Orchestrating Success: Startup Team Members Vital for the Sales Contract Process


As your startup takes flight, one significant growth element to consider is the sales contract process. Contract lifecycle management is an important thing to get right from the start. Contracting is a nuanced task requiring participation from various team members. Let’s examine which startup roles should play an integral part in managing this critical process.

1. Sales Team

The sales team is the frontline of the contract process. They identify potential clients, initiate discussions, negotiate terms, and secure the deal. However, their responsibilities go beyond just closing deals. They need to ensure that the contract fits the customer’s requirements and aligns with the company’s capabilities and business goals.

2. Legal Counsel

Sales contracts have significant legal implications. Legal counsel’s role is to review contract drafts, ensure they comply with the law, protect the company’s interests, and mitigate potential risks. If your startup can’t afford a full-time legal professional, consider hiring a consultant or using legal tech tools to review and draft contracts.

3. Finance Team

Your finance team is responsible for reviewing the financial aspects of the contract. They ensure the terms align with your startup’s financial strategies and goals. Their expertise is invaluable in determining payment terms, pricing strategies, and the financial impact of potential discounts or customized services.

4. Operations or Product Team

Who better understands what your company can deliver than those who deliver it? The operations or product team can provide insights into the feasibility of the terms. They can assess whether the promised timelines, deliverables, and performance standards are achievable. Involving them in the process prevents overcommitment and ensures client expectations are met.

5. Customer Success Team

The customer success team plays a crucial role in managing relationships post-sale. They should review the contract to understand customer expectations fully, ensuring they can provide the necessary support for a successful customer journey. They can also provide feedback on contract terms from the customer’s perspective.

6. CEO or Founder

In a startup environment, the involvement of the CEO or Founder in sales contracting is often essential. They can offer strategic insights and make executive decisions when necessary. Their involvement also demonstrates to potential clients the importance the company places on their business and sales contract management.

7. HR Team

While HR might not be the first department that comes to mind for sales contract involvement, their input can be beneficial. They can assist in determining if additional staffing will be required to fulfill a contract’s terms. Plus, they can oversee the training needs of those involved in the contract process.

8. IT Team

If the sales contract involves technical deliverables or support, your IT team’s expertise is invaluable. They can provide accurate information about the technical aspects, potential challenges, and solutions, ensuring realistic commitments are made.

To sum it up, a well-rounded, cross-functional team approach can make the sales contract process more efficient, manageable, and beneficial to your startup. It enables a holistic view of the contract, from ensuring legal and financial soundness to aligning it with operational capabilities and customer success strategies. This involvement fosters collaboration, improves communication, and ultimately enhances the ability to deliver on contract promises, driving business growth. Combining this with a contract management system will have you well on your way to success.

While involving all these roles might not be feasible or necessary for every contract, considering their input where relevant can greatly contribute to smoother contract negotiations and a higher success rate. Balancing the diverse perspectives and expertise in your startup is the key to contract management success.