The selling environment has changed but amongst all of that change a few things remain the same: you want to hire and develop top talent, accelerate your team’s productivity and maximize value for your company and customers.
Recently, I came to the conclusion that sales leaders are more relatable than not, regardless of their industry, company size, or target customer profile. I often hear “Absolutely, we’re trying to solve for the same thing. How do you handle it?”
I’ve had the pleasure of working with and selling to sales leaders for most of my two decades in sales. I spent 13 years at Salesforce helping the company grow from a single product to the industry leader that they are today. At Coda, I’m struck with how similar the needs are whether you are at an established organization or a fast-scaling startup: drive alignment and accountability, accelerate sales cycles, increase execution, and decrease time to ramp.
While I’ve had a few original ideas, I’m not ashamed to admit that I stole the majority of my playbook from others. Steve Jobs said that, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Why reinvent the wheel when someone has already done this?
That’s what led us to Coda’s Ultimate Handbook for Sales. It’s a collection of frameworks to solve some of the perennial challenges facing any sales team. Anyone can copy, steal, or modify these to perfectly fit their needs.
So what does this mean for sales teams that leverage Coda?
Better team selling
Improved sales execution
Increased sales team productivity that leads to more wins
I’d love to hear from you as you give it a read — connect with me on
Coda is the new operating system that evolves sales productivity.
“Our CRO has no idea where all the docs are or what’s in them. It takes hours to get an update on anything. Coda gives us centralized accountability and peace of mind. This is our one-stop shop that helps us all stay on the same page.”
In almost every sales org I’ve worked or managed, I’ve consistently observed these challenges:
Leaders lack realtime account strategy clarity
With higher pressure on sales targets, realtime understanding of the current state and strategy for a given book of business is no longer a luxury. Yet leaders are mired in Slacks, emails, calls, and hacked-together slides, sheets and reports to understand how they’ll hit their revenue target.
Reps spend more time on updates than actual selling
On top of leadership pings, reps are at the center of a much larger list of stakeholders — from their deal team, to their new prospects, to their current accounts — and are stuck between the tools that each of these groups depend on. The result: less time selling, more time coordinating.
Sales Ops lack consistency and accountability
From forecasting, to enablement, ops teams are increasingly left firefighting a growing list of ad hoc requests, disconnected tools, and fragile systems — instead of building well designed strategies to help the business succeed in their goals. Reactivity has become the norm.
You have your CRM. You have all of your sales & productivity tools. But there is no platform that can bring them all together—so teams default to a web of docs, sheets, and slides. At the end of the day, while software isn’t the only reason these challenges exist, the refrain I’ve heard from sales teams is clear: where you work together, determines how you work together. Once upon a time the CRM felt like a step-change for sellers. Now, with the addition of thousands of other connected sales tools, it increasingly feels like we’ve created a new set of information silos instead of a harmonious “single source of truth”. And in a world where sales productivity has taken center stage, accepting the status quo is no longer an option.
That’s where Coda fits in. Coda is an all-in-one solution, which means at its core it can enhance, reduce, and ultimately replace many parts of the existing sales tool stack. But more importantly, Coda is both a familiar tool that individual reps will embrace in the same way they embrace docs and sheets for their plans and forecasts, and a connected tool that creates synchronized clarity for every team involved in the sale.
Start connecting your team, data, and processes with these Coda solutions built by sales teams, for sales teams:
1. Sales Team Hubs:Drive better alignment and keep your team organized.
Information you share with your team sprawls across email, messaging, docs, sheets, slides, CRM, enablement system, etc. What is the one link your team goes to for everything they need to perform their role effectively? It’s a Coda Team Hub.
Let’s start with the core thesis: where you work together, determines how you work together. Team selling is how deals get done, especially as sales cycles get more complicated. Yet, as we’ve worked with hundreds of sales teams, it’s striking just how few (if any) of them have a true “team hub” — a place where teams congregate to share progress, enable each other, and drive momentum across the year and quarter. And while larger sales teams are typically distributed based on territory, the broader migration to hybrid has further cemented that the tribal knowledge of the sales floor needs a better digital home.
The simplest (and often most delightful) way to start with Coda is setting up your Sales Team Hub — a place to organize people, information, meetings, metrics, and rituals that keep your sales teams connected and collaborative throughout the year. This Hub is a one stop shop for your team, and is designed to reduce the “meh” out of your team meetings. But most importantly, it’s a way to drive faster time to ramp and productivity, and less overall meeting time — giving more time back to selling.
Hubs are simply a collection of pages in Coda, centralized, organized, and customized to how your team operates. It often contains your team structure, how your team operates (ex. meeting frequency, best practices), your team’s current goals and progress, and meeting notes. More advanced cases even automate some of the team operation — from AI meeting summaries, to gamified team building.
