We’ve established that, Yes, You Must Use CRM! But, the future is everything happening post-CRM: data pools, IOT (Internet Of Things), and more.

As a modern ag business, you’re losing if you’re only thinking about CRM. Your bottom line is at risk of being disrupted if you’re not creating customer identities and making big data a big part of your business. Plus, most useful big data applications piggy back on a properly updated CRM.

CRM relates to two technology trends: virtualized hosting (cloud/web services) gives users the ability to build custom solutions that interact with their CRM platform. Having easily accessible, core information about your customer base allows you to build operational systems on top of that highly valuable information.

Once you have all your customers in a single platform, you can start to look at an aggregation of sales orders and activity over a long period of time. That’s how you create your own data pools. Data can be categorized by the size of the purchase, how much they buy from you. Are they a big or small customer? Where are they based in relation to you (location is key!)? Do they have potential to grow into a bigger customer?

While a large farm or organization may not have a lot of customer potential for you, a medium-sized operation could be a better customer for you because of their dedication to you. Maybe you already have the majority of a company’s business, so you’re trying to sustain that business and can direct sales efforts elsewhere.

Using three, four or five of segments of the customer identities you’ve built means you can produce revenue-driving reports for your sales and marketing team so you’re looking at the business you’re getting and what, if anything, needs to change.

A Different Kind Of Cloud

Farmers have been keeping an eye on clouds to do their business since the first seed was sown. These days, ag operators of all kinds are keeping their eye on a different kind of cloud a.k.a. virtualized hosting.

While it sounds like something most of us would like to ignore, don’t. Just stop, take a minute to understand how it applies to your business, and move on. Here’s why: Virtualized hosting allows organizations to grow quickly without an exorbitant amount of investment in infrastructure. These days, it’s easy to purchase and customize a CRM (client relationship management) solution and integrate it with a range of useful web services. Not least important is that interacting with these platforms has become more straightforward and intuitive than ever before, so don’t be daunted!