Hunter vs Farmer: Which Sales Approach Triumphs in SaaS?


The “hunter vs farmer” sales approach is a popular strategy in the SaaS industry. The hunter sales model focuses on acquiring new customers, while the farmer sales model emphasizes nurturing and retaining existing clients. 

Both roles are crucial for a successful sales team, and understanding their differences can help you build a balanced and effective team.

A balanced sales team, comprising both hunters and farmers, is essential for the growth and stability of your SaaS business. 

While hunters help expand your customer base, farmers ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat business and referrals.

We will understand that, and how to build a SaaS sales team using this concept in this blog. 

Table of Contents

Understanding the Hunter vs Farmer Sales Approach

Key Differences Between Hunters and Farmers

The hunter vs farmer sales model is based on two distinct roles:

  • Hunters are aggressive and focused on winning new business. They are risk-takers, thrive on the thrill of the chase, and are motivated by closing deals.

  • Farmers, on the other hand, are patient and nurturing. They excel at building relationships, ensuring customer satisfaction, and promoting customer loyalty.

Benefits of Implementing the Hunter vs Farmer Approach

Implementing the hunter vs farmer sales approach can yield several benefits:

  • Increased sales: By focusing on both acquisition and retention, you can maximize your sales.

  • Improved customer satisfaction: Farmers ensure that your existing customers are happy, leading to higher customer satisfaction rates.

  • Sustainable growth: Hunters help you expand your customer base, while farmers maintain it, leading to sustainable growth.

The Role of Hunters in the Sales Team

Characteristics of a Hunter

Hunters are characterized by their aggressive approach, risk-taking attitude, and focus on closing deals. They are typically extroverted and confident, and driven by targets and rewards. Some of their other characteristics are:

  1. Proactive and Driven: Hunters are highly proactive, constantly seeking new leads and opportunities. They have a strong drive to achieve and exceed their sales targets.

  2. Excellent Prospecting Skills: They excel in prospecting, identifying, and targeting potential new clients. Hunters are adept at using various tools and strategies to generate leads.

  3. Persistent and Resilient: Rejection is common in sales, but hunters are resilient. They don’t get easily discouraged and are persistent in their efforts to close deals.

  4. Strong Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial. Hunters are skilled in articulating the value proposition of the SaaS product to potential clients.

  5. Results-Oriented: Hunters are focused on results. They are motivated by achieving sales goals and often work in fast-paced environments.

Strategies for Successful Hunting

Successful hunting requires a strategic approach. Some effective strategies include:

  • Targeting the right prospects: Hunters should focus on prospects that fit your ideal customer profile.

  • Using persuasive communication: Hunters must be able to convince prospects of the value of your SaaS product.

  • Closing deals quickly: Hunters should aim to close deals as quickly as possible to maximize their success rate.

The Role of Farmers in the Sales Team

Characteristics of a Farmer

Farmers are characterized by their patience, nurturing nature, and focus on building relationships. They are typically empathetic, reliable, and driven by customer satisfaction.

Here are some more of their characteristics:

  1. Relationship-Oriented: Farmers excel in building long-term relationships with clients. They invest time in understanding client needs, preferences, and business goals to foster trust and loyalty.

  2. Excellent Account Management Skills: They are adept at managing customer accounts, ensuring clients receive the support and attention needed to remain satisfied and engaged with the product.

  3. Customer Retention Focus: A primary goal for farmers is customer retention. They work towards ensuring clients are happy with the service, addressing any issues, and reducing churn rates.

  4. Upselling and Cross-Selling Abilities: Farmers identify opportunities within existing accounts to upsell or cross-sell, thereby increasing the value of the customer to the business.

  5. Strategic Planning: They strategically plan account growth and expansions. This involves understanding the client’s future plans and aligning the SaaS product’s offerings with those plans.

Strategies for Successful Farming

Successful farming requires a different set of strategies:

  • Building strong relationships: Farmers should focus on building strong relationships with existing customers.

