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When it comes to sales and marketing, personality plays a big role in success. Determining individual strengths and weaknesses can ensure that each employee is put in a position to excel. In sales, understanding the distinction between the hunter and the farmer can help you figure out who is best suited for which role. If you’re not yet familiar, here’s what the hunter or the farmer debate is all about and how you can tell which approach might be better for your sales team.
Hunters, also affectionately referred to as the “doers,” are motivated by the thrill of hunting new sales opportunities. These individuals are typically highly independent with a lot of drive and initiative. Hunters tend to focus more on quantity of leads and the excitement of moving from big deal to big deal as quickly as possible.
In relative contrast to hunters, the farmers of sales are more focused on developing and nurturing long-term relationships. Their goal is not to close as many sales as possible, but rather to build and strengthen client loyalty for a more lasting impact.
Typical Roles for Hunters and Farmers
In all honesty, there is a place for both hunters and farmers on a sales team. In fact, the two personality types complement one another quite nicely. That being said, it’s important to place people into the roles that match their strengths and in which they are most likely to excel. Here’s how you can divvy up the roles most effectively within your sales team:
- Sales Development Representatives
- Account Executives
- Field Sales Representatives
- Customer Service Representative
- Inside Sales Representative
- Customer Success Manager
For smaller teams working with fewer staffing resources, it may come down to delegating the workload to those whose personalities and tendencies most closely match either the hunter or the farmer. The same people may have multiple roles, but the work itself should be divvied up based on what each employee is best at.
Who sells better?
All descriptions and definitions aside, most key decision makers want to get down to the nitty gritty and know which individuals are most valuable to the organization. After all, more sales mean more revenue which is better for long-term, sustainable success. So, which is better – the hunter or the farmer?
The honest answer is: neither. Or, more appropriately: both.
In order for a company to truly succeed in the area of sales, both personality traits must be present. You need hunters in order to gather a good volume of leads and help you land those big deals. But you also need farmers to nurture those leads and strengthen relationships to create loyalty and achieve retention.
Having a team of hunters but no farmers will increase customer acquisition, but without adequate attention after the sale, those customers are less likely to stick around. Likewise, having farmers but no hunters will boost customer loyalty, but the lack of new business will impede your growth.
If you’re looking to maximize your sales team’s performance, the key is to strike a balance in which both hunters and farmers play a role in generating new and recurring revenue. Ultimately, a well-rounded sales organization is one that will ultimately prevail.
Are you in search of hunters and farmers for your sales team? Get in touch and we can help build a well-rounded team.