Between sharing resources, following up on tasks, and negotiating pricing quotes, the back-and-forth required in closing a sale can get messy quickly.
While a CRM helps sales reps stay organized, it does little to improve the buyer’s experience.
Expecting prospects to dig through emails and meeting notes to find what they’re looking for isn’t the best way to start a long-term partnership — and it can slow down the sales process.
Sales portals are a powerful, scalable tool for keeping sales processes organized, improving the prospect experience, and speeding up the sales cycle. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a sales portal?
A sales portal is a virtual workspace made for collaborating with prospects, buyers, and customers during the sales process. Sales portals are also known as digital sales rooms or sales deal rooms.
Think of a sales portal as a personal homepage for your buyers.
It replaces messy email threads or complicated shared drives and presents information, resources, and sales content related to the deal in a user-friendly way.
Ideally, a sales portal should be customized to fit the buyer's unique needs. It should also include:
- Pricing information
- Product overviews
- Sales content
- Team contact information
What are the benefits of a sales portal?
At first glance, a sales portal seems like a “nice to have” option for buyers — but it can be a game changer for closing deals more efficiently and improving customer relationships.
1. Information is easier to share, find, and use
Despite the mass amounts of information available to customers, it’s harder than ever to find content that is relevant and valuable to the buyer’s journey.
B2B buyers are doing more research on their own, which means they’ve already formed an opinion before they reach out to the sales team.
A sales portal is an opportunity to curate high-quality resources to help B2B buyers make sense of the information they’ve already gathered.
Easily upload videos, case studies, product pages, and more to your shared portal, creating a one-stop shop for customers to return to whenever they need a refresher.
2. Match customer communication and collaboration expectations
We’re way past closing business deals over a dinner table — but relying on Zoom meetings and phone calls is quickly becoming just as outdated.
Sales teams and buyers are busy, and when trying to schedule time around packed calendars and different time zones, it can take weeks longer to close a deal.
Sales portals provide a new way to work together without sacrificing face time. The sales portal can be used to upload videos, screen shares, product walkthroughs, or for an ongoing chat conversation with questions or next steps. Conversations move forward more efficiently, which means sales deals close faster.
3. Make personalization scalable
A one-size-fits-all sales approach is rarely the most efficient way to close a deal. Buyers require personalized interactions, recommendations, and resources, but delivering that at scale is time-consuming and expensive.
Sales portals deliver a templated, yet personalized, approach to scaling sales. Sales portals can be duplicated, edited, and customized to match the unique needs of each customer while still maintaining a structure that makes it easy to get deals off the ground.
Best practices for creating and maintaining sales portals
Sales portals are surprisingly simple to get up and running, especially when using the right tools. Before we dive into our sales portal software recommendations, let’s cover a few best practices to keep in mind as you’re getting started.
Create a portal template
Designing a sales portal template creates a standardized starting point to build on. Think of your template as a skeleton for each customer relationship: it provides the bare-bone basics that you can add to as sales conversations develop.
Here are some ideas on what to include in your template:
- Contact information: Include names, job titles, email addresses, and phone numbers of all team members and salespeople involved in the deal. Make it as easy as possible to get in touch.
- Value/goal summary: Describe the common goal in one or two sentences. Ensure everyone is on the same page about what you’re out to accomplish together.
- Mutual action plan and to-dos: Outline any next steps, needs, milestones, and other action items that will bring you closer to achieving your shared goal.
- Resources and documentation: Leave room to add product overviews, demos, case studies, reports, how-tos, FAQs, and other content.
Templates should be easy to customize, but depending on the range of your target audiences, you may also need multiple templates to make generating new sales portals even easier.
Use our free template: Dock’s free sales portal template is a great starting point for your company’s sales portal. Start from our template, then customize it to your sales process. You can also instantly personalize it for each customer with dynamic variables.
Introduce your sales portal early
Set the tone for collaboration by introducing prospects to sales portals early. Here’s a framework to naturally work your sales portal into your initial conversations:
1. Demo your sales portal at the end of your intro call
Before your first conversation or product demo with a prospect, get your sales portal set up and ready to go — but don’t share it quite yet. Use your initial conversation to populate as much of your templated content as possible, then use the last few minutes of your call to give your prospect a walk-through.
Explain the intention of using a sales portal, how it improves the sales process, and what they can expect to find when they visit the page. Use this opportunity to set expectations, answer any questions, and ask for any specific needs or requirements they’d like to see included.
2. Send a sales portal link instead of a recap or follow-up email
When your first call is complete, send a link to your newly created sales portal instead of a standard follow-up email. It’s a more organized way to recap your meeting notes and next steps, and it sets the tone for how to communicate moving forward.
