Direct sales of Evergrow are strong and growing with new direct sales approach


One of our Farm Star Sales Agent selling Evergrow Organic Fertilizer

We are excited to share with the VIA Water community that the recent changes Sanergy has made to the sales process for Evergrow Organic Fertilizer -- with support from VIA Water -- have been yielding positive results and exciting growth, especially for our customers running small-scale farms (single decision makers farming fewer than 20 acres).

As part of our program supported by VIA Water, we have been working with Whitten & Roy Partnership, a sales consultancy, to revamp our direct sales approach and provide strong technical customer service. Based on our work with them, we have adopted a problem-driven sales method and other best sales practices. We have developed a structured approach for all sales activities, including sales presentations, follow-ups, and after-sale visits. This has translated into steadily increasing sales: in May, we sold just over 12 metric tons of Evergrow Organic Fertilizer to small-scale farmers; in October, we sold over 33 metric tons.

In addition, we work with farmers throughout their crop cycle to ensure that their experience with Evergrow and the crop generally is successful. By visiting farmers 4-5 times after their purchase, we help them track the results they are getting with Evergrow and address any challenges they face along the way. As a result, our customers are extremely satisfied with our service, and our repeat sales have increased from 26% of small-scale customers in May to 74% of small-scale customers in October.

According to a lean data study recently conducted by Acumen, 96% of our customers are very satisfied with their interactions with us. Specifically, 53% of customers appreciated sales associates’ clear explanations of the product: “I do not feel like [using Evergrow Organic Fertilizer] is a risk because the salesman was open enough to tell me the whole truth about fertilizer,” one customer said. In addition, 46% of customers noted their satisfaction with the communication skills and follow-up from sales associates.

In recent months, we have opened field warehouses in Isiolo and Chuka in which to store product, and we will soon be opening two more in Mwea and Kimana. These warehouses help us serve customers more efficiently, limit driving time for the sales representatives, and reduce the cost of delivery.

In the coming months, we expect to see ongoing growth in sales and especially repeated sales to our small-scale farmer customers. We have already started building relationships with local agriculture supply shops and lead farmers who resell our product in their areas.

Thanks to the support from VIA Water, we have been able to improve our methods for direct sales, and we are constantly improving on the service we offer our customers. As we learn more from these experiments, we plan to scale up successful partnerships, continuing to work closer with farmers for successful seasons and we look forward to providing future updates on how our sales progress.

Willemijn Nagel's picture

Dear Louise, thanks for your update. That sounds great to have an increase of the sales of Evergrow with this intensified customer relationship approach. I was wondering if you can continue this approach also without funding of a donor, because it also cost you a lot of man power or not? 

Louise Couder's picture

Dear Willemijn, this sales strategy is not driven by donor funding and is based on 3 assumptions:
- The upfront cost of getting a new customer will be recouped by the business it brings in the future as we expect these satisfied farmers to keep buying our products; 
- For most customers, we don't expect to provide this intense follow up for more than 1 or 2 cycles, we should get back to simple direct sales once they know and trust our fertilizer;
- Once we reach a certain level of density in these counties, we will consider using other sales channel such as established agricultural products vendors or lead farmers.
Therefore, we will continue this approach even without donor funding as we believe that so far it is the best approach to enter a new market/county. 

Fohla MOUFTAOU's picture


This is a great job, selling organic fertilizers includes to change long lasting behaviors of chemical fertilizers. I was wondering about the logistical costs of distributing organic fertilizers in large areas. I guess your production is localised and your clients are spread which implicates transportation (heavy and light), storages, etc.

If we look at your cost structure you have : Production fees (a lot of raw material, man power for at least three months, machines depreciation? etc.), logistic fees, commercial/marketing fees (kick-off and maintenance). Your organic fertilizer price, I guess, take into account the reasoning of the farmer : If he doesn't use any fertilizer his incomes are A, if he buys chemical fertilizers at X$  his incomes are (B-X$), if he buys organic fertilizers at Y$  his incomes are (C-Y$).  (C-Y$) must remain at least = to (B-X$) and of course more than A. This implies maintaining the selling price at a relative low level. How do you see the balance between your low selling prices and high prime cost (cpst of sale)? Do you include other revenues in your business model (support from environmental organizations, social, etc.)?

Thank you very much for sharing !