What’s Your Hunting-Farming Ratio?

Does your hunting-farming sales ratio go up and down like a playground seesaw? Or maybe the ratio is lopsided one way or the other and doesn’t move much at all.

Do your salespeople spend more time tending to current customers (farming), for example, than actively searching for new customers (hunting)?

Do you even know? If you don’t, you might want to figure it out with the objective of determining what the optimal ratio is for your company. What’s the opportunity cost of an imbalance? It varies from company to company, but it’s important to know. If it’s right, you’ll want to maintain it. If wrong, you’ll want to adjust it.

Gradually, as sales people bring in more customers they can begin to spend time taking care of those customers at the expense of bringing in new ones. Even if they’re building business with current customers, sales can suffer noticeably. It’s rare that increased penetration of current customers will offset lack of new customers.

The causes of an imbalance vary from broad organizational design to a company’s sales process (or lack of one) to the skill set of individual salespeople. And technology can play a role.

To learn more about balancing hunting and farming at your organization, just give us a call. We’re happy to discuss!

Scott Pemberton is a senior consultant at Productive Strategies, Inc., a marketing and management consulting firm specializing in consultative sales training, lead generation and appointment setting, and marketing and marketing communications.  Scott can be reached at 847-446-0008 Extension 3 and at spemberton@productivestrategies.com.


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