Some reps are relatively passive in market development and happen on opportunities almost by chance. Others are more mammalian: they invest in ways to control their selling environment. For the mammalian sales rep, that maintenance consists of working with prospects to increase account penetration. The moral for managers is that while those with reptilian approaches to business can survive, they are at the mercy of their environment. Mammal-like strategies may require more discipline, but mean that they create their own success.
In reality, most companies and even individuals will be a mix of both.
Source: Is your organisation reptile or mammal?
Jonathan Byrnes HBS Working Knowledge, 6 March 2006
Review by Steve Lodge