The companies I talk to are always looking for sales “hunters”.  It’s almost a sure thing that if a sales candidate says they are a “farmer” then they are out.  But why are farmers so uncool?

Hosting Brain Carroll’s webinar reminded me of the importance of lead nurturing.  It’s clear from Brian’s research that companies that stay-in-touch with target buyers greatly increase their revenue (one piece of data: leads that are not ready to buy today are 77% of all leads coming in to your company.)  But lead nurturing is another way of saying farming.  So companies that utilize only hunting techniques will do far worse than companies that farm.

If we want our sales outcomes in the future dramatically improve, perhaps we need to think of our human history in agriculture.  Once upon a time there was only hunting – no farming.  Many companies still run their lead generation efforts like early man, foraging in the forest for wild berries and boar.

Here’s a very brief history of agriculture I found on a Rice University website. The beginning seems to have many parallels to how sales and marketing works in many companies:

Before agriculture, people lived by hunting wild animals and gathering edible plants. When the herds were plentiful and the plants flourishing, life was good. But, when the herds migrated elsewhere, people had to follow them and often discover a whole new set of plants to supplement their diet.

This “feast or famine” lifestyle had its definite drawbacks including starvation.

Eventually, people decided that life would be a lot easier if they always had the animals with them and if edible plants or their produce were always available.

So are farmers so uncool?

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