Digital Sales Rooms vs. Deal Execution Platform: What’s Best for You?

By 2025, 80% of interactions between B2B buyers and sellers will be conducted through digital channels. Explore Digital Sales Rooms vs Deal Platforms and find out which is best for your revenue team.

Digital Sales Room vs. Deal Execution Platform

Digital selling is the norm for most B2B SaaS companies, with projections indicating that by 2025, around 80% of interactions between B2B buyers and sellers will be conducted through digital channels. This shift highlights how much buyer behaviors are changing, and why businesses need to adopt tools like digital sales rooms and deal execution platforms in order to remain competitive. 

As the name suggests, a digital sales room (DSR) is a virtual platform that facilitates sales activities online. From product demonstrations to content sharing, real-time communications, and deal negotiations, DSRs bring buyers and sellers together online. Typically, these platforms are used by frontline sellers because they cater to individuals involved in prospecting, lead nurturing, and deal closing activities. 

Deal execution platforms are also digital tools, but rather than just focusing on collaboration, these platforms manage the entire sales cycle and provide teams with the tools they need to be successful. From account planning and mutual action plans to closing deals and onboarding customers, deal execution platforms can do it all. Generally, sales teams and sales enablement professionals use deal execution platforms, but legal departments and other stakeholders may use them as well. 

In this article, we’ll explore the functionalities and advantages of both digital sales rooms and deal execution platforms, alongside potential drawbacks. We’ll also offer guidance on how to determine which platform is the best choice for your business. 

Let’s dive in!

What is a Digital Sales Room?

A digital sales room, often referred to as a “virtual sales room” or “deal room,” is a digital platform or software solution designed to facilitate sales activities online. It brings buyers and sellers together in a secure environment where sellers can interact with buyers to showcase their products and services, share information, and negotiate deals. 

Key features: 

  • Virtual meeting rooms: DSRs offer virtual meeting rooms where sellers can conduct product demos, build quotes, and engage with prospects in real time. 
  • Analytics: DSRs track how prospects interact with shared documents and emails, including document views, time spent on each page, and click-through rates. This allows sellers to customize their follow-ups based on the prospects interactions and track and measure the effectiveness of their sales efforts. 
  • Document management: DSRs offer centralized document management, which enables sellers to share presentations, case studies, and other sales material with prospects. 
  • Content repository: Resources such as sales playbooks, scripts, and other sales collateral are stored in a centralized repository. This makes it easy for reps to access content as needed, while also providing a single source of truth for sales-related content. 
  • Integrations: DSRs offer integrations with other sales and marketing tools, such as CRMs, email marketing software, and other automation platforms. 

These features enable organizations to streamline their sales processes and drive better outcomes. 

Examples of digital sales rooms include: 

  • Allego: Allego provides a Digital Sales Rooms that acts as a central hub where sellers and buyers can communicate, share content, and align.
  • Highspot: Highspot is a sales enablement tool that centralizes sales content and training materials. With a centralized content repository, it makes new rep onboarding and team-wide collaboration easier. Additionally, Highspot allows reps to share relevant content, such as customer success stories or product demos, with prospects and track performance. 
  • Aligned: Aligned provides a digital sales room for sales and customer success reps. AEs can manage deals by consolidating conversations, processes, and resources into a digital sales room.

These examples highlight the capabilities of digital sales rooms. With features such as real-time communication, analytics (including how prospects interact with shared documents and emails, as well as activity tracking), and document management, digital sales rooms help sales teams streamline processes and drive meaningful engagements with prospects and customers. 

Benefits of a Digital Sales Room

Digital sales rooms offer many benefits, including the consolidation of essential sales resources, tools, and information in a single platform. This centralization empowers sellers by providing them with the insights they need to be successful, thereby improving sales efficiency.

