01 Sep Double your client base
By Jon Sherlock, General Manager iFarm
As agri-market analysts, a major part of our business is producing fast, independent market reports for subscribed sheep & beef farmers. Having only had organic growth in the past, doubling our subscription base in 12 months seemed like an ambitious target. Six months in we’re on track to doing it and don’t foresee anything getting in our way.
Put a robust sales process in place
12 months ago we weren’t asking farmers to subscribe, and now we are. It’s that simple. And we’ll keep doing it because we have a robust sales process in place.
We have learnt that asking farmers to subscribe has to be one-on-one but as the geographic spread of farmers makes this a bit challenging, most of our new sales have come across the phone. Initially we were a bit nervous but farmers are used to doing a lot of business over the phone and it’s proven to be effective.
Our reports provide much more detail than farmers receive from traditional media and they have to pay to subscribe. These two factors mean that it is really important that before we put in a call, farmers have some awareness of who we are and what we offer. It’s an ongoing process that to date we’ve driven through media coverage of our news stories, press and TV advertising, exhibiting at field days, and building relationships with partners such as Farmlands.
Align your brand with your offer
Until mid last year we were known as Market Update but that wasn’t portraying the high level of analysis we were providing. We switched to iFarm and haven’t looked back. Our team is proud of who they work for, our partners are happier to align with us and farmers we speak to already have very positive perceptions of our offer.
Breaking from the norm has been challenging and we’ve been learning as we go. We keep reminding ourselves to stay positive and keep focussed on the end result.
iFarm has been working with Shout Marketing since 2008 after identifying they didn’t have sales and marketing skills in house. A marketing planning session set in motion growth targets, sales channels and the rebrand. Since then the regular calendar of initiatives managed by Shout Marketing, Salesforce Enhancement and Contact Central has provided such a positive financial return that iFarm is now able to invest in new product development.