Performs on-farm sales consultations with current and prospective customers to drive retail sales orders of feed, seed, fertilizer, crop protectants, farm supplies, petroleum, and all related services. Sales area may cover several counties and include one or more retail locations. Relies on knowledge of farming best practices, livestock, crops production, and SSC products and services, as well as interpersonal skills to develop strong customer relationships.
Essential Job Functions -- complexity of essential job functions increases with grade level
- Performs independent on-site sales consultations of current and prospective customers. Sales area may cover several counties and include one or more retail locations. Coordinate sales calls and travel schedule to optimize customer engagement, facilitate efficient service, and achieve sales and performance targets.
- Utilize interpersonal skills to foster positive, long-term business relationships with current and prospective customers. Provide technical assistance and information regarding farm management and production best practices. Assist with identification of issues related to weeds, pests, and crops. Recommend products and services that best support the customer's operational needs.
- Partner with retail store management team and General Manager to implement account strategies. Coordinate sales efforts, create prospect lists, provide market intelligence, and arrange product delivery schedules. Support sales initiatives for commodities sold through the retail store(s).
- Coordinate resources needed to address customer inquiries. Communicate with Product Specialists, Buyers, Agronomists, Vendors, division and corporate management staff to resolve questions and concerns. Maintain strong relationships with state land grant universities and local county extension personnel.
- Utilize the CRM Tool to maintain accurate customer records, prospect lists, and report weekly sales calls to both customers and prospects. Transmit weekly fieldwork reports and weekly expense voucher to appropriate manager.
- Promote the use of John Deere Financial, GrowMaster, FeedMaster other programs as sales tools for growing Market Share.
- Promote the SSC brand and business philosophy in a positive and customer-focused manner throughout the local community and sales region. Plan and coordinate commodity and grower meetings with current and prospective customers. Participate in local community meetings (grower meetings, USDA, and Extension meetings) and maintain active membership on county extension boards or Ag related councils.
- Represent SSC in a positive manner by demonstrating professionalism at all times in communication and appearance. Wear approved SSC uniform/attire and operate a neat and well-maintained vehicle.
- Maintain awareness of industry trends, developments, regulations, and updates to SSC products and services. Seek continuous development of sales effectiveness and account management skills including use of Carew Sales Methodology. Utilize a variety of resources to meet development planning and continuing education requirements, including: professional organizations, seminars (i.e. Crops Certification), conferences, training courses, self-study, and on-line tools.
- Perform work safely as to not cause harm to yourself, customers, co-workers, equipment, or inventory. Utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required. Operate all equipment according to SSC policy and government regulations. Comply with OSHA regulations, Southern States Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) standards, work rules and policies.
- Perform all other job functions as assigned.
A combination of completed coursework and relevant experience may be considered in lieu of degree
Education: Bachelor's Degree, will consider other education with related sales/agriculture experience
Experience:Grade 504 - Requires two (2) years of sales experience. Requires agricultural/petroleum industry knowledge. Previous Southern States work experience is strongly preferred.
Licensing: Requires a valid Driver's License
May require one or more of the following, or the ability to obtain: Commercial Driver's License, Commercial Pesticide Applicator License, Certified Crop Advisor License, Certified Feed Advisor License
Requirements -- degree of expertise increases with grade level
- Able to effectively apply knowledge of a variety of seed, fertilizer, crop protectant, and feed products and services in order to accurately answer questions and make recommendations
- Able to effectively apply knowledge of farm management and crop production best practices to identify needs and advise customers on product and service solutions
- Able to effectively apply knowledge of various petroleum products, including heating oil, kerosene, diesel, gasoline, and/or liquid propane, in order to accurately answer questions and make recommendations
- Able to effectively apply knowledge of petroleum equipment and installation, industry best practices, and regulations to identify needs and advise customers on product and service solutions
RETAIL & PETROLEUM:
- This position requires the safe operation of a motor vehicle to perform essential job functions and mandatory compliance with the SSC motor vehicle safety policy
- Able to work both independently and as part of a team to execute sales strategy
- Able to communicate clearly and professionally
- Able to consistently demonstrate customer-focused interpersonal skills
- Able to develop and maintain productive business relationships with area farmers, agricultural community members, and/or petroleum business partners
- Attention to detail, accuracy and accountability
- Computer literacy to utilize MS Office products and SSC business systems
- Able to work extended hours to meet business demands
- Able to meet travel requirements for sales area
- Able to speak, read, write the English language in a proficient manner
Essential job functions are primarily performed on-site at customer locations and at SSC retail stores. May regularly work outdoors and may be unprotected from weather conditions and subject to seasonal temperatures and humidity. Requires the frequent operation of a SSC motor vehicle for travel purposes. Travel requirements vary based on location and growing season.
Frequent exposure to hazards, including:
- Odors, fumes and hazardous chemicals associated with dry and liquid fertilizers, crop protectants, fuel, and other agricultural products, petroleum products, and equipment
- Dust, dirt, allergens, insects, pests and other factors associated with inspection of farming, crop production, and/or livestock sites
- Products, supplies, and tools with sharp edges or containing hazardous materials
- Moving mechanical parts and vehicles, vibrations and electric current
- Noise levels where hearing protection is optional per PPE Plan
Schedule requirements are largely determined by area sales strategy and based on independent judgement to optimize travel and customer engagement. Ability to travel during adverse weather conditions may be required. Extended hours may be required at various times including peak growing season.
Physical Activities & Requirements
Physical activities may vary based on location.
- Continuously bend and stoop; finger, handle and utilize repetitive hand motion with products, soil/plant material, and various tools including computers; utilize eye/hand coordination; twist back and neck. Pull, push, lift, carry up to 30 pounds.
- Frequently balance, climb, and crouch; drive motorized vehicles; reach with arms and hands for extended periods; sit for extended periods; stand and walk for extended periods, at times may be on concrete or outdoors on uneven surfaces. Pull, push, lift, carry 30-50 pounds.
- Occasionally kneel and stack. Pull, push, lift, carry over 50 pounds, may be assisted.
Must be able to communicate with customers and counterparts in-person and via telephone regarding the daily business of sales, operations, products, services, and safety. Must be able to maneuver over uneven terrain while inspecting customer locations. Must be able to utilize vision and touch to diagnose problems and recommend solutions. Must be able to utilize hearing and vision to operate equipment including a motor vehicle. Specific vision abilities required by this position include: close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.
Tools & Equipment
SSC passenger motor vehicle, telephone, hand held radio, computer, printer, scanner, copier, fax machine, writing instrument, reports, logs, spreadsheets. Seed, fertilizer, crop protectant, and/or feed equipment, petroleum equipment, and other tools, equipment and products as determined by specific location requirements. Commercial motor vehicle use may be required.
Southern States Cooperative, Inc., is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate against individuals based on their race, color, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, family medical history or genetic information, or any other status protected by federal, state or local laws, or regulations.