Of Hunters and Farmers – Lead Cultivation Comes Of Age

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It is interesting to note how two seemingly unrelated words, thrown together, will in due course often gain acceptance and acquire an industry’s stamp of approval. I bring this up because I recently came across the term; “Lead Cultivation” and it got me thinking about the meaning of the phrase. I also recall a conversation with a friend who runs a Marketing Automation company about how they started the term ‘Lead Nurturing’ and how it was not well received early on because it reminded people of something else, but today it is an accepted industry term. Likewise, I believe “Lead Cultivation” is a term that will be accepted in the Marketing Automation space because it has so much going for it.

For starters, Lead Cultivation can mean much more than lead nurturing because it implies a ‘seeding’ process as a precursor to the reaping of a bountiful harvest . In a way, the whole lead management process is like farming when you think about it. Farming has worked as analogy for years as sales professionals have been termed as either Hunters or Farmers with their key characteristics being:

The Hunter is the one who always “hunts” for the new opportunities. Hunters tend to be great at finding leads & assessing opportunities in part because they are outgoing and consultative in nature. They are great networkers and use their personal and business networks to good effect. Hunters also tend to be poor at followup and follow through.

The Farmer on the other hand is good at nurturing deeper relationships. Farmers usually discover opportunities within an existing framework. They are good collaborators and leverage the loyalty of their existing network because they look to create mutual win-win relationships.

“Lead Cultivation” can be an umbrella term covering; identifying lead sources, initiating lead source activity, initiating opportunity discovery, planning nourishment, executing lead nurturing and finally, lead harvesting.

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