9 years ago
January 7, 2015

Different Types of Sales Jobs: What Will Your Responsibilities Be?

Whether applying to sales jobs for the first time or re-entering the market, it is important to know the types of sales jobs that are available.

Rhys Metler


Whether applying to sales jobs for the first time or re-entering the market (see our article on resume writing to update your CV), it is important to understand the types of sales jobs that are available, and to know what your responsibilities will be. There are many different industry terms for sales jobs, and the job that you are applying for may not be the kind of job that you want; use this list to decide whether or not a job is the right one for you:

1. Hunters and Farmers

The most common distinction you will see for a sales job at any level will be between “hunter” and “farmer”. Hunters are salespeople whose main responsibility is to bring in new business for a company, be it by cold-calling over the phone or by going door to door to bring in new accounts, or by any other means. Hunters are usually measured by the amount of new sales they bring to their company.

Farmers focus solely on existing accounts, ensuring their needs are being met and often finding new ways to sell their company’s services to their clients. Farmers are usually measured by their rate of client retention, as well as by how much they can increase their company’s share of a client’s purchasing budget. Both kinds of salespeople are crucial to a business, and a sales job will often require a mix of both hunting and farming responsibilities. 

2. Inside and Outside Sales

Inside salespeople work entirely from an office, managing the entire sales cycle over the phone and through email. While much of their time is spent cold-calling prospects, inside salespeople are not telemarketers. They must build strong relationships with their clients over the telephone, as well as intelligently nurture leads and structure deals; It takes skill and persistence to close a sale without ever meeting a prospect.

Outside salespeople, as you might guess, spend a lot of time outside their offices visiting their clients in their territories and only entering the office for sales meetings. Outside salespeople thrive on face-to-face interaction with their customers, and often become regular faces around the offices of their clients. Outside salespeople need to be well-organized and self-motivated to meet all of their objectives with little supervision. 

3. Business Development Managers and Account Managers

Business Development Managers and Account Managers often have different meanings in different organizations but as a general rule, Business Development Managers spend more time hunting and Account Managers spend more time farming. Business Development Managers and Account Managers could work 100% inside or outside, or split their time between the office and the road. 

Whatever kind of position you apply for, make sure that your new responsibilities fit with your career goals, and always try to improve your skills to become a top performer in your new role. If you enjoy your job and continually build upon your skills you will be sure to succeed.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.