The majority of sales organisations and sales people intuitively distinguish between two types of sales person and sales role. The hunter is the new business person who gets the deal with the new customer in the door and then moves on to the next. The farmer is the account manager who develops that account and nurtures the relationship.

The received wisdom is that each role is suited to a particular type of character. Some folk are suited to the rough and tumble of closing the deal, others are better at deepening the rapport.

Then there is another view, propounded principally by companies like The TAS Group who are behind the Target Account Selling methodology. They argue that the best, most strategic and most successful sales people are those who strategise on target accounts, figure out where the need is, develop the opportunity for a sale and then close the opportunity themselves.

Where do you stand on this? Are opportunity management and account management dedicated, specialised roles that should stay separate, or should they be part of a combined, more strategic role? The answer, of course, is that it depends, but I’d be interested in your views on the matter.