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Closing Deals: Four’s a Crowd

Closing Deals: Four’s a Crowd
Closing Deals: Four’s a Crowd

February 27, 2007 Jamie Wodetzki Document Generation  

When it comes to closing deals, two’s company, and four’s a crowd. It’s much easier and quicker for two people to reach agreement about the terms of a deal than it is for three or four. This is especially true when you have two business people whose goal is to close the deal, and two lawyers whose goal is to eliminate risk.

foursomeFrustrated foursome…

You know the drill. Sam the salesperson and Mike the manager strike a commercial deal to supply pink widgets at a special price. It’s not a huge deal. It’s not a high-risk deal. But it’s not totally plain vanilla. The standard sales contract goes off to legal for comments…

Liz the lawyer is busy with important board stuff and the pink widget deal is (for Liz) small beer. So it sits in her in-box gathering virtual dust. Eventually, after weeks of nagging, bribery and threats, the pink widget deal gets some attention, and a heavily marked-up draft lands back on Sam’s desk. Sam scratches her head and forwards it on to Mike, who scratches his head and forwards it on to Larry the other lawyer. This process repeats itself in a predictable, slow and painful pattern, until eventually, three months later, the deal they all knew would happen is signed (assuming, of course, that it hasn’t fallen over by then). Those who are still on speaking terms celebrate with a bottle of champagne.

On big deals, with big risks, the pain of four-way negotiations can be worth it. But if Sally and Mike could close smaller deals on their own, without all this pain, wouldn’t everyone be better off?

twosomeHappy couple…

Turning four-way deals into two-way deals is where document automation adds the most value to contract-driven businesses.

Using automated contract templates, legal can build a self-service solution for the business, which has the flexibility to handle a wide range of deals (much wider than with standard Word forms) in a controlled and compliant way. This lets people like Sam and Mike close more deals, more quickly, and with less strain on the relationship. It also saves people like Liz and Larry from boring, low value, grunt work, leaving more time for the big deals.


Jamie Wodetzki is Exari’s Co-founder and Chief Product Officer.