Hiring a Deal Desk Manager: What You Need To Know
With enterprise sales becoming more and more complex in recent years, B2B companies have turned toward creating centralized processes to close deals and rope in relevant stakeholders to ensure a deal’s success. Known as the deal desk, having such a centralized process in your sales team grants several benefits:
- Deals are hashed out faster due to involving more of the right people
- Risk is minimized thanks to due diligence during the contract drafting phase by legal and compliance departments
- Customers are happier due to more flexible and customized deal terms
- Churn is lower thanks to the direct and indirect effects of the above
A deal desk is thus a central part of any B2B sales organization, and having the right team members is crucial to its success. One such team member is the deal desk manager. In this post, we’ll explain what a deal desk manager does, how to craft the perfect deal desk manager job description, and questions to ask during the interview. Let’s dive in!
What is a deal desk manager?
A deal desk manager is responsible for smooth sales operations within the deal desk. They work closely with sales and operations leadership to craft streamlined processes for each deal and customer. Their role is highly specialized in deal structuring, execution, and scaling sales operations across the board. As the key strategist in how to optimize complex deal structures, the deal desk manager drives critical negotiations that deliver results for each client while nudging your company closer to its annual goals.
Because of this, the deal desk manager needs to be a subject matter expert on not just the product but also on the customer’s needs and processes. They will act as the point of contact with each new client on deal pricing and the scope of work. They’ll also handle objections, escalate concerns, and follow up on sales activities to keep the deal moving along.
Deal desk manager responsibilities
The deal desk manager is responsible for a number of functions within the final stages of closing a deal. These include pricing, approval workflows, onboarding, documentation, and reporting.
As a senior manager, the deal desk manager coordinates cross functional teams that work on the deal desk - especially when dealing with remote teams. This might include a deal desk analyst, finance rep, operational staff, and legal and compliance officers within your sales organization. Depending on your leadership succession plan, they’ll also be responsible for grooming and mentoring the next crop of deal desk leaders to replace them in future.
The deal desk manager is the liaison between sales and finance to make sure that the price agreed is fair to both parties. Because of their deep knowledge of each client, they can structure a pricing package that best suits the client’s needs, budgets, and timelines while also ensuring a healthy margin for your company.
Part of the deal desk manager’s scope of work is ensuring that all agreements between your company and its customers are documented in line with contract law. This includes all timeframes for deliverables as well as early termination conditions. The deal desk manager will make sure that these terms and conditions are understood and adhered to by all parties.
#4 Communication and approval workflows
The deal desk manager is responsible for ensuring that the necessary approvals are obtained, that the proper documents have been created, and that they adhere to all internal legal requirements. This might require using document tracking software to maintain a paper trail accessible to all parties, or using a tool like Momentum to sync critical sales data between their communication channels (like Slack) and their CRM (like Salesforce). Here’s how that works in action:
Reporting is an important part of any deal desk team, but it’s especially key to this role. The deal desk manager will not only be responsible for reporting on ongoing sales deals but will also track revenue accounting together with your finance team. These reports can be automated through your CRM or through Momentum and sent out to all involved parties.
Preparing your job title and description
When crafting your job description for a deal desk manager, it’s important to include both the operational side of the job as well as the soft skills that you expect from the successful candidate. Below is some text you can start with when preparing your next deal desk manager vacancy description.
Section 1: Overview of your company and the role
Insert some text in this section about your company, your growth plans, and how this role will contribute to those plans. You want to keep it succinct enough to skim but substantive enough to give potential candidates an idea of who they will work for and what kind of problems they will solve.
Section 2: Deal desk manager responsibilities
In this section, list out the key responsibilities that the ideal candidate will perform in the role. This might include any of the following:
- Be the liaison between the sales organization and its client portfolio
- Build internal guidelines for deal enablement initiatives
- Automate manual processes for faster deal closing and increased customer satisfaction
- Review, approve, and document all non-standard pricing and contractual terms to comply with revenue goals
- Source diverse perspectives from cross-functional teams during deal management such as legal, SalesOps, RevOps, accounting, finance, product management, and customer success
Section 3: Qualifications
Like most job vacancies, the deal desk manager role requires a set of qualifications and competencies to successfully carry out its duties. This section should list any key requirements you have - whether these be academic, experiential, leadership-focused, or some combination of the above.
For example, your qualification section might look like this:
- 6+ years of revenue, strategy, deal desk, operations, or sales consulting experience
- Proven ability in contract management and shortening sales cycle times
- Solid understanding of enterprise sales environments and processes
- Fluency with enterprise sales tools like Salesforce and other CRMs
- Strong analytical and reporting skills
- Passion for technology, data, and efficient sales cycles management
- A self-motivated leader who can contribute to business outcomes
Section 4: Offer
This section should outline the package that the prospective candidate can expect to receive from your company. Depending on your internal policies, include pertinent information like salary bands, remote work capability, equipment setup stipends, number of leave days, medical and dental benefits, etc. Sell the benefits of working at your company to attract the best of the best.
Creating a job description can be time-intensive and intimidating. If you want to ensure that your future deal desk manager is well-qualified for the role, incorporate the above tips in your hiring efforts. Read up on what to expect in a typical deal desk in our blog article here.