Should Crop Protection Company Reps Spend More Time On Farm?
Crop Protection companies employ reps to promote their products to farmers and retailers. Some companies wonder how much time their reps should spend working directly with farmers. What is the return on investment for their time?
Stratus recently completed a survey of 1,150 US farmers with an average farm size of 2,300 acres. The study examined the interaction of Crop Protection (CP) company reps with farmers through various field activities and measured the impact of those activities on company shares. The top 4 CP companies were profiled in the study (as well as the leading 9 seed companies).
Most farmers say that field activities like grower meetings, demonstration tours/plots and rep visits to the farm are useful to their farming operation.
And when farmers engage in these activities with the rep from a CP company, they tend to give more of their business to that company. For example, the average share for companies in the study among farmers who had a company rep visit their farm was 28% compared to 21% among those without a rep farm visit - a 7 point gain in share. Individual company results ranged from a low of 4% to a high of 12% jump in share.
The problem is that CP companies are not able to reach many farmers through their field activities. On average, CP companies reach 15% of farmers through grower meetings, 10% through farm calls and just 6% through demos/tours.
Overall, this shows us that CP reps should spend more time on farm because it drives more business. But rep time is expensive and limited so companies need to make their direct contact efficient. By identifying the best prospects, equipping reps with tools to generate commitment and working through local retailers, companies can turn their field activities into business-generating machines.
The companies who purchase this study know how they stack up versus their competitors, and know what they need to do to build greater success through their interactions with farmers.