The idea of a deal desk is nothing new to many sales organizations. The need to treat critical and non-standard deals separately has rapidly given rise to this specialized function over the past few years.
So, what happens when you are not realizing the expected benefits like shorter sales cycles, increased ASP, or ease of doing business? It’s time to re-examine your deal desk setup and align it with your overall revenue enablement strategy.
To read about how your marketing team affects the revenue desk, read What Role Does Your Marketing Team Play in the Revenue Desk
Why Your Deal Desk May Be Failing
If you are like most companies, your deal desk has evolved into a catch all for many different types of deals. What was once reserved for the exceptional deal, can quickly become an over-taxed resource that gets pulled into many standard deals. Deal desks also potentially evolve over time to include many different cross-functional team members. The need for pricing, legal, finance, accounting, and other groups to be represented has likely made your deal desk team very diverse. Therefore, it is critical to align the deal desk strategy with your approach to enabling the sales organization to drive revenue.
It isn’t just your sales organization that affects your customer relationships and ultimately closing deals. Traditional sales enablement only addresses the sales force. What are you doing to enable the other members of your organization that are impacting your customer’s journey? If you are not getting the uplift you expect from your deal desk, it is likely because your cross-functional team is not being enabled to drive revenue.
Levers You Can Pull to Get Your Deal Desk Back on Track
Now that we’ve identified where many deal desks are falling short, what can be done to correct course? It starts with a mapping of all the different functions that are involved. Who is doing what, and how heavily are they involved in a typical deal? Once you know who is involved, it’s time to figure out where the bottlenecks are. For instance, do you have repeated touch points with pricing and legal? Once you map out the typical deals being processed through your deal desk, you might uncover surprising results.
See our Deal Desk Tool to help you diagnose your current deal desk touch points and surface any inefficiencies.
I recently went through this mapping process with a sales leader and he was shocked to find out that 4 different people were contacting one of his more strategic clients. The client preferred 1 point of contact and was becoming frustrated with having multiple discussions with different functions from the deal desk. The sales leader and account manager were able to correct this, but there was no visibility to how the customer was perceiving the experience before the exercise.
Enabling Your Team
The next step is to educate and enable the deal desk team. Train the different functions to be aligned with your overall sales strategy to maximize revenue. Designate cross-functional leads to conduct revenue enablement within their specific group. Provide them with the same job-aids sales uses such as battle cards, personas, playbooks, account plans, etc. Keep them informed on updates to revenue enablement strategies and include them in QBR’s or other appropriate quarterly sales meetings.
Don’t Overlook the Customer’s Perspective
The last piece many organizations over look is to view the deal desk through the eyes of the customer.
All of the enablement training in the world will not overcome a poor experience from the customers point of view. Ease of doing business should be a desired benefit of this process, so it’s critical to ensure the customer’s journey is considered at all times.
- Who do they come in contact with?
- Is there only 1 point of contact, or is each member of the deal desk able to contact them?
- What is their takeaway from the interaction?
- Did it add to the customer experience and promote the ease of doing business or was it viewed negatively by the customer?
Constantly framing up your deal desk reviews through this lens will help your team keep the customer experience top of mind and ultimately lead to increased wins.
Leverage our Deal Desk Tool to receive assistance in mapping out your re-vamped deal desk, identify major players, roles, and leads of your deal desk, and compare groups within your deal desk based on level of importance assigned to them.
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