- Sales Execution
- Trade Marketing
- Advanced Analytics
The best sales reps in the industry all have their own way of working that they become very comfortable with. But even the best aren’t maximizing their selling opportunities. An important part of our training is showing how GreatVines will help them sell more cases easily. Once they see how it works and what you can do for them, they are hooked!
Sales reps and managers are typically busy people juggling many accounts and many new projects and tasks. Finding out they have to implement a new software system to keep track of EVERYTHING can illicit a mix of fear and wonder. Where will they find the time to devote to learning something that complicated?
Something that our customers often share is how easy it is to get started using the system. This is even more true now with our simplified mobile application. Customers learn that not only does GreatVines provide a very detailed number of options for storing information, but it does not make someone new to the system feel as if it will be a chore to learn it. In fact, two hours of training or less is all that is needed to get going.
Acknowledge with your team that the process is iterative and you will be making changes and improvements over time. Getting up and running quickly ensures that the business can best tailor the configuration for optimal usage and adoption, thus avoiding the dreaded “90 day throw away” where lots of collected data becomes useless and users feel like their time has been wasted. Encourage users to embrace the iterative nature of these cloud-based systems.
GreatVines is designed to be intuitive, making it easy for every user to move naturally through familiar industry choices. What you need to know (and even some things you didn’t know you can keep track of easily) are all accounted for as you make your way through the program. A quick way to decrease user adoption is to ask them to track details about an Account that are never reported on. Knowing whether a particular outlet has a cold box, or the width of the back bar, is only useful if you target activities and promotions to those Accounts via reporting. While one extra field is generally harmless, resist the temptation to track EVERYTHING just because you can. Focus on simplifying the data collection process to support only your key sales drivers, adding more data dimensions over time.
A typical training session takes place online through GoToMeeting, saving everyone from having to travel or sit through day-long seminars. The sessions are archived for easy referral, and once the initial training takes place, clients are able to go right to work on it. They can train in the morning and start surveying accounts in the afternoon! This is followed up with an additional short training and Q&A session that really rounds out the knowledge they need to begin being more effective.
It is truly a “learn as you go” system, recognizing that people learn most effectively and comfortably when they take intuitive steps. You crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. Don’t let fear of a complicated program or a time-consuming back-to-school marathon keep you tied down to a system that doesn’t meet your needs. GreatVines provides quick, easy and intuitive training that will have people up and running on day one. After all, it’s designed by sales people for sales people.
Lots of companies do surveys. Surveying is important, especially at the beginning of key selling periods to drive execution, but most companies do it all wrong and waste the effort they put into the survey.
You have a push to get displays, so you do a survey to check display activity in accounts. You want presence in a well, on a backbar, or a cocktail menu so you survey for that as well. However, most companies don’t maximize their survey efforts. They survey, and forget about it until all the surveys results have been rolled up into a massive spreadsheet (some weeks later) and the volume results for the month are reported to answer the question “how well did we execute this season?” Which is great for analysis… after the fact.
The better reason to survey is to drive the actual execution during the season to get the most out of the selling opportunity. At GreatVines, we believe the survey is an execution tool, not just a measurement tool. Our application enables your company to use Surveys to improve your execution at point of sale.
Key steps to using a survey to drive execution
If you utilize GreatVines to follow this Survey methodology, you are sure to gain incremental sales from increased execution at point of sale.
Many companies in our industry are doing things the old fashioned way. Their common practice is to review monthly reports of sales summarized by geography and or product, then react by applying pressure to “do better” down the chain of command. At best, they get the same old results. At worst, they get run over by the more progressive and nimble competitors. We see the same thing happening with both small and large companies who use this old fashioned approach.
Thanks to new mobile-friendly technologies from Adobe (PhoneGap) and salesforce.com (Mobile SDK) companies like GreatVines are able to provide groundbreaking new applications which leverage the latest tablets and cellular networks to provide seamless business value in the trade. This blog, written by our CTO Jim Thompson and published by salesforce.com, explores the key concepts behind mobile web surveys for retail and the impact it can have on CPG as a whole.
