If you’ve listened to one of my webinars lately or read a previous blog post of ours, you know I’m all about giving away our secrets in hopes of bettering sales teams worldwide. If you can apply what works for us here at PandaDoc to your sales process and be successful, I’m all for it. Isn’t everyone a believer in good karma?
Earlier this year, we hosted a PandaDay in our San Francisco and St. Pete offices. These separate days were a chance for us to host our customers and hear their stories of success and give them a voice to share how we can make PandaDoc the best sales software tool on the market.
Perhaps the biggest question we received during the sessions was, “How does PandaDoc use PandaDoc to accelerate their sales cycle?”
So I decided to turn my answer to this question into a digestible blog post so you can learn just some of the ways we drink our own Kool-Aid.
Addressing daily challenges
Every sales leader knows that you’re always tied to hitting your number. Close more deals, close deals faster, close higher value deals. But there are a lot of micro-level techniques like ramping new reps or call coaching that goes into actually delivering on those macro-level responsibilities.
So I decided to figure out ways to use PandaDoc to aid in those micro challenges. And for those who don’t know, our bread and butter here at PandaDoc is to enable sales managers and their sales team to close more deals, close them faster, and close them at the highest value possible.
I needed to find ways to practice what we preached to prospects and apply them to our own sales process. First up…
The heartbeat of the business
One of the things I love about our culture is that everyone is working toward a common goal. Each department’s goals relate to company-wide objective key results (OKRs) every quarter.
Everyone within the company is working to drive more revenue for PandaDoc, it’s not just the sales team’s responsibility. Well, it is but you catch my drift. The entire org looks for ways that they can supply my team with more pipeline and ultimately more revenue dollars.
Therefore, I wanted to figure out a way to show every employee how their hard work was paying off, in the form of closed deals that is. And with three office locations across three different time zones, this was going to be tough.
I decided to leverage our Zapier integration and create a #saleswins channel in Slack. Every time a proposal or quote is completed in our dedicated sales workspace in PandaDoc, it triggers a zap to the #saleswins channel that details the rep’s name, the dollar amount of the deal, the name of our new customer, and even the sales development rep who sourced the lead.
The #saleswins channel is the one place where everyone is paying attention to how we are moving the needle. It is a great place for everyone to celebrate our wins on a daily basis, bringing all our offices together even when we are apart.
Look, even our CTO, Serge Barysuik gets in on the fun:
While I do the best I can to keep my reps motivated, the channel gives the reps that extra hype that doesn’t come from their boss. I can tell that the excitement they receive from each employee reacting to their deals drives their ambition and keeps the momentum going, especially at the end of the sales month or quarter.
The #saleswins channel is just one technique we’ve used to gamify the sales process, here are some others to consider too.
End of month heroics
With a sales team growing well into the double digits, it’s tough to get that one-on-one time with everyone. Reps come to me constantly, even ones that don’t directly report to me, asking how I can help with their deals, how I can help them hit their number.
This is where the PandaDoc dashboard saves the day. We treat the dashboard as a mini funnel. The sent and viewed blocks give me and my team an understanding of where we should focus our sales activities. Activities that we know have the greatest chance of converting to revenue dollars.
When reps have proposals that are opened or viewed, or even forwarded to one or more additional stakeholders, we treat those notifications as buying signals. This actionable insight helps us to tighten up any gaps, especially when we are close to hitting quota, so we can close those last-minute lingering deals.
Enable the closers
There are always tactics you can employ to enable a closer and close a little stronger. We’ve all been there, we’re down to the wire, it’s the 11th hour of the quarter and you and your rep are in sword fight negotiations with a prospect.
To combat these stressful situations, I’ve used PandaDoc on more than one occasion to aid in skip leveling. Skip leveling is talking to a decision-maker while your rep is engaged with someone who is only influencing the buying decision, someone who is perhaps a power user and not necessarily the one signing on the dotted line (or actually completing that PandaDoc document).
Back in December of 2018, I noticed that there was a proposal created early on in the sales process, a nice big logo that would be great to have as a PandaDoc customer. I searched the company and found out I was actually connected to the CEO on LinkedIn.
To help the deal go as smooth as possible, and potentially increase our chances of getting this deal done before the end of the year, I sent the CEO a note expressing how excited I was at the opportunity of working with them and partnering with them in the future. Also by skip leveling early on in the sales process, was a great way to enhance the buyer journey.
Shortly after that message, the rep receives notifications that the proposal was viewed again, and on more than one occasion.
So jump to December 31st, we’re in negotiations on the last day of the year (typical, right?) and it was clear that this deal wasn’t going to get done on the phone. The CEO and other decision-makers were not ready to commit to PandaDoc on the call. Our hopes of getting the deal done were diminishing by the minute.
Since I already knew the CEO, I decided to roll the dice. Thanks to our link sharing feature, I copied the link and texted the CEO, using his words on the call, and said ‘Look, you know you’re already going to buy, just sign the proposal now’.
Thanks to link sharing and our web-based app, he signed the deal on New Year’s Eve, with just hours left in 2018. There was no greater satisfaction than receiving that PandaDoc notification while I was ringing in the New Year with friends at a bar.
Hacking onboarding and 1:1’s
Enabling reps to close faster is just one way to ensure the success of a rep. But I also make it a point to consistently coach my reps during 1:1s and work with our Revenue Enablement Manager, Lillian, to create a world-class onboarding and training program.
Believe it or not, PandaDoc helps us immensely in these areas too. For onboarding, every new sales rep receives an onboarding doc that details each step that a rep must take to become ‘PandaDoc certified.’ The PandaDoc document walks them through our company’s history, the role, and our product. At the end of their training, they must sign the doc ensuring that they’ve completed the program.
We also use PandaDoc documents for regular ongoing training activities too, like when a new feature or product is launched.
These onboarding docs are more visually appealing to the rep and add a layer of accountability to both the rep and the manager than a bunch of Google Docs.
As for 1:1’s docs, we include screenshots from DataHug, text blocks where both the rep and I could leave feedback for one another, and signature blocks to certify that we’ve both read the doc and are clear on next steps.
Again, PandaDoc made it much easier for me to track progress during my 1:1s as a sales leader. I could easily reference the doc at any time for a given rep without having to chase down paperwork.
One team, one dream, all green
I stole the above subhead from our CRO but here at PandaDoc, it’s true. We are one team, with one dream, and that is for all of us to produce as much green as possible.
Of course, we are a little biased but no matter what size sales team you are, remember that when starting to implement tools like PandaDoc and new sales processes, you must start by aligning every team within your company. Fixing old habits should help you work smarter, not harder, and make it as easy as possible for your teams to achieve that one dream, hitting revenue targets.