Sales representatives can be broken down into two different kinds—hunters and farmers—depending on their job function.
Hunters are what most people think of as salespeople; they turn sales prospects into customers by closing the deal. Hunters can often gain referrals—names and numbers of others that may be interested in their product or service—from satisfied customers. However, many hunters must spend hours on the phone cold-calling, giving their sales pitch to strangers whose names they've gotten from a telephone directory or list. This is a very difficult task, but sales managers feel this is a necessary way for sales reps to get familiar with rejection.
It takes a lot of confidence to be a hunter.
Farmers are also sales reps, but play a different role from hunters. Farmers are given the job of cultivating existing accounts, looking for opportunities to expand sales from one product line to many (called cross-selling). They are also responsible for upgrading sales from lower-value to higher-value products (called up-selling). Farmers try to form close relationships with their customers, providing round-the clock service and lots of visits. This may also include giving gifts to valued customers, and providing entertainment opportunities.