Deal Management Guide: 7 tips for managing deals at scale

The Dock Team
April 25, 2024
April 25, 2024

The days of “sales as showmanship” are over. Great sales teams aren’t taking clients out for overpriced lunches or working off pushy sales scripts. 

In fact, 75% of B2B buyers prefer not to talk to a sales team at all. But given the complexity of the B2B purchasing process, they’ll probably still have to. 

Therefore, the sales team's role has moved from pure sales to helping and educating.

Sales teams aren’t there to persuade, schmooze or strong-arm. Their job is to make it incredibly easy for the buyer to glide seamlessly from first contact to purchase.

Deal management is the key to creating that smooth and effortless buyer experience. A solid deal management strategy can help you shorten your sales cycles, create more consistent processes and increase your close rate. 

Read on to learn how the best B2B sales teams approach deal management. 

What is deal management?

Deal management is the process of planning, organizing, tracking, and enabling a deal through each stage of the sales journey. Your deal management plan is a best-practice playbook that helps you move prospects through the deal flow more quickly and effectively. 

The main goal of deal management is to maintain sales velocity and improve close rates.

Practically speaking, a deal management plan should cover every deal stage: 

  • Managing the sales pipeline and identifying high-priority opportunities
  • Deal tracking 
  • Qualifying prospects with a thorough discovery process
  • Creating proposals 
  • Negotiating the terms of the sale
  • Closing the deal
  • Handing the customer over to Customer Success 

The benefits of a solid deal management process are clear: 

Rep-to-rep consistency

By defining the best workflows for each stage of the buyer journey, even the newest sales rep knows exactly what they should be doing and when they should be doing it. That way, you create a consistently high-quality customer experience, regardless of which rep manages the deal. 

Shorter deal cycles 

Using standardized processes and best practices means that deals won’t get stuck on trivial roadblocks, like not having the security documentation ready when the prospect needs it or sending out an inaccurate proposal. 

Easier to scale 

When there are just a couple of reps on the team, you can stay on the same page. But ad hoc sales strategies don’t scale well. Without well-defined sales deal management, chaos will likely ensue as the team grows, and the sales leader doesn’t have time to supervise every new hire. 

7 tips for a seamless deal management process

An effective deal management system involves standardizing and optimizing at each stage of the deal lifecycle.

Today's B2B sales have a lot in common with project management, and many of the same rules apply. 

So, how can you create a deal process that follows the rules of great project management but retains the relationship aspect that salespeople are so skilled at? 

Here are our top tips for better deal management:  

1. Use a standardized sales methodology for discovery 

Start your deals off the right way by using a standard sales system for every discovery. Sales methodologies like MEDDIC and the Sandler Selling System help ensure that only the right prospects end up in your deal pipeline in the first place. 

They also keep every sales rep on the team on the same page so that you always have all the information you need to close the deal. 

📖 Further reading: MEDDIC Sales Explained and The Sandler Selling System 

2. Collaborate with the buyer on account mapping

Deal management requires solid account mapping — plotting out the different stakeholders involved in the buying process, their relationships, their teams, their contact information, the organizational structure, potential expansion opportunities and so on. 

You’ll learn much of this information during discovery, especially if you use a standard sales methodology. Still, it’s good practice to collaborate with your prospects to nail your account maps. Otherwise, you risk the deal getting off-roaded by a last-minute stakeholder you didn’t even know about. 

Instead of storing your detailed account map in an internal platform, we recommend creating a stakeholder registry and sharing it with your prospects. Then, you can ask your buyer champion to verify your understanding and add in any missing stakeholders. 

As a bonus, this document also reminds the buyer champion of all the people they’ll need to help you persuade to get the deal over the finish line. 

📖 Further reading: Why Sales Account Mapping Shouldn't Happen in Secret

3. Treat your buyer champion like your top Sales rep

When it comes to deal management, you don’t just need to consider your Sales team — you’ll also need to think about how to support your buyer champion

After all, B2B buyers complete 83% of the buying process without engaging a vendor — so your buyer champion is now the most crucial player in getting the deal done. 

To help support your buyer champion, build buyer enablement into your deal management process. For example: 

  • Curate relevant information to help them out during purchasing meetings — think product guides, case studies, data sheets, ROI calculators and maybe even a “done for them” internal presentation 
  • Work with them to brainstorm and address possible objections — such as providing alternative pricing options, sharing references from current clients or providing comparisons against competitor products

📖 Further reading: How to turn eager buyers into sales champions

4. Build multithreaded relationships 

Best practice deal management involves building multiple relationships with stakeholders involved in the deal (the economic buyer, the technical decision-maker and the buyer champion, at minimum). 

