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.