Ag Marketing, AgTech

Harnessing The Power of CRM for Today’s Agribusiness

Jaclyn Krymowski

With advanced digitalization and increased technology, it’s safe to say that today’s CRM (customer relationship management) is considerably different than years past. Within the last decade, much has changed in the fields of communication, marketing, customer engagement, and managing employee performance.

What remains universal is the need to deliver a consistent and elevated customer experience in a timely manner.

While often considered a more “traditional” and interpersonal industry, Agriculture also must find new ways to acclimate to the changing digital landscape by embracing updated CRM software and protocols. Of course, CRM is a broad classification; it covers a lot of different methodologies, software, and practical applications.

Practically speaking, it comes down to the simple goal of building and maintaining healthy relationships with customers. Whether that base is consumers or farmers, successfully managing them is key to the longevity of any business model.

As agribusiness companies grow and expand their product offerings and services, managing time and tasks become a priority. As your database of clients grows along with product yield, it can become challenging to engage customers expediently and maintain a personal touch while juggling the demands of a growing business.

In this instance, a sound CRM system can help automate more menial communications tasks and workflows, allowing business owners to do what they do best, farming and connecting with their customers.

Having a Practical and Functional CRM Can Help Your Team With:

  • Marketing Strategy Development
  • Automated Billing
  • Goal Setting, Testing & Measuring Results
  • Building Rapport
  • Streamlining Workflow
  • Automating Time-Consuming Tasks
  • Attracting New Customers

If those sound advantageous to your business model, it may be time to hone your CRM further or build one from the ground up if it is not yet established.

Creating a Winning CRM Strategy

Because a CRM has many moving parts, you want to ensure that the investments you make are worthwhile. Begin with a solid foundation that will support growth and expansion. For most companies, that will start by nurturing your current customer base and then perfecting product offerings and services.

The best way to update and improve your customer service varies by business. Consider the following questions as you examine your CRM system.

Can You Define Your Ideal Customer?

How would you characterize their values, needs, and desires? If you are unsure about this, consider conducting a survey or performing an in-house evaluation to clarify the types of people you serve.

Having a clarified vision of your ideal customer will help you craft customized messaging, emails, and lead generation strategies to continue reaching your perfect target market.

Are You Communicating with Your Current Customer Base In An Expedient Manner?

If not, it may be time to investigate software that can automate some inquiries and messages. Likewise, when you and your employees are spread thin across various platforms, accounts, software, and systems, a good CRM such as HubSpot can help streamline all your business activities into one easy-to-use platform.

CRM can get all your employees “speaking the same language.”

This is especially useful if you have field reps positioned across many states or regions who may have numerous ways of interacting with customers.

Can your customers access your team, resources, and tools with ease?

This is a common growing pain for companies with an increasing customer base – suddenly, the old way of customer management becomes obsolete. If simple communication issues or recurring details seem to keep falling through the cracks, it could be a queue to reevaluate or establish a CRM.

Once you have established a CRM focused on serving your current customers, you can then look for ways to increase sales, marketing, and growth.

Making It Work

In addition to the specific needs and demands of running a business, agriculture has some unique requirements. Yet, it rests firmly on the same CRM foundation as other industries. Because farming operations are individual, they involve their own sets of resources, accounts, software, and other tools you may need to work with.

Taking an inventory of the management tools your customers are accustomed to is a terrific way to evaluate what your CRM should look like to accommodate and work with them. All the software, programs, and technology you use in dealing with customers is part of your company’s overall CRM.

Examining a CRM should be a team effort. Listen to those that work directly with customers and look for weaknesses in your current practices. A deep dive into your company analytics will reveal areas of greatest engagement and conversion and highlight areas where your communications and processes need an overhaul.

It is essential not to get lost in the weeds and logistics of day-to-day tasks. Agriculture is an industry that especially values interpersonal relationships and a specialized human touch. Trust and reputation are two things that the agricultural audience tends to appreciate. You want to consider this in all approaches to managing relationships. Automation, for example, should not be taken to an extreme.

A good CRM program not only increases your professionalism and grows your business, but it also can enhance the performance and work environment for all your staff. In addition, your customers will understand you care about them and value their business when done correctly. There is absolutely nothing in the professional world that can replace positive experiences and personal recommendations.

We can help manage your next agribusiness technology or marketing project.

Discover how Gate 39 Media supports agribusinesses, clients, and clients through inbound marketing and custom agricultural technology solutions. Contact Gate 39 Media or set up a call to learn more.

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