Hunter or Farmer? What Does Your Business Really Need?

To some, a good salesperson is a good salesperson. They’re a gregarious, professional, proactive go-getter who keeps their eye on the objective and works to grow the business by finding and securing new customers. Good salespeople, though, come in two distinct types: the sales hunters and the sales farmers. When it comes to staffing your sales force, it’s important to know the differences and how they might affect your business relationships. Do you know what you need?

Sales hunters:

  • Work to close as many deals as quickly as possible
  • Often seen as less of a team player, more of a ‘lone wolf’
  • Self-motivated or driven by competitive commission structures
  • Independent, single minded and solution-oriented
  • Have a reputation for being hard to manage

Sales farmers:

  • Work to develop long-term customer relationships to earn loyalty and repeat business
  • Focused more on collaboration with companies and co-workers
  • Motivated by being part of achieving long-term goals and objectives
  • Creates customer-centric or service-oriented solutions
  • Enjoys working on long-term projects and building relationships

Most businesses come to a staffing agency sure they need a hunter and ask their recruiters to make sure sales applicants have all those qualifications. After hundreds of conversations with business leaders, we’ve learned that most companies really want a farmer that can do a bit of hunting. It’s easy to assume that a team full of sales hunters can close deals and grow your business; but in reality, most managers want salespeople who can secure a sale while still prioritizing relationships, because that’s where they see the best business results. Plus, many businesses don’t have the infrastructure to support a pure hunter sales team. Hunters are known for driving huge commission expenses and sometimes over-promising inventory and other logistics, and not every business is equipped to handle a whole sales force of competitive hunters.

Sales farmers might not be as good at what some companies refer to as “big gains” or quick acquisitions, but they are skilled at growing relationships and securing trust. More and more customers – B2B and B2C both – are becoming increasingly motivated by relationship-based business as opposed to solution-based business, and this can often affect who clients choose to do new or repeat business with. Finding sales farmers who can still work independently while driving progress towards sales goals and nurturing relationships is often the real solution that businesses are looking for in hiring for their sales team.  

It’s important to find members of your sales team who align with and can help meet your overall business goals. To help find your next sales team member and build your strongest sales force, contact us today. No matter what kind of sales personality you’re looking for, we can help you find the best talent for your team. Contact TalentSphere Staffing Solutions today!

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