The Signer

The decision-maker very often is not the ultimate power in any deal.

When you uncover the customer hierarchy, you may find that your champion is an influencer, your decision-maker is an economic buyer who assesses the value of your solution, but ultimately both work in conjunction with another party; the person is going to sign off on the deal. You may not deal directly with the signer. The signer is the person with ultimate authority to commit the company to your solution.

Deals can go south when the signer introduces a new variable unknown to you and/or your champion or decision-maker, or can stall a deal when they’re asked to sign a contract. So for these reasons, it is important to be aware that they exist as soon as possible if your type of sale is to companies that are likely to have decision-makers separate from signers and you build this into your mutual close plan to ensure success.

Amplifying Factors: Champion  Decision Maker

Further reading :

4 Tips to Get Sales Contracts Signed Faster

Q4 Sales Tips: How to Get Your Contracts Signed By Year-End

5 ways you can get your signed contract back quicker, and speed up your sales cycle

RED – Signer hostile to your success

You need to decide if this is a temporary situation or a permanent one. Sometimes signers are hostile initially until a compelling business case is put internally to them and it’s not unusual that this comes good in a short space of time. Not always but does happen.

AMBER – Disinterested in your success

Context is important here. If they understand the business case from you directly or via decision-maker, you may be in trouble. However, it could simply be that they’re distracted by other priorities and need a second shot at making a decision

Green – Aligned and working with you

This implies that the signer is receptive and provided the decision-maker and champion are equally aligned, you’re in a good place to bring the deal to a successful conclusion.

Mitigations – What to Do?

Always ensure that you understand the signer’s role within the decision process.Try to ascertain from your champion the likely disposition of the signer in innovative technologies, et cetera
 
Check sources such as LinkedIn to see if the ultimate signer has relationships with your board members or investors and see if they can apply any influence should you need it.
 
Don’t rely purely on your champion and the decision-maker to put your business case forward. Provide them with the tools to work with your decision signer in case of any last-minute questions or queries.
 
Ensure the signer is available when the decision is to be made and documents to be signed.
 
The job role of the signer is important. Are they within the business or business units or procurement, legal, finance, or otherwise? All these have different needs and consequently affect how and what is likely to influence them to sign when you need it done.
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