Providing the Right Tools Helps Attract and Keep Good Sales Talent - Iron Solutions

Providing the Right Tools Helps Attract and Keep Good Sales Talent

By Mary Herring Posted in Farm Equipment Value Guides | Resources | Tutorials & Case Studies

July 15, 2022

Finding and keeping good salespeople is a real struggle for ag equipment dealers today, but two agriculture equipment dealers have figured out how to do just that by utilizing tools that help a sales team be most effective.

A study in 2018 referenced by Forbes showed that salespeople are spending the majority of their time on activities other than sales. According to this study, “nearly two-thirds (64.8%) of reps’ time, on average, is spent in non revenue-generating activities, leaving only 35.2% for functions related to selling.”

What is consuming the time of these sales teams? Ag dealers often have multiple systems that don’t always work together. Any given dealership will likely have quoting and ordering systems from different manufacturers, a business system or Dealership Management System (DMS), inventory and equipment listings tools and a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. On top of this, most ag dealers today have more than one location, a fact that introduces even more potential loss of efficiency and visibility throughout the organization. A dealership that expects a team of sales reps to navigate through systems of this complexity in a multi-location organization is putting quite a burden on their sales staff. And that’s in addition to the actual business of selling equipment – what they’re paid to do.

David Kleiber, owner of Kleiber Tractor and Equipment in LaGrange, Texas, says,

“Salespeople want to spend their time selling, not stumbling through different systems, or typing information into spreadsheets. We give them the tools they need to quote quickly and accurately using lists of prequalified prospects.”

Because quoting is so much faster and easier, Kleiber said they easily get by with fewer salespeople noting they can figure a quote for one of their biggest tractors, with hundreds of configurable options, in under five minutes.

We wouldn’t have the qualified salespeople we have today without IronHQ,” said Kleiber. “I have a gentleman who works for me that was previously a New Holland representative,” Kleiber said. “He could have easily gone to any other New Holland dealer in Texas, but he saw how efficient IronHQ was and that’s part of the reason he chose us.”

A good dealership tool, like IronHQ, can integrate much of the functionality of previously disparate systems for quoting, inventory, DMS and CRM. What does this mean for the sales teams? It means they can focus on selling.

“We’ve been using IronHQ for over 10 years and we’re handling way more traffic per employee than we did when we were manually figuring this out,” he said. “It’s all at your fingertips, and it’s foolproof.”

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Marshall Machinery is a five location ag and construction dealer based in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, that has been using IronHQ for over 10 years. Earl Marshall, President, said that the tool (IronHQ) is the foundation for their growth and success.

“If you give salespeople a choice, they’re going to want to keep all their notes on a notepad,” Marshall said. “You just can’t scale a business when people are operating like that.”

“Once they are proficient with IronHQ, they can build, duplicate and arrange quotes in a heartbeat,” he said. “It changes the game for us. It changes how we do business.”

“Now, when a customer wants four quotes for a piece of machinery, the salesman isn’t rolling his eyes,” Marshall said. “It’s going to take him just a few moments.”

The sales team at Marshall Machinery is spending less time managing internal processes and systems and more time forming quality relationships with customers. IronHQ enables instant communication with all teams, across all locations in which the dealership operates. The speed of communication that IronHQ provides, combined with data from EDA, has proven helpful to his organization.

“It’s easy to predict buyer behavior with the tool, so we actively manage customers by getting quotes out in front of them at the right time to be the first guy in on the conversation,” Marshall said.

“The sales team tracks loyalty in IronHQ using marketing analytics and customer profiles to identify if a customer is brand, dealer, or salesperson loyal. So, it’s not a real surprise when the customer switches brands because of availability issues since it fits with the customer profile,” he said. “It’s off the charts helpful.”

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