectively at G2 but how others can executive a partnership like this in their own organizations.
Through open communication, mutual respect, and a shared goal of business success, these teams can work together to accelerate deal closures and drive company growth.
G2’s General Counsel has even more wisdom to spread. Get Eunice’s take on legal matters you need to consider when using the latest AI chatbot technology.