This process reduces the risk that the deal will fall through because your main point of contact leaves (or gets too busy). 

Ideally, multithreading isn’t just about connecting with several people within the buyer organization. It’s also about forming many-to-many relationships, especially for high-ticket deals

  • Your CFO should meet their CFO. 
  • Your VP of Sales should meet their VP of Sales. 
  • Your marketing leads should meet, and so forth. 

They speak each other’s language, so building trust and forming lasting relationships is easier. 

📖 Further reading: Multithreading Sales: How to build a network of champions

5. Elevate your demo follow-up with a digital sales room 

Too many sales teams are still handling demo follow-up via email. This choice can rapidly turn into a messy series of email threads. Prospects stall out because they can’t find the latest proposal in their mountainous inbox. The economic buyer never even sees the ROI calculator because the rep forgot to copy them in. 

Instead, keep all the information about the deal in a digital sales room. That way, everyone can access the latest details, and nobody has to dig through their inbox to find the paperwork. 

With Dock, you can set up a standardized template for your digital sales room and then quickly personalize it for each deal. 

You can house your mutual action plan, your business case, and your order forms in the same place — along with any other useful sales collateral you might want to include, like a recorded demo, ROI calculator, or relevant case studies. 

Reps and customers can always find what they need when they need it.

Check out Dock's digital sales rooms

📖 Further reading: Digital Sales Rooms Guide

6. Create a mutual action plan to drive action

You can’t do deal management alone because the prospect must do some of the actions involved in the deal. So, instead of handling deal management as an internal process, create a mutual action plan (MAP) to help steer your prospects through the stages of the deal. 

A MAP lets you collaborate with your prospects to close deals more efficiently.

It’s like a to-do list for the deal, with action steps for both your sales reps and the buying team. It clearly outlines what each party is supposed to do next, streamlines the buyer journey and keeps your deals from getting stuck. 

Check out Dock's mutual action plans

📖 Further reading: Mutual Action Plans: Ditch the spreadsheet to win more sales

7. Track more buying signals 

Deal management isn’t just about creating a slick sales process — it’s also about ensuring the sales process is working and identifying any issues before they occur. 

That’s why your deal management process should include monitoring buying signals to confirm that the deal is still progressing. 

Buying signals tell you how engaged your prospect is with the deal and how likely they are to buy. For example: 

  • They engage with your marketing and sales content (they open your emails, comment on your LinkedIn posts and read your blogs) 
  • They engage with your product content (they view your product pages, open your tutorials and view your pricing page) 
  • They communicate with your sales team 
  • They interact with your sales workspace, invite other stakeholders and view your proposal and pricing calculator 

Dock makes it easy to get insight into deal progress and know when you need to follow up.

📖 Further reading: Buying Signals Guide 

Deal management tools

The right software can be beneficial for creating a standardized, effective deal management process. Here are a few suggestions: 


The foundation of all deal management, your CRM should be used to store: 

  • Contact data
  • Demographic data
  • People, companies
  • Relationship history 
  • Deal metrics and statuses

Good choices include: 

Digital sales room

A digital sales room like Dock lets you keep all the deal information in the same place, collaborate with your customers to move the deal forward, and store deal documentation (like quotes, proposals and order forms.) 

Proposals and order forms

If you’re creating complex proposals, you might want to use an enterprise-grade Configure, Price, Quote tool like: 

Or, if you just want to create an attractive quote, try: 

To create order forms with eSignature functionality, try: 

Or you could achieve all of the above with Dock. Our Order Forms combine CPQ, sales proposals, and e-signatures into one tool—and they're easibly shareable with clients in your digital sales room. 

Improve your deal management with Dock 

If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop solution that will help level up every aspect of your deal process, Dock could be a great choice. Our customer-facing, flexible digital workspaces help customers like Nectar increase their win rates by 31% while making it easy to manage the deal process. 

Improve your team’s deal management with: 

  • Templated sales rooms so you can organize the entire deal process in a single, user-friendly shared workspace
  • Flexible quoting features that work with any pricing model, so your customers can figure out their ideal quote by themselves quickly
  • Proposals that you can transform into sign-able order forms, so you never slow down the deal with tedious back-and-forth emailing

Ready to create a more seamless deal management process? Get a demo of Dock here

The Dock Team