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4 Tips for Avoiding Price and Margin Loss

Farmer and ag retailer looking at laptop

Product prices change rapidly in the agriculture retail industry, and if your sales teams don’t have accurate pricing, your business loses margin. Every dollar counts when margins are tight, so incorrect pricing can dramatically impact the bottom line. 

So how do you protect both price and margin? 

  1. Have current pricing at your fingertips
  2. Know what input prices are doing at all times
  3. Don’t rely on spreadsheets, DropBox, or emails to communicate
  4. Have regular communication with your sales team

Avoid the Risk of Incorrect Quoting

When margins are tight, every dollar counts. Incorrect pricing can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line. Nothing can give an ag seller a black eye quicker than pricing and billing problems. Especially in today’s climate, it’s hard to get an entire ag retail team armed with the most current, accurate pricing. 

Your retailers quoting the wrong price can cause awkward, usually deal-breaking conversations with customers. Being able to store all quotes and orders for the sales team to review and manage easily can help prevent quoting mistakes. There’s nothing worse than having to call a customer back because someone on your sales team quoted them a price that your business can’t deliver on.

Keep Up With Input Price Volatility

We all know input prices fluctuate, but the last two years have been an entirely different ballgame, with input costs doubling or even tripling for some. But, why does this matter?

Retailers that stay up to date on pricing volatility and market shifts are better equipped to understand price patterns and relationships that may determine future prices. Therefore, they can make more informed recommendations, resulting in increased trust between them and their customer. 

Customer retention plays a considerable part in reducing margin loss because increasing customer retention can boost your bottom line profit. A high retention margin indicates that it costs you very little to retain your customers and that you take home the majority of their revenue as profit.

Drop the DropBox and Spreadsheets 

Technology has taken over from setting security systems and shutting off lights from your smartphone to tracking a farming operation’s data. Ag retail has the upper hand because retailers learn these technology solutions and help their farming customers integrate them into their operations. But relying on tech like spreadsheets, DropBox links, and emails leaves your team open to errors and risks your profit margins. 

When you use technology, it should save you time, not cause a new set of headaches. Farmers expect that their ag retailer, the one they entrust their information to, can provide them with up-to-date information when needed.

To choose the right technology partner and ensure team buy-in, here are five quick questions to ask yourself when you’re vetting potential partners:

  1. Do they have experience in the ag retail industry?
  2. How much value do they offer to your business? 
  3. How will they help your company meet its goals? High-level and granularly.
  4. Are they a one-stop-shop for your company information, or do they focus only on one thing?
  5. What do they do with your company pricing and customer data?

Have Regular Communication with Your Ag Sales Teams

Your ag sales team are the people getting the most facetime with customers. If the team isn’t in line with your company values — or if they aren’t communicating them properly — you risk losing customers and suffering as a business! This is why it’s essential to have regular discussions with your sales teams and stay informed.

Preserve your company’s reputation. Can you really afford to risk having price and margin issues? 

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