There are only two situations where I hear “bring in the closer!”… 1) baseball games and 2) complex B2B sales opportunities.
In my opinion, baseball is the only game with a closer.
Many sales teams rely on their “Superhero Sales Manager” or “Superhero Salesperson” to close any open, forecasted opportunity. These individuals are typically veteran or experienced salespeople that are consciously and/or subconsciously doing what’s necessary in a complex sale to move it forward. Whether they do all things necessary time-after-time…. is a conversation for another day.
Besides the obvious assumption that winning sales is life or death for any organization, I want to point out the fatal flaws in a veteran salesperson or manager stepping in to move a sale forward, rather than the original owner of the sale.
A) …don’t coach, they replace B) …don’t scale businesses long term C) …are rarely process driven individuals
A. When a superhero steps in to assist in a sales opportunity, rarely is it communicated with those involved where the opportunity sits and what to do next to move forward. Yes there are advantages to joint calls and strategic joint planning, but only if the original owner is coached and understands where they can improve once the sale is closed, lost, or disengaged from.
B. Scaling a business requires a sales team to be able to answer this question without variation: If you handed out a case study of a live, forecasted, important opportunity from your pipeline that’s in doubt, asked each person for the next best step to move it forward, how many answers would you get?
A Superhero might close a “larger” opportunity here or there, but a CEO or President will want everyone operating on the same level with an accurate forecast based on no variation. Bringing in a superhero to close means adding variation to each important opportunity and everyone still executing differently.
Additionally, majority of sales leaders are concerned about sales veterans retiring or moving to competition. Don’t make the mistake of leaning on someone too heavily.
C. The case study question in point B is proof of absence in a measurable, repeatable sales process. In 2016, many of the executives I speak with admit that their veteran salespeople (anyone who would be considered a “superhero”) does it his/her own way on their time (not process driven). If 1 of 10 salespeople are performing at this level, it makes being the VP of Sales a stressful chair to sit in.