It’s the classic question. Do you know if there is a secret ingredient that top salespeople all have, or do successful hunters differ from farmers who are successful? In the last couple of years, it’s been clear (at least in my mind) the two different kinds of salespeople are hunters and farmers. I chose to write this post due to having several conversations in the last couple of months with people that want to know if they’re farmers or hunters and sales executives who want to know how to arrange their sales force in accordance with the two distinct kinds of salespeople. As always, I’d like to hear your thoughts about hunters as opposed to. Farmers, and how your sales force at work looks like!
Let me first define my understanding of”hunters” (Ex. “New Business Development Executive”) and farmers (Ex. “Account Manager”). Hunters are typically at the start in the funnel of sales, which includes prospecting sales opportunities and qualifying them. They usually discover a solution to the prospect’s stated need and then work to bring the chance to close; however, they are not responsible for any post-sales actions. Farmers are primarily in the middle of the funnel, and they are responsible for assisting existing customers as well as identifying and closing new sales opportunities through their accounts.
Differentialities Between Hunters and Farmers:
One of the most shocking things I discovered while trying to comprehend what makes good hunters/farmers was that a lot of the core competencies that help someone succeed in the one kind of sales job are actually detrimental to them in other roles! If you’ve been involved in this debate or thinking about whether you’re more successful as a hunter/farmer, There are a few fundamental differences between the two kinds of sales roles.
Emotional Resilience and. The ability to be emotionally intelligent:
Hunters have to be emotionally resilient in order to cope with the intense levels of rejection daily that are associated with prospecting (ex cold calling) and must bounce back within only a few seconds of rejection, and even reach to a different prospect. Since hunters spend a lot of their time conducting prospecting, this is an essential aspect of their achievement. However, farmers must be in tune with their account staff and customer service team. In the end, customer satisfaction is a feeling of emotion and farmers have to be skilled in detecting this.
Hunt and. Fulfillment,
The hunter is motivated by the excitement of hunting (go figure! ) and the excitement that comes with hunting for the “kill.” Because of how thrilling that thrill is, everyday details could appear dull. Because the primary function of hunters is hunting, it plays out nicely. Contrarily, successful farmers love to be involved with more information and are considered to be reliable and solid. This is a great way to fulfill tasks, which are crucial in managing accounts.
Independence Versus. Teamwork:
Hunters are self-motivated and can work well on their own. Sometimes, they even show dislike for sales and marketing personnel who attempt to collaborate together and usually do not like working in teams. This is an essential aspect of hunting because they work on their own in the prospecting and qualification phases and are very motivated by themselves. They are not aided at work unless an opportunity has been cleared in the qualification stage. According to their agreement, farmers are collaborators and team players. They collaborate together with account managers as well as clients, often discussing business issues and devising solutions for their clients.
Qualifying and. Nurturing.
The top business development professionals are the best qualified. Hunters are able to be provided with 100 accounts and quickly identify the five that are worth investigating. In the field of business development, it is crucial that hunters focus their efforts in pursuit of prospects that could close or else they’re losing their time. This is the most significant obstacle in a hunter’s efficiency, and therefore the ability to identify prospects quickly and precisely is vital. Farmers are excellent at nurturing. They see relationships from a long-term view and want to get to know their customers on various levels. For account management, it is crucial that salespeople build long-term solid relationships with their clients in order to increase the trust of their customers and build loyalty. If a farmer were given 100 prospects, they would naturally seek to establish long-term relationships with all of them.
Organizing your SalesForce into Hunting and Farming
The growth of revenue is always a top priority for any company, which is why farmers are required even when the company is small and expanding. As your business begins to grow and you can see the potential for profit-making long-term relationships with your current customers, You will have to include farmers into your arsenal. One of the most frequent mistakes I have seen businesses make is not investing enough in their farms. This is because when you are in need of farmers in your sales force, it is comprised of hunters who do not value farming. Be sure to monitor your hunters and invest in a farming facility. The kind of farm you require will be determined by many factors, including the size of the client (gross revenue) and the complexity of the clients’ business, the importance of your product or service to clients’ business, the complexity of your portfolio of products and services and, of course, potential revenue as these criteria increase the potential to invest more in a top farming company. Farming units can range from inexpensive inside sales representatives to high-priced Strategist Account Managers.
The cost of splitting your sales force between hunter (New Business Development) and farmers (Account Management) is substantial. It will require additional layers of management with reliable sales operations, enablement staff, as well as other roles of support. It is essential to run numbers to ensure you are ensuring that every NBD or AM is profitable and is able to be able to support its own. Sales must always be a revenue-generating center.
Insufficiencies of implementing the Hunter/Farmer Model
One of the things I’ve learned through my study and working with business is that each management method has its flaws. The idea of dividing your sales department into farmer and hunter departments isn’t an exception. There are two issues I’ve seen companies face and ways to resolve these issues:
First, many companies think Account Management (farming) is the same thing as customer service. ….IT is not. Sure, customer service is an essential aspect of account management; however, the primary goal for Account Management is to grow long-term revenue ……which must be included through their incentives plans. It is a common occurrence that Account Managers don’t work in any way that involves commissions which is why they do not look for potential sales avenues. If you don’t encourage your farmers to increase the size of the business, you’ll be surrounded by a group of people who fail to attract the most productive customers. Remember that it costs between 8 and 10 times more to market to new customers than it would to an existing customer. Therefore, your farm must have a high cost-to-revenue ratio.
The most common objection to the division of sales forces in hunter (new businesses development) as well as the farmers (Account management) can be that it creates a difficult transition for the buyer after they’ve signed the”dotted line. This is a very legitimate argument. The customer is buying from you because they’ve enjoyed their time with you and your hunting. And they could view a shift as a bait-and-switch. It is essential to engage your Account Managers in sales-related potential as soon as the proposal writing process and until the end of the presentation.
You should also develop a value proposition for your customer’s transition to the Account Manager during the proposal/presentation process. You must seek your client’s permission for the transition into the Account Manager and only change them when they are comfortable. This requires lots of “managing”; however it is an investment worth it to place your employees in roles that match their skills and abilities and to put your clients in good hands.
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