Updated: Aug 25, 2020
As an ag retailer, you go out of your way to help your customers. You've delivered fertilizer at 2 AM so a grower could finish planting before a storm, called every distributor on this side of the Mississippi to find that one product for that specific pest, and spent hours researching a new seed treatment that could help your grower with their Fusarium problem. Now, you are your organization’s champion in creating a digital strategy, and you want to provide the most seamless omnichannel experience possible for your growers. In order to do this, your business must blend your physical and digital channels to provide your growers with the same great service and value regardless of how they choose to do business. An integrated digital tool coupled with your human assets unlocks this experience for your customers.
As one of our partners puts it, “The Grower Portal is helping Valley Ag digitally engage our customers in new ways and allowing them to do business with us how, when, and where they want, in ways that are oftentimes easier or quicker than traditional means.” says Connor Lankford of Valley Ag.
A foundational element of a strong digital strategy is choosing the right technology partner. We discuss what makes a best-in-class technology provider more here, but a key characteristic that sets providers apart is their level of account management. As experts in digital solutions, they should be assisting you in implementing a comprehensive onboarding plan for both your internal team and your customers. In order for your customers to adopt the solution, your team has to be comfortable using the technology, fully bought into the ‘why’ behind the initiative, and understanding of the value it can provide them.
How do you make that happen? It begins with a dedicated account manager whose responsibility it is to guide you through a clearly-outlined onboarding process.
From the day the contract is signed, you need a partner that will help you understand the process, identify your stakeholders, and communicate the course of action to your entire team. This person works with you to guide your team, making your digital transformation as smooth as possible. They provide the tools, milestones, resources, and best practices from industry experience. The knowledge they bring and help you share out to the entire organization will encourage adoption among your sales team and growers.
In addition, a great account manager engages your team directly throughout the onboarding process. They leave space for questions, feedback, and ideas for new features. Their goal is to ultimately aid you, the champion, in building consensus throughout your organization.
Clearly outlined onboarding process from day 1
Your account manager will also be able to help you build out a comprehensive onboarding plan. This is your team’s roadmap to getting your solution fully functional and implemented throughout the business. This process should include:
An introduction to the tool
The account manager will provide a technical overview to your stakeholders. More importantly, they will share best practices and help you explain the “why” behind this strategy.
Set milestones that will lead to the on-time launch of the tool