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Types of Sales Jobs: Different Strokes for Different Folks

One woman asking another questions from a list in an office setting.

Most people think of all sales jobs as cold calling and getting rejected time and time again. It’s perceived as a difficult position of tirelessly approaching strangers all day only to hear “no” for the one thousandth time.

Sales is a vital part of just about every industry. Luckily, the many types of sales jobs available aren’t always limited to cold calling from an office cubicle. There is variety within the sales sector and different types of sales jobs suited for different personalities.

Qualities of a Salesperson

While there are many different types of sales roles, there are some qualities that will contribute to success in these positions, no matter the role. Some of these qualities are:

  • Confidence

  • Drive

  • Resiliency

  • Good listening skills

  • Good communication skills

  • Goal oriented

  • Problems solving skills

  • Self starters

  • Knowledgeable and passionate about product or service

  • Relationship building skills

Many of the traits are beneficial in any kind of business role, but especially in different types of sales positions. People will be more inclined to purchase something when they feel heard, like their unique needs are being met, and when the sales person is confident in themselves and what they are selling. Showing these qualities will lead to a positive sales experience for both sides.

A salesperson on the phone in an office.

Types of Jobs in Sales

One sales model separates salespeople into two separate and distinct groups of sales operations: hunters and farmers.

The Hunter

The hunters are the outside salespeople that are in a more stereotypical sales role; They are always hustling and hunting for potential customers. Some hunter sales jobs include:

  • Sales Development Rep

  • Outside Sales Reps

  • Business Development

Hunters are primarily responsible for the acquisition of new clients and are the first point of contact for their company. They deal with outside sales and communicate with a high volume of potential leads, trying to convert them. They are looking in new territory to gain more new clients.

The Farmer

The farmers are the inside salespeople who tend to the fields they already own. Farmers are responsible for nurturing and maintaining the relationship with clients that already work with them. Some farmer-like sales jobs include:

  • Account Manager

  • Inside Sales

  • Customer Service

After the first deal is done, salespeople want the clients to continue to do business with them, this is where the farmers come in. Continuing business requires continuous effort into maintaining the relationship and further building rapport. Farmers also look for new opportunities within preexisting accounts, and help guide clients into higher-value deals.

The Hunter vs. the Farmer Sales role comparisons

The Closer

Most sales jobs can be categorized into hunters and farmers. However, some models break it down even further into more specific categories.

The closers are typically responsible for sealing the deal. They are generally experienced sales veterans who work with other types of salespeople near the end of the deal to ensure the deal goes through. \

Most often, closers are account executives. They work closely with potential and current clients to make sure the sale goes smoothly.

The Expert

The experts are generally specialists on the products or services being sold. They play an important role in educating the clients and addressing any industry or product-specific questions and challenges.

Sales consultants are usually considered the experts, and work as a freelancer within an industry.

The Leader

The leader’s role involves being responsible for the whole sales team’s success and performance. Leaders help team members stay on track and identify the priority clients and tasks. Leaders will be in different types of sales management jobs and can help by coaching and training team members when they need guidance at any step of the sales process.

Sales managers might not have much interactions with clients, but they have the sales experience to manage a team.

These roles are by no means hard and fast rules. In many companies, people wear different hats depending on the day, the client, and the workload.

Are you curious about these different roles and the types of sales jobs associated with them? Check out our 4-week Selling Essentials course. From presenting to closing, learn how your unique qualities translate into a successful sales career.

Creating Cohesion

Some positions require more networking, some more relationship building, some more collaborative work, and some more independent work. Roles can be face-to-face or remote. Some roles have a great sense of urgency associated with them, while others do not. They all have slightly different goals.

Ultimately, each sales role works together for the larger goal of creating a relationship that is beneficial to both the client and the company.

Just like any team, every position and role is necessary in order to be successful. Every well-rounded team will have different personality types with different strengths and weaknesses.

Graphic representing coworkers as pieces of a puzzle.

It is not uncommon for business teams to utilize different personality tests in order to ensure the role of each individual matches their strength. And as you grow and learn, it’s easy to find a sales position that better caters to your new strengths.

Learn the Sales Essentials at REDC

It never hurts to learn more. Whether you're new to sales or looking to evolve within your company, REDC at Yavapai College can help. Find out which role best fits your personality so that you can be as successful as possible.

We provide a variety of courses and training programs for employees and employers that focus on teaching in-demand skills across many different industries. Go further in your career.

Home LinkThe REDC is a Division of Yavapai College.Go to yc.edu

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