Recently, we had a group of about 20 sales managers on Purdue’s West Lafayette, IN campus for a program. On the second day of the program, the concept of listening came up. One of our presenters was a professor who taught counseling at the college level for many years, but now applies his experience toward helping sales managers develop their salespeople. He had been doing some work on the concept of listening—which is really the primary job of counselors—and we were discussing how research on listening might apply to the sales process.
One of the more significant challenges in any business is finding the best way to get sales teams and marketing managers on the same page. While this may seem like a simple task that comes down to organizational and reporting structure, in reality, it isn’t that easy. The fact of the matter is, when you look at the basic purposes of sales and marketing teams, it comes down to this: marketing is responsible for developing strategy, while salespeople are responsible for implementing strategy. To use more marketing-friendly terminology, marketing develops the value proposition, while salespeople are the stewards of the value proposition. Without proper lines of communication, understanding and buy-in, strategy—as good as the intention may be—can fall flat due to improper implementation. In some cases, it can lead to conflict and frustration.
It’s no secret that the food and agribusiness industry is a fast-paced world of tight margins and dynamic marketplaces where CFO positions are of significant strategic importance. It’s also no secret that the world of numbers and finance can be daunting for non-financial managers who don’t get their hands on the statements every month. The need for non-financial managers to understand financials is rapidly becoming a crucial and sought-after trait.
Craig Newman, recently retired CEO of AgReliant Genetics talks about why it's important to invest in professional growth.
Targeting segments of buyers has always been the focus of marketing efforts, regardless of product or industry. But customers don't buy as segments.
There are disconnects between marketing and sales. Organizations today need to invest in marketing the same way they once invested in sales.
For better or worse, marketing and sales efforts affect not only the profitability of a firm but also the firm’s liquidity, or its ability to meet short-term financial obligations.
We all know that buying and selling agricultural inputs is more than just receiving or offering a lower price. But can we be more specific?