Servicing ………. Farming ………. Trapping ……….. Hunting. Cute terms, used by B2B Sales Managers to describe the responsibilities of the members of the team, against the sales team design. This kind of vernacular takes on a certain cultural flavour within an organisation. The opportunity often missed is to use these terms with some rigour and robustness to debate and clarify accountabilities and role bandwidth.

Start this thinking process by honouring the notion that servicing and farming are both activities that are focussed to existing customers. Think about them as if they were placed at either end of a spectrum. The spectrum polarises them in such a way as to show that servicing is a back foot, reactive and responsive accountability, that is difficult to proactive plan and calendarise sales visits against. Farming is opposite, in this sense. Think about trapping and hunting as sets of activities that are both focussed to prospective customers. Think about them as if they were also placed at either end of a separate spectrum. This spectrum also polarises these accountabilities in a similar way – trapping is a back foot reactive and responsive accountability, that requires a largely deskbound, incoming sales enquiry mindset that is similar to that needed in a retail environment. Essentially unplannable and untargetable. Hunting is opposite, in this context.

Similarly, at a higher level, allocating accountabilities both for existing customers AND prospectives to the same Sales Exec can inadvertently set them up for failure. Such a bandwidth could be too broad. As with most considerations re sales team design, there is no right/wrong, no universal answer. A uniquely tailored solution for your situation demands your attention.