💡 Pro tip: Include best practices or instructions within your sales portal on how to get the most out of the page. Recap the points made on your call, provide examples, or give instances of high-priority or urgent situations when the prospect should jump to email or a phone call instead.
3. Keep nudging them back to your sales portal
It can take a bit of time for your prospects to get comfortable communicating in your sales portal. If they’re still reaching out via email or over the phone, do your best to guide the conversation back to the portal.
Here are some easy ways to do that:
- “You can find those resources in our sales portal! I’ll resend the link.”
- “I’d be happy to send you a pricing quote. Check the sales portal for the latest update.”
- “I’ll be sure to recap the next steps from this conversation in our sales portal. Add any questions or additional requests there.”
It’s best to lead by example. Staying active in the sales portal can encourage your prospects to engage more. Be sure to quickly respond to any questions, requests, or concerns so prospects know the sales portal is a reliable way to connect.
Keep using the portal post-sale
A sales portal should constantly expand and evolve. As you work together to find the right solution for your customers, keep adding relevant content, resources, white papers, and information to your sales portal.
And as the relationship changes, the sales portal can too. After an initial deal closes, your sales portal might become:
- A customer onboarding portal
- A go-to spot for ongoing collaboration
- A reference source for knowledge content, support, and tips and tricks
- A general client portal
Remember: your sales portal isn’t just a tool that benefits your sales or marketing team. An easy-to-understand, sharable page also makes it easier for prospects to pitch your sales or services to their company decision-makers and stakeholders.
Top sales portal tools
Whether you’re an enterprise sales team or a team of one, sales portal software makes the process as easy as possible. Here are our top software recommendations.
It probably comes as no surprise that Dock is at the top of our list — but what can we say? Dock does things differently.
A Dock sales portal flips the script on old-school sales enablement tools. Rather than focusing solely on supporting sales reps, Dock empowers both sides of the table. It enables sales reps to stay organized and do their job more efficiently while also supporting the buyer champion (without doubling the work).
As a sales portal, Dock provides a single workspace to share between buyer champions and key internal stakeholders and decision-makers. It simplifies the process of creating and sharing content, resources, and communication — it even facilitates the sales order form process, all the way to getting the contract signed.
When the deal is done, a sales portal built in Dock easily transitions into a client onboarding portal. All relevant deal information stays right in one place, eliminating the need to rummage through old email chains or constantly resend resources and sales materials.
Here are some other reasons you may (or may not) want to choose Dock as a sales tool:
- Flexibility. Dock’s third-party embedding tools and modern editor lets you format sales portals to match each prospect’s needs. Build better customer experiences by prioritizing the information most relevant to your potential buyer — no code or programming required.
- Custom templates. Improve team productivity with templatized workspaces and sales pages. Automate the process of creating sales portals and create consistency across buyer journeys.
- Real-time collaboration. Use Dock to keep in touch with customers, your sales force, or other company teams. Track customer requests, ask your marketers to create new sales materials, or share internal resources all in the same place.
Allego is an incumbent sales enablement platform designed to support sales teams via content and training. While it promises customized buyer experiences and digital sales rooms, most of Allego’s features focus on improving seller efficiency and productivity.
For large teams looking to support sellers at scale, Allego’s a pretty powerful tool. But for mid-sized teams in need of a flexible solution that supports the entire customer journey — not just the buyer-seller relationship — Allego’s functionality can be both overkill and underwhelming.
GetAccept combines deal rooms and contract rooms under one platform to create a full-service digital sales room solution. It makes it easy for sales teams to organize lead and prospect information and to share content with prospective customers on customizable pages.
GetAccept’s strength is that it’s easy to use, but it comes with restrictions. Digital sales rooms are customizable but follow the same templated approach. Sellers can slot in unique information for each prospect but have little flexibility to build out content to match buyers’ unique needs and preferences.
DealHub’s DealRoom feature connects sellers and buyers in a customizable digital sales room. It brings together DealHub’s top features, like quotes and contracts, into a visually appealing, customer-facing display. For closing deals, it’s a pretty strong tool.
But DealHub’s value stops when the deal is done. Their features don’t translate to customer onboarding or client portals, meaning DealRoom users will need to transition to a second tool when the sales process is complete.
Build a better sales portal (and more) with Dock
Most sales portals focus on just one task: closing the deal. But the end of the sales process is the beginning of a much bigger relationship with the customer. You need a sales tool that can continue to deliver value, especially in that critical transition period between lead and customer.
Dock can do that. Go beyond your sales workflow to keep customers engaged and informed, regardless of where they are in the customer journey.
It only takes a few minutes to create a sales portal in Dock. Get started with a free trial today.