Convincing Your Agribusiness Leadership to Invest in Farm Data

Posted by Timothy Wier On May 10, 2019

 

Ag Data to Leadership

If you don’t control the budget or aren’t the primary decision-maker for purchasing marketing and sales tools, then that investment decision requires you to involve the people who do. Not only do you have to see the value of the farm data, you have to convince your agribusiness leadership to invest in it.Leaders and executives are accountable for revenue growth and good use of the company’s resources. So there are going to be a lot of questions you face as you try to put in budget requests for data or convince the decision-makers in your company that it’s a worthwhile investment.

Convincing your leadership to invest in farm data boils down to one primary question that all other questions lead to: how is this going to grow our agribusiness? If you can answer that question, then you can handle any other questions that come up. Here are a few tactics to help you do just that.

Tie everything back to revenue

Revenue is the ultimate goal you work toward in terms of marketing and sales. Brand campaigns, thought leadership and product innovation are all steps on the way to increasing the value of the company overall – even if it’s a long-term play.

Show how you can bring in more revenue in the long haul by making an investment in farm data. Here are some ways you can help make that case:

  • Farm income & spend potential. It costs money to acquire a new customer. By knowing the size of the farm operations in a particular segment of the market, you can focus on those customers that are going to get you closer to your revenue goal, and not those that aren’t going to purchase your product or service.
  • Acreage & farm size. Depending on the specific products and services you offer to farmers, you may be looking for smaller versus larger farmers (or vice versa). Focus on the farmers who can benefit from what you offer.
  • Crop type & rotation pattern. Whether you want farmers with row crops or looking for a specific specialty crop, being able to sort out what farmers are growing can help you avoid wasting time on customers who don’t align with what you have to offer.
  • Owner vs. Operator. To make the most of your sales conversation, it’s important to know not only who owns the farm, but who operates it. That way, you ensure that you’re talking to the person who’s going to make the buying decision.
Gross Farm Income data in FarmFocus

Gross Farm Income data in our FarmFocus application. 

You don’t just want to show that the data will pay for itself – you want to demonstrate that the data can maximize your marketing and sales spend and bring in significant new revenues for your agribusiness. Showing how the data will impact targeted lead and prospect acquisition is a first step to help you do that.

Demonstrate how this will open new opportunities to market and sell

As your business grows overall footprint and your market share, knowing where those prime opportunities for growth can help you focus marketing and sales in a direction that’s going to help you achieve real results. Your leadership will be interested not only in the overall ROI of farm data, but also the potential it has to open up new opportunities to bring in new customers and expand your market share.

With 2.4 million growers in the market, it’s unlikely that you know every single grower in your target market (here’s an analysis where we break that down). That means that regardless of what you offer to farmers, there’s likely a chunk of the market that you aren’t communicating with that could be an ideal fit.

Plus, some companies make the mistake that their current customer is their ideal customer. While there’s a lot to learn from current customers – clearly, since they’re the people who have actually purchased from you – there may be segments of the market out there that are also a good fit for your business that you aren’t considering.

Having farm data for market research can help you find these other pockets of opportunity you aren’t currently engaging. For example, look at Oats in a handful of states:

Oats data in FarmFocus

Oats acreage data in our FarmFocus application. 

You can see where various growers are and the size of their farming operations. Knowing this can help you decide where to target your marketing and sales efforts.

Show your leadership that you’re expanding marketing and sales into segments of the market that are also going to positively impact your bottom line. This shows that you’re not only increasing revenue but the business’ overall impact on the ag market.

Learn more about your current customers

Not only can good ag data help you learn about new market opportunities, but also your current customers.

Even if you’ve done business with your customers for a long time, the circumstances impacting their operations is bound to change the products or services they’re interested in – or whether they’re in a position to continue doing business with you. No one knows that better right now than the farmers in the Midwest who are suffering the effects of the massive floods. When farmers are struggling, it's probably not the best time to approach them with a sales pitch.

But knowing the impact of external and internal factors on your current customers extends far beyond those things. You should understand the history of the operation and what they’ve been farming and how much acreage is allocated to each crop type. You should look at the relationships your customers have with other growers to see if there are other opportunities to grow there. You should see which of your customers have more spend potential than you’re taking advantage of so you can go after them and increase your share of wallet.

GrowerProfile

Detailed grower information in our GrowerProfile application. 

The more information you have on your customers, the better you can serve them – and the less time you’ll take in conversation. Show your agribusiness leadership how farm data can help improve those already existing relationships and further solidify the foundation on which your business rests.

Show how this will make your whole company more efficient

Not only does data help you make strategic decisions, but when you “push it to the edge” and properly implement it among all the members of your team, it helps align everyone around the right customers and toward your revenue goal.

This increases efficiency by arming everyone with the information to reach that goal, so everyone can spend their time on decision-making and execution:

  • Strategic leaders make decisions based on market data
  • Marketing leaders deploy communications and start conversations with specific segments
  • Sales leaders go after individual farmers and move the conversation to a close

That means that marketing is being strategic, sales is selling to who marketing is communicating with, and strategists are listening to salespeople and the data at their disposal to adjust the overall strategy. Showing your leadership how this increases efficiency is another way that you can convince them to invest in accessible farm data.

To see one of the tools that helps you better achieve your agribusiness’ revenue goals, watch the FarmFocus video below.

 

Click here to schedule a FarmFocus demo
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