When Selling Online Backup, Hunt for Elephants AND Ducks

“Hunter,” is a sales term used to describe sales people who prospect for new business opportunities, rather than just fielding inbound sales calls.

Many years ago, a fantastic accounts manager taught me about the proper mix of opportunities to work with to maximize success. Essentially, there are two types of accounts: Elephants, and Ducks. Elephants are large corporations, and the rest are Ducks. If you spend all year hunting for Elephants, your chances of success will be slim, but the payout will be large.

If you spend all year hunting for Ducks, and you’ll have some success, but the payout will be small. The trick is to have a good mixture of Elephants and Ducks in your list of prospects. If you are a small company, you shouldn’t be afraid to go Elephant hunting, but large companies shouldn’t forget about the Ducks, either.

Prospecting is never fun, but without it, we don’t grow. If you are prospecting from a list, whether it was purchased from a company or you’ve just pulled it from YellowPages, try starting from the bottom and working your way up. Most people start from the top, and end up stopping halfway through; this means that people whose last names begin with letters towards the end of the alphabet are called less often.

Prospect everywhere – lists are great, but they tell you almost nothing. Most managed-service providers sell to a clearly defined area near the office. Look at classified ads in local newspapers for companies hiring, or in the business section for people being promoted; both indicate that the company is experiencing growth.

These new people will be more likely to take your calls while they’re still getting acclimated to their new positions, so don’t delay in giving them a call. Watch LinkedIn, Monster, Career Builder, and Indeed if you want to narrow your search to specific industries or job titles.

So, be a Hunter – hunt for elephants AND ducks. Start at the bottom of a list, and call new employees. Most of all, don’t stop calling. Call smart, call often.


Dave Branch is Sales Manager for Remote Backup Systems. You can phone him at (901) 405-1234 and email dave@remote-backup.com

Remote Backup Systems provides brandable, scalable software and solutions to MSPs and VARs enabling them to offer Online Backup Services.

About The Author

Steve Roberts / http://remote-backup.com

Steve Roberts is VP of Engineering at Remote Backup Systems (http://remote-backup.com), developers of the RBackup Online Backup software platform, providing software powering more than 9,500 Service Providers in 65 countries since 1987.