Did this ever happen to you or someone you know? Great care was taken to hire a seller to land new clients. There was even a plan for spending the surplus cash from the new customers the seller would bring in! Then, the desired results didn’t happen.
Finger pointing occurred but didn’t undo the wasted time (sometimes over a year), the missed opportunities (sometimes more than $1MM) and resources spent (hiring, onboarding, training, managing, rehiring – time management didn’t have -along with the seller’s salary and benefits).
This familiar story leads to head scratching by leaders who desperately want to avoid repeating the same mistakes but who still need new clients.
Why this happens:
Openers vs Closers. All hunters are not created equally. This is a common and painful blind spot for business leaders and sellers. Some hunters excel at taking prospect relationships from initial meeting to the finish line – these are “Closers.” Other hunters are brilliant at initiating new relationships where none existed before – these are “Openers.” It’s rare to find sellers equally talented in (and who desire to do) both. If an Opener was needed but a Closer was hired results suffer.
Managers needing their Closers to open try strategies including adding incentives and Performance Improvement Plans. These unsuccessful actions lead to short bursts of activity but not to ongoing results. Other managers just yell! Most Closers won’t consistently and effectively open for long periods no matter what.
How can companies achieve long-term accelerated growth, avoid pipeline peaks and valleys while also leveraging the talent of their Closers?
The Solution Which Works:
One solution which works like a charm is pairing a great Closer with a great Opener. This successful method leverages the talents of both kinds of hunters. Sellers who do only what they do best also require very little supervision! Three options to accomplish this:
- Hire an Opener – Openers are rare and hard to find. The right job description and interview questions help. We have our Door Openers® interview our Door Opener candidates. They know the BS from what’s real because they do this job daily.
- Move an employee into an Opener role – To ensure success, provide sales messaging, guidance regarding role structure and compensation/incentive aligning with an Opener role. Importantly, be sure to select an Opener.
- Outsource the role of Opener – use a company which specializes in door opening. Two pointers for choosing the right partner.
- Right Message – Your partner must have a robust method for developing sales messaging. The right words said to the right prospects opens doors. The wrong words go nowhere.
- Right level door opener – Senior level prospect doors are most successfully opened by senior level business developers. Check the minimum experience requirement for the individual representing you. Your reputation is at stake.