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April 03, 2019 | Coach’s Corner | Greg Martinelli

20 Questions for the Ag Salesperson

Ask these 20 questions to gain a new perspective of your territory, your customers and yourself

Below are some of the critical focus areas I go through when coaching a salesperson. I also ask these same questions of myself on a routine basis. Once is not enough.

The answers you get the first time are often not 100% on target. People have to think about them for a while to arrive at their best answer.

These questions give you a good idea if you know what you are doing and where you want to go in your territory. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t thought of these questions nor have a clue as to their answer.

Salespeople from some of the best know companies struggle with this when I ask them. At some point in your successful selling career, however, these questions need to be asked. More importantly, you need to answer them to your satisfaction.

  1. Who are your most profitable customers? That’s gross profit and net profit.
  2. Are you spending more time with these more profitable customers in proportion to the rest of your customers?
  3. Are you engaging other people in your organization to make sure there is a solid relationship with multiple touch points? This might include production, trucking, customer service teams, etc.
  4. How could you expand business with them? Products, product lines, services, etc.
  5. Who are your least profitable customers?
  6. How can you either make them more profitable or spend less time with them?
  7. Roughly what percentage of your time is spent on current customers versus finding new customers?
  8. Does this line up with your capacity as a salesperson? For example, you have five customers while most salespeople have 30. However, you are spending 80% of your time with those 5 instead of prospecting.
  9. Do you have a prospecting plan? Or is it just randomly happening when a new prospect comes along?
  10.  How do you walk someone through your selling process so that it connects to their buying process?
  11.  Do you know your typical customer’s buying process?
  12.  Who are the next five accounts you will sell?
  13.  What needs to be done today to get them closer to buying?
  14.  What are your most productive events or activities for finding and networking with your better customers?
  15.  What local or statewide association do your customers belong to?
  16.  Besides sponsorship money and putting up a booth at their trade show, what else does this association need? A place to meet, a place to tour, a speaker.
  17.  What topic could you speak on at one of these events?
  18.  What part of the selling process are you struggling the most with? Customer Segmenting, Uncovering, Positioning, Closing, Following Up, Territory Organization Skills.
  19.  Who in your company is really strong in one of those areas? Go ride with them, in their territory and learn how they really accomplish that part of the selling process.
  20.  How do you develop both your technical knowledge and your selling skills?

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