If you’re a baseball fan like me, you’re always invigorated this time of the year when the boys of summer report to the sunny states of Arizona and Florida to begin Spring Training.  The smell of the groomed infield clay and freshly cut grass evoke the optimism that reigns eternal in the Springtime. I admit I may be a bit of a geek, but I get the same Springlike feeling when I consider the potential to enact more and better beverage sales through the use of automation technologies like GreatVines. Just as in baseball, at the beginning of the season, anything can happen! Just ask the Cubs! If one starts early and has a solid plan to execute, an organization can harness some of Spring’s promise in the sales and marketing of beverages. Follow over the fold for some idea spitballin’…

What’s important is to understand your business objectives and then to determine a strategy to achieve them using the tools and best practices at your disposal. More than anything else, it is the act of making a deliberate plan and then following through on it that yields affirmative results. But for the sake of example, here are a few idea “pitches” that might get you swinging.

Begin with the forward looking, or planning approach. Perhaps focus on preparing and finalizing your distributor plans for the rest of the year. Use this time to think through and make required adjustments to your pricing, price support, volume goals, time in markets, etc.  Update these parameters in your GreatVines pricing tool. Establish the parameters for a Spring or Easter survey and configure it in your GreatVines survey module.

Next focus on tactical efforts. Like batting practice or hours of shagging fly balls, focus on the rudiments of marketing and sales that support replicable success. Put together some ideas for targeted email campaigns and then develop them in the GreatVines platform. Consider developing several concepts for A/B testing to see which efforts strike out and which knock it out of the park.

For the Advanced Analytics Sabermetric crowd, take some time away from WAR and FIP to take a look at last year’s sales stats to glean where there’s room to improve performance. Check on progress of your earlier Objective Plans. Analyze the progress you’ve made to date against first quarter sales/execution goals. Evaluate your current trade spend levels against what you’ve budgeted to get a bead on how well you’re adhering to the spend goals you established earlier.

Spring training time is special because there is still the promise of great achievements to be won. If you want to win in beverage sales as in baseball, it’s all about the groundwork you lay at the beginning of the season. Unlike baseball where 29 of 30 teams are going to go home not having met the goal of winning the World Series, beverage sales can have lots of winners and to varying degrees. So get out there and play ball!