Additional benefits of a digital sales room include: 

  • Seamless collaboration: With features such as real-time communication, it’s easy to communicate with prospects, customers, and internal stakeholders. 
  • Data-driven insights: DSRs provide reps with up-to-date analytics and reporting, which enables them to make informed decisions about what accounts to focus on and follow up with. 
  • Improved productivity: Repetitive tasks, such as data entry and follow-up notifications, sellers can spend their time focusing on strategic activities, such as prospecting, nurturing leads, and closing deals. 
  • Customized prospect engagement: DSRs allow reps to customize their outreach, providing a better prospect experience. With customized content, interactive presentations, and virtual engagement tools, it’s easier for sellers to demonstrate the value of their product or service. 
  • Greater accessibility: Since DSRs are virtual in nature, reps and prospects can be based anywhere, but still communicate through a centralized platform. 

DSRs also enable buyers to take control of their purchasing journey and make informed decisions autonomously by offering self-service portals. These portals allow buyers to explore information and resources and engage with the content provided by the sales rep without requiring direct interaction with the seller, enhancing buyer engagement.

Drawbacks of a Digital Sales Room

While DSRs offer numerous benefits, they also have some potential drawbacks. These include: 

  • Difficulties building rapport: Without face-to-face interactions, it’s harder to read non-verbal cues such as body language or connect with prospects in a meaningful way. When rapport is limited to online interactions, trust may be compromised as a result. 
  • Dependent on technology: DSRs are dependent on technology, meaning if system outages, software glitches, or internet outages occur, it disrupts the sales process and can create a negative prospect experience. 
  • Potential security risks: With data breaches becoming more common, storing sensitive data in DSR software carries an innate risk — regardless of how secure it is. 
  • Information overload: While having a centralized platform for the essential sales resources, tools, and information is convenient, it can also lead to information overload. Some reps may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content and data available, or may not know where to find specific information or how to interpret the analytics, leading to inefficiencies. 
  • Impersonal outreach: With the ability to automate tasks such as email follow-ups, some reps may become over reliant on automation, leading to a lack of personalization in outreach. 

Additionally, DSRs may require manual effort for tasks like content updates or sending reminders, which can hinder efficiency. The seller is also responsible for updating all assets, which means if a seller forgets to make an update, buyers may see outdated material. This can lead to buyer confusion or frustration, and may impact the effectiveness of the sales process. 

What is a Deal Execution Platform?

A deal execution platform is a digital tool that focuses on the execution of business deals. Deal execution platforms go beyond collaboration and manage the entire sales cycle, including onboarding processes. These platforms provide teams with the tools they need to be successful — from account planning and mutual action plans to closing deals and onboarding customers. 

During the sales process, deal execution platforms outline the business case so buyers and sellers can focus on the organization’s goals and challenges, rather than merely showcasing features and functionality. This helps businesses make more informed decisions about whether to move forward with a new product or service, and also ensures the seller’s organization is bringing in clients that are an ideal fit. 

Key features include: 

  • Robust content management: Sales teams can organize, share, and update content with ease. Plus, it’s all stored in a centralized location which ensures everyone is working from the most up-to-date information. 
  • Methodology enforcement: Deal execution platforms help ensure alignment across the organization by integrating best practices directly into the platform. This ensures reps are following the processes and workflows required to close key deals. 
  • Repeatable playbooks: Predefined playbooks and templates for common sales scenarios can be stored within deal execution platforms, which improves efficiency while streamlining sales processes. 
  • Deal criteria: Deal criteria and qualification can be tracked throughout the sales process in deal execution platforms, allowing reps to focus their efforts on deals that are most likely to close, and reduce slipped deals. 
  • Account planning: Deal execution platforms also support account planning by providing customizable templates, stakeholder mapping, business case outlines, and more. 

Examples of deal execution platforms: 

  • Accord: Accord is a deal execution platform that helps revenue teams drive execution excellence. Enabling GTM teams to set standards, drive accountability and enforce a repeatable process, Accord helps revenue teams guarantee adoption of their sales and cs process and methodology so they can spend less time on non-selling activities, and more time executing on deals.  As the source of truth for your defined deal criteria, buyer engagement, and sales & onboarding timelines, Accord helps revenue teams streamline, simplify, and inspect their sales and onboarding process, while improving forecasting accuracy and up-leveling execution to drive win rates and time-to-value.

