Sales 101: Sales Hunters Vs. Sales Farmers
Pam Wasley’s experience has taught her that you can’t find sales hunters and sales farmers in the same person. It’s just not possible.
The sales department is what drives your company. No matter how amazing your product is, nobody will know about it until somebody tells them. Salespeople are responsible for getting that information out there to attract first-time customers and close big deals. Both which are crucial to the success of a company.
But hiring a new salesperson is not easy because before you do that, you need to know what kind of salesperson you need – a sales hunter or a sales farmer? You can’t find both in one, and have to pick which type complements the nature of your business.
CEO of Cerius Executives, Pam Wesley, has a lot of experience with hiring salespeople. Understanding the mind of a hunter or farmer helps sales managers support them and provide the infrastructure they need to make a sale.
Hunters are constantly on their feet chasing leads and making sales. They love the thrill of the chase and work quickly. You won’t find them sitting around waiting for leads to come to them, they’re already out there. If they get a lead from marketing, they are on it.
But once they close with somebody, they quickly move onto the next lead. Hunters don’t spend time developing a relationship with the client. After-sales service is a deal breaker for repeat customers. If a client feels like nobody is listening to their complaints and follow-up needs, it can negatively impact the business through word-of-mouth marketing.
If you’ve got nothing but hunters on your sales team, you’re going to have to invest in account management on the backend. Sales hunters are great for new businesses especially when you’re launching a new product or want sales to rise quickly. Companies that want to see numbers yesterday need sales hunters to rake in those sales.
The close ratio of a farmer is just as good as a hunter’s, but they reach it slower. They don’t have that itch to close the deal as quickly as possible, and instead take the time to invest in the relationship and the client before closing. By the end of the sales process, the client is satisfied that they’ve made the right decision and will come back for more.
Farmers aren’t proactive. You won’t find them out on the streets chasing people. They will instead deal with whatever leads come their way; they’ll pick up the phone, talk to the client walk them through everything. When they close a sale, it’s not because they’re forceful but because they have a bond, a relationship, a connection with that client. That link is one of the prime reasons their customers are loyal and bring repeat business.
At Cerius Executives, our sales team has more farmers. “When we’re talking to CEO’s or the head of HR, they want to develop a relationship with the client. They want to be able to trust that vendor so we have to build them,” explains Pam. Farmers take the time to create and nurture a long-term relationship which is ideal for companies that rely on connections.
Sales Hunters vs. Sales Farmers
Pam’s experience has taught her that you can’t find a hunter and farmer in the same person. It’s just not possible. Even if you think you’ve found someone and you hire them, you will eventually realize that they are good at either one of the two.
You need to figure out what kind best suits your company. A hunter that brings in quick sales? Or a farmer that brings relationships? Pam recommends putting together a sales team with a combination of the two for optimal results.