As a sales leader, you are always looking for ways to make your team more productive. At the end of the day, you want your sales team to be data-driven, you want them to react in real-time, and you want to do it with efficiency. You want your best reps to spend the most time chasing after the largest opportunities, but those opportunities don’t come knocking every day. When a big deal comes along, you need your team to be efficient and to get it right the first time. You need alignment across the organization, and everyone needs to work in unison because deals this big are too important to screw up. So how do you ensure that your team is best positioned for success? What you need is a deal desk.
What Is a Deal Desk, and Why Do We Need It?
A deal desk is a cross-functional team that meets on a periodic basis with the intent to discuss large opportunities in the pipeline. Typically, a deal desk includes representation from sales, finance, product, legal, marketing, and customer support, but your attendees may vary depending on your organization’s structure. The purpose of the deal desk is to gather all key influencers in one place to discuss large opportunities so that they can smoothly sail through the pipeline. The benefits of a deal desk include increased win rates, larger deal size, a shortened sales cycle, and improved deal terms. Not to mention that a well-executed deal desk has been shown to have a 5% increase in your team’s productivity.
The deal desk helps your organization evaluate large deals to see if they are a good fit before sinking valuable time and resources into them. Remember, at the end of the day, it isn’t just about sales. In order to effectively move deals through your pipeline, you need the cooperation of all facets of your organization.
Who Should Be Involved, and Why?
Download our Deal Desk Flow Chart to map out the role that each piece of the organization plays as the deal moves through the sales process. Cooperation and representation are key in setting yourself up to have the most successful cross-functional deal desk.
Sales Reps: Your sales reps should be involved in the deal desk by bringing to the table the large deals they are working on. They will need to do their research prior to coming to the meeting and need to present their case on why the prospect would be a good fit. This process ultimately makes them more prepared for the sale because they will have increased confidence and knowledge.
Product: The product team should be represented because they become heavily involved when a customer requests new features or products. Involving product in the deal desk helps you adhere to your product roadmap rather than bringing on customers who may have needs beyond product’s current plans for implementation.
Marketing: Marketing should be involved in deal desk decisions as well. To read about how your marketing team affects the deal desk, read What Role Does Your Marketing Team Play in the Revenue Desk.
Customer Success: Customer success should be represented because the deal desk process will weed out the customers who are not a good fit, which lessens the load on your support teams. A poor fit of a customer means more customizations and potential complaints if their expectations are not met.
The deal desk process has clear benefits for everyone involved. Your sales team is able to work with increased efficiency, and by working through the deal with key members of the organization outside of sales, you now have their guaranteed support when it comes to onboarding, customer success, and product requirements.
How Do We Get Started?
- Set up a recurring meeting for your sales reps and leadership. Monday mornings are an excellent time for this meeting before everyone has their calendar bogged down with other meetings.
- Be sure to invite representatives from product, customer success, finance, marketing, and any other key players in your organization.
- Define what deals should be taken to the deal desk. This may be in terms of a dollar amount, the number of seats on a subscription, or any other measure that makes sense for your business. Remember, you don’t have time to review every deal, so be selective.
Here Are a Few Tips to Have a Successful Deal Desk:
- Force your sales team to be prepared by enforcing the one-meeting limit. Set the precedence that the majority of deals will be approved with one call. Rarely should two calls be used, and it should be reserved for special cases only.
- Don’t allow your deal desk to become a discount approval board.
- Don’t allow non-exceptional deals to come across the deal desk
- Frame your deal desk through the customer’s lens. Think about their interactions with your team. Do they interact with one or multiple people? How would lack of cohesion negatively affect them?
- Finally, use the deal desk flow chart to map out your process. The deal desk flowchart tool maps out a sample deal and the role that each piece of the organization plays as the deal moves through the sales process. Use this template to customize it with your own sales process and critical organizational players. Then, take your customized deal desk flowchart and distribute it along with the meeting agenda to be shared with all participants.
When a big deal comes along, you want your entire team to be prepared and ready to take action. If you waste time aligning with different facets of the organization, the deal will stall in your pipeline. A deal desk is one of the many tools you can use to maximize the productivity of your sales organization, increase deal size, and improve win rates. The deal desk is easy to implement and has been shown to have a 5% increase in your team’s productivity right away. If you are looking for more ways to maximize efficiency, or if you need to identify other areas of improvement in order to make your number, take our Revenue Growth Diagnostic to identify key areas of opportunity in your sales organization.