Hunters Vs Farmers: Who are they and why do you need them both on your Sales Team?
5 minutes read
The sales department is the heart of any organization. This is quite obvious because sales teams bring in the fuel of sales that keeps businesses running. But if you take a close look at your sales team who will notice that your sales folks can put segregated into 2 categories based on the sales strategies that they follow. They can be designated as,
- And Farmers
Who are Hunters?
But this sales strategy conjures up the images of early-age humans hunting for their survival. Just like them, this method results in feast or famine for your sales reps. Meaning,
- They would either feast if they hit an upswing and produce a ton of quality leads
- Or they would go hungry if your pipeline dries up and they have no deals to close
While this approach is worth implementing, sometimes it can be justified and other times it can’t be justified. Like here some drawbacks that the hunters come with:
- Because of their “live in the moment” attitude, they miss out on small details that could lead to future revenue
- In their drive to move from one opportunity to another, they often fail to build long-term relationships with the customers
- They have a tendency of focusing on the quantity rather than the quality
- They are less likely to follow up with clients and more likely to lose opportunities to convert them into repeat customers
Who are Farmers?
In contrast to the hunters, farmers are more focused on developing long-term relationships. They are the nurturers. They believe in building relationships with leads and clients for a lasting impact. They are team players that bring everyone else up and develop strong customer loyalty.
While farming limits the ability to feast and famine, farmers are often only comfortable on their own plot of land. They do not like to venture into new territory. A farmer will not do well making cold calls to prospective clients. Rather, she would prefer to establish a committed relationship with a client who has already been sold by the hunter.
Typical Sales Roles for Hunters and Farmers
If you observe your reps’ behavior you’ll notice that each one of your reps has a natural skill that is inclined towards either being a hunter or a farmer. You would also see cases where the sales reps have good enough skills to excel at hunting as well as farming. But broadly speaking you can put your team’s hunters and farmers into these roles mentioned below which specifically take advantage of their unique skill sets:
Obviously, specialized roles are easier to accommodate in larger organizations, but even on smaller teams, you can delegate responsibilities accordingly. The same people can have multiple roles, but they should play to what they’re best at.
Building a balance between Hunting and Farming
When attempting to determine the large-scale differences between hunters and farmers, eventually we ask ourselves, “Who is better—a hunter or a farmer?” The answer is ultimately irrelevant. Because for a company to truly succeed in sales, it will need both types of people on its sales team.
Know that having hunters but no farmers will help you with rapid customer acquisition, but you’ll have trouble keeping up with your existing customer base. Likewise, having farmers but no hunters will help you achieve a loyal customer base, but you will have a hard time expanding the company to new customers and opportunities. So figuring out the right balance between these two sales roles is very important.
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Published on Tue Nov 2 2021