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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Hunter vs Farmer Personality, Characteristics, and More

Hunter vs Farmer Personality

You hear the terms "hunters" and "farmers" thrown around a lot in the sales world. Sales leaders are always looking for "hunters" as they should. New business is the lifeblood of any sales organization. Without salespeople that know how to "hunt" for new clients, a company can and will be in trouble.

Of course, companies must also have salespeople who are "farmers." Reps need to be able to cultivate clients by building relationships and growing accounts. Organizations must ensure that their key accounts renew and develop.

Characteristics of Hunters and Farmers in the Sales

2020 Talent Magazine - Square ButtonSales organizations often find themselves in the antiquated process that expects account executives to be both hunters and farmers.

Rarely do you find a "unicorn" candidate that is both an excellent hunter and farmer, which is why as a sales leader, you need to begin looking for account executives that fill one or the other roles on your team. 

To build the best possible sales team, look for candidates that are hunters or farmers.  

Here are characteristics that will help you define the difference.

Hunters are:

  • Mission focused Their mission is to close new business. Anything that detours them from their mission is a hindrance. 

  • Numbers-driven They know that sales is a numbers game and are always looking for ways to be more productive and efficient.

  • Competitive They thrive on competition with others or themselves. They hate to lose even more than they love to win. 

  • Persistent They do not take no for an answer, and they have no problem being seen as pesky, sometimes bordering on stalker-ish.

  • Independent They like to see themselves as lone wolves who don't need a pack or even a leader to get the job completed. 

Farmers are:

  • Results-focused Their focus is on helping their client achieve the results that they've promised. 

  • Relational driven They believe that success is based on developing, nurturing, and focusing on their relationships with their clients.

  • Service-oriented They strive to provide the best service to their clients. Farmers don't cut corners, but rather cultivate their "crops" all season long. 

  • Disciplined They are organized and disciplined that traditionally have a system to serve and grow their accounts. 

  • Collaborative Unlike hunters, farmers like to work together with their clients and team to provide the best solutions and results possible 

The goal in building the best possible sales team should always be to find the best salespeople available. Often that means selecting candidates that are exceptionally talented at either being a hunter or farmer, and that is OK. It's almost impossible to find someone that excels at both.

Start looking for people that can help you grow your business by being either a hunter or farmer.  New call-to-action

Topics: sales performance sales accelerator sales talent