Does your sales team use a deal desk? According to a SalesGlobe survey, 70 percent of companies have a deal desk in their sales organization, but nearly 30 percent aren’t sure what it is. A deal desk is a central hub that allows stakeholders to work together. While every deal desk looks different, its purpose is the same—to streamline the sales cycle and eliminate confusion between teams and stakeholders.

While most sales teams manage deals through meetings, emails and manually creating documents, this process can slow things down and lead to errors. According to Mark Lerner, head of marketing at RevOps, deal desks create efficiency, speed and greater visibility.

However, it’s not enough to simply have a deal desk, he says. You should know how to optimize your deal desk. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Lerner’s road map to succeeding with a deal desk.

Know how you’ll use the deal desk. Lerner notes that deal desks are typically reserved for managing the flow of complex, non-standard deals. Take time to define the kinds of deals you will run by your deal desk so your sales reps stay aware.

Identify responsibilities. Many functions help a deal desk run smoothly, including legal, accounting and sales. As a leader, it’s up to you to clarify each person’s role and how they fit in with the process.

Consider the customer journey. When it comes to optimizing your deal desk, Lerner says it’s important for everyone to understand the customer journey. Think about how they learn about your company, what other products or services they are considering and what criteria they use before buying.

Create an established process. Your deal desk should enable your sales reps and other stakeholders to work efficiently. With an official process in place, you can shorten the review process. Lerner recommends creating templated proposals to streamline standard deals.

Optimize approval workflows. Lerner points out that without a deal desk, sales teams often lack the approval process needed to handle custom pricing. A deal desk helps set the boundaries for sales reps to make decisions independently.

Align strategy. Many deals involve professionals from all different areas, from sales to legal to communications. While sales reps understand the sales strategy, when other stakeholders involved in the deal desk are not familiar with it, it can complicate the deal. According to Lerner, all teams must be on the same page when it comes to the sales strategy.

Describe what success looks like. Just like with anything else, you have to know what success looks like to determine if your deal desk is working. Is your goal to create greater alignment between teams or to decrease the amount of incorrectly priced contracts that get sent out? The answer is different for every sales organization, but you should always know what success looks like for your team.

Communicate frequently. Remember that deal desks shouldn’t be static, Lerner says. Keep everyone involved updated with regular meetings, reviews and close coordination.

Having a deal desk can drive sales efficiency by keeping critical information and involving key stakeholders in one central spot. They can also help prevent sales bottlenecks by streamlining all necessary documentation. When you take time to create and maintain a deal desk, you help your sales reps avoid getting bogged down and free up their time to better serve their customers.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Mark Lerner is the founding marketer and head of marketing at RevOps.