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How to Grow Your Sales with a Crop Plan Warranty

how to grow your sales with crop plan warranty

Ag retailers sell to a distinctly savvy customer base. As consumers, farmers are deeply knowledgeable about the products you sell; as business people themselves, they’re more attuned to the value of their purchases than the average buyer – put differently, they can smell BS a mile away.

That’s why ag retailers love our Crop Plan Warranty, which is a flexible digital tool that helps shield farmers from risk when they purchase specific products. By adding a customized Crop Plan Warranty to key products or programs, you can motivate farmers to purchase your most innovative products or consolidate more of their business with you.

In this piece, we lay out three steps you can follow to make it work.

Step 1: Define How You’ll Use the Warranty

The Crop Plan Warranty offers payment to farmers in the event that a product or whole-acre prescription falls short of promised outcomes. Some of the most popular use cases include…

  • New product adoption: Add a Crop Plan Warranty to an innovative new product to help farmers overcome their hesitancy about trying it. We’ve found the warranty to be particularly effective when the product in question is new to the market (innovative use of chemicals, new fungicide) and when farmers adopt new production practices (e.g., by trying new products that optimize nutrient availability, enabling them to use less fertilizer). In both cases, a warranty promising a payout in the event of nonperformance can be the final nudge that drives adoption.
  • Wallet share growth: Retailers looking to increase grower purchases can use a Crop Plan Warranty on products they haven’t typically sold to the farmer. For example, if your growers typically buy their seed direct from a seed supplier and you’d like to win some of that business, you could add a warranty to your seed brands to make you the more attractive seller.
  • Program adoption: Crop Plan Warranties can also work with a whole-acre approach, which can help both with encouraging farmers to try more innovative products and with winning increased wallet share. In this model, retailers can bundle multiple products and add the warranty to that bundle, so that farmers can access not only the products they need but also receive increased risk protection when they purchase from you – which, of course, benefits everyone’s bottom line.

Step 2: Set Pricing

Once you’ve decided how to design your Crop Plan Warranty, it’s time to set prices. The two approaches we recommend are margin and manufacturer incentives or a prescription package price.

Margin and Manufacturer Incentives

With this approach, you can tie warranties to specific products. As mentioned above, this strategy can be helpful when retailers are offering a product that’s new to the market or that requires farmers to embrace new practices.

If you’re in a position to do so, you may also expand conversations with your preferred suppliers to gauge their interest in supporting the warranty program. These conversations may be particularly fruitful with manufacturers of newer and more innovative inputs.

Prescription Package Price

With this approach, you can tie the warranty to a whole-acre agronomist recommendation rather than a single product. This structure is excellent for increasing adoption of new products and for growing wallet share for existing customers.

In Both Cases…

Regardless of which pricing model you choose, using a warranty is a way of communicating to your customers that you’re so confident in your recommendation that you’re willing to stand behind it with a warranty – a powerful statement in any retail environment.

In all cases, we’ll work collaboratively with you to structure pricing so that you can strike the best balance of competitive pricing and profit growth.

Step 3: Get Your Team on Board

Crop Plan Warranties are most successful when they’re built on insights from people in different roles within your business. As you structure your warranty product, consider getting input from your sales reps and agronomists on what kinds of questions farmers tend to ask about new products and what kinds of answers move the needle. You’ll also, of course, want to talk with your head of finance and other strategic leaders.

Besides making your warranty product stronger and more effective, getting input from around your business will also help drive engagement when you launch.

Agronomists will be much happier prescribing an innovative, warranty-backed product when they have a say in how to structure the warranty or which product to use it with, for example.

Sales reps will be more enthusiastic about pointing farmers toward the warranty-backed product or program when they fully understand its value. Plus, they’ll be better equipped to answer farmers’ questions in a way that puts that value at the forefront.

Bonus: building buy-in for adoption is a crucial part of the innovation process. Getting your team on board with innovative financial products and new ways of selling will prepare you to get farmers on board with these products and position you as an innovative retailer.

With a Clear Plan and Team Buy-In, a Crop Plan Warranty Will Boost Sales Revenue

A Crop Plan Warranty is a powerful tool for ag retailers – and like any powerful tool, it shouldn’t be wielded at random. Implement it right, and you’ll position yourself as innovative, flexible, and focused on your farmers’ needs. You’ll also establish a compelling edge over your competitors.

Intrigued by how a Crop Plan Warranty might help you increase revenue? Get in touch. We’d love to talk you through your options.

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