How to Compensate Sales Hunters, Farmers and Account Managers

Today I received an email from a long time reader with this interesting question:

“We’ve heard a good hunter won’t farm and a good farmer (account manager) won’t hunt. If this is true how do we tackle the model of compensating hunters who bring in new customers who then turn it over to an account manager to grow the business?  Is it possible to expect someone who can hunt and then manage a book of business or does that create a conflicting sales profile?”

Here are the facts.

Some good hunters won’t farm or manage accounts but most will!

Most good account managers won’t hunt but some will.

If you do have a great hunter, do you really want that fairly rare sales talent to manage the accounts sold?

If you choose to take the accounts sold by the hunter and turn them over to an account manager, I suggest the following compensation model:

Salesperson receives a xx% commission on the new business sold and then a small percentage of the ongoing  business after it has been turned over to the account manager.  The account manager should receive a salary and a small percentage of the year over year growth.