How Do You Implement a Hunter Farmer Strategy?

Historically, the ABC Company has used a traditional sales strategy whereby its salespeople acted as both hunters and farmers. In essence, the salesperson who sold the deal… serviced it and grew it.

The executive team has decided that this approach limits the growth of the company and wants you to form two teams…hunters and farmers. Hunters are responsible for new account acquisition. Farmers are responsible for servicing and growing their respective account portfolios.

The sales cycle for this company’s product line is six months which means that the salespeople develop close relationships with their clients during the sales process. This makes transitioning relationships to other salespeople challenging. Also, given that this company has been in existence for ten years, the implementation of this strategy will affect hundreds of clients and the entire sales team.

How do you successfully implement the hunter/farmer strategy so that clients and salespeople are not negatively affected…and the vision of growth is recognized by the company?
 
Be sure to address account management, compensation and team morale.

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  • http://www.smartsellingtools.com/ sellingtools

    Great challenge! Here are a few quick thoughts… nn1) Be aware that people may perceive the two groups as unequal. Those that are put on the hunter team might feel like they are seen as “lower-than” the farmers who work more closely with accounts. It may be perceived the opposite as well. So be sensitive that this could happen and prepare and present these changes with that in mind-not only to the reps but also to the entire organization. nn2) Since I am a tools and productivity expert, I would recommend that management make sure the proper tools are in place to support each type of rep. Hunters, for instance, should have access to tools like http://www.plan2winsoftware.com that allow them to create detailed account and territory plans. Farmers especially need tools! They should have access to services like http://www.Data.com (Jigsaw) that allow them to find the right contacts at the right account. They should also have tools that allow them to do their own marketing outreach which is essentially equivalent to watering and fertilizing so they can cultivate and nurture leads. Tools like http://www.BombBomb.com that allow reps to send emails with a short video (they create using a webcam) can get a prospect’s attention and get the message across. Perhaps most importantly, farmers need to know what to say to engage new prospects in conversation. That means they’ll need tools that provide quick access to relevant, persona-based talking points, questioning prompts, and pre-call research links. Incite2 by http://www.ShadeTreeTechnology.com fits the bill for that.

    • lbsalz

      Great tool recommendations, Nancy!

  • Marc Maloy

    To successfully implement a hunter / farmer strategy, I’ve found that it’s really important to build 2 frameworks to help in effecting the change. The first framework is for net new clients. The second framework is for existing clients that are getting migrated to the new model.nnEach framework considers the needs of the major stakeholders–client or prospective client, the sales organization, the account management organization, the contracts organization, the professional services organization etc…nnLet’s start with first framework. The one I’ve used in the past maps out all of the major stages of the sale–from cold call to close, and close to cash. From the stages, clear expectations (SLA’s if you will) are set for each hand-off and, importantly, these hand-off points are shared very transparently with each new client and they are well understood by the broader, cross functional GTM team. As a deal processes through the sales cycle, front line sales management and the sales professional are constantly foreshadowing the next step, including the hand-off points to the client. nnThe second framework is similar, but differs in that it’s more of a migratory effort to the new model. The second framework is silent on cold call to close, and close to cash handoff mapping. But, again starting with the most important stakeholder (the client), it’s heavy on transparently sharing how their account will be managed, to what SLA’s, when and how business reviews will be delivered, at what frequency, what metrics will be discussed, etc…nnWith each of the frameworks built, then the compensation plans need to be re-written. The sales compensation plans need to reward the right behaviors to drive net new revenue and not reward (or significantly discount) revenue retention or farming activities. It’s common to significantly increase commission rates to the net new sales hunters as you shift their behavior using the compensation plan as a tool to help in this effort.nnnThe account management plan needs to reward both revenue retention and revenue growth. As a percentage of total variable compensation, determine what percentage you want to invest or allocate towards revenue retention versus revenue growth and adjust the rates appropriately as the annual budget dictates.nnnWith the compensation plans built, the messaging outlining the reason for the change needs to be written. Messaging is a key component here and should focus on the benefits of the account management change while mitigating the perceived shortcomings of the change–a different message should be delivered to the different stakeholders outlined above. For example, the message to the client essentially outlines that they can expect a better outcome through improved intimacy, metrics orientation, etc… Once the message is built, the right messenger needs to deliver it (again, for each of the stakeholders this will be different). nnnThere are a ton of other nuances to plan for as this shift is made, but at a high level our role is to ensure that folks understand the shift, why the shift is better for them, why it’s better for the business, and why it’s better for the client. As revenue grows faster, more of that revenue falls to EBITDA, and these earnings are reinvested in the business to continue to innovate and deliver an even better outcome to customers–which can become a virtuous cycle for all of the stakeholders above.

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Marc… Would you recommend having each hunter/farmer paired together as a team?

      • Marc Maloy

        Yes sir. Works great and ensures everyone is chasing the same goal

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  • Albert Whipple

    I assume my role is as the VP of Sales. If so, I wouldnNOT accept managementu2019s premise. After all who should know more about sales? Theirnassumption is very flawed. Anything with a six month sales cycle takes morenthan the initial sale to be worth it to the hunter. You can make anhunter/farmer team and try to make it work with some form of sharedncompensation. Presumably however, their concern is rooted in cost of sales. Tonaddress this I would instead suggest we move to the concepts inherent in thennew Sales 2.0 methods. nnThe u2018oldu2019 methods of hunting are becoming too costly fornanything less than a $150K sale. This is probably the root of the problem theynare hoping to address. So instead I would suggest we move to a u2018low touchu2019ninside organization and then convert my best folks to closer/farmers.

    • lbsalz

      Interesting perspective, Albert. Can you expand upon the “low touch” approach you mentioned?