I loved Richard Branson’s recent article, “Why aren’t more business leaders online?” While he is mostly referring to executives aversion to social media (only 16% of executives are using social media), he also indicates the lack of ambition by these executives to utilize technology in general. There is a “surprising lethargy about using the online tools already available”. In his opinion, and mine, this is a big mistake. If your answer to the question “How am I using the latest technology to improve my business?” is, “I check my email on my iPhone”, then you are missing the boat. State of the art cloud computing systems and mobile business applications can make your business much more efficient, collaborative and productive. And, the tools are here NOW. As Branson says, “Anyone who thinks new technology isn’t going to keep changing the world has got their head in the sand”. Don’t be late to the game.
We are thrilled to be highlighted by one of our craft beer suppliers today in the Craft Business Daily email newsletter! Thanks to Marty, Andy and Jenn for the love.
When you are in sales, time is money. The more time you spend selling, versus other administrative activities, the more you will sell. So, what are the 3 things sales reps absolutely need at their fingertips to make the best use of their time and sell more cases? You may be surprised at whats possible, and that we are doing it.
If you cannot answer these questions, then you do not have enough control of the execution of your most strategic initiatives. A plan is only as good as the execution. Greatvines helps you execute with excellence.
We believe that GreatVines is game changing for the Alcoholic Beverage industry because it brings best-of-breed CRM with Business Intelligence and Sales Management capabilities such as Sales Goals and Activity Goals. So many of these tactics are managed through conversation and spreadsheet today, leaving little room for accountability and too much room for inconsistency. These three simple steps can be Transformational for suppliers and distributors of all sizes. Set your goals and objectives, follow the progress of your Sales team and report on the numbers, all from one convenient solution.
Planning is the easy part, but often not done completely. What are the KPI’s (key performance indicators) for your brands and people, and have they been communicated? What are the budgets and programs available to the sales team? GreatVines enables goals to be set for shipments, depletions, RAD/Accounts Sold, as well as activity goals like number of staff training’s, new cocktail menus or by the glass placements.
Managing is the execution piece, and the most critical. It’s typically done on the fly. Managers and reps need visibility into their plans, goals, results, target, sold and unsold accounts, activities and other analytic reports and dashboards to be able to execute efficiently. What accounts are you targeting to deliver your plan? Have they been presented to? Where are your best opportunities. What are the best practices that can be shared to the rest of the team? You may have the best tasting brand in the world, with a great plan, and lots of resources, but if you don’t execute your plan with excellence, you will not achieve your potential. Its all about execution.
Measurement is not just a nice to have, it is required to manage your business. GreatVines delivers state of the art analytics backed right into the solution. Don’t just review macro reports on your business, but view dashboards on every account in the system. We deliver visibility like you have never seen in this industry!
It’s all about market share. Here is how I learned that. I “grew up” in the wine & spirits industry in New York, working for and with some of the biggest and best companies, brands and distributors in the business. I was groomed by some incredible people from the old Charmer Industries in New York. While I spent most of my time in meetings and offices, I learned the most important lessons while on the street working directly with key accounts and with distributor sales reps. There are lots of acronyms used in this business, BDN, IRC, ROI, and of course the infamous RIP, however one acronym that was NEVER used was CRM. I didn’t know what it was until I saw brand managers including CRM programs in their consumer marketing plans. That got me thinking about how we could use CRM to drive sales to the trade. 15 years later, we finally have a platform to deliver a CRM tool that wine & spirits sales reps can leverage to sell more cases. It’s called GreatVines.
The most important thing I learned in my time selling on the streets was that your relationships were the most important factor in how many cases you sold. There was a direct correlation between the strength of your relationship with a buyer and how many cases he would buy from you. What most marketers and executives didn’t realize was that the consumer demand for a particular product was actually not the most important factor in the sale, but the second. Sure a retailer has to carry the category leader, but he doesn’t need to promote it.
Distributors are in front of buyers all day long. How are they using technology to manage their customers, their relationships, their business. Distributors need more than just an order entry app. It’s time for real CRM in beverage alcohol distribution. It’s time for GreatVines. Those distributors that adopt this approach will gain a competitive advantage and increase their market share.