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Agrimarketing : September 2012
60 Agri Marketing September 2012 AGRI-MARKETERS UPDATE Steven, a Ravensdown account manager on the South Island of New Zealand, understood his company's strategy for improving sales through their newly launched Integrated Farm Plan system that had been the focus of the sales meeting earlier that day. He had to agree that encouraging his fertilizer customers to consider more of their products such as eco-n (nitrogen inhibitor) to help insure his customers meet regulatory restrictions and introduce their newly acquired line of grass seed, made good agronomic sense and good business sense. Clearly, some of his best potential prospects were his more loyal fertilizer customers, because he already had a strong relationship and they trusted his judgment on a wide range of agronomic decisions. But where should he start? Which ones represented "lowest hanging fruit?" His natural instinct was to reach for his laptop and use "InFront" (Ravens- down's CRM system) to filter his 153 accounts for what he thought would be good prospects. The marketing staff at the meeting reported research suggesting that dairy farms with over 200 cows who had irrigation systems were best suited for their new grass varieties, so that is where he started. In seconds he had his prospect list. 17 likely customers spotted on a map before him, who never purchased eco-n or grass seed from Ravensdown. (In actuality, Steven had the ability to filter his 153 accounts differently if it made sense to him.) So he further selected three accounts located in the northern sections of his territory where he had planned to be in the next week anyway. Next he clicked on his "calendar view" and began to drag names from his prospect list to open slots on his calendar and flagged them for immediate contact. Right clicking on any name on his newly created list would instantly remind him of the prospect's preferred communication method and the option of either sending an e-mail or making a phone call requesting an appointment. Then Steven quickly created a simple e-mail template to the others on his list who he felt were a little lower priority, reminding them of Ravensdown's new line of grass seed and attaching an electronic brochure outlining the unique benefits their genetics and indicating he would be following up soon. Since he could easily personalize each e-mail, he also attached an recent research report comparing growth rates of the new grass seed varieties compared to other brands, to only his more technically oriented farmers. And in three of the cases he also sent a personalized a note (with the report attached) to the farm managers working with his targeted accounts, offering to brief them. Clicking on any name on the list instantly bought up their profile with complete contact information, including their current soil nutrient plan and monthly nutrient budget for the year, sales history and buying pattern by month, when he had last contacted them and the nature of that discussion. Also embedded into every THE POWER OF SUCCESSFUL CRM by Dr. W. David Downey, Center for Food and Agricultural Business, Purdue University Ravensdown Cooperative is a major supplier of plant nutrients, crop protection, seed, and animal health products in New Zealand. Under the leadership of Rodney Green, CEO; Ross Aimer, General Manager of New Zealand, and Alan Thomson, General Manger of Australia, Ravensdown has created and implemented a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program that has become the core of their go-to-market strategy over the past 15 years. With 92 retail locations and a sales team of 100, Ravensdown imports, manufacturers, and distributes agronomic inputs (including 1.6 million tons of plant nutrients) for 22,000 farmers in New Zealand and Australia. The Ravensdown story is a brief case example illustrating some of the uses of a highly effective CRM system from an internal perspective at various levels within the company. InFront CRM Field Location Account Manager Corporate Office
AgCareers USA 2012