  • Jeff Goldbger

    1) We’ll need some time to make this transition work well, otherwise we’re asking for trouble. (and plenty of it!)nnn2) Develop a well-thought out training program for the reps so that each type of rep will have the skills to focus on the their area of expertise once the change takes place. nnn3) Develop compensation plan that shows both sets of reps that they will earn more money with the new structurennn4) Develop structure for the turnover (how and when a new client gets turned over to the farmer) nnn5) Team-building exercises to develop the team mentality. As hunter/farmer reps each was eating what they killed. Now they’re going to have to rely on each other. nnn6) Develop plan for making the announcement to clients that the person with whom they formed a relationship will no longer be their rep. nnn7) Announce new division of duties with plenty of emphasis on how this helps each rep do more of what they’re best at and how it will put more money in their pocket.nnn8) Implement change and carefully monitor the roll-out. Be sure to carefully observe client reaction as well as how the team handles it. Be aware of unexpected results and be ready to change on the fly in situations where the new hunter/farmer system doesn’t go smoothly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.coursen.1 Robert Coursen

    I liek this one. Brings out the strength of team building and new business development. Our company recently went through this process by creating an inside sales team. It took a lot of communication with employees and customers, training, some joint sales calls in the field and a show me how it works attitiude.nI would have the farmers ride with the hunters after they landed the customer and make introductions. It may take more than one meeting. I would also make sure that the hunter talks about how the company goes to market and who will be managing their day to day account letting them know tht they are still there if they need them, but that they will be managed by a full time person who has their every day best interest at heart and is focused on their needs. nTook time and was a little rough in spots, but we got long term customers over the hurdle by showing them that the farmer was the person who could efficiently, accurately and timely handle their reuqests and needs. They learned to lean on the farmer and that freed our hunters to go get more business.nWe lost some hunters in the process who were truly farmers to begin with. Most moved into the farmer role and some left the company.

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Robert. How did you handle compensation for the hunters and farmers with this transition?

  • Babette N Ten Haken

    A timely question.nnThis strategy creates an opportunity for both management and, most importantly, the client, to see how the business development cycle flows through this organization. Think input-throughput-output, or a 4 x 100m relay race. nnMy area of the sales universe focuses on innovation and collaborationnwhile selling to, or working with and for, technically-intensive companies. Innthis area of the galaxy, the model often is one of hunters-farmers, with longernsales cycles involved in technical selling, and a defined hand-off between salesnhunters and technical farmers. nnWhat concerns me in this proposed hunter-farmer model is that sales and engineering (or any form of hunters-farmers model) start to live two, separate, silo-ed lives. That cuts down on the potential for collaboration and achieving a far better solution than the hunter killing the saber tooth tiger and dropping it off at the door of the company so the farmers can harvest the kill (input). nnFarmers often sit at the cross-roads of business development opportunities. However, they are so busy u201cdoingu201d that they donu2019t learn how to listen for those opportunities. Is management prepared to teach them how to listen and, if so, is the hunter team prepared to do the teaching? Root causes can have really large contexts; that one contract can end up representing long-term cash flow for your organization. How will the company take advantage of this new potential for business growth? This strategy offers more to Hunters and Farmersnin terms of professional development as well. Farmers identifying growth opportunities need to earn commission.nnHunters can grow their expertise by understanding how the context of the project changes once the farmers start implementing it, in-house (throughput). Are the farmers prepared to have a monthly meeting with sales hunters discussingnthe business cases developed for each project, as more contracts are closed duento the shortened sales cycle? (more throughput)nnIn the proposed strategy, while there is greater separation between the hunter and farmer roles, thereu2019s also the potential for greater synergy and collaboration or throughput of knowledge in the organization as that baton is handed off to implementers at each leg of the race. With Hunter-Farmer teams involved in cross-functional collaboration within the proposed silos, compensation should be addressed which rewards both hunters and farmers for using more of the left and right sides of their brains, respectively. Everyone in the organization becomes more involved in business development and revenue generation; commission needs to be re-thought and re-distributed on both sides of the table. nnThe clients/customers are on the receiving end of this strategy, which is perceived as offering relevant and valuable output to their organization. What is the value of the output from the Hunter-Farmer model if it doesnu2019t assist in making your customers more globally competitive, and more loyal in the process?

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Babette… Would you recommend having each hunter/farmer paired together as a team?

      • Babette N Ten Haken

        Absolutely, Lee. Interoperability across professional disciplines is the key to this proposed strategy. With everyone on the same page from the get-go, information flows more efficiently and effectively throughout the organization, with less work-arounds and disconnects than in the traditional model. Successes are shared across departmental silos, and the cost of customer acquisition is reduced while the perceived value by the beneficiary, the customer, is increased. Not to mention a happier, and collaborative, set of employees with enhanced skill sets.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hgoerger Harlan Goerger

    As organizations become more aware of the difference in strengths between the farmer/hunter, this type of transition is becoming more common. The challenge is doing it effectively. nnFirst, be able to clearly explain and communicate the purpose, reason and expected outcomes to all parties. Hunter/Farmer/Customer. nnSecond, I would have all parties view this not as two separate identities, rather as two parts of a process. The hunter discovers, qualifies and obtains the first order with the farmer as the assistant. The new client should understand the farmer will eventually be the main account manager & contact with the hunter phasing out once client is established.nnThird, the compensation should be set up with both Hunter and farmer being accountable for new accounts and retention of accounts. Perhaps the hunter gets a big cut on the new account, yet has a vested interest in retaining the account so they have a reason to stay engaged at least with the farmer. Now both are building account basis and not dependent on only new business, yet tied to retention.nnFourth, establish regular communications, meetings etc for the hunters/farmers to discuss, strategize and improve their customer acquisition and retention as a team.nIt works, but takes work, this is a culture change.

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Harlan… Would you recommend having each hunter/farmer paired together as a team?

      • http://www.facebook.com/hgoerger Harlan Goerger

        Not sure I would have a direct pair, perhaps the hunter is bringing in enough to keep 2 or even 3 farmers busy, really depends upon the organizations product and customers.

  • Bruce Loveall

    First, I would express my concern to management and go on record as thinking that this may not be the best sales structure. After that, I would dive in and work hard to develop a strategy to prove myself wrong.nA lot of the planning would depend on type of business, personalities of individuals etc, but for general purposes I would start by having the farmers report to the hunters. If things have been going well, the hunters are probably a big part of the reason so you do not want to alienate them. nI would work out a compensation plan and goals that rewarded both hunters and farmers, so they understand that they are co-dependent.

    • lbsalz

      A few questions, Bruce… Why do you feel that this may not be the best structure? I don’t agree/disagree, but am curious about your perspective.nIf you were to implement this strategy, what would be some of your considerations with respect to sales compensation?

