Deal Desk

Last modified on:

April 24, 2024

Deal Desk

Every month within a sales organization, there are going to be deals that are forecasted to closed but get stuck for whatever reason.

Maybe it's because of a negotiation issue, budget constraints, legal term, product bug, a stakeholder dying (this actually happened), or any other potential reasons.

That's where the deal desk comes in to save the day.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through:

  • What is a deal desk?
  • Deal desk roles and responsibilities
  • Example of the deal desk process

What is a deal desk?

A deal desk is a dedicated team within a company that handles the design, management, and negotiation of complex sales contracts. For good reason, it consists of members from different departments such as sales, customer success, legal, and finance.

The goal of a deal desk is to centralize the deal-making process and streamline the creation of sales contracts that make financial (and logistical) sense for the company, by bringing together the insights and buy-in of all relevant departments.


Specifically, a deal desk is a strategic, cross-functional task team that:

  • Finds solutions and pricing structures that make the most sense for both the company and the customer.
  • Makes sure all complex, customized, or high-value contracts are written correctly and reviewed with due diligence from multiple angles.
  • Improves sales efficiency by fast-tracking the review and approval of new contracts that fall outside the company’s existing scope.

Companies that implement a deal desk can more easily take advantage of new growth opportunities, making it a key part of any business that wants to drive growth quickly with less risk.

Deal desk roles and responsibilities

Deal desks make certain that new sales contracts, for which there isn’t much precedent, aren’t just a shot in the dark. 

They do this by combining the skills and strengths of different business units in coming up with reasonable contract terms, pricing, discounts, and so on.

In practice, a deal desk might see the collaboration of any of the following:

  • Sales: brings key deals forward to the deal desk with any issues that need to be resolved.
  • Customer Success: articulates the resources and support they are willing and able to provide to onboard and train the customer.
  • Legal: ensures that the deal doesn't overexpose the company to any significant risk.
  • Finance/Accounting: reviews the pricing and financial implications of a deal to see if it is sustainable or worth pursuing.
  • Operations/Logistics: answers whether the deal can actually be delivered as proposed.
  • Product/Engineering: similar to Operations/Logistics — is the realization of the contract technically feasible? or are there any product customizations?
  • Executives: provide guidance on whether the contract aligns with the company’s mission, and may approve or deny the contract in its current form.

Finally, a deal desk manager can be assigned to create approval workflows, pulling all these members together into a cohesive unit. Not all stakeholders are necessary. In most cases, you would have a smaller sales only deal desk with senior sales leadership before it was escalated to a group with cross-functional stakeholders.

Example of the deal desk process

One of the main purposes of a deal desk is to remove the bottleneck of when the sales team encounters a complicated deal and they don’t know how to proceed.

Here’s an example of how this might play out:

  1. A prospect shows interest in your product, but has a special use case that needs to be accommodated for, outside the normal scope of what you offer.
  2. Sales escalates the case to the deal desk and requests assistance. This may be the sales only deal desk to start.
  3. The initial deal, with its special customer requirements, is evaluated by the various members of the deal desk.
  4. Potential solutions are discussed and agreed upon.
  5. The sales rep working the deal then communicates the message back to the customer.
  6. If any material objections, the deal may get sent back to the deal desk for adjustment or negotiation.

We use a deal desk for our larger Commercial and Enterprise deals. The deal is typically reviewed in the Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) stage. If you want to see how our B2B SaaS sales process is structured and use it for yourself, check out our Sales Process Template.

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Deal Desk

Ian Frameworks

Sales and marketing executive at a venture backed, product-led, B2B SaaS company.