Three Types of Sales Roles: Hunter, Trapper and Farmer

Jul 17, 2023 10:00:00 AM | Marketing Three Types of Sales Roles: Hunter, Trapper and Farmer

Learn about the three different types of sales roles and how they fit into your organization.

Society has changed but our functions still remain from ancient times. We live in this new miracle age of artificial assistants, decentralized currencies and data pools of knowledge dwarfing anything out of the library of Alexandria. Yet we still have the same mind as our ancestors. Things change but our DNA is still the same. Our functions in society have evolved yet we still have behaviors from our past. Below, let's explore sales roles in organizations and how they relate to our ancestral jobs. 

The Hunter Sales Role:

archerHunter Sales Professionals are the ones who go out and bring in sales. They are the close combat specialists of the business world, engaging directly with clients all day. Often salesmen are magnetic personas, able to charm anyone. Hunter salesmen focus  on outbound sales. They are clever in their choice of words and can argue with anyone. Their wits and deep knowledge of the products they sell gives them a leg up. Hunters know when a person is sold and when a person is just "window shopping". The best salesmen know how to turn window shoppers into buying customers and make a tidy profit doing so. All day Hunters speak with customers and dealing with managers and if it is a high ticket sales item they spend time in finance too. Hunters hunt for the next opportunity and never rest on their laurels. Marketing for hunter salesmen is a tool to help win and close deals. There is no direct relationship between marketing and sales. Hunters can be found on social media, cold calling, cold emailing and in person at a business. blessed_spearperson

Key skills of a Hunter

  • Deep understanding of human psychology
  • Understands the foundation of a sale
  • Energetic and alert for opportunities
  • Good knowledge base of the product or service
  • Excels at small businesses and high ticket items. 

Hunter Weaknesses

  • Dealing with leads not qualified
  • Dealing with leads not ready for sales
  • Forgetting their sales training
  • Laziness and losing focus due to personal matters
  • Can become unfocused and lost in large corporations and selling lower ticket items.

The Trapper Sales Role:

hunterUnlike their Hunter counterpart, the Trapper is not engaged with customers all the time. They are busy setting traps. Trappers have a strategists mindset. These revenue focused tacticians deal with inbound sales . The Trapper sales pro focuses on quality inbound leads ready for a sales representative. These salesmen work directly with marketing and set goals with service level agreements. Trappers have a deep understanding of the product and of the marketplace. Often Trappers are marketers themselves, creating white papers and setting up webinars. When a trapper engages with a customer, she can switch to a sales mindset building trust and rapport with an already sales qualified lead. Trappers never engage with cold calling. They focus on automated marketing campaigns that help to qualify ready to buy leads. In the buyer's journey of awareness, consideration and decision making, Trappers come in at the decision making time. Trappers help qualified buyers to explore their options and choose the best solution for their product. frost_sculptor

Key Skills of a Trapper:

  • Deep understanding of the marketplace
  • Understands human psychology
  • Works well with marketing
  • Understands the buyer's journey and what makes a lead sales qualified
  • Does well in various types of businesses from small business to large enterprise

Trapper Weaknesses

  • Highly dependent on marketing teams and assets
  • Forgetting their sales training
  • Working with poor technology stacks
  • Laziness and losing focus due to personal matters
  • Can become unfocused and lost in large corporations and selling lower ticket items.

The Farmer Sales Role:

DarkSkull_woodsmanThe Farmer sales professional makes her living in suitable conditions with older accounts, qualified buyers, and established channel partners. Farmers thrive in more stable conditions, able to work existing business and turn it into lasting opportunities. These customer experience managers often are interchangeable with account managers. The key difference is Farmers serve in more of an upsell/ client referral capacity. Farmers can be found working channel partnerships with reputable businesses referring qualified leads into the pipeline. They also work as an account managers. The Farmer works less with marketing than the other two roles, Hunter and Trapper. Farmers still need marketing to help upsell and convince existing/ channel partner customers of the unique value proposition. Like Hunters they seek opportunities for upselling and increasing average order value.  Like Trappers they do not cold call or do anything outbound in sales. The Farmer, more than Hunters and Trappers are aware of the whole customer journey, not just the buyer's journey. miner

Key Skills of a Farmer

  • Understands human psychology
  • Understands the whole customer journey
  • Focuses on upselling
  • Works well with client to form win/win situations
  • Knows how to nurture and build client relationships

Weaknesses of a Farmer

  • Cannot perform outbound sales or inbound sales
  • Working with poor technology stacks
  • Does not do well in small businesses
  • Laziness and losing focus due to personal matters
  • Getting too close to clients

Final thoughts on Sales Roles

Sales for business is necessary even with the best marketing engine on the planet. Each type of sales role should be considered for the business you have. Hunters are great for start ups and very few start ups survive without the CEO or a leader to find initial business. Trappers are good for more established businesses small or large and add value by creating assets that can last for years. Often trappers add value in the sale of a business. Farmers work well with established businesses mid size and larger. Every business owner must know these types and how they fit into their business model.

Next article we will talk about the Blacksmiths of Business, Marketers. Sales professionals get their arms and armor for dealing with the business world from Marketing. We will explore marketing siege engines, weapons of business and sales armor. 

NOTE: the term salesman is used interchangeably and gender neutral.  

Richard Leon

Written By Richard Leon: Richard Leon

Ex Pat and Marine, Richard Leon has ran several businesses and now helps others with their business. He is also Co-Founder of HoneyDo