Family-owned seed business Genetic Technologies (Genetic), a leading supplier of hybrid maize seed to New Zealand farmers, fuels New Zealand’s economic powerhouse, dairy farming.
Farmers bank on Genetic’s hybrid seed and advice to maximise their maize yield and, ultimately, milk production. It’s a complex business requiring specialist salespeople (including agronomists) and tools, and good working relationships with merchants, farmers and their advisers.
But, thanks to Salesforce, Genetic performs at the top of its game, producing the right blend of hybrid seeds in time for the growing season ahead.
Marcus Morrison, Genetic’s national sales manager, evaluated the needs of farmers and the company’s salespeople before tackling the process of systems replacement.
Salesforce topped the list for adaptability and out-of-the-box functionality. Mobile readiness was another important consideration.
Genetic was up and running on Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud in just four months. A team of one manages administration, changes and configuration. “We can even test and implement changes without assistance. That says just how good Salesforce is,” said Morrison.
While farmers buy their seed from merchants, Genetic stays close to the action, providing cross-season technical assistance to both farmers and merchants. Support is deep and varied. Genetic’s salespeople visit farms to gauge soil and climatic conditions; they work with contractors and consultants to guide seed selection and support planting, crop maintenance and storage; and they even get involved with cost benefit analysis.
There’s a lot going on and many toes to avoid standing on to maintain good working relationships in their industry.
Sales Cloud takes care of pipeline management and Service Cloud dials up a sharp picture of relationships and what’s happening in the field.
Forecasting is critical. It takes a full season to grow and process seeds, and Genetic must know farmers’ future plans to deliver the right blend of hybrid seeds for the upcoming growing season.
The new visibility excites Morrison, who revels in a daily snapshot of sales orders, forecasts and product deliveries. Dashboards tell the story; who’s selling what, market uptake of new hybrids, head-to-head sales performance, even who’s failing to capture the correct information.
“We can see what’s happening and how we’re performing – everything that helps us to plan our own planting and demand forecasts,” he said. “It’s de-stressed sales. Our guys walk a tightrope with a large number of different people. The comments I’ve had is that they feel more in control. We’re in the middle of tough dairy market, and the onus is on us to be more careful and considered,” said Morrison. “Salesforce lets us do that. Personally I think it’s one of the most significant strategic decisions we’ve made.”