  • Albert Whipple

    Sure Lee. First letu2019s look at what is referred to as Sales 1.0. This is exactly what the question refers to as the u2018Hunteru2019. It is a high contact approach where you go through the expense of meeting and developing a relationship with the decision maker(s) involved. This is a great method for great hunters. The problem is when you examine the costs (T & Eu2026) and margins involved even a $100K sale can result in losing money to the company.nnThe Low Touch approach attempts to get key data (who the Decision Makers are, when budget is available to be spentu2026) which is low cost (telemarketing) and does not start the closing process (hunting) until the account is ready to make a decision. nnIn the tumultuous market of the last few years with constantly changing company priorities (especially budgets and lengthening sales cycles) this approach can be more cost effective.nnThe problem in many companies is that of the u2018old dog and new tricksu2019. It leads to a question I have for many that comment on some of your questions. Why do these managers NOT question managerial directions? Do THEY run (strategy, directionu2026) sales for the organization or are they just implementers? For me being in a leadership position requires I question and search for the best decision for my company.

    • lbsalz

      Thank your for clarifying, Albert!

  • Roger Surprenant

    The new manager first must be empathetic in a “sincere” way with how they felt about Jack and start the process of building their trust. Then the new manager must exhibit the he or she has their professional success and best interests as priority one in managing the team. Third, the new manager needs to help the younger members of the team that may have not been exposed to these types of changes in the past get through their mixed emotions while at the same time expressing the need to move forward. Lastly, the new manager if possible needs to have individual conversations with the team members to get to know them personally, their concerns, their aspirations in their professional career and how he or she can help that person reach their goals and be successful. Unfortunately, there is no doubt that after meeting with and observiing every team member it will be evident which members contributed to Jack’s failure and those team members will have to be replaced. How that is handled will greatly affect how the rest of the team will react and perform moving forward.

  • Brian O’Reilly

    This scenario is way too general to give a difinitive answer. A six month sales cycle is going to require more than just a “hunter” in the field. Especially with a new customer. As a disclaimer, I have spent my entire career in industrial/technical sales. So my experience in the intangibles field is limited. The quick hit and turn it over to the farmers method may work well in that environment. I don’t know. But in our world, if a salesperson makes contact, generates interest and then moves on to the next opportunity, it doesn’t take long before the customers are not looking for them any longer. Sales are based on relationships and customer loyalty is built on those relationships. The farmers are very necessary in the sales process as support for the hunters, but they should never be the owners of the relationship. nNow, depending on the structure of your organization, it may be optimal to team a Hunter and a Farmer (Outside Sales/Inside Sales) for a customer or customer group. This method will provide a layered contact model to support the customer needs while still supporting the request to keep the hunter prospecting. Clear compensation programs need to be in place with such a model to keep the teamwork philosophy in play.

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Brian… How would you implement the team strategy you referenced?

    • Coach Hughes

      Brian,nnnI beg to differ. If you have hunters paid on new accounts, then after the close, they move on and look for new accounts. They cannot afford to stay with the new account. So, if you really want to improve customer satisfaction, put an installed base rep in who is tasked with the relationship, supporting the existing installations and that includes upgrades, sell services, and utilize marketing techniques to provide a better coverage model to installed accounts. Newsletters, annual account reviews with senior executives, invitations to user groups, invitations to a “futures” discussion where product and services being announced in the next 12 months are shared and solicited for input.

  • http://twitter.com/dawndeeter Dawn Deeter

    This IS a challenge! Communication will be critical to success in this case; communication with reps and communication with customers.nnIu2019d start with the sales team. In any type of restructuring like this, success will be dependent on getting buy-in from the sales force. You also want to make sure you have the right people in the right roles. I would have an initial meeting announcing the change and the underlying reasoning for the change. Next I would collaborate with the sales team to delineate the hunter and farmer roles, and then work withneach team member to ensure he or she was in the right role and comfortable in that role. Additional training should be available to support team members in their new roles.nnAs several people have noted, hunters may perceive that role as lower in status, particularly since the firm is relationship-oriented. The compensation plan would need to be structured so that hunters and farmers have a stake in one anotheru2019snactivities. I would recommend a compensation plan based on combination of activities and outcomes as a means to achieve desired goals and encourage cooperation between the hunter and farmer. The hunter and farmer should work together as a team, with a clear hand-off process identified.nnOnce the sales team is ready, I would roll this out to the existing customers. In some cases, customers will continue with the same rep if that rep is serving in the farmer role. If the rep is moving to a hunter role, the hunter should accompany the new farmer on a joint call to the customer to make the introduction; together the team can explain the new process and ease the transition. In the meantime, hunters should also be targeting new customers; presumably we will have developed a new strategy for this process as well.nnTurnover is probable, most likely in the hunter role given the company history. Structural and cultural changes take time and commitment, so patience is required. The new compensation plan should be monitored carefully to ensure it is having the desired effect.

    • lbsalz

      Great approach, Dawn!

  • Donna Kirtz

    A new model for an existing team, Hunter and Farmer. Itu2019s been my experience that the successful Hunter Farmer team depends on aligning the existing team so that responsibilities play to the individual strengths and previous successes of each team member. The change is not about failure, instead, maximizing the strengths of each member of the sales team to grow ABC Company.nnMost successful Sales Professionals will say they are hunters. When asked u201cwhat makes you jump out of bed in the morning?u201d a more defined view usually emerges. Successful hunters and farmers both thrive on the u2018closeu2019. Thatu2019s why they are successful. Engage the team; allow them some skin in the game. A sales person will want to sell in a position where they have been most successful. nnLee, to your point, Iu2019ve seen hunter/farmer teams succeed when they are on the same team. ..though not necessarily u2018paired upu2019. Pairing could easily result in an unintended and undeserved hierarchy. Competition is good but u2018usu2019 and u2018themu2019 u2013 not so good; even a structure destined to fail. nnAssuming most customers buy from someone they trust the handoff is critical and the hunter plays a critical role in introducing the farmer to the existing client. nSpeaking of existing clients, the transition of existing client relationships, if not planned and systematically executed could be even more traumatic. Each legacy sales person must take ownership of the transition of account history, relationship, and business detail and transfer that brain-trust to the farmer. Professional courtesy dictates that the legacy sales person reach out to the primary client contact, explain the new model and the advantages of the new model to THEM before introducing their farmer.n nAccount Managers should also be aligned within the Sales Team. Whether the AM role is new or an existing role, those responsibilities should also be clearly defined and known within ABC Company and to clients. nnSide notes – for the Sales Professionals assuming the hunter roles – u2018protected listsu2019. Which prospects should be protected? Protected for how long? Revenue compensation designed for sales; retention compensation for account managers u2013 clear delineation between sales and client support.

