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Sales Farming: Cultivating Success Through Relationships
Blog / For Sales Pros / Dec 20, 2023 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 51

Sales Farming: Cultivating Success Through Relationships

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In the dynamic landscape of sales, the farmer archetype takes center stage, tending to leads, nurturing sales, and elevating the business through relationship-building. This strategy, built on relationships, transcends the transactional approach and focuses on the long-term growth of existing accounts.

Understanding the Farmer Salesperson:

Distinguishing itself from the hunter mentality, the farmer salesperson thrives on the continuous cultivation of customer relationships. Their role extends beyond closing deals; it involves the delicate art of cross-selling and up-selling to existing accounts. The farmer’s strength lies in their ability to delve deeper into customer intricacies, requiring exceptional relationship skills, endurance, patience, and a commitment to longevity.

The Power of Relationships:

Unlike the transient nature of a hunter’s interaction, the farmer is in constant collaboration with the account. This sustained engagement necessitates a profound understanding of the customer’s world, business, and needs. Listening attentively to customer concerns is integral, recognizing that complaints are a valuable source of improvement.

The farmer comprehends the importance of examining existing accounts through lagging indicators, metrics that reveal past performance. Questions surrounding closed opportunities, open opportunities, duration from lead to close, and changes in contacts and decision-makers become pivotal in assessing the account’s health.

Working with the Existing Customer:

A strategic farmer analyzes specific accounts, identifying opportunities to expand product or service lines within them. This goes beyond maintaining a customer fully loaded with existing offerings; it involves recognizing untapped potential within a customer’s broader landscape.

In the B2B realm, sales often commence at a specific division rather than the company’s top level. Establishing an internal champion within the company becomes crucial for long-term success. This advocate aids in promoting your product within the company, paving the way for potential expansion. Relationship mapping tools, such as those in Pipeliner CRM, empower the farmer salesperson in this relationship-centric journey.

From Sales Management:

For sales managers overseeing farmer-centric teams, a meticulous strategy is imperative to efficiently manage all accounts. Creating a list of major accounts earmarked for up-selling, cross-selling, or maintenance is the initial step. Just as there is a plan for acquiring new business, a parallel plan should exist for expanding existing business.

Determining the number of accounts each salesperson can handle becomes pivotal. This varies across industries, with some products allowing a salesperson to manage a larger portfolio than others. Evaluating last year’s revenue, predicting this year’s expectations, defining contact frequencies, and identifying crucial data for regular updates become crucial elements.

Numbers and Planning:

Crafting a plan for account expansion involves intensive data analysis, strategic formulation, and numerical clarity. For instance, if the target is to generate $1 million from specific accounts, understanding the revenue potential of each account is vital. Calculating up-selling and cross-selling requirements provides a roadmap for achieving revenue goals. Visibility into when each deal is expected to materialize offers foresight and prevents wasted efforts.

The Necessity of CRM:

This intricate planning underscores the complexity of managing and expanding accounts, a task impossible without a CRM. Pipeliner CRM emerges as the ultimate tool, offering a 360-degree view of customers and their activities. Whether dealing with hunters or farmers, Pipeliner CRM provides unparalleled visibility into contacts, accounts, and processes.

Sales management benefits from Pipeliner’s flexibility in forecasting. Automated reports ensure real-time access to the latest numbers, eliminating risks associated with quota attainment. With Pipeliner CRM, sales managers are empowered with comprehensive insights, enabling informed decisions and strategic actions.

In the realm of sales farming, cultivating success through relationships is not just a strategy; it’s a philosophy. As organizations embrace the farmer archetype, building lasting connections and nurturing existing accounts become the keystones of sustainable growth. Elevate your sales approach, transcend transactional norms, and reap the rewards of a relationship-centric strategy.

About Author

CEO and partner of pipelinersales.com and the uptime ITechnologies, which I founded in 1994 and has since played a significant role in the development of the IT-environment. pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market. Pipeliner was designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. I am also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace in terms of liberal and social responsibility. Connecting people, the trust of business leadership in terms of values such as freedom, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening their awareness in order to create a dynamic boost within the economy triggered through spontaneity, all stand for the initial ideas surrounding GO-AHEAD! I studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received my Masters's Degree in 1994. I am married and have 3 children My Specialties are in: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, "Pipeline Management", Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics

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