We have an exciting opportunity for a VP of Sales to join our team as Sound Agriculture focuses on building a new product class, reporting to our newly appointed Chief Commercial Officer. This highly intuitive, agile and hands on individual is comfortable with a fast-paced, high growth environment and uncharted territories. This strategic, tenacious, level-headed thinker thrives in an innovative, collaborative, interdisciplinary startup where resources are stretched and dots need connecting and is seeking to be instrumental in building an outstanding company that is applying great science to an important mission addressing today’s most pressing challenges.
Overview of Challenges and Responsibilities:
Partner with Sound’s leadership team to help develop and implement a thoughtful sales and key account management strategy, connecting R&D to commercial operations to achieve revenue goals.
Demand Creation & Sales Planning & Execution:
- Closely collaborate with Marketing on the go-to-market strategy and the marketing mix – product, pricing, place and promotion – to create a sales plan and set and reach sales targets.
- Acquire a robust understanding of how the product differentiation impacts and guides the sales strategy
- Ensure clear communication of Sound Ag’s value proposition to expand the customer base
- Utilize knowledge of category specific landscapes and trends to boost demand / adoption
- Create and own the Sales budget, prioritize projects and allocate resources
- Actively participate in and apply sales expertise to help refine the architecture of the product strategy, product development, product launch, branding and positioning
Grower & Channel Relations:
- Build and cultivate strong, long-lasting customer relationships (farmers, growers, distributors, retailers)
- Partner with customers and channel partners to understand business needs and objectives to bolster number of trials
- A solution driven leader focusing on user experience: adopt a transformational, customized as opposed to transactional, one-size-fits-all approach to selling the product, showcasing its purpose to increase productivity without increasing the environmental footprint
- A trusted advisor: consult on long-term product benefits versus short-term perceived performance of conventional inputs, shifting perceptions, nurturing satisfaction and solidifying the brand
- Digital: collaborate with the marketing team on programs around the customer journey, incorporating social media; engage with farmers throughout the season (pre-plant/trial planning, application, scouting, harvest) and capture all interactions and data into the CRM system
- Participate in the design of promotional materials, both print and online
Volume & Price Target Achievement:
- Establish a clear plan for the sales team resource allocation including in- and outsourcing of the sales force as well as for invoicing and logistics
- Manage Sound Ag sales team as well as contractors coordination and Key Account Management against the sales plans and goals; monitoring, tracking and documenting all sales activities using and mining CRM and sales software
- Determine assignment of growers to team members and ensure consistent visits in the field and capturing data / insights / customer feedback, train team on technology use as needed
- Partner with Marketing on commercial alliances, in/out licensing agreements / co-development and strategic initiatives that result in significant growth margins for the company
- Develop thorough understanding of peripheral technologies (precision farming, online marketplaces) and how such solutions can complement Sound Ag’s expansion strategy
- Own sales forecasting and reporting including software such as Salesforce
Skills and Experience
- 12+ years commercial experience in the US (and ideally abroad), in Ag sales, Ag product management, business development, market access in a commercial stage agricultural company (crop protection, seeds, biotechnology) including 3+ years leadership experience building, managing and mentoring a team.
- Expertise in Agronomy, Plant Science, Chemistry, Molecular Biology or related field.
- MBA or equivalent preferred.
- Results oriented with experience leading the successful commercialization and sales of new products on a global basis, international outlook.
- A team player with genuine interests in the dynamics between Marketing & Sales and how the 2 are closely intertwined for success.
- Thorough knowledge of sales and marketing principles, branding, advertising and pricing with a deep understanding of farmers, growers, distribution channels, retailers, changing market dynamics, innovation in agricultural biotechnologies and product adoption.
- Superb analytical skills applied to specific markets (Soil Health, Seed Treatment, Crop Yield, Crop Nutrition, Herbicides, Fungicides, Insecticides).
- Fluency in data management software and ability to extract, examine and use information for accurate recommendations and decision making.
- Excellent strategic and critical thinking skills with the ability to solve problems quickly and effectively.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit with the ability to work across all levels in the organization to drive projects to completion.
- Demonstrated excellence as a leader of a commercial/market access organization including, developing, retaining and motivating a high-performance team.
- Experience interfacing with investors and participating in other forms of external corporate communications and industry relations activities; interacting with key opinion leaders.
- An excellent negotiator and spokesperson.
- Establishes credibility with intellectually demanding audiences; demonstrates confidence and commitment to effectively influence and lead.
- Flexibility to work outside of a defined position to meet the needs of a startup environment
Equal Employment Opportunity
We seek a diverse pool of applicants and consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, ancestry, color, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, citizenship, disability, Veteran status, marital status, or any other protected status.
Please send your resume and contact details as well as work eligibility – authorized to work lawfully in the United States to firstname.lastname@example.org.