A deal desk can transform the way you do business. Just imagine if you could smooth out the jagged edges of each deal and plug their components into your CRM.
Deal desk software can help you break down even the most complex deals and give them a basic level of standardization. This allows you to share information easily.
Soon your organization will have visibility into bespoke pricing models, unique product information, and complex legal challenges for deals across your organization. Get started with this complete guide.
What is a deal desk?
A deal desk is a centralized location (or team) that consolidates information about complex and high-value deals to ensure they go smoothly from end-to-end. Deal desks require representation from multiple departments that impact those deals. That includes sales, product, legal, and finance.
How do deal desks work?
A deal desk allows multiple departments within an organization to contribute their expertise and help close high-impact deals. Collaboration can be especially helpful for complex or large-scale deals.
Deal desks can work for:
- Your power users.
- Atypical contracts.
- Atypical use cases.
- Detailed product/feature descriptions.
- Pricing structures.
A deal desk provides salespeople with the information, resources, and advice they need to cover those bases and seamlessly move customers through the sales cycle without bottlenecks.
Benefits of a Deal Desk
By now, you've probably already gathered some of thebenefits that come from deal desks. Here are some more notable outcomes.
- You can improve and shorten the sales cycle.
- The sales organization can align with other teams that can help close deals.
- You can efficiently approve high-value deals.
- You can standardize quotes.
- Stakeholders will have increased visibility and consistency throughout the buyer's journey.
- You can establish accessible documentation and insight for deal negotiation.
- Your legal team can ensure all of your deals are compliant. This is especially important when it comes to complex deals that have many intricacies.
How to Optimize Your Deal Desk
Here are some steps to help you optimize your deal desk for the greatest impact.
1. Determine the role of your deal desk.
To have an effective deal desk, determine its role and goals. Some potential purposes of your deal desk include:
- Managing the entire sales cycle for deals that hit a pre-defined level of complexity.
- Managing the sales process for deals that meet your team's definition of a high-value account.
- Negotiating deal details and prices.
- Providing insight on unique use cases.
- Offering detailed product knowledge.
2. Decide who will work on your deal desk.
A deal desk can incorporate input, expertise, and materials from a variety of sources. For this reason, it's common to include stakeholders from multiple departments on your deal desk. Consider reaching out to sales, legal, product, and finance.
Anyone who can smooth out and expedite the deal-closing process — especially when it comes to complex or high-value deals — should be included in your deal desk.
3. Define which deals your deal desk should cover.
This point is central to ironing out a deal desk's purpose. You need to have a firm picture of what kinds of deals you want your desk to cover.
As mentioned earlier, there aren't one-size-fits-all answers regarding the best ways to create your deal desk. It's up to your team to determine how large, complex, or valuable a deal needs to be to warrant your team’s attention and effort.
You can also pin down where in the sales cycle your deal desk will begin their involvement. In other words, decide at which point in the buyer's journey your deal desk team should come into play.
4. Create a deal desk process flow.
Another effective way to optimize your deal desk is by creating a deal desk process flow.
A deal desk process flow helps your team streamline and automate sales processes, tasks, and documentation that exist within your deal desk.
This entails the creation of workflows, documents, and templates to standardize deals. This documentation makes your team more efficient and aligns all members of the deal desk.
Another important aspect of your deal desk process flow is the software you implement to help manage all of these tasks. We'll cover some of your options shortly.
5. Analyze the success of your deal desk.
Analyzing your deal desk's success will only enhance your sales process. You can reduce the chances of bottlenecks, streamline cross-team alignment, and help your team close more deals.
To analyze the success of your deal desk — no matter which software you end up moving forward with — you'll need to choose which metrics to track.
For example, HubSpot offers customizable reports and dashboards to help you understand the success of your deal desk.
Here are some commonly used deal desk metrics you may want to track.
Deal Desk Metrics
This is one of the more straightforward metrics you can use to measure the efficacy of your deal desk. Profit tells you if your deal desk is effective and if the work of your stakeholders is paying off.
If the complex deals your desk informs aren't as profitable as you'd like them to be, you might want to reevaluate your sales cycle. Your definition of high-value accounts may change.
2. Win Rate
At its core, a deal desk supports the process of moving highly complex deals through the pipeline. Its primary purpose is to ensure as many of those deals are closed as possible.
That's why win rate — the percentage of closed deals that involved contributions from the deal desk divided by the total number of deals the desk was involved with — is an important metric.
Win rate helps determine your deal desk's efficacy. It's the most straightforward measure of how efficiently and effectively a deal desk operates.
