Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

W. Scott Downey

Committee Chair

W. Scott Downey

Committee Member 1

Holly Wang

Committee Member 2

Allan W. Gray


Decisions in the sales area, including customer and product selection and margin discipline, shape profits for companies in agribusiness. Management of the sales function takes place at the organizational, managerial, and practitioner level, each of which requires data about the process. Individual salespeople benefit from better knowledge of customers (Dixon & Adamson, 2011), and sales managers benefit from understanding the activities of salespeople. Organizationally, data on sales activities may be used to determine progress toward organizational goals or to compensate salespeople. ^ This research utilized surveys to investigate how agribusiness companies differ in the ways they keep track of sales data. Differences were found to exist between agricultural retail companies and manufacturers, between crop and livestock serving companies, and between salespeople and sales managers. Salespeople tend to value customer-level sales data. As sales and marketing integration grows, a broader perspective could be of higher value. Managers track how many new customers salespeople obtain, but pay less attention to other sales efforts. This research sets an agenda for future exploration into compensation, management, and sales efforts in agribusiness and guides practitioners in ways to improve their sales efforts.