2. Account Planning: Improve team selling and increase close rates.
Selling is a team sport. But each team has their own system, playbook, and process that usually don’t connect. Sheets, slides, and docs are a band-aid approach that quickly becomes stale. What is the one link you will use to build and execute your account strategy? It’s the Coda Account Plan.
The core of sales team technology challenges tie back to its beating heart — the CRM. These products have been built around the concept of single source of truth, storing all activity from account to company forecast in one structured place. And while these tools our powerful and well structured, their utility continues to suffer from the normal behaviors and user experience expectations of the average deal team:
In whitespacing their accounts and updating their forecasts, reps want flexibility to use what matches their working style, often resorting to offline tools like Google Docs, Sheets, and even paper or whiteboards to sketch out their strategy.
The flexibility that reps desire also extend to their account teams — from SEs to CSMs, each team often has their own template and set of tools for managing the account end to end, built off a common understanding stored in the CRM. More tool silos, more fragmentation.
The lack of consistency in these approaches creates a huge headache for Leaders and Ops alike — if no two account teams work the same way, how can you possibly understand rep efficiency? How can you ensure your sales methodology (ex. MEDDICC) are consistently applied and are achieving results?
Coda’s Account Plans (aka Account Hubs) are an extension of your CRM — intentionally designed to drive daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly rituals around your accounts, while staying fully synchronized with your CRM source of truth. Coda Account Plans give the flexibility of docs and sheets for account strategy sketches and notes, with simple tracking to enable your deal team to focus and prioritize their day to day account activities. And the best part — you have a consistent, up-to-date place that your leaders can go to to understand the current state of your accounts — no ad hoc meetings necessary.
3. Mutual Action Plans:Improve deal execution and accelerate speed to closure.
You have a timeline that you shared with your prospect. But you also shared other documents, slides, assets, videos, and information that is hard for everyone involved to keep track of. What is the one link you share with your prospect to stay aligned? It’s Coda Mutual Action Plan.
Why should your team use Coda for mutual action plans?
You have your account strategy perfectly laid out with your deal team. But how do you make it actionable for your prospect? The traditional model is sharing something familiar — a doc, a spreadsheet, a folder in your Google Drive, or (gasp) an email thread. But while this approach seems simple for your prospect to digest, are they really committing to the steps and feeling accountable to the deal? In the best case, reps are relegated to managing deal progress through ad hoc comms channels. In the worst, a rep can feel more like a project manager than a business partner, nudging internal and external stakeholders through steps they find annoying and unimportant, and missing opportunities to more strategically accelerate the deal.
With mutual action plans in Coda, you get all of the benefits of flexible, familiar, and shareable doc and spreadsheet surfaces, with delightful features that make mutual action plans feel complete, well designed, and — dare we say — fun to engage with. The basic plan layout can be supercharged with AI features, integrations, and automations that make summarizing notes, actions, and deal progress feel like they’re on autopilot. And with 100s of embeds and integrations, you can ensure that your prospect won’t only use this as a point-in-time solution, but will consider it the one-stop-shop for all discussions around your product — from initial negotiation, to implementation, to renewal and beyond.
4. Bonus:your new Sales Operating System
Reimagine your Sales tool stack. Enhance tools you need to run the business, reduce unnecessary licenses for tools you only use a percentage of, and replace the long tail of apps that are essentially glorified spreadsheets. Coda can solve 100s of ad hoc use cases with simple, reusable templates.
The sales tool stack is large, and grows on what feels like a daily basis. From email automation to prospecting tools, sales teams are constantly looking for a way to get an edge over the competition. And while there likely exists a dozen tools for every individual need a sales person has these days, the result is a scattered mess of products that, even when integrated with your CRM, create data silos and inconsistent visibility into what’s actually moving your deals forward.
The good news — in so many cases, what reps or leaders are looking for is rarely the 100% case of what any tool provides. Sending a custom and personalized email to a short list of decision makers shouldn’t require tens of thousands of dollars, a vendor security review, and dozens of other features you already have elsewhere. A forecasting spreadsheet shouldn’t require a Salesforce admin to configure.
While Coda appears to be the familiar doc and sheet surface of your dreams, it’s so much more. Coda’s building blocks enable makers to build what feel like micro-apps, integrating, automating, and AI-ing dozens of workflows that you would otherwise spend thousands for. And the best part — you don’t even have to build them yourself. Coda’s Gallery surfaces a ton of templates that are pre-built for you, and can be deployed in an instant to your existing account plans.
Ready to jump in?
Check out the rest of the Handbook for how to build and scale solutions on Coda: