GROWMARK is a regional cooperative with annual sales of $10 billion (FY2012 data) providing agriculture-related products and services, as well as grain marketing in 31 states and Ontario, Canada. GROWMARK is ranked fifth on the NCB Co-op 100 listing of the nation’s 100 highest revenue-earning cooperative businesses. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. GROWMARK is large enough to offer solid career opportunities, but small enough to provide a family-oriented, welcoming environment and great benefits.
PURPOSE AND SUMMARY STATEMENT
Under the direction of the Branch Manager, the Crop Specialist 2 performs a consultative sales and service function to the area crop producers including agronomic solutions, sales, crop scouting, grain marketing, and product logistics to achieve maximum sales profitability and growth, within an assigned territory. This position requires the attainment of one or more professional (CCA, CCS, Professional Sales Certificate, CAMA certification) designation(s). The Crop Specialist 2 may have the additional responsibility in working closely with the Sales Manager in supporting the Crop Specialist 1 positions, by sharing knowledge in the achievement of customer satisfaction, revenue generation, and long-term account goals in line with company vision and values.
SUPERVISION AND LEADERSHIP
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
May occasionally be required to assist in developing and mentoring the Crop Specialist 1 staff members to follow company goals and objectives that will grow the business and develop profitable professional relationships with customers.
Develops and implements clear and effective written marketing plans and sales strategies that generate profitable sales to existing and prospective customers in the assigned territory.
Utilizes target marketing and professional sales techniques, prepares written proposals/quotations when calling on regular and prospective growers based on prospective customer lists from FSP sales history, government offices, and other sources.
Creates and manages a customer value plan by providing value-added agronomic products, services, and recommendations on a frequent basis. This includes demonstrating products and services to assists them in selecting those best suited to their needs.
Maintains regular contact with customers to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction, and expedites the resolution of customer problems and complaints, by seeking a reasonable “win/win” solution.
Scouts crops on a frequent basis to ensure they meet the appropriate agronomic conditions and makes proper recommendations regarding ways to improve and increase customer satisfaction; Collects soil samples using proper procedures and records soil sample information for proper identification and analysis. Maintains accurate area records and reports, records of all sales and prospecting activities including sales calls, presentations, closed sales, and follow-up activities within their assigned territory, to maintain accurate records to develop a competitive analysis and to maximize territory potential.
Maintains a current knowledge of product applications, technical services, market conditions, competitive activities, advertising, and promotional trends through the reading of pertinent literature and consulting with marketing and technical service areas.
Ensures FS field signs are displayed on customers’ fields to promote FSP products. Uses “Beyond Boundaries” lists to identify progressive customers and to coordinate the sharing of these lists between energy, agronomy, and grain sales representatives.
Quotes prices, and prepares sales contracts for orders obtained and promotes the use of credit programs as a sales tool and helps provide the required information to establish credit.
OTHER JOB FUNCTIONS
Creates and participates in presentations during customer meetings and trades shows as required.
May be required to assist Branch locations with various duties.
Ensures that the annual inspection, and company required licenses and permits, for the assigned vehicle are current and kept in the vehicle.
Responsible for maintaining the assigned vehicle according to company standards.
Adheres to all company policies, procedures, and business ethics codes in all areas, eg: safety, credit, proper management of assets, pricing, uniforms, etc. and maintains the appropriate professional image.
Follows the GROWMARK Workplace Health, Safety & Environmental policies and procedures. Under the Occupational Health and Safety act (OHSA) employee must: use or wear any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer; report any known workplace hazard to the employer or supervisor; report any known contravention of the Act or regulations to the employer or supervisor; not use or operate any equipment or work in a way that may endanger any worker.
Actively participates in education and training provided by GROWMARK with the purpose of refining agronomy and selling skills.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Education and Experience Normally requires a minimum of a College diploma or a University degree in agriculture, marketing, or other related discipline.
The Crop Specialist 2 must have obtained a Certified Crop Advisor certification (CCA), a Professional Sales Certification (PSC), and has acquired or is working to acquire a Certified Crop Specialist (CCS) certificate and acquired or is working towards acquiring the Certificate in Canadian Agriculture Business Marketing Association (CAMA).
