Managing a remote sales team requires flexibility and some out-of-the-box thinking. And no matter how tempting it may be, micromanaging your team of Ag salespeople is always a mistake. Instead, you need to figure out how to walk the fine line between being there when needed and allowing salespeople to get the job done on their own.
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Managing a remote sales team for your Ag business involves a different approach than managing that team in the office. Some would argue that managing a sales team remotely is easier while others would say it is much more difficult. One thing is certain: Remote management requires a shift in mindset.
What marketing technique should you use to promote your Ag-based business? Sounds like a pretty straightforward question. After all, it basically comes down to two choices: inbound or outbound.
There is no shortage of marketing gurus who will tell you that they know the answer to this question. No matter how much marketing experience these experts possess, however, if they don’t know your target audience, they can’t possible know the answer.
Take a look at the most successful businesses in any industry and you will find that they all have one thing in common. A laser-like focus on marketing to their target audience. This focus remains constant regardless of all the new and innovative marketing tactics available. For example, maybe a particular social media channel is all the rage but none of its customers use it. How likely is this business to gain customers through this social media channel? Not very!
Once you understand the audience you are marketing to it is essential that you remain focused on your marketing plan. Without focus, your marketing plan will be all over the map. In other words, it may be doing a lot but it certainly will not be accomplishing much.
If you are trying to build relationships with your Ag customers and you want them to see you as a thought leader in the industry, it is your best interest to focus on inbound marketing. Trying to get in front of a large number of farmers and ranchers and get your brand recognized? Outbound is the way to go.
Inbound marketing incorporates things like social media, content creation and SEO, all of which offer an opportunity for more targeted marketing. Not only does inbound marketing reach the right people, it allows a business to build relationships. This type of marketing will require a little more patience because it takes longer to see results.
Outbound marketing is a more tradition form of marketing which relies on things like cold calling, broadcast ads and direct mail. This form of marketing allows you to get out in front of larger number of people and build brand awareness much faster than inbound marketing. Outbound marketing is known for its speedy results but it is important to remember that those results usually only last as long as a campaign runs.
The way to achieve marketing success—no matter what the so-called experts tell you—is to know your audience and understand what you are trying to achieve. Only then can you focus on implementing the best marketing strategy possible.