This episode of Outstanding in the Field welcomes Nick Rennau and Drew Buettner. Both Nick and Drew are sales agronomists with Cooperative Producers, Inc. in Hastings, Nebraska.
As sales agronomists, Nick and Drew work to create demand with their growers by developing plans for agronomy needs and products. They also schedule applications and ensure that billing is accurate for their patrons.
Listen in to hear how both Nick and Drew have utilized Greenstone’s new Sales mobile application to become more efficient in their roles as sales agronomists, as well as how it has enabled them to provide a higher level of customer service for their patrons.
Mike Terning: Hello, this is Mike Terning. Welcome to another episode of the Greenstone Systems Outstanding in the Field podcast. Today I have the pleasure of meeting with Nick Rennau in Hastings, Nebraska.
Hi, Nick. Can you please explain what your role is at Cooperative Producers, Inc.?
Nick Rennau: My role as a sales agronomist is to go out and create demand with our patrons, our growers, and formulate a plan for agronomy needs and products, schedule application, and ensure that the billing is invoiced correctly for the patron.
Mike: What were your challenges that you had doing your job as a sales agronomist before you started using Greenstone’s Sales app?
Nick: Some of the challenges I had in performing my role as a sales agronomist prior to using the Greenstone app was that we used a different program prior to this one. We didn’t have all of our products in the app, which made it burdensome to pull across into our accounting system and get our invoices submitted to our patrons.
Mike: How were those challenges or the challenges that you had met or addressed with the Sales app?
Nick: In my opinion, the challenges have been addressed with the app. You type in a couple of keywords and it will pull up the product or item that you are looking for more easily than what we had dealt with before.
Mike: Thanks for joining us today Nick. Now I am meeting with Drew Buettner. He’s also a sales agronomist at Cooperative Producers Inc. in Hastings, Nebraska. Thanks for joining us today, Drew. Can you give the audience a little background on who you are and what your role is there at Cooperative Producers, Inc.?
Drew Buettner: I’m Drew Buettner. I’m a sales agronomist here for Cooperative Producers, Inc. I cover the Giltner, Trumbull, and Juniata locations, as well as Hastings, kind of up to Grand Island. I provide services, solutions for the patrons that we have here. I help with the billing and invoicing, pricing structure, things of that nature. I cover probably a 30 to 40-mile by 20 to 30-mile area. I work currently with right around 120 to 150 growers, just myself.
Mike: What were some of your biggest challenges that you had in serving customers prior to using the Greenstone Sales application?
Drew: Just timeliness and getting bookings entered, as well as accuracy. Being able to go back in and pull things up to adjust things on the fly during the growing season if need be.
Mike: What drove you to switch to the Sales app?
Drew: For me, with the previous app that we were using, we weren’t able to do all of the things that we needed to. We didn’t have all of the products in there that we used. So, it really created some challenges from that aspect for us. It just wasn’t very user-friendly for me. There was some lag time on getting it converted from that application over to our AGRIS system for billing. So that created some headaches as well.
Mike: What were the challenges you had doing your job as a sales agronomist before the Sales app came along?
Drew: If we weren’t able to use the booking app that we had previous, we’d have to do paper contracts. To do those, sometimes where I was at, I’d have to mail those contracts in. And, just the same as anywhere else, sometimes things get lost in the mail. You thought that things had been entered but it never got to the main office. So, we’ve had some issues there where there just was not a booking in there because of that.
Mike: Drew, what was your reaction to the Greenstone Sales app when you first got it and when you first started to use it?
Drew: When I first opened up the application, my reaction was that it’s really simple and user-friendly. I really feel like anybody could get on there without ever being on an app like that and be able to navigate it very easily.
Mike: What’s the most attractive aspect of the Sales app for you today?
Drew: For me, just being able to book multiple products all at the same time for one grower. And looking up the credit score. Those would be the things that are best for me.
Mike: What results have you seen from using the Sales app?
Drew: For me, I’m extremely mobile in my job. I’m not tied to an office. So, to be out in the field, talking to a grower, making a sale. To be able to have that up and going and just sit there with him and enter it in, it makes the grower more confident in what we’re doing as well as me.
Also, being able to look up and see if we have maybe certain products in our inventory company-wide. I do a lot of custom application for our patrons. So for me to know that we do have the product and we don’t need to order it, I can give a better estimate of when we will be able to have those products applied to the fields.
Mike: Thanks for joining us today, Drew. Both Nick and Drew have had a really good experience using the Greenstone Sales application. We are in the process of launching it to our entire customer base, and we are pretty excited about some of the things that we have planned for it as well.
We’ll be adding prepay functionality to it, as well as planned capture of signatures for the sales agronomist or another sales person, perhaps in the feed department or the energy department. When they’re actually meeting with the grower, they’ll be able to get a signature that they can attach to the booking or the prepay. Additionally, the ability to enter other information about the deal as remarks that feed right into the AGRIS system is in the plans.
So, we’re really excited about the feedback we’ve gotten. Not only from Nick and Drew, but also from customers that we’ve demonstrated it to and they’ve actually put it in their hands and used it in terms of a demonstration environment. We’re looking forward to rolling it out in mass.