Have you ever thought about the type of sales role you are in? Or managers, the type of selling profiles you need to achieve your objectives? In the “old days” we looked for either hunters or farmers. Yet today’s business world complexities require a refinement of selling profile.
Professional selling has more nuances now than ever before. Because buyers are more educated, time restricted, and demanding, the role of salespeople is now more than filing someone’s wants or needs. Today’s sellers need to be agile and actively looking for problems and opportunities they can help their buyers address or capture.
The new selling profiles are:
The Developers were formerly known as farmers. They cultivate existing relationships and sales opportunities from leads. Developers proactively seek sales opportunities and also react to marketing or corporate initiatives.
The Dredgers were known as hunters. They dig to find opportunities under the radar by looking for trigger events and strategic sales opportunities.
Dredgers proactively dredge the bottom of every possibility for an opening to a problem, opportunity, want, or need.
The Dispensers are the technical and service oriented salespeople. These non-traditional salespeople probably never imagined themselves in a sales role and maybe don’t want to claim they are now either.
Dispensers are the eyes and ears in constant contact with customers—whether it be in implementation, service, or troubleshooting. They are in the best position to identify additional opportunities for your products and services.
How does knowing the selling profiles help?
For salespeople it allows you to identify your development opportunities, mentoring and coaching needs to target developing the skills and attitudes for the type of sales you are in. For example, if you are a Dispenser, how much is cold calling or lead generation going to help you? If you are a Dredger, training or a focus on account maintenance probably won’t help you in a substantial way either.
Managers, knowing the types of selling profiles you need to succeed will help you coach, make better hires, and ensure your pipeline is full and your forecasts are accurate.
If you are fortunate enough to have a large team, you can probably put people in the right spaces. If not, you should evaluate what you need to move your business forward and ensure you have the right people in the right roles on your team.
Something to think about it, isn’t it?
Your Turn! What selling profile is your role? What would you add to the description for that profile? Share your comments and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a signed copy of Conversations That Sell.
Great Insights! In these uncertain times, I have a few different roles in my various consulting positions in each of these categories. Would like to see how some of the other sales people are coping (specially the ones who are considered “too old” to be of any use to big corporations.
Shah, good idea, there are even more roles – and many of us carry more than role in just one job.
Thanks for your article, it is very useful!
In the B2B sector is also important to understand the profile of the B2B sales reps how is explained in this interesting article about a research made by the CEB, a leading member-based advisory company based in the U.S.
Thanks Emanuele. Interesting what they explain in the article, not sure I can agree that the Challenger salesperson is 54% effective – many buyers don’t want to be challenged in that way. Need to collaborate and adjust your approach depending on how the buyer wants to work/be sold to.
I like the division for 3 selling profiles. Great nicknames for every single one, too – they really reflect their tasks 🙂 I think I used to be developer but not only, as I was also doing some of the dredger’s tasks. Usually, in a start-up a single person plays multiple roles. But I think that in the long run it’s a good idea to put the right people on the right places, so they could focus on the tasks specific for their role model: be the best at their part of the process instead of desperately trying to comprehend the whole process on their own. Of course, the roles will overlap at some points and it’s impossible to separate them entirely. But a well-thought-out division of responsibilities allows the sales team and the whole company to thrive. When I read your article, I immediately recalled an experience-based post I read some time ago, thought it might be interesting in the context of your division http://righthello.com/2015/05/wrong-responsibilities-kill-sales-performance/
thanks for sharing…