Appointment generation has been a permanent part of AgroVision’s sales strategy for many years
AgroVision provides management and accounting software for agricultural businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. In 2004 AgroVision and AgriDirect piloted a telephone-based appointment generation project, and AgriDirect is still playing a major role in AgroVision’s sales strategy with this marketing method in 2015. Their advisors generate appointments the whole year round.
AgriDirect agents were already in regular contact with prospects and existing AgroVision customers for various telemarketing campaigns. ‘If they have farmers on the line anyway, why not also ask them whether they would like to make an appointment with one of our account managers,’ AgroVision realised back in 2004. This thought later turned out to be the start of a close collaboration between AgroVision and AgriDirect. Eleven years on, these appointment generation projects are still a formula for success.
From dairy to arable
AgroVision operates in the dairy, poultry, pig and arable sectors. It uses direct mail to bring new software packages and modules to the attention of customers and prospects. AgriDirect agents follow up AgroVision mailshot recipients with a phone call.
Strategy for approaching farmers changing over the years
The way companies talk to farmers has changed in recent years. With the advent of upscaling, for example, we see that the ‘farmer of today’ wants to be communicated with in a different way. So AgriDirect agents are now specially trained to work on AgroVision projects. Where a prospect was previously only contacted to find out if they had received the mailshot and if they were interested in making an appointment, now the agent will try to enter into a dialogue about the software solutions with the farmer. This creates more added value for AgroVision and for the farmer. Of course, an appointment is actually made if the farmer wants one, but interest on the part of the farmer and the conversation with them are now much more important.
Results fed back weekly
During ongoing AgroVision projects, AgriDirect notifies them of appointments on the same day every week. That way, AgroVision’s account managers know well in advance what their diaries will look like over the coming weeks.
Diana Heuveling, Commercial Internal Sales at AgroVision, talks about the results and how she finds working with AgriDirect:
‘The results of the appointment generation projects vary from sector to sector, partly depending on what is happening in the market at the time. We get appointments from about 3-8 percent of prospects. A nice score! However, we have noticed that the current method of approaching prospects is undergoing change. That’s partly why AgriDirect has agreed with us to train agents specifically for AgroVision projects, working closely with us. This is beginning to bear fruit. So I think that lead generation is certainly one of AgriDirect’s strengths.’