A high-value deal has just entered your pipeline and you’re pumped up about how it’d be a MAJOR WIN to close it. As is the case with such deals, the prospect comes up with a list of requests that they’d want to be fulfilled. But to your dismay, you don’t have a streamlined internal process to help you address these requests.
What happens next? The deal slips through the pipeline, obviously.
Quite a waste of opportunity, isn’t it?
The B2B sales market has become more and more complex, competitive. Closing an enterprise deal has become a colossal task today. You get involved in lengthy negotiations with many stakeholders at the same time, chasing them for approvals and sign-offs, only to see the deal not getting closed. Had there been a process to solve the complexity, such mishaps could’ve been avoided in the first place.
And this calls for the need to set up a deals desk, which eliminates the bottlenecks in the internal process during approvals of high-value deals.
Let’s take a deeper look at what it is, how to set it up, and more.
What is a Deal Desk?
A deal desk is a centralized team that takes care of the complex deals end-to-end and ensures the smooth closure of such deals. Be it getting buy-ins from respective teams on discounts, payment terms, NDAs, security-related inquiries, SLAs, etc., with a deal desk, all this happens in a seamless manner. Reps no more have to chase stakeholders and lose their way by negotiating with them.
The deal desk not only improves the sales efficiency but also increases conversions, reduces the sales cycle, and standardizes quotes. You can start to build a deal desk when your sales team has a minimum of 20-30 reps or when you start selling to enterprise businesses.
Why Set Up a Deal Desk
Simplifies Complex Deals
Ask any salesperson and they’ll tell you how painstaking it is to remember the compliance laws, data privacy terms, and discount approvals, etc. Not to add, they spend quite a bit of time maximizing upsell and cross-sell opportunities, which can be ineffective if they are stuck on a deal. As a result, you’d eventually miss the opportunity to convert potential clients.
With a deal desk, you’d have a detailed product portfolio in place, along with the approved discounts, payment terms, compliance, security agreements, and every other change. Sales teams have to look no further when they come across a complex deal, and can mainly focus on the task at hand rather than wasting time manually looking for each aspect of a deal.
Helps Streamline the Processes and Tools
Deal desk helps you standardize templates and approvals, thereby making the sales process seamless. You’d have approval guidelines for quotes, sign-offs, SLAs, NDAs, and other documents, removing the delays in closing the big deals.
Negotiating contracts and document submissions happen effectively, and reviewing gets done soon. With a standard set of tools being used, the sales cycle is shortened and closing deals become easier.
Consistency in Decision Making
Deal desk helps maintain consistency in decision-making for complex deals, be it with contract amendments, liability costs, etc. This ensures that we are not revisiting the same decision across multiple regions. Any decision taken is quickly standardized and added as part of the central guidelines. Any future deal that requires similar amendments gets approved much faster.
The deal desk gives you clarity on your agenda, and how you want your business to grow. And based on these, you’ll have an idea of what kind of deals you can close, and which ones to let go of.
The Role of a Deal Desk Analyst
The Deal desk analyst acts as the primary source of contact when there’s a request or question for enterprise deals, and works closely with sales, legal, revenue, and other cross-functional teams on deal structuring, discounting, etc. They help facilitate the deal process and ensure that the high-value deals get closed.
Anyone with a Business Analyst background, Pre Sales Engineers, IT Analysts, and Legal Analysts can take the role of a deal desk analyst.
How to Build a Deal Desk
As you begin setting up a deals desk, make sure to set clear expectations. Precisely define the objective of a deal desk, and ensure that the persons involved have the same set of information. This helps eliminate the hassle that may come with the process, thereby creating transparency and visibility, while reducing the sales cycle.
Define What Deals Fall Under Deal Desk
Have a clear picture of the kind of deals (how large or complex the deals should be) that you want the deal desk to take care of. Also, decide when you want the deal desk to step in during the sales cycle. In most cases, you may want them from the very beginning for high-value deals.
Know the Buyer’s Journey
By the time your customer reaches you or your competitor, they would’ve gone through a set process before taking the decision. Get to know thoroughly about the buyer’s journey at each stage of sales, and take it into consideration while creating a deal desk. Ensure that every team is completely aware of your prospect’s journey so that the chances of signing a deal are higher for every lead.
To further improve your sales efficiency, automate the repetitive tasks that take a major chunk of your time. Have a thorough look at your process, identify the ones you want to automate (Like creating accounts, managing internal approvals, or writing contracts), and know how it would impact your team’s performance.
Metrics to Determine the Deal Desk Efficiency
To know how efficient your deal desk really is, consider the following three metrics:
The primary objective of a deal desk is to facilitate the closure of high-value deals. When the deals closed by your team fall short of your expectations, then there’s scope for improvement.
Is your deal desk helping you sign a sizeable amount of deals? If yes, you’re on the right track.
Win rate = The % of deals closed with deal desk contribution / The total number of deals with which the desk was involved
Deal Cycle Duration
When sales reps have to reach out to stakeholders from different teams for approvals & requests, the average time taken to close deals increases. But with a deal desk, this duration should be reduced considerably. This is an important metric that impacts your business velocity and hence your bottom line.
When the deal desk has the authority to see deals through, then you’re in a far better place in converting high-value clients. Your reps no longer have to burn their time in follow-ups, and manual research, and avoid mistakes that can cost you the deal. More high-value deals on the pipeline? BRING IT ON.