The Reason Why Your Sales Function Is Failing

The reason why your sales function is failing
The reason why your sales function is failing

The Reason Why Your Sales Function Is Failing

Hi, I’m Marco, an award-winning business coach in Sussex who has helped hundreds of owner-managed businesses grow turnover and profit through effective team structure and business planning systems.

There are two very different types of salespeople: hunters and farmers. Knowing the difference can significantly impact your company’s success. Let me share a story to explain.

A few years ago, I started working with a company eager to grow their revenue. They relied heavily on a few large customers, which made them feel vulnerable. They wanted to diversify their customer base. Before I joined them, they had gone through several unsuccessful sales hires. When we explored the issue, it became clear: they didn’t understand the difference between hunters and farmers in sales.

Hunters thrive on the thrill of the chase. They excel at finding new opportunities and getting their foot in the door. They love the excitement of pursuing new business and are skilled at making initial connections.

Farmers, on the other hand, are great at nurturing and developing existing relationships. They are patient, empathetic, and dedicated to growing and maintaining customer accounts. Their strength lies in building trust and deepening client relationships over time.

The company had been hiring experienced salespeople from environments with plenty of inbound leads. Essentially, they were farmers hired to be hunters. These salespeople were used to managing large customer portfolios and guiding these leads through the sales process. When placed in an environment where they had to find new business from scratch, they struggled.

I’ve also seen clients make the opposite mistake by placing hunters in farming roles. Hunters often lack the patience needed to develop existing accounts properly. They can become bored without the excitement of chasing new sales, which isn’t typically found in account management.

The key takeaway is to understand what balance you need within your sales team. Are you focused on developing your existing customer base or driving new business? If you need both, that’s fine, but you require different salespeople for these roles.

Next time you hire for your sales team, take the time to understand your sales strategy. Determine whether you need hunters or farmers, and be diligent in your sales recruitment process. Make sure the person you hire has the right skills for the role and the necessary skills for successful sales. This careful consideration will help you build a more effective and successful sales team.

By recognising and leveraging the unique strengths of hunters and farmers, you can align your sales strategy with the right talent, ensuring sustained growth and success for your business.

Ready to elevate your business? Discover how my tailored business coaching services can transform your strategy and drive success. For more insights and guidance, visit my homepage and explore the MYOB section for free business advice to keep you ahead in the competitive market. 

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