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Donna… How do you see the “protected list” program being implemented during the transition?

      • Coach Hughes

        In regards to a protected list. I don’t think I have ever had a sales management assignment where there wasn’t a change to territories. New reps come in, some reps leave, sometimes there are new territories added to the team, etc…nMy practice is that every rep who is losing part of their assignment can give a list of protected accounts for 30 days. My goal is to keep the rep on the account if it can be closed in 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, and rep who wants to extend their exclusivity to those accounts must demonstrate why it did not close and how it will be closed within the next 30 days. If the sales manager gets the right answer you let them keep it. ALL accounts are either closed or transitioned after 60 days.

      • Donna Kirtz

        Lee every sales person will be affected by this change u2013 either territory realignment or sales role. Therefore each sales person will have a “protected” or “hold out” list. Even while roles are being assigned each sales person would immediately be responsible for drafting their “protected list” and supporting business case. Only opportunities in a u2018short listu2019 or better stage that will (not could) close within a 30 day period would be protected. With the 6-month sale cycle 30 days is more than fair. nDuring our weekly 1-on-1 call, each sales person is expected to present their business case for every opportunity they want to protect. Since the 1-on-1 is already a part of the process, the conversations should be straight forward. I reference my initial post and agree with Coach Hughes – accounts that have not closed during the 30 day protected period could potentially be extended another 15, perhaps even 30 days but this would be the exception.

  • Coach Hughes

    Very common scenario. Getting down to business, I would accomplish the following things:n1)How much revenue do we get from the installed Base?n2)How much revenue can a single Installed Base rep handle?n3) How often, and in what situations, do we get “new” business, i.e. a new department, or new application from our installed base accounts.n4) How many new accounts has the team gotten in the past 3 years?n5) Do we already have any good hunters?n6) establish a quota for each type of sales rep.n7) develop a compensation plan for both that is an equal amount at 100%.n8) Included in this compensation is specific bonuses for each new account.n9) New accounts within Installed Base accounts is a team responsibility. When a deal is closed, the New rep gets the new account bonus and so does the installed base rep.nThis is done to encourage teamwork and a better focus on new business within the installed base.n10) Team morale is established by a fair compensation plan. Even though the quotas are very different, you should be able to develop a plan, with sales rep influence, that everyone can buy into. They may not be happy, but it is fair. Also, as in the story, once the assignments are established you should be able to interchange the assignments with the reps. Test how well the assignments are balanced by how much they scream. Then, fill the assignments with the best people, i.e. good skill match, to achieve goal.nnnThis will get you started. Monitor the results, and keep a open forum for suggested improvements. Be prepared to make adjustments to the plan if necessary after 6 months.

    • lbsalz

      Great questions, Jim!

  • Coach Hughes

    PS Every account we call on is use to the revolving rep door. Build a good message for installed accounts getting a new rep, the added things this person makes to solutions, and have the VP make the joint call with the old rep, the new rep and themselves.

  • Coach Hughes

    One last Note. If you need to explain the real difference between the hunter and the skinner, then tell them about the two hunters who went bear hunting. When they got to the cabin, they decided it would be better if one went hunting, and when they found a bear, bring it back to the cabin where the other hunter will do all the work required. So, the next day, the hunter went out. He spent hours looking for a bear. He hid in the tree, under the snow, etc… Finally, he sees a bear, but the bear saw him first and started charging. The hunter went scrambling down the hill toward the cabin. The guy in the cabin heard him screaming and looked out the window. The hunter yelled, open the door! He did, and seconds later the hunter ran into the cabin, opened the front door, ran through it, and slammed the door. The he yelled, “Here’s your first one, I’ll go hunting for another.”

  • lbsalz

    If I can address a sliver of this challengeu2026 nnOftentimes, executives sit in board rooms creating plans of grandeur which fall flat when implemented. Why? They didnu2019t consider a key element u2026 the people! nnChances are the current sales team, while they are all supposed to be hunters, are a mix of hunters and farmers. Each person on the team will need to be carefully evaluated and assessed to determine the best place for them on the team going forward. nnThis assessment needs to be done BEFORE the implementation of the hunter farmer strategy so there is an opportunity to recruit talent for open roles.nnWithout the right people in the right roles, any strategy will fail.

  • Steven Rosen

    There have been many good approaches proposed so far. nnnI you would phase the transition of an account from the hunter to the farmer over a 3-4 month period to ensure that the client relationship is built and maintained. nnnAs for compensation there has to be a transition period where both the hunter and farmer are tied to maintaining and growing existing business. Overtime the hunter compensation should have a greater portion on new business. nnnAs for morale of the sale force management needs to communicate its vision and manage the change process over the first several months.

    • lbsalz

      Thank you, Steven. How would you handle the transition you mentioned?

