Blending Your Company’s Hunters and Farmers to Increase Revenue Now


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Trying to learn more about what companies are doing today to grow revenue, I took a look at jobs posted at Linkedin and and noticed something very interesting. Most companies listed were seeking junior- to mid-senior-level salespeople—you know, the “hunter” type.

Most interesting about these listings is that the companies advertising are spending money on hiring new salespeople to find new customers. Further, none of the same companies were hiring (or at least advertising for) any account managers, relationship managers, or business development people—the “farmers.” The statement is loud and clear—”We want new sales”—which is clearly appropriate; new revenue and new clients are a must for any organization. I do see the approaching “duh” factor – nonetheless, what follows might seem stupidly simple – however, few organizations have their attention drawn in this direction.

Ask yourself how many times you have looked at your client list and noticed that your clients were only using a fraction of your service—or that your solution is not being used enterprise-wide, or worse, your client is using a competitor in other areas?

The punch line is simple: Companies that employ evangelists to sell into their current relationships will win. This is because these organizations are investing in the customer through the use of farmers to cultivate and nurture their current relationships— securing these partnerships all while the hunters are obtaining new sales. These organizations have their products and services penetrating their client’s organization at all levels and their client plays a key role in the solution offering. Therefore, by the economic turnaround, your competitors will be so deep it will take an army to root them out of your target customers. Why?

Your competitors have clients that are now “raving fans—clients who are part of the sales and solution process, and clients that have enabled your competitors to test and implement solutions enterprise-wide (or at least in multiple units). These competitors understand the customers buying process in good and bad times and have had a continue stream of revenue funding their relationships. Best of all, their clients are now referring them to other potential clients directing hunters to new sales. Believe it or not – but this was all happening while other organizations were busy cold calling, and spinning their wheels. Farming current customers costs a fraction of acquiring new clients, but the return is astronomical. As I said above, there is a “duh” factor however, how many organizations today are actually growing their revenue by double-digits?

The point of this entry is not to do away with new sales or hunters—it’s to call to your attention the opportunity of blending the hunter and farmer. Thus, harnessing the internal organizational power you already have in order to secure your relationships, revenue, and expand your product offering so that your organization is winning now!

If you’re not seeing double-digit growth try these four simple rules – they’re sure to increase revenue from your current client base:

  • Understand the expectations and challenges of your customers
  • Build and foster collaborative communication at all levels of your client’s organization
  • Set service and delivery benchmarks that embeds a “wow” factor
  • Conduct solution-based conversations that drive client productivity and clearly articulates the return on their investment

Want to learn more? Drop me a line at [email protected] or leave a comment. Also check out Joseph Jaffe’s new book, Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones, very interesting insight.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jonathan Costa-SaintJohn
I am a leader with 15+ years experience managing global customer relationships, driving business growth through strategic sales and consultative solutions. Lessons learned throughout my career have proven that we must fuse together Sales and Customer/Relationship Management through evangelizing our organizations products and services. In order to procure an appropriate, result oriented solution, which above all is customer friendly.


  1. Jonathan:

    You’re spot on.

    There are other benefits for farming the installed base. These are the customers who use your products and you can learn from them exactly what their pain points are and how “they” not you perceive that your solution solved their problem. From this you can identify very closely your target market thus saving time in the sales funnel, build the marketing message in their “language” to qualify these prospects that the hunters will try ensnare and you can actually build the sales strategy to close the sale.

    Otherwise all the hunters are doing is trying to force your products down the throats of the prospects and these days they are fighting back.


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