Sales Force Effectiveness: If Hunter-Farmer Fails, What Next

John Kenney posted this on, but the post has several problems (we’ll let all you owners who are still working on a Friday night ponder this):

1. If the hunter fails, why? Bad metrics? No cold calling ability? Poor lead handling ability? Customers don’t like him/her?

2. OK, if the ‘hunter’ role failed, how did he/she do in the ‘farmer’ role, patiently nurturing relationships? We have a client who has a salesperson who doesn’t have very good calling or lead handling skills, but he’s an excellent farmer. He just closed a major software deal with a city that took four years. Should it have taken that long? The owner and I wonder, but he got it closed.

3. Were the job requirements correctly laid out to the candidate when he/she was hired? ‘Hunters’ will have a different profile than ‘farmers’.

3. John doesn’t discuss appointment or demo setting skills, but these are in the ‘farmer’ role. One doesn’t always find hunters and farmers in the same person.

4. If he/she fails in either of the roles they were hired for, then first coach to see if they improve, but if they don’t then it’s the highway. With today’s costs, one can’t afford to wait around. Something has to change. Some of our Solutions Forum clients have gone so far as to restructure pay packages, on the theory that the financial impact will either get them going, or get them out the door. In our experience, it’s been about 50/50 either way.

5. We agree with John’s idea of ‘cloning’ the successful folks….we use this practice in profiling for our clients what they want. See our sales courses, E01 and E02. E01 helps you develop the profile, and E02 helps you hire the right people the first time. The methods in E02 do work: we’ve used it about six times, and five of the people that were hired using it are still doing well.

So, John’s post is ok to spend some time on; the link is:


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