I spend much of my time looking for sales candidates who are natural hunters! This article caught my eye as I support a business who separate their sales team into two streams - pure out and out new business hunters, and then account managers whose responsibilities are to support and identify revenue opportunities within an account portfolio. The article below questions whether a hunter can be a farmer - and I agree that moving someone from one role into another won’t always bring the outcome you are looking for.
As described, a hunter (or New Business Manager) is typically someone who isn’t afraid to work on their own, who is driven to create new activity involving constant prospecting, adapting to their surroundings and are very driven by success and money! They are also normally impatient and, if left to manage accounts, can become lazy, lethargic and bored. Would you want them looking after your top spending accounts?
Farmers - or Account Managers - are normally the opposite; patient, they thrive on forming relationships and don’t mind going that extra mile to provide a service. I personally don’t think either role or persona is tougher than the other, however when speaking with candidates often the conversation leads to the opinion that managing a portfolio is easier than an all new business role. I disagree, managing a portfolio of difficult, complex accounts in a competitive market can be just as tough.
Establishing which side of the fence you sit on is crucial to ensure you are successful in your sales career. So which one are you?
We assume that one sales person who is good at one of these roles will be good at the other. Both roles are just selling right? But in reality, the people who are capable of doing these two job properly are very different and putting a great sales person from one side into the other role will give you and them a very disappointing out come.