3. Deal Size
Typically, the kinds of deals you tap a deal desk for are larger in size and impact than your average deals.
If you're noticing the deals you close with the help of your desk aren't as significant as you think they should be, you might need to adjust how the various stakeholders involved are communicating with your sales team.
You might also need to adjust your team's definition of a high-value/complex deal.
Additionally, review your deal desk's materials. Ensure they're thorough, up-to-date, and both understood and approved by the team.
4. Deal Quality
Based solely on the definition of a deal desk, it's clear the quality of your deals matters. After all, the deal desk only works with high-quality accounts.
Understanding the quality of each deal — or what the account brings to the table (e.g. revenue, notability, industry recognition, long-term contracts, etc) — is important.
There are several ways to track the quality of your deals using different metrics. Specific metrics related to deal quality include margin, cost of deal terms, sales cycle time, contract length, and profitability.
Deal Desk Software
Deal desk software is how you establish, maintain, and manage your deal desk. Here are three powerful options along with their benefits for your consideration.
HubSpot Deal Tracking Software gives your team the information they need to understand and prioritize all active deals.
Deals are created whenever a contact takes action. Then you can easily store, manage, and report on all of your deals within the tool.
Set triggers that tell you whenever a prospect takes action so you can personalize outreach and follow-up. This way, you can effectively target their needs and their location in the sales process.
You can also automate your sales playbooks to make the process of moving prospects through deals more effective.
Best for: Understanding and prioritizing every active deal within your pipeline and automatically syncing all contact records with your CRM.
Pro tip:Use HubSpot's Deal Tracking Software to understand active deals in your pipeline, prioritize them among your deal desk, and move them through the sales pipeline.
Price: Free versions of the software are available. Prices range from $45 a month for a starter plan, $450 a month for a professional plan, and $1,200 a month for an enterprise plan.
Workato is an intelligent automation platform. It offers integration and automation for your company, across all of your business workflows.
Within their Automation Marketplace, Workato offers a sales deal desk that specifically works between Slack and Salesforce. This feature can help you manage deals with the help of efficient approval workflows, real-time notifications, reminders, and automated reporting.
Use Workato's chat function to create quotes, approve deals, and get a complete view of all of your accounts. All sales data will be logged in your CRM for you directly from the chat.
Best for: Managing and updating all deal and contact information in Salesforce from Slack via buttons, drop-downs, and other commands.
Price: Available upon request.
RevOps is a tool that helps your sales team set up guardrails for the creation of quotes, approval workflows, and pricing models.
An account executive creates a quote within RevOps. The tool then calculates it to ensure accuracy.
Next, the quote is sent to the deal desk. Then, upon sharing the quote with the customer, they can enter the Deal Room and sign it. All records are saved within the software for your team.
Best for: Creating guardrails for your sales team to structure deals and establish approval workflows.
Price: A free version is available. Paid plans start at $50 per user each month.
How to Use Deal Desk Software
Next, let's take a moment to review how you can actually apply a deal desk software. Again, there are many deal desk tools available. For the sake of this post, we'll provide example deal desk software use cases in HubSpot.
1. Monitor your deals.
HubSpot makes it easy to monitor all of your deals. Deal desk stakeholders can review, prioritize, understand, and collaborate on active deals. You can also monitor the revenue related to each step of your sales cycle.
2. Optimize and automate your sales cycle.
HubSpot's reporting features allow you to assign new deals as well as determine and visualize which tasks your reps and stakeholders are responsible for.
Automate deal creation and follow-up communication in HubSpot by establishing triggers. Triggers can also be used to notify your deal desk team about prospects taking actions that you care about. That includes opening an email, downloading an educational resource, or reviewing pricing information.
3. Predict your revenue.
Use HubSpot to help your deal desk determine future revenue and the lifetime value of your most valuable prospects.
This information is synced with your HubSpot CRM's contact records so all information about deals and contacts is up-to-date for your team.
4. Customize deal scoring.
With HubSpot, your deal desk team can prioritize high-value contacts so your team is only focused on quality leads that meet certain criteria. This is easy with customizable deal scoring and predictive scoring in HubSpot.
5. Use deal desk software on the go.
Deals happen when prospects want to convert and close. That's why your deal desk team needs to be available at all times.
HubSpot makes this easy with its mobile app for iOS and Android so deal desk stakeholders can track all aspects of every deal while on the go.
Establish Your Deal Desk
A well-constructed deal desk can be a major asset to your sales org and your business as a whole. It can push highly complex deals through your pipeline consistently and efficiently.
When incorporating a deal desk at your business, determine and record its purpose. Then, track relevant KPIs you'll track to determine its success.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.