Hunters are the closers that build short-term relationships with new prospects and focus on turning them into customers. Finding World Class hunters is not an easy task as they are a completely different animal than the farmer and less of them exist. Hunters are the people on your sales team that seem to have a different “sales gene” that others don’t possess. They don’t execute because you tell them to; they do it because they love the thrill of selling deals.
Why is this important to you? Many organizations have sales roles that they call hunters or business development but they are spending less than 50% of their time on new logo acquisition. These organizations are also struggling with net new growth. Why is this?
There are two main reasons:
- They put somebody in a hunter role that does not possess hunter competencies. They asked them to hunt and also do “some” current customer work. The non-hunter naturally gravitates toward his strength and spends an inordinate amount of time on the current customer activity.
- You put a hunter in a blended or corrupted job. A blended job requires that the sales professional perform job duties from more than one role. Corrupted jobs are bogged down in work that does not lead to the desired results for the role. Hunters want to hunt. They don’t want to deal with current customers, support activities, or administrative duties. This frustrates them and muddles their focus. Companies have a natural inclination to combine roles and have sales reps perform more dutes as an efficiency play. This is a mistake.
True hunters are a rare breed. They like the thrill of the hunt. They enjoy prospecting, negotiating, and get a rush out of signing business. They don’t thrive off long-term relationships and job security. They are looking at whether the compensation plan is capped and are thirsty for more leads.
How do you attract a hunter?
- Find them – certain industries do a great job of acquiring, training, and developing hunters.
- Pay plan – high risk / high reward. Hunters aren’t looking for 80-90% base salary. They want a huge upside.
- Provide role clarity – keep hunters focused on hunting. Remove the administrative burden, don’t have them focused on building relationships with current customers, and don’t bother them with internal politics.
- Create a clear vision for hunters – hunters are executers. They want to know the rails in which they need to maneuver and be left alone to do what they do best.
Once you acquire hunters make sure you give them the weapons to be successful and adequate leads to hunt. Hunters are in high demand and you need to keep them happy or they will hunt in a different forest. Find them, support them, pay them for results and measure the impact on your new business results. Great hunters can help your Go to Market Strategy produce the World Class results you desire.