The Mind of Sales Hunters
Good salespeople drive business growth. Some of the best that companies hire are sales hunters who are motivated, persistent and chase sales just for the competition.
A salesperson is either a hunter or a farmer. Sales hunters are excellent at chasing leads, closing deals, and making sales. Their confidence, creativity and persistence helps them get a ‘yes’ from a client no matter how long it takes. Farmers on the other hand like to focus on cultivating relationships out of their current customers. Both are good and needed at a company to grow sales.
Pamela Wesley, CEO of Cerius Executives, considers herself to be a sales hunter – something which her co-founder Kristen McAlister struggles to understand. To understand how the mind of a sales hunter works, we examine the characteristics that make them unique.
Sales hunters are motivated
Sales hunters are typically motivated by money and the thrill of a sales close. Money matters to them and they like to be rewarded for their hard work. And why shouldn’t they be? Sales hunters work really hard to get to a client and making a sale is an accomplishment. If they feel like their efforts aren’t being recognized, they will feel frustrated and just quit.
You need to have a fair compensation plan to keep them satisfied. CEO’s shouldn’t be afraid to pay their star salesperson a large amount of money. Think about the big picture and what that sales person has done for your company and its growth. Only through their innovative and creative ability were they able to get to clients in a hard-to-reach world.
Millennials are motivated slightly differently. They do like money, but they’d much rather be given other things as a reward. Some time off from work, 401(k) plans, a donation to their favourite charity, or a trip to Hawaii are some things that will motivate them. They generally want something which is meaningful to them.
Then again, every person is different, millennial or not. The best way to know is to talk to them and find out what’s important to them. Pam says, “Find out what it is that motivates them because unless you know the answer to that question, you’re not going to know how to get the most or the best out of them.”
Sales hunters are persistent
Hunters are like predators. They are very good at tracking somebody down. Something which we refer to these days as ‘stalking’, although it is not perceived in a threatening way as stalking is. Some people might get annoyed by their persistence, but after the third email or call, executives like Pam are impressed by their ability to find different ways to approach you.
When somebody spends so much time and energy trying to get your attention, it means they are really passionate about their product. Only somebody who is really confident about the value they are offering will go to such lengths. Eventually the people they are pursuing will remember their name and respond to them out of interest.
When they get told no, it doesn’t stop them. They just figure innovative tactics and ways to make an impression. They won’t stop until they get the client’s attention.
Infrastructure for sales hunters
These days it is getting tougher and tougher to get a client. Whether your client is the buyer, HR, or the CEO. It has become tougher because there are more barriers than there were before. Sales hunters will do what they can, but they still need support to overcome those barriers.
When a sales hunter gets too many no’s because they can’t reach the right people, they will get frustrated. As hard as it is to frustrate a hunter, they can reach that point if they don’t get help. That help needs to come from supporting infrastructure in the company that includes marketing, lead generation, referrals through account management, etc.
A structure that helps them get more business is beneficial to the company and the hunter. A frustrated hunter salesperson will leave your company because they feel like a failure and they’re not making enough progress. Unless you are able to address the lack of support, you will have the same problem with every sales hunter that comes into your company.
Competition thrills sales hunters
Sales hunters want to know that they’re the best in your company. Being the best comes with an increase in the sense of importance placed on you by the company. They don’t want to lose you to a competitor and will do whatever they can do keep you happy.
Executives like Kristen have no issue with sales people that are prima donnas as long as they’ve earned it. She says, “I have no problem being caused a headache by good sales people as long as it’s earned.”
Pam advises that a system to measure sales performance be put into place so that they can see where they stand in comparison to other salespeople. “Your sales department should have Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) just like the business should have KPI’s,” she says. “They should know how they’re doing, what their closing ratio is, how many leads do they have in the pipeline, how are they doing as a whole in the sales department. They need to see this kind of stuff because that’s what they thrive on.”