  • HumanNatureAtWork

    To put my suggestions in context, Iu2019m going to assume thatnthe strategy makes sense. nnSince Iu2019m not a u201csales guyu201d but a u201chuman nature at work guyu201d,nhereu2019s the question I will address:nnu201cBased on human nature, what should you dou2014and not dou2014in thisnsituation, to get the best results in the shortest amount of time?u201dnnMy recommendations can be applied to any major strategicninitiative. Also, to keep things simple, Iu2019ll assume that I am not on thenexecutive team.nn1. Make sure you explain u201cThe Whyu201du2014Since people are far more likely to execute a strategy wholeheartedlyu2014rather than sabotage itu2014if they understand the u201cWhyu201d, make sure you do your homework and thoroughly understand the rationale for this decision. Better still, try out your explanation to someone not in your company and see if they understand it and can see its validity.nn 2. Anticipate objections and get valid answers for themu2014Just like any good sales person would do, make sure you do this bit of homework. If you donu2019t have enough information to answer some of them, ask members of the senior team for their take. You can frame it as u201cI want to make sure I present a compelling message to the team, so part of what Iu2019ve been doing is making a list of potential questions and objections. There were a four that I couldnu2019t answer because I donu2019t have the information. Can I get your take on them?u201dnn3. Present a compelling u201cfuture storyu201du2014Describe what this new approach will do for them, their customers, and the company. Describe what you envision things being like 6-12 months in the future. Think in terms of telling u201cfuture storiesu201d such as: u201cSo for instanceu2026with this new approachu2026when an existing client does X, instead of Y happening, weu2019ll now respond by doing Zu2026which will enable you to A and the customers to get whatever increased value.u201dnn4. Make sure you address the WII-FM for All Partiesu2014As you describe the future story, make sure you describe how this will benefit them, their customers, and the company (and therefore their job security). nn5. Donu2019t BSu2014While you want to explicitly state the good that this change will produce, you donu2019t want to be dishonest. As you know from being on the receiving end of u201cCompany Spinu201d, all it takes is one dishonest message from a leader to irrevocably damage trust. You also donu2019t want to be that kind of leader, right? So, donu2019t try to pretend certain outcomes or changes are a great thing when they actually are a net loss for your team. Also, donu2019t try to hide from the downside realities. Honestly acknowledge them. nn6. Invite feedback and make it safe for people to speak openlyu2014This is where you cannot let efficiency trump effectiveness. Focusing on how to minimize the time spent discussing the initiative is being penny wise and dollar foolish. While you might prefer limiting the discussion because itu2019s uncomfortable dealing with dissent and peopleu2019s negative emotional responses, doing so will cost you dearly. If your people donu2019t feel like they got a chance to heard, they will not try to understand your position. Their resentment over not being heard will, at best, make them not want to give it their all. At worst, it will make them want to actively sabotage the initiative. If you want u201cHow tou2019su201d on how to make it safe for people to speak up, the article Can We Talk?: How to Foster Honest Open Conversation will provide that for you. That link is:nhttp://www.humannatureatwork.com/articles/interpersonal-skills-article-3.htmnn7. Acknowledge their concerns and distressu2014Just as customers want to know youu2019re listening and you understand, so does your team. Make sure you reflect back to them what you are hearing and through your words and voice tone, indicate you appreciate how they feel. Even if they continue to disagree with the change, if they at least feel like their opinion and distress have been understood, they are far more likely to move on and execute wholeheartedly.nn8. Ask them for their ideas about how to best execute the strategyu2014Not only will this give you valuable u201cin the trenchesu201d insights, it also communicates respect, andngives the team a greater feeling of control over the process, which obviouslyncreates greater receptivity and commitment.nn9. Ask your team to focus on their Circle of Controlu2014Remind your team that if we focus on things that we cannot control or influence, it just leaves us feelingnhelpless, angry, and afraid. This is obviously not where anyone wants to be. Conversely, if they focus on what they CAN control, it will give them much more power over their circumstances and.. help them be more effective. nn10. Ask them what you and the company can do to help them make this transition happen successfully and as easy as possible for themu2014This not only demonstrates respect and concern, it will also provide you helpful intel for optimizing your execution.nn11. Tell them you will pass their concerns and suggestions upstreamu2014This not only communicates respect and concern, it also reduces the chances of Learned Helplessness creeping into your culture and leading to a dispirited, apathetic sales team. Getting a u201cSuck it up and move onu201d message, combined with no interest by senior management in any u201cnegative commentsu201d from the team, can create a culture where people believe u201cNothing I think matters. Nothing I do matters.u201d This leads to the Learned Helplessness phenomenon which is obviously the antithesis of the attitude you want to see in your sales team.nn n12. Rinse and repeatu2014Remember communicating about change initiatives is not a one time event. Make sure you continue to tell your u201cfuture storyu201d and what this new approach will do for all parties. Make sure you continue to ask if they have questions or concerns. Make sure you continue to engage them in noticing what works and what doesnu2019t and giving you that information so you can tweak things and give senior leadership u201cin the trenchesu201d intel. Continue to coach them to focus on their circle of control.nn nWhile major change is obviously never easy, you can reducenthe resistance and accelerate the implementation if you do these 12 things.

    • lbsalz

      Thank you, David. Your theme around communication is right on the money. Many strategy implementations fail due to poor communication with the team.

  • Sarah Day

    The skills required to be a hunter can be vastly different from those required to be a farmer. I’d investigate whether it makes sense to team the two – a new business developer or “hunter” with an account manager or “farmer” – particularly if there are administrative tasks associated with the sale. A hunter’s time is much better spent on business acquisition and relationship development than creating contracts or completing orders. Variable compensation would be shared for both new and repeat sales with the farmer typically at a much lower rate of compensation. Also, this needn’t be a 1-to-1 relationship. Depending on the workload, one farmer could support multiple hunters. nnIf the hunter is freed up from administrative work he or she should have more time to pursue more new business so everyone makes more money. One side effect: If you have farmers in hunter roles it will soon become apparent.nnMake sure to clearly (and formally) delineate responsibilities. Also, establish clear guidelines around when an account in management mode should revert to a new business mode, for example, with the introduction of a new product, or a sale that requires a certain amount of complexity or is over a certain dollar amount.

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Sarah. Do you see the Farmer as a sales person or a service person in your suggested solution?

      • Sarah Day

        I would call this person an account manager – preferrably with a high service aptitude but also some basic selling knowledge, enough to propose add-ons or upgrades in addition to taking orders.

  • Janet Boulter

    If management is committed to this type of sales strategy I would propose that each client be serviced by a team, one hunter and one farmer. They would both be responsible for the client- but the hunter would put more time, energy and effort into soliciting the client and getting them aboard. The farmer would be involved from the initial prospecting, but increasing their involvement as the client’s business is secured and services. Of course compensation would be skewed- a large percentage to the hunter with the percentages being adjusted as the account was serviced by the farmer. The situation would have to be monitored and a strong communication program put in place to make sure the client was satisfied with the service and the team who was assigned to their account. The two sales people would remain a team- equally responsible for client retention.

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Janet. What would the scope of responsibilities of the Farmer entail?

  • Ron LaVine

    Ron LaVine, MBA u2022 Excellent question. nnFrom my biased perspective as a sales trainer, and since sales training is often the precursor to sales results, I would train the Hunters on a strategy involving how to hunt properly, efficiently and effectively. For the Farmers I set up a Pro-Active Customer Service strategy. nnRon LaVine, MBA and President of:nnAccelerated Cold Call Training, Inc. – Live Cold Call Training

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Ron. Do you envision the Farmers being service people or sales people? How would you define the scope of the Farmer role?

