A Precision Farming Dealer Staff Report

The short answer is yes. Whether your dealership has multiple locations, is a single store, or just a single person, using a CRM (customer relationship management system) makes doing business easier both now and in the future.

“The key to a CRM is to show everyone [in the dealership] that it’s easier to do business because everyone has visibility,” explained Anne Salemo, president of Charter Software.

One of the most important things to remember about how a CRM can help your business is that everyone has to use it — and use it consistently — to reap the benefits. Your dealership needs to have processes in place for what information needs to be entered into the CRM and a timeframe to get it in.

Remember: garbage in means garbage out. The consensus in the group was if you’re not entering every customer interaction, updating contact information as it changes, etc., then they information you’re able to pull from the system won’t be beneficial.

It’s important to note that if your dealership is using a business system that was designed specifically for farm equipment dealerships, it likely already has CRM functionalities. However, if your business system doesn’t include a CRM, you should look for a CRM program that will connect to your business system.

With the amount of business that is conducted today through text and email, having mobile options with a CRM is a must, the group said. Whether a customer interaction happened over a traditional phone call, face-to-face, via email or by text messaging, that information needs to be logged.

“Talk to text is prevalent on any type of mobile device,” Salemo says. “So your precision ag people, sales people and in field people can use talk to text to log their conversations without having to type, which makes it a lot easier.”

Before making the decision to update your system, it’s important to look at what your system is today and think about what you want them to be. Once you have an end goal determined, you can start working to put new processes and systems in place.

Read full coverage of the Precision Farming Dealer Summit presentations, from how to recruit and retain precision employees, to developing a standalone precision business, to managing customers’ data, in the March 2017 issue of Farm Equipment.



Roundtable Discussion Topics

1. Precision Peer Groups: Your External Support Network
2. Tips, Tricks & Tactics for Selling Data Management Service
3. Does My Precision Ag Business Need to Have a CRM?  (currently viewing)
4. Putting on a Successful Precision Ag Field Day
5. Market Corrections: Lessons Learned During the Downturn
6. UAVs: Ready for Takeoff? Or a Grounded Technology?
7. Aftermarket Opportunities: What am I Missing?
8. Where Can I Find My Next Precision Hire?
9. Bundling Service: What to Include & How to Price
10. Better Advice for Selling RTK Subscriptions
11. Probing the Moisture Sensor & Water Management Market
12. 7 Considerations for Succession Planning for a Precision Farming Business
13. Autonomy in Ag: What Role Will I Play?
14. Bridging the Hardware Gap: Adding Agronomic Services