The 10 Most Important Deal Desk Metrics To Track
by Mohammed Shehu
A deal desk team pulls in stakeholders from different parts of the organization to vet, approve, and close complex, non standard deals. With so many moving parts involved, it can be challenging running a deal desk without a solid set of metrics to track performance.
Over the years, we’ve spoken to various deal desk leaders across different industries to determine which deal desk metrics are essential to track - and what they mean for your business.
Why should you track deal desk performance?
Tracking deal desk KPIs isn’t just a checkbox-ticking exercise - it’s an essential way to get a bird’s eye view of your entire deal desk operation. By monitoring the right metrics, you are able to:
- Improve your service delivery: Declining metrics prompt you to assess if you’re overpromising and underdelivering in your sales pitches or deal discussions.
- Allocate resources better: If certain deal desk metrics are falling off, you might need to invest more money or training or allocate workloads more efficiently.
- Assess and adopt the right tools: Declining metrics might indicate you need to upgrade your tech stack to improve efficiency. For example, you might consider bringing on a new CPQ tool or deal desk platform to help your team work faster.
- Reward your team: If your time-to-close rates are going down as your upsells are shooting through the roof, it might be time to identify, reward, and promote the deal desk team in charge.
The top 10 deal desk metrics to track
In no particular order, here are ten deal desk metrics to track:
- Deal/ticket volume
- Average initial response and resolution time
- Average deal size
- Deal rating
- Sales velocity
- Cash collection
- Error reduction
- Portfolio coverage and multi-product attach rate
- Renewal rate
- Stakeholder satisfaction
Let’s step through each one.
Deal volume/ticket volume
The deal volume refers to how many deal tickets are currently passing through your deal desk.
Alexandra Ferdon of Miro agrees that while this will fluctuate over time - going up as you handle more and more complex deals, and down as you build out processes to simplify more non-standard deals - the long-term goal is to bring this number down without sacrificing revenue.
You eventually want only the most complex of deals to pass through your deal desk team while enabling your transactional sales team to close the rest.
“If you have fewer tickets on deals, it means that Sales is able to self-serve and that the deal desk has been doing system improvements like training, enablement, and process improvements.” - Alexandra Ferdon, Senior Manager Global Deal Strategy & Operations at Miro
Average initial response and resolution time
How long does it take you to respond to a new complex deal, and how long do you take to resolve it fully? These are your average initial response and resolution times, respectively.
As you can guess, the goal here is to bring both of these numbers down. Your ‘speed to close’ is an important metric that impacts how well you can handle the deal volume in your sales pipeline.
Average deal size
What’s the business value of each deal coming in through your deal desk? Ideally, you want this number to go up - an indication that you’re handling bigger and bigger deals at a time, thus maximizing resources.
“It tells you a lot about a salesperson - are you attaching to multiple products? Are you pitching our higher tiers? Are you discounting a lot, and bringing your average transaction size down?”
What’s the rating on each non-standard deal that passes through your deal desk? Higher ratings speak to better product-customer fit and revenue potential. You can improve this metric by working on your sales qualification methods and defining a robust deal scoring mechanism.
Sales velocity refers to the average number of days it takes you to go from ‘Opp Created’ to ‘Closed Won.’ The lower this number is, the faster you’re closing deals - and the smoother your sales process is. A lack of sales velocity might indicate issues with deal approvals, custom requests, or deployment issues.
Different organizations have different payment terms, but you ideally want to reduce the amount of time it takes to go from ‘invoice sent’ to ‘payment received.’ You can stipulate this in your contractual clauses (by claiming upfront payments, for example), and setting up auto payments to streamline the process.
Steve Chung, a Senior Deal Desk Specialist @ WalkMe and founder of the Deal Desk Association, spends a lot of time preparing and merging order forms and booking deals.
He’s had to manage expectations in those usually complicated processes, and he thinks a lot about simplifying those workflows to reduce errors and report the right performance metrics.
Complex deals mean lots of opportunities for errors in your contracts and proposals. Minimizing these errors and amendments leads to faster deal approvals - not to mention a more enjoyable and professional experience for everyone.
Portfolio coverage and multi-product attach rate
Complex deals provide plenty of opportunities to sell other products and offerings in your portfolio - which can drive up the total deal value and recurring revenue.
The discovery and negotiation process can unearth these opportunities. For example, if they’re buying your cloud security tool, might they need additional platform coverage? Custom deployment support? SAML access? An SLA?
Upsells and cross-sells are a great way to deepen the relationship, reduce churn, and increase revenue.
“Are we just selling the core product? Or are we also selling the ancillary products attached to it? I think this is really important to track, because it helps us understand, “Is the market seeing value in those other products?” “Is my team equipped and enabled to sell the platform, and really pitch the value of the platform versus individual products?” - Mallorie Maranda
You might be closing them, but how often are they renewing their contracts? High renewal rates indicate satisfaction with your offering and an opportunity to upsell more products.
Low renewal rates might indicate that you’re overpromising and underdelivering - in which case, you want to review your deals to ensure you’re aligning expectations all around. Exit surveys work great here to find out areas of improvement.
“I’ve been at companies before where you have a top-performing account executive, but they have the lowest renewal rate. And to me, that is such a huge red flag. That means that the AE is not qualifying their customers well. And in the SaaS model; you’re only successful if your customers renew.” - Mallorie Maranda
Stakeholder satisfaction from the sales field
Satisfaction goes both ways - and your internal stakeholders need to be happy with the processes, speed, and outcomes of your most complex deals.
Undertaking deal reviews after each round can help you understand what’s working and what you need to improve in the sales process. It’s also an opportunity to uncover strengths and weaknesses within your team and account for those going forward.
Mark Moore, Senior Director of Global Deal Desk at Treasure Data, points to customer and team satisfaction as the ultimate north star by which to judge a deal desk’s performance. The team includes anyone who works on a deal, from the sales and sales ops teams to the legal and finance teams.
“It’s really about building relationships with the field, keeping clean deals, keeping them happy with the agreements we have, and building repeatable processes.” - Mark Moore
Track the right deal desk metrics
Better tracking leads to better outcomes, greater deal visibility, and improved processes over time. By incorporating the above deal desk metrics into your KPIs for the year, you’ll improve your chances of optimizing for the right outcomes and driving up more consistent revenue.
Read on to find out how the right sales tooling can improve this process for you.