  • Roger Bannister

    Good comments Brian, your on the right track, long sales cycle business is not conducive to the the traditional hunter/farmer format where the initial sales cycle is short e,g. 6 weeks and minimal relationship requirement.nnLee, if the goal is to increase your hunters pipeline and eventual business you’d be better off with Brian’s team idea, inside guy deals with day to day keeping the outside guy in the loop which free’s up the outside guy to make more calls and build that bigger pipeline. nnRegarding how to deal with account management, compensation and team morale, key to this is make it a true team effort all targets, goals need to be achieved jointly for performance evaluation and comp.

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Roger. Am I to understand that your recommendation is to have the compensation tied to group performance rather than individual?

  • Kent Leighty

    I think when one initially may look at this they may be looking at the “body count” and how can I manage it. The fact is that in my arena the check signers are becoming a smaller group – the influencers are having less influence and the goal is to try and find the “core to the apple” – that small group who can influence the check signers. I read one thread here which talked about cost of sales and totally agree with him.nnThat all said – my opinion would be to utilize the age of technology. The first thing one needs to do is create a database. Sounds crazy but I am amazed at how many companies do not have a database or that they shrill at the fact that time needs to be taken to keep this database up to date.nnSecondly – make certain that you have the right tools for the database. In our company we have what we call a library. In the libray I store all my videos and brochures. I do very little printing as it is very expensive and much of it simply sits on a desk or goes into the trash. Instead – I make a master brochure “handout” for my reps so they can show the customer the material. Once a conversation is complete we put together a catalog that has evrything the customer wants – brochures and video. I then create a link which they can access. This eliminates the email from being rejected due to its size as mine are rather large files. I also get a email back when the link has been opened such that I know they looked at the material and send them a follow up email asking if that may have any further questions.nnThe point is – let technology be your Hunter or at least your head Hunter. Hire a technology person to set up communications with prosepctive – potential and current users. Make certain your people get emails – addresses – and record “all” and I mean “all” conversations with their contacts. Then use your Farmer individual to follow up on the top 20%.nnIt is also important to challenge potential customers. That is set criteria of interest. Again – we have a device that many are willing to try – the fact is some may not have the influence to purchase – the check signer may not have the funds. So check out those people who want to buy the corn and make certain they have the interest and funds to buy that corn.nnMy model would be to use technology as your Hunter and all people would become a Hunter Assitant when needed. I truly believe that more emphasis needs to be placed on the back end today. That is to service the account. The Farmer is key so everyone needs to learn this skill set.

    • lbsalz

      Thanks, Kent… When you refer to a database, do you mean using a CRM to manage the prospect/client relationship?

  • Raul Bustamante

    Some tips to implement a hunter-farmer strategy:nn- To sell new customers (hunter salesman) could be six times more difficult that selling to existing customers (farmer salesman).nn- Paying commissions to hunters may be too expensive if farmers are not getting good results or if farmer strategy is not well done.nn- Usually, new customers orders have lower profit, and existing customers order have a higher profit. nn- Hunters are pushing customers to buy, and farmers are pulling opportunities from customers.nnI feel that a good approach is to build a team with farmers and hunters where:nn- Team manager must be a salesman who is best aligned with customers decision takers. This approach gives you flexibility to put a farmer or a hunter, to coordinate sales activities depending on customer behavior. Usually the hunter must be the leader.nn- Hunters must be commisioned from farmers sales ((remember you should have better profit in farmer sales).nn- This way avoid transitions between salesman.nnRelated to “administrative work”: You never ever give AW to salesman, no matter if they are hunters or farmers. AW could be done by anyone, sales not.nnGood selling!!

    • lbsalz

      You make some interesting points, Raul. Can you expand upon your point about paying commissions to hunters being too expensive if farmers are not getting good results? Thank you for your contribution.

      • Raul Bustamante

        Do you see business as a transaction or as a customer life-cycle? nnIf your company is transaction oriented, perhaps you’re very profitable but you’re not getting market share as you can. In this point of view, there is no difference between paying commisions to hunters or farmers. nnnnBTW, if your company see your new customers as an opportunity so sell during their life-cycle, perhaps the initial transaction it is not important in terms of profit, because you are focus in getting customers to milk for a long time. In this case, paying commision to hunter may be expensive, and… if your strategy to milk customers is wrong, or your farmers aren’t good to get results, you’ll lose your money.

      • Raul Bustamante

        Carefully reading your post, derives that an existing sales team will be split in two. Too risky. You are building problems. I feel that being in a hunting team must be challenging and being in a farmers team, must be confortable. Will you pay different salaries and commisions? More problems. Probably, I would try to reduce sales team to good hunters-only, and I’ll try to hire unexpensives farmers. In my opinion, anyone could be trained to be a farmer, but not to be a hunter.

        • lbsalz

          Thank you for clarifying, Raul!

  • Jesse Stocker

    Lee, it is a question that is best answered, I think, nby all the bits you are going to get in response. No one person is goingn to be able to provide an all-encompassing answer without writing a n5,000 word paper for you. Oh, and while some may have gotten close, no one nhas every told me that they were delighted with how they had constructedn their teams. nnnnMy 10c worth is that I strongly believe there is no such thing as a nhunter and a farmer in the one person. I have met ONLY 2 people in my 30n years of sales management who have the skills to be excellent at eithern (and they were), however, when placed in a position of having to do nboth (hunt and farm), their results were average in both.nThe need to switch thinking on and off is counter-productive and no nmatter how cleverly you construct a payplan, when you are hunting you nare not farming and when you are farming you are not hunting. nnnnFarming is essentially retention and growth or account management. Keep n’em and make more money from them! This requires a very different nmindset to a hunter (new business/business acquisition) role. No news ton anyone, I know, but I had to say it to make the next point. nnnnSo, I would recommend that your most fundamental element of the strategyn is to have two teams with very a sharp and narrow focus (by activity ntarget/model or payplan or both) to direct them to deliver the outcomes nyou want. Hunters are relatively easy to reward and direct, however, nfarmers still have to generate revenue or they become too costly to nkeep. nnnnEveryone else’s turn now……..argue or support!