Function Competencies Uses appropriate interpersonal styles and communication skills oral and written, to effectively present information; Uses appropriate selling techniques and approaches when meeting with people from different levels, positions, and backgrounds.
Explores needs; respond to questions; discusses solutions and options; describes features and benefits; demonstrates the added value of solutions to the customer; Addresses objections and closes sales.
Proven ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form. Proven ability to plan and organize personal sales strategy by maximizing the return on time investment for the assigned territories.
Ability to work independently, in a team-oriented environment, and achieve results through others.
Demonstrated mathematical skills with the ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts interest, percentages, area, circumference, and volume. Ability to apply these concepts of basic algebra and geometry.
Demonstrated ability to efficiently work with Microsoft office computer programs in order to maintain client database system, send and receive electronic mail, perform word processing, access information over the internet and develop spreadsheets or graphic documents to enhance business processes.
Demonstrated strong reasoning ability to solve practical problems and handle customer and/or operational issues and effectively explores alternatives and positions to reach outcomes that gain all parties’ support and acceptance.
Core Competencies Demonstrated GROWMARK core competencies including business knowledge, collaboration, communication, customer focus, decision making, and skill development.
Must have and maintain a valid driver’s license and a clean driving abstract, and additionally be able to obtain various licenses, permits and/or certificates as required for this position.
May be required to work extended hours, particularly during peak seasons.
Must be able to be trained in GROWMARK’s Workplace Health, Safety & Environmental policies and procedures, including Accident Reporting, Emergency Response Plan, Fire Safety, General Safety Rules, Health & Safety Rights, Health & Safety Roles and Responsibilities, Safe Manual Lifting, Slips Trips and Falls, and WHMIS. May be required to be trained in the following: Chemical Handling and Spills Response, Defensive Driving Transportation of Dangerous Goods.
Mental Effort The incumbent works independently, within established policies and work procedures and is called upon to make decisions that involve weighing alternatives within their scope of practice set by the Manager.
Requires periods of concentration normally moderate to occasionally high in intensity, and attention to detail when handling various customer needs, preparing various reports, establishing marketing plans in a fast paced work environment.
The incumbent may encounter moderate to occasionally high mental stress increases when dealing with operational issues and occasionally when meeting, assisting, and influencing the Crop Specialist 1, deadlines, sometimes unclear information and in handling customer queries/issues, other departments and manager’s requirements that require refocusing.
This position may be required to give presentations to groups, which may cause anxiety and stress for some individuals.
The incumbent spends long periods of time in a sitting position while working at a computer screen with the opportunity to move about.
Possible eye strain from using computer for long periods of time.
Occasional lifting, carrying and putting away packaged product, such as seed, fertilizer, and/or jugs of chemicals weighing up to 50 lbs. may be required. On rare occasions may be required to lift product weighing between 51- 75 lbs.
Physical demand from field work, such as crop scouting, may require occasional extended periods of walking through large areas, bending or stooping (less than 1 hour per day) in order to inspect plants and soil which may be somewhat uncomfortable.
Work is completed both in a typical office environment and outdoors (i.e. crop monitoring) at various customer and GROWMARK facilities. It is expected that the incumbent will spend approximately 80% of the time, on the road and with customers.
Travelling may include driving on gravel roads for extended periods; driving in occasional storm-like conditions as well some overnight stays may be required. Additional hours or time outside of normal hours may be necessary due to operational requirements.
Employee may be exposed to noise around farm machinery, odors, and varied surfaces, as well as frequent exposure to dirt, dust, and fumes for a short duration when working in the field and/or working in the fertilizer warehouse. Exposure of fertilizer, crop protection products, and fuel on a moderate basis can lead to headaches and skin irritation. CSA approved safety precautions must be used while handling chemicals and fertilizer.
Long pants or coveralls must be worn when handling such products and while walking through fields and test plots. Other personal protective equipment maybe required to be worn such as safety glasses, hearing protection, respiratory equipment, and fall arrest equipment.
GROWMARK, Inc. strives to provide a benefits package that delivers competitive pay for performance, recognizes your dedication to our mission and helps us attract and retain the highest caliber of talent. The cornerstone of our benefits package is the company funded, defined benefit pension plan along with health and disability insurance, an employer matched 401k plan, and other voluntary group benefit programs.