These examples illustrate how deal execution platforms enforce standards, streamline sales processes, and drive new business. 

Benefits of Deal Execution Platform

There are many benefits to using a deal execution platform, including the automation of workflows and processes related to deal execution; crm integration; analytics and reporting on deal progress and performance; and centralized document management for resources such as playbooks and contacts.

Additional benefits include: 

  • Real-time insights: By aggregating and analyzing data from various sources across the sales cycle, deal execution platforms provide real-time insights into deals. This allows sales managers and revenue leaders to monitor key opportunities at various stages, empowering proactive management. Plus, equipped with real-time insights, reps can make informed decisions about where to focus their efforts or what challenges may arise. 
  • Improved sales enablement: Deal execution platforms have the ability to incorporate methodologies and best practices directly into the platform. This provides a structured, cohesive workflow for reps to follow. Using proven workflows and templates, reps can easily follow the step-by-step process required to win key accounts. 
  • Streamlined onboarding: With automated workflows and centralized onboarding resources, deal execution platforms create a smoother, more structured onboarding experience for new customers. This increases customer satisfaction, and also reduces the likelihood of churn. 

The benefits offered by deal execution platforms empower sales teams to enforce their gtm standards, drive revenue growth and improve the customer experience. 

Drawbacks of a Deal Execution Platform

The sections above outlined the key features and benefits of deal execution platforms, but there are some potential drawbacks to consider as well. These include: 

  • Resistance from sales teams: Sales teams that are accustomed to a less structured approach may be resistant or struggle to adapt to a highly defined sales process. Some reps prefer following their own processes and have more autonomy in the sales journey. Introducing a deal execution platform with predefined workflows and methodologies may require more effort to help reps overcome resistance and adopt the new technology. 
  • Team-based licensing: These platforms are built for teams versus individuals, meaning licenses can’t be purchased for one person. The benefit of this is that it ensures alignment across the organization, but it can also pose a challenge for businesses with limited resources or small teams. 
  • Ongoing maintenance: Sales leaders and enablement teams need to maintain and update the platform and communicate any changes to the sales team. They also need to monitor and address any technical issues that arise. 

By being aware of these potential drawbacks and proactively addressing them, organizations can maximize the benefits of deal execution platforms while mitigating any associated challenges. 

Conclusion - Which is Best for My Team?

Now that you’re well versed in the differences between a digital sales room and deal execution platform, you may be wondering which is the best option for your team. As you weigh the pros and cons, consider these guiding questions: 

  1. How intricate is your sales process? Are there multiple stages, stakeholders, and decision makers involved? If you answered yes, then a deal execution platform might make more sense because it’s better suited to manage complex sales cycles and enforce structured workflows. 
  2. Is alignment and visibility among teams and customers a nice to have or must have? Consider the level of collaboration required among your sales teams, stakeholders, and customers. If document sharing, interactive presentations, and seamless communication are critical components of your sales process, you can go with either a DSR or a deal execution platform. However, if you want clear buyer-validated, real-time, insights with the ability to invite unlimited stakeholders, you may want to move forward with a deal execution platform. 
  3. What are your goals for sales performance and scalability? Is your organization aiming to drive significant growth and expansion in your sales operations? If you answered yes, a deal execution platform might be a better option because it provides the tools needed to manage complex sales processes, analyze performance metrics, and scale operations. In contrast, if your organization is more focused on speed versus scale, a DSR may work best. 
  4. Does the solution integrate with your existing systems? When evaluating solutions, consider the compatibility and integration capabilities with your current tools and systems. You want to make sure that whatever you select can seamlessly integrate with your current workflows and processes. 
  5. What’s your budget and team size? Consider your organization’s budget and team size. Typically, deal execution platforms require a higher initial investment because they’re built for teams versus individuals. Therefore, if your budget is limited or you have a very lean team, a DSR may be a more cost-effective solution for you. 

Take your time asking and answering these questions, and involve all relevant stakeholders. The goal isn’t just to make a decision — it’s to make the best decision for your team. As you navigate this decision-making journey, keep your business’s current and future goals, objectives, and priorities in mind.