  • lbsalz

    Having read through the comment thread, there appears to be some debate over the role of the u201cFarmer.u201d It appears many see this person as primarily providing a high-level customer service role. However, the intent of the Hunter Farmer strategy is to have two types of salespeople on the team. nnIn my mind, the Hunter serves in the role of new client acquisitionu2026bringing in new accounts. nnThe Farmer, however, plays the strategic role of expanding the supplieru2019s presence with an account. This includes selling additional products as well as expanding into other locations/divisions. Certainly, providing excellent service is a tactic that helps to facilitate those activities. Yet, the Farmer is not intended to be a service representative. Itu2019s a sales role. nnFurthermore, the Farmer plays defense, not just offense. How often do you lose an account because a competitor entered through a backdoor? They worked with another division or provided another product. Any time your full solution is not deployed throughout the enterprise, you are vulnerable in that account. It is the Farmeru2019s responsibility to ensure every account is fully conquered.nnBecause of the Farmer being seen as a service person, many salespeople are insulted by the term. Quite frankly, it has become a four-letter word in the sales profession. I highly recommend avoiding that term in your organization. The Farmer is a strategic sales role which should have both a revenue growth goal and compensation for meeting those expectations.

    • Monika Kovacs

      My views exactly. Farmers at my organisation earn a very good commission when they are successful at upselling, their targets are based on various types of products and on revenue growth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jwhllc John W Harris

    Today the best new customers arenmy current ones by locating and/or creating new buying centers with the currentncustomers. This is not done well by those with the “servicing”nskills. So if servicing the existing accounts is bogging down the salesperson,nI agree with Sarah that a team approach with people of different skill setsnwould be appropriate. I think the Hunter/Farmer concept that was groundbreakingnwhen implemented in the insurance industry a century or more ago, is notnapplicable as such today. I do not use these terms any more, as it sends thenwrong message to the teams assigned to current accounts and new logo business.

    • Tony Giovaniello

      John, I agree with you totally. When you win business in today’s world, you’re wearing it because you’re providing some type of insight, knowledge, or learning for the customer. You do not win new business within the account just by servicing it well. You must continue to provide the type of insight that won the business initially.Therefore the hunter, assuming he has the skills to deliver ongoing insight needs to be on the account. If the farmer has these type of skills, he should be a hunter, to.

  • Diane Helbig

    This is one of those decisions that really needs to be thought out and implemented carefully to avoid unexpected consequences. The first step is to determine what the process looks like internally. Will you pair outside sales people with inside support individuals specifically? I think this is the best method when possible. It provides consistency and allows them to build a team. Part of the process has to be having the salesperson introduce the support person to the client. This happens after the salesperson has explained the process to the client. You want to be sure your clients know how you do business. Clear, consistent communication is key to the success of this process. In addition, the client should know that the salesperson is always available if needed. No one wants to feel like they have been passed off without any recourse if necessary. nnNext, determine how the commissions will be shared. Remember that the salesperson and the support person should be sharing in the commission on the account. This helps give both of them more of a vested interest in the account’s success. In my opinion, hunting is harder than farming and this should be taken into consideration when determine compensation. nnnnUltimately, there should be a compelling business reason for implementing a hunter/farmer program within a company. Once you’ve established why this process is of value to your company and your clients, gather the staff and have the conversation. I believe that pulling them into the planning and decision making gives them ownership of the process and helps it succeed. Once again, clear, consistent communication is critical. No one likes an arbitrary decision. So make sure you are explaining why this is the best way to go.

  • Nathan Black

    The best way to implement this would be to have teams. Identify the hunters and farmers then put the teams together so in essence you have 4 people (2 hunters and 2 farmers) servicing the client. This also gives a better chance to see who is strong in what areas of the sales process and who needs help and where sales are falling through the cracks. Commissions would be shared as a team ongoing and the fact that each member knows both sides of the process you have built in redundancy program if someone quits which saves you time and money in retraining costs. To keep up the morale I would start with a test program for 6 months to show the effectiveness and raise in compensation to the group. I would also share the story of world record 400 meter runner Michael Johnson who ran 400 meters in 43.18 seconds! Impressive yes but did you know that the womens 4 x 100 world record relay team did it in 40.38 seconds! This goes to show you that teams tend to win, why? Because the team holds each other accountable. Top performers don’t want to be the weak link on the team but we still run where we are strongest. What we tend to find in team environments is that people will rise up to the level of the team. People will work harder for the team than they will for themselves, that is why when a person makes the decision to start working out their chance of success goes up by 66% if they start working out with 2-3 other people as a group.nnAnother advantage of the team is the fact that people can take time off and not feel their customers aren’t being serviced. Now you have 24/7 coverage for your customers. Added value win, win, win! Company wins because higher revenue and customer retention. Customer wins because of 24/7 coverage and needs being met and able to work with a team so less chance of personality conflict. Sales team wins because each person is working with their strengths and maximizing sales opportunity.

  • Monika Kovacs

    In my experience, Farmers and Hunters tend to differ in terms of personality and role preferences thus they usually welcome the separation of the two positions. Farmers do not tend to be as successfull at getting new business, making cold calls, bringing in new clients. Hunters often get bored of account management and upsell.nnAs target setting each year usually brings a change in accounts that the reps work with, the Hunters hand over their existing accounts to Inside Sales or Account Managers (the Farmers) depending on size and thus be freed to hunt for new accounts.nnAs for the commissioning process (compensation), for Hunters the requirements are much lower in terms of revenue because the accounts are initially small. Farmers would have a much larger target to work with. There is still sometimes resentment that Farmers’ role is seen as easier, however Hunters are often a younger and more impatient group who do understand that they would not enjoy the more settled Farmer approach. They can be also reminded that their targets are indeed usually not that high.nnFrom the clients’ perspective, it would depend on how the transitioning is handled and how different types of expertise is outlined. Sales is the kind of field where staff churn/turn over is high. In my experience this is especially true for Hunters – by the nature of their personality and position. Therefore your clients can expect a much more stable and reliable management from the more settled Farmers and they should welcome that.nnI think there is no issue with morale if both roles are fully understood within the organisation, if the right people are selected for them and if the commissioning process works in a way that stretches each rep but is still set at a fair and realistic level.

  • Bernie Macht

    Given that outline? Run away like there is no tomorrow. Been there, done that, twice. The environments were similar, but not exactly the same as above. The more niche and specialized and technical the product is, the LESS this strategy should be used. I would strenuously argue against until it were clear that experience was not going to prevail. Then, I would then do it in small pieces. nnChoose one person good at the hunting and train the heck out of them and give them a transitional territory with guarantees. That guinea pig has to be in it for the long run, so give her/him a lot of reasons to tough it out for a while. Then do another, then another. Focus on the hunters. Farmers are easier to find. If your first two are successful, others will want to follow, and then you can start moving faster.

