How to build your sales team: Hunters v Farmers

Marketing

When building an elite sales development team, it’s important to understand that people are different and personality differences can make a large impact on how a sales position is performed.

When building an elite sales development team, it’s important to understand that people are different and personality differences can make a large impact on how a sales position is performed.

Generally speaking, there are two types of sales professionals: Hunters and Farmers.  

These terms describe two encompassing sales objectives.

On the one hand you need to develop new business. On the other, there’s a requirement to expand business with existing customers. 

Within that framework are people whose skills and disposition align with achieving one of these objectives.

In some instances, it’s very obvious which objective fits best with the salesperson.  Some people are clearly better at acquiring new business and others are much better building long-term relationships. 

Here are some of the key traits to look out for when deciding what type of sales professional you’re looking for.

Hunters

Hunters are your go-getters, the ones out in the field uncovering opportunities in which to sell. They provide new blood to the organization, in the form of fresh customers and leads. 

Newer organizations and those aggressively pushing a new product should focus on beefing up their roster of Hunters.

Common Hunter traits:

  • Innovative
  • Stimulating/motivating
  • Enjoys selling
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Flexible with rules and regulations

Farmers

Farmers are specialists at servicing the existing customer base, keeping those relationships going and staying attuned to opportunities to sell to it again.

Companies with large existing customer bases should employ a sufficient amount of Farmers to handle those accounts and keep them buying.

Common Farmer traits:

  • Likeable/caring
  • Good team member
  • Good listener/mediator
  • Recognizes needs of others
  • Detail-oriented

Understanding the different personality types is vital when putting together a sales team and strategy.

It allows you to properly leverage strengths while minimizing the weakness of your team’s members.

Get in touch with me at david.welch@bps-world.com or call 754.551.5625 if you’d like to discuss your sales hiring strategy in more detail.

 

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