The Pros and Cons of Salesforce's Deal Desk Tool
Salesforce's deal desk tool (called CPQ) can be excellent for tracking and managing sales deals. It allows users to track the status of their leads, opportunities, and deals. It also streamlines lead qualification and identifies potential buyers.
Whether you’re considering using the Salesforce deal desk or another third-party tool to manage certain deals in the pipeline, there are pros and cons to consider so you can make an informed decision.
This article will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the deal desk feature in Salesforce and introduce you to an alternative that many revenue teams are raving about.
What is a Deal Desk?
A deal desk is a cross-functional team within an organization that works together to facilitate a deal. It often includes people from many different departments, including legal, accounting, sales, and marketing.
The deal desk is responsible for bringing all the various groups together to ensure the deal goes through smoothly. The deal desk may also oversee additional responsibilities like due diligence and financing.
What is a Deal Desk Tool?
A deal desk tool is a centralized system used to manage the complete sales process, from identifying potential buyers to lead qualification and deal tracking. A fully-featured deal desk platform allows salespeople to track their leads and opportunities and allows sales managers to monitor the sales process, identify potential roadblocks, and ensure that bigger opportunities are getting the right people involved at the right time in the sales process.
A deal desk tool typically includes a dashboard that gives an overview of the sales process, including all opportunities, associated contacts, and deal specifics. Opportunity tracking is a key function of a deal desk, with salespeople often able to track the stages of their opportunity, the reason for any roadblocks in the sales process, and the estimated close date. Some deal desk tools can also can help generate quotes, get approvals, and even create forecasts.
An Overview of CPQ (Salesforce's Recommended Deal Desk Tool)
Salesforce CPQ is a native deal desk tool within Salesforce that’s used to manage quotes. CPQ stands for “configure, price, quote,” and is used in tandem with Salesforce to generate custom pricing quotes based on certain criteria within a Salesforce record. This semi-automated solution to creating complete and accurate quotes is designed to speed up your sales rep’s workflow, allowing them to push out custom quotes to their leads faster than a typical manual process.
CPQ is built into Salesforce and is therefore highly integrated with other Salesforce features, giving it the ability to generate quotes and automatically route quotes to the correct parties for approval.
Pros and Cons of CPQ
So, what does Salesforce CPQ have to offer sales teams?
CPQ is offers several advantages, including:
- Consistency - CPQ allows you to generate consistent quotes using a standardized process, reducing user error and guesswork from your reps.
- Customization - CPQ allows users to create custom fields, which enables them to track different types of information within the deal desk. This can help sales reps better organize their data and track critical information that default fields may not capture.
- Advanced Features - CPQ comes with advanced features that can be useful for sales teams. These include prioritization, forecasting, and risk assessment tools. These can be helpful for sales managers and sales reps who want to gain a better understanding of their sales process and forecast.
Although CPQ is a popular deal desk solution for Salesforce users, it does come with several drawbacks. Here are some of the downsides of CPQ:
- You Still Need Backend Approvals – CPQ still requires all approvals and notes to be done through Salesforce’s backend.
- Approvals Can Only Be Done Via Email or Web App – CPQ really limits the ways in which sales managers can view and approve requests, forcing everything to be done over email or through the web app. This removes the ability for real-time collaboration and approval, which many sales teams desire.
- Integration Challenges – While CPQ is a native Salesforce tool, many users have found it challenging to integrate it into their workflow. It requires a bit of a learning curve to set up and get rolling, and it also doesn’t integrate very well with third-party programs outside of Salesforce.
- Clunky Customization UX – While CPQ has customization functionality built-in, using it can be an entirely different experience. Many users have reported that the actual interface for customizing your quotes can be challenging to navigate and use.
Alternative to Salesforce’s Deal Desk
So, if the clunky UX and limited deal desk functionality of Salesforce CPQ have turned you off, are there any alternatives? We’re glad you asked… Introducing, Rattle.
Rattle bi-directionally connects Salesforce and Slack, allowing you to create custom alerts that trigger in Slack when certain Salesforce events take place. Rattle has recently expanded its Deal Room features to better support deal desks and harbor collaboration and communication between team members working on a single account.
It now allows multiple opportunities to be sent to the same Deal Room channel. Once you’ve established a Deal Room for an Account, you can send every subsequent opportunity alert to that same channel, whether that’s upselling, renewals, or any other opportunity type your org supports.
The best part about Rattle is its ease of use and setup. Rattle has a one-click integration process and has designed its UI to be as intuitive as possible.
Rattle also provides unprecedented visibility, making it easy to track the entire history of an account while still generating quotes with speed and scale. If you want your deal desk to know when anything changes on a deal, Rattle can create a workflow for it.
Rattle also allows you to automate other stages of your sales pipeline, from reminding salespeople to fill in missing MEDDIC information to alerting managers when a deal is stuck in a stage. It also makes handoffs and approvals fast and simple, with one-click approval actions and automated alerts when deals are assigned or reassigned.
Having a deal desk tool integrated natively with Salesforce can seem like a convenient integration. Unfortunately, Salesforce hasn’t gone past very basic features that a deal desk team would want. This lack of greater functionality leads many teams to seek out third-party solutions like Rattle that prioritize ease of use and extra features to help their deal desk team be more effective.