  • mark riemann

    The tactic only seems like a challenge, because we are framing everything up from a perspective which is familiar.Every sales team has hunters, looking to bring in a deal, while a ( often larger) portion of the sales team enjoys the maintenance of the account.This group enjoys learning more about everyone at the account, the kids, the hobbies, etc. While the other group ( the hunter), is most interested in getting to know the company well enough to make the sale. In this example I would deploy the hunters. Once the accounts are sold “customer care” takes over, this is your farmer group of account managers. I would make the VP or other management team member ( who suggested the concept) in charge of a successful transition, between the sales team ( hunter) and customer care team (farmer). Hunters would be called for periodic visits, but would likely drop from the account and move on, if these are not repeat big item sales.

  • David Wick

    Without second guessing managements premise, and assuming I am the VP of Sales, I would involve Human Resources to help me to

    - use existing reviews and other observations to catagorize my existing staff

    into hunters or farmers

    - define a team structure that puts the hunters on the most lucrative

    opportunities for revenue for next year (6+ month sales cycle)

    - slot the existing people into the proposed organization

    - map account assignments into new structure

    - review the incentive program, and modify it to account for the new structure,

    so that people still have the same opportunity

    - define a date in the future when it starts

    - define a communication plan with customers

    - review the whole program with the management team

    - roll out the program to the sales team

    I agree with previous contributors that understanding the motivations (cost savings, growth, …) is key to making changes, and once those are clear, going this route may not be best. I have been thru several of these transitions and can tell you that “top down directed” changes don’t work well.

  • garyenns

    Toughest one yet, well, in my limited time as part of this group. Messing with a sales persons ability to make money is my all time hated practice. NOT GOOD! Whether or not this is the case, until its explained in $$$$, your sales people will assume they are getting the short end.

    So the change needs to be positive from a dollars perspective. Being a sales driven company means the sales people are GOLD, obviously your top producers even more so. I have not seen many corporate companies that ‘truly’ understand this… but that’s a rant for another time.

    Compensation:

    The commission structures are going to be the BIG problem. The onus will be on the VP Sales to show how this is beneficial. There is always an assumption of negativity. I would push UNBELIEVABLY hard to make sure that income is not affected, in fact I would push that the commission structure be more advantageous to the ‘hunter’. There would need to be a period of transition as well, enough time to allow the ‘hunter’ to focus on and build a new business funnel. Again, show them you are working with them to make the compensation transition painless.

    The Hunter:

    Focus will need to be on the instant gratification, and I suggest a larger % upfront, but decreases year 2 to a loyalty bonus of some kind, and then disappears. The drive will be to ‘hunt’! Create a positive push towards that ‘drive’ that motivates the hunter. Those that don’t get on board with that drive, maybe they are already farmers, can be offered to move to that team. Maybe perks can be added or increased for the hunter (trips, car allowance, cell, target incentives) There NEEDS to be an amazing compensation package and one that increasingly rewards those bringing in new business, above target. Obviously the CFO and team need to be involved here but I would stand firm on not letting the compensation be reduced, but high producers being increased.

    The Farmers:

    I fully agree with Sarah in that the farmers can be commissioned on a much lower level, possibly a higher base. This isn’t hardcore sales, so the commission structure doesn’t need to be as robust.

    Morale:

    I think morale is best managed with honesty. Don’t create a cloak over the process your people probably already know its coming and are scared. Immediate meeting to announce the transition and assure that compensation is NOT being affected and that they should be excited about the change and that the companies growth strategy is platform to for rewards not punishment.

    Have conversation with all sales people individually to determine if any would like a ‘farmer’ role, can probably be determined prior from KPIs. This will show adaptability and sincerity.

    Then explain to both groups, separately, how their compensation will work. HAVE THE MEETING CATERED! Make this a special moment… POSITIVE!

    I truly don’t think you can go to far here, your sales people determine company success, especially if you are in client-base growth mode.

    Account Management:

    I would take my top sales people to the side, and look for answers from them. Since they have been handling the whole process to this point they will have excellent input as to customers who will need more hand holding, and those that will be happy to have a personal ‘account manager’ dedicated to their future needs.

    I don’t see a HUGE problem with companies switching over to a Client Management team post sale. Your ‘good’ sales people will offer to stay in touch to ‘help the transitions’. And it needs to be allowed to assist with the transition with clear and defined parameters.

    Lots of work, but I think this a client focused strategy that if tackled right can is beneficial for all parties.
    ……

    That being said… If this company is not making the happiness of its sales people the primary focus in this move then I would not want to be a part. Happy salespeople make happy customers and MORE customers!

    Hope there is some wisdom in there, way longer than I anticipated. Hope the logic flows.

    Great questions Lee, and great answers by all on this thread. Great discussion group!

  • Dan Wessel

    All salespeople should be hunters. Successful hunters should easily be farmers with their accounts since “hunting” with an existing customer base is “farming”.

    Any mgmt team that makes the decision in the premise knows nothing about selling and will almost certainly fail in their removed management of sales.

  • Neil Licht

    This may sound a bit basic but I always set up a team that together with my sales folks managed both the hunter and the farmer interface and activity.

    Our sales person orchestrated the team so their prospects saw depth and had contact people to go to for anything they needed or wanted to know. Each team member stayed in sync re objective, approach, status, sharing account interface activity, was introduced at the appropriate time during the selling process and retained their roles as farmers once the account was landed.

    The sales person had responsibility for monthly account contact “farming”. That sales person set expectations within their account that there now was a team to support them, a team they already knew and guided the account to using the specialists in the team re issues, questions, support and that the sales person was always in the lop re activity. at a minimum. The sale person was responsible for doing a quarterly report for their account re how and where things stand, summarizing the quarters interactions and its results and assuring that what was sold did actually do what it should and support was working as expected.

    That made sense since it was a technical/software/systems type of sale and solution. The quarterly review kept the sales person in touch with all the key dept heads and thus, could ask about changes, company directions and easily uncover needs for expanded services. It also allowed for easily renewing the annual service contract.

    The result was a freeing up of the sales person to do what they do best-find, nurture and close new accounts and allowing an easy acceptance of others in our companies as the farmers by the account so to speak. We also had a very high retention and growth rate of business within existing accounts by doing this.