  • Understanding customer needs: Farmers must understand the needs and challenges of their customers to provide the best solutions.

  • Promoting customer loyalty: Farmers should aim to promote customer loyalty through excellent service and support.

Building a Balanced Sales Team

Let’s see how to build a balanced sales team, especially in the SaaS organization. 

Step 1: Identifying the Sales Team Needs

Before you start building your sales team, it’s important to identify your needs. 

Do you need more hunters to expand your customer base, or do you need more farmers to maintain and grow your existing customer base?

Step 2: Combining Hunters and Farmers for Optimal Performance

A balanced sales team should include both hunters and farmers. The exact ratio will depend on your specific business needs and goals. However, a good starting point is a 50/50 split.

Step 3: Recruiting and Hiring Hunters

3.1 Identifying Hunter Traits in Candidates

When recruiting hunters, look for candidates who are aggressive, confident, and target-driven. They should also have excellent communication skills and a knack for closing deals.

3.2 Effective Strategies for Hiring Hunters

Some effective strategies for hiring hunters include:

  • Using performance-based job ads: Highlight the potential rewards and challenges of the role to attract ambitious candidates.

  • Conducting role-play interviews: This can help you assess a candidate’s sales skills and ability to handle pressure.

  • Offering competitive compensation packages: This can attract top talent and motivate them to perform.

Step 4: Recruiting and Hiring Farmers

4.1 Identifying Farmer Traits in Candidates

When recruiting farmers, look for candidates who are patient, empathetic, and customer-oriented. 

They should also have excellent relationship-building skills and a deep understanding of customer needs.

4.2 Effective Strategies for Hiring Farmers

Some effective strategies for hiring farmers include:

  • Using job ads that highlight relationship-building: This can attract candidates who excel at nurturing customer relationships.

  • Conducting behavioral interviews: This can help you assess a candidate’s interpersonal skills and customer service orientation.

  • Offering a supportive work environment: This can attract candidates who value teamwork and collaboration.

Step 5: Training and Developing Hunters

5.1 Providing Hunter-Specific Training

Hunters require specific training to develop their skills. This could include training on prospecting techniques, negotiation skills, and closing strategies.

5.2 Developing Hunter Skills and Mindset

In addition to training, hunters also need to develop the right mindset. This includes being comfortable with risk, thriving under pressure, and being motivated by targets and rewards.

Step 6: Training and Developing Farmers

6.1 Providing Farmer-Specific Training

Farmers require different training, focusing on customer service, relationship-building, and problem-solving skills.

6.2 Developing Farmer Skills and Mindset

Farmers also need to develop the right mindset, which includes being patient, empathetic, and customer-oriented.

#TCCRecommends: In case you didn’t know, sales training is one of the most essential aspects of a winning team. 

Step 7: Managing and Motivating Hunters

7.1 Setting Clear Goals and Expectations for Hunters

Hunters should have clear goals and targets. They should also understand what is expected of them and how their performance will be measured.

7.2 Implementing Effective Motivational Strategies

Hunters are typically motivated by targets and rewards. Therefore, offering competitive compensation packages and regular incentives can be effective motivational strategies.

Step 8: Managing and Motivating Farmers

8.1 Providing Support and Resources for Farmers

Farmers need support and resources to do their job effectively. This could include access to customer data, ongoing training, and a supportive work environment.

8.2 Recognizing and Rewarding Farmer Achievements

Farmers should be recognized and rewarded for their achievements. This could include recognition for customer satisfaction scores, customer retention rates, and upselling success.


Achieving sales success requires a balanced team of hunters and farmers. By understanding the different roles and implementing the right strategies, you can build a successful sales team for your SaaS business.

The SaaS industry is constantly evolving, and so should your sales team. By continually assessing your team’s performance and adapting your strategies, you can ensure continued growth and success in the SaaS industry.