Deal Desk is an exciting and challenging role because it’s a bit of sales, finance, and legal work. You’re responsible for ensuring smooth sales operations, working closely with cross-functional leaders to craft streamlined processes for every deal and customer. But as *the* key strategist constantly relied on to optimize deal structures, how can you kill it in your role, while bringing your company closer to its revenue goals?
To help us think about these topics on a broader scale, we sat down with Mark Moore, a Deal Desk veteran with a decades-long career in sales, operations, and strategy at companies like Workday, Saba, Apttus, Accela, and SecureAuth Corporation. He’s currently a Senior Director at Treasure Data, leading the global deal desk team. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how Mark says Deal Desk professionals can prove their value, the challenges and opportunities they may face, and what the future holds for Deal Desk as a profession.
The must-have skills to kill it in your Deal Desk role
As a Deal Desk professional, you’re expected to be a subject matter expert on the product and customer’s needs and processes. You act as the point of contact with each new client on deal pricing and the scope of work, handling objections, escalating concerns, and following up on sales activities to keep the deal moving. Though it doesn’t sound easy, Mark highlights skills to focus on and brush up on that can help you be more successful.
- Deeply understand what you’re selling and why someone would buy your product. If you don’t know your product and don’t know why customers love it, you won’t be able to talk about it. Spend time with your product and marketing partners to understand the core value propositions and personas you’re selling to plus the benefits, limitations, and contingencies. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to navigate and embrace ambiguity in customer conversations.
- Stay flexible, be scrappy, and learn to say yes. Your job isn’t to say no — it’s to find a way to say yes. Explore the art of being scrappy, coming up with solutions to problems when there isn’t a straightforward process or answer. Finding ways to close deals, even when it seems impossible to your partners, will help you prove your value in the organization by being the person who’s known to push the envelope and bring in revenue.
- Build credibility and trust with your cross-functional partners. Be available, consistent, and most importantly, deliver value to their work. Show how you can be a trusted partner they can rely on to help bring in revenue. You can do this by understanding their roles, what they need to be successful, and getting closer to their day-to-day.
Common Deal Desk mistakes and how to avoid them
We’ve made it clear — Deal Desk is complicated and there are specific skills needed to do it right. Now that we've discussed what *to* focus on, what are some mistakes you should avoid? Mark makes some valid points:
- Don’t be scared to get into the nitty-gritty details. Embrace the financial and technical side of being a Deal Desk professional. Make mistakes, learn from them, and iterate as you go. The important thing is putting yourself out there, making yourself known, and leveraging all of your experiences to develop your secret sauce, proving yourself invaluable.
- Don’t avoid your sales team. Sales should be your best friend, and your role in Deal Desk is to become an extension of the sales process. Get closer to sales reps, account executives, or even your CRO to learn what’s working and what’s not, and then use that knowledge to your advantage so you know how to best speak and empathize with customers.
- Don’t underestimate yourself. Confidence is key. Take time to learn everything you need about the product, pricing, and customers, so you can establish yourself as the expert who can help get those deals closed-won.
Opportunities for the future of Deal Desk
As we head into a self-service world, finding ways to automate low-value work is becoming increasingly important. Especially for the world and work of sales, it’s time-consuming and incredibly cost-ineffective to spend time doing repetitive, manual work. What will it take to move towards a world where sales reps can enter their own quotas, and automatically get approved into orders, all with the correct language, SKUs, and terms and conditions?
As Mark points out, we should spend 75% of our time on 25% of deals, not 100% of our time on 100% of deals. Continuing to learn, understand, and experiment with bringing automation to our work will help get teams out of doing low-value activities and instead spend their time and energy on high-impact deals. Tools like Clari, Keap, and of course, Momentum can help with this. As Mark says, this shift towards automation will allow revenue teams to be more efficient, save time, and open doors for new opportunities (and more revenue).
This blog post only scratches the surface of what Mark discussed with us, so there are plenty more insights to be heard. If you found this blog post interesting, make sure to check out our full interview with Mark.
Mark and Treasure Data use Momentum to automate deal desk workflows and increase team efficiency. Hear more about how Momentum “has saved [him] weeks and weeks of tedious work” in his recent case study.