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Planning for Stakeholders at the Buyer's Table

As the adoption of tech solutions grows in the legal vertical, firms are increasingly engaging multiple departments in the buying process to ensure cohesiveness and avoid costly mistakes. Legal tech companies need to win over a variety of stakeholders to see consistent sales growth. 

If you plan effectively, this can be a terrific opportunity to differentiate yourself from competitors and build momentum towards closing deals. Indeed, bringing more stakeholders to the buyer’s table can reignite deals when they begin to stall. 

The Types of Stakeholders at Legal Tech Buying Tables 

Your champions and the initiators of sales discussions will often be the end-user team. Because they will directly benefit from your solution, they will have the most to gain and deeply understand your solution's impact. 

Conversely, information technology, legal, and compliance teams will highly scrutinize your solution to ensure compatibility with existing systems, processes, and standards. You need to be informed of their concerns and specifications or be prepared to bring resources from your team to address them. Failure to win over these stakeholders will be a significant obstacle to closing any deal. 

Financial controllers can also have a significant level of input on any potential deal. Once a purchase decision is made, they may still want to negotiate payment schedules, labor and implementation costs, or other matters to align with their internal onboarding requirements. Again, these can present opportunities to smooth a deal if you prepare. 

Finally, account for other influential decision-makers. These are often high-level management that can make or break deals and whose opinion will be considered by other stakeholders. 

Planning for the Buyer’s Table 

Your first step is to prioritize the high-interest and high-influence stakeholders. Lean on champions and their allies in meetings where possible. For those that are skeptical, get a sense of their primary concern. 

They may be wary of the costs. Is it money, time, or something else? They may not see the value or be indifferent. Risk aversion is widespread in the legal field; stakeholders do not want to commit to a significant change without being securely convinced of the successful adoption of your solution. 

Find a way to connect directly with each stakeholder and win their endorsement of the deal. To do this, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. How does this stakeholder impact the organization's performance? They may be responsible for team productivity, reducing liability, limiting costs. Understand the metrics by which they measure success and make them a hero to their team by maximizing their value. 
  2. What benefits will they see from your solution that will make their life easier? Perhaps you can demonstrate enhanced reporting, a reduction in human error, or ways to streamline time-intensive processes. 
  3. How can they help you help them? Each stakeholder has a wealth of helpful information. They can outline concerns, specifications, and other pain points that paint a roadmap for you to win them over with the right questions. Take a consultative approach and give them room to lead the conversation. 
  4. If they are against a deal, how can you isolate or mitigate their concerns? There will inevitably come times when stakeholders are a firm no, but this doesn't have to spell failure. Look for ways to make their points less influential at the buying table when you still believe the firm can see value by adopting your solution. 

Finally, be prepared to bring your team to the table when they can bring value to the conversation. Resources from your tech and finance teams may be better suited to address their counterparts. Likewise, attorneys may be able to speak to specific matters from their own experience. 

Today, planning for the buyer's table is an essential component of sales enablement in Legal Tech. Leverage your subject matter experts to develop your playbook, outlining the stakeholder roles in your core audience segments and effective strategies for winning them over. When you understand your buyer at this level, your sales performance will show it.