Till recently it was well accepted to segregate your sales team with members comprising of customer “Retention” specialists and “Acquisition” specialists. The formula was simple some sales guys are better in generating new business and some are good at nurturing long relationships. They were known as the hunters and farmers respectively in some organisations, some organisations structured their sales team partly as outgoing customer facing representatives known as External Sales Team and partly as Internal Sales Team members who were responsible for continuity and relationship management.
The ideal talent mix of your sales team should have members with distinct skills, the key four elements in a sales team:
SNIFFERS – Where and who will buy your product, service, the sniffers know… they use technology, market intelligence and offbeat methods to sniff and identify their target customers.
CONNECTORS – Call these guys when you want to make the connection, they know people directly or indirectly and will get you access to your customers, they help you fix that meeting you have been taking months to figure out.
CLOSERS – You can count on them to seal the deal , they know the tricks of the trade , great negotiators and a sense of confidence, They don’t fear failures ,they have already overcome that state of mind , you will find them enter the ring with their heads held high.
CULTIVATORS – Check the fine print, ensure the commitments are delivered, follow up, escalate , never ever leave the customer to fend for themselves, they are the ones who get your customers back to you.
So how do you decide the ideal talent mix ? It depends on many factors like:
- Your product and services portfolio
- The territory , market segments , geographies catered by your business
- Most importantly – Your business objectives
Most of the sales organisations can do well with a ratio of 20% Sniffers, 25 % Connectors, 30% Closers and 25% Cultivators.