Modern farmers are becoming more sophisticated; not only by choice, but necessity. If you want to keep up, then it’s time to modernize your ag retail strategy.
Thanks to technological advances, farmers can monitor their entire farm acre by acre. They can see which crop is best suited to the land, the correct inputs needed to produce the best yield possible, and the yield received at harvest.
Managing a farm down to very small details brings big results, so farmers are modernizing rapidly. And with modernization comes sophistication.
These changes can be small, like incorporating barcodes or tracking analytics. Or, they can be as big and complex as overhauling your warehousing and distribution systems.
Here’s one – are you using a customer relationship management (CRM) system? If not, you’ll miss, lose, and forget loads of data concerning your ag customers and their interests, activities, and habits. Using a CRM means that you are going to modernize alongside your sophisticated ag clients, building a leading-edge strategy to better communicate and know your customers.
Using a CRM in your sales efforts is a long-term, data-driven strategy that’ll help you know who’s interested in a particular offer at a particular time. It’ll help you keep your marketing strategy customer-focused – which reaps incredible rewards.
A CRM is also easy to scale - whether you have a hundred customers or a million, your database will be there to back you up. It also gives you functionality that other forms of marketing don’t. When you’re working with a database, analytics and campaign reports are just a click away.
How to Use a CRM to Modernize Your Ag Retail Strategy
Here are some tips to help ensure your success:
Locate and consolidate your data. You may have customer records across various spreadsheets and systems – but a CRM will help you pull all that data together in one place. Check individual contracts, transaction histories, solicitation histories, lead generation forms, promotion histories, and anywhere else you may find customer data.
Keep your data clean. Once you’ve put this information in your CRM, clean up your data to keep it error-free. Prospects not only change email addresses and phone numbers, but also the crops they’re producing and the land they’re managing. 75 percent of companies waste an average of 14 percent of revenue on bad data. Keeping your data clean means more dollars for you in the end.
Fill in the gaps. Once your database is organized, start finding people to contact. For example, if you’re wondering which of your customers operate a farm in an area that’s currently experiencing a drought, you can use your database to find out. Of course, you may not have everything you need just from customer records.
That’s where data appending and enhancement comes in. For example, you could take the zip codes of areas that are experiencing droughts and cross-reference those zip codes with your customer records. Or you could take a customer’s name and email address and potentially find what crops they are producing and where the land is located. There are a variety of ways to use data appending to create more robust information and, ultimately, drive a more customized and data-driven marketing effort.
Share data with everyone on your team, and even across teams. Your data may all be in one place, but it’s just going to sit there collecting dust if no one uses it. The beauty of a CRM is that everyone in your company – from your marketing team to your sales reps and customer service reps – can have access to the data and see each customer’s history. Take advantage of that and get everyone on the team in the CRM, regularly looking at the data.
Get to know your customers. CRMs let you host a wide variety of data – from contact information to social media accounts to family relationships to website activity and more. If you have comprehensive data on your customers and prospects (which Farm Market iD can provide), then you can get to know them a little bit before reaching out – and when you do reach out, you can provide a personalized point of contact rather than a stock cold call.
Meet your customers where they are. As your customers and their needs modernize, join them. Revamping your strategies and tools around customer relation management to incorporate robust, actionable information is a great way to ensure you’re reaching out to the best prospects at the most optimal times.
Modernize your ag retail campaign by using a CRM. You’ll be able to track, report, and analyze your customers and their activities, giving you powerful data to power your marketing efforts.