According to the National Restaurant Association and the U.S. Census Bureau, this summer saw Eating and Drinking Place Sales in the U.S. , an indicator of how much consumers are spending in the on-premise, grow to its highest point on record. That equalled $47.3 billion in on-premise sales in the month of July alone. This is great news for our industry in general, but even better news for brands that are maximizing the on-premise selling opportunity by “going deep” in this channel with micro-managed sales activities and promotions.

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The reality is that some products are not seeing this growth because they are not going to market with the right strategy for today’s landscape. The old route to market for suppliers is no longer valid. Market share is shifting to products that engage the on-premise trade in ways that set them apart from their competition. The “go wide” with distribution approach simply isn’t working, and will not garner the highly desired attention of the on-premise trade.

To maximize the potential of the on-premise channel, companies must “go deep” into each account with their level of activities, and execute better than the competition. Targeting and focusing only on high image or volume key accounts that drive the on-premise business is a good start. Once the right accounts are identified and sales reps are goaled on achieving success in these accounts, you can begin executing. By astutely planning your visits and communications, and managing the key sales driving activities to be executed in each account, real results can be measured and tracked. From enhancing relationship with buyers and influencers to presenting relevant content to them, all activities should be tracked.

Implementing brand activation programs like staff trainings and consumer promotions must be taken very seriously and executed well. The details are important! Establishing brand visibility with custom point of sale material, drink lists and menus will ensure your products achieve more than their fair share of the business in the account. Working with key accounts isn’t easy, which is why all of these sales activities should be planned, executed and measured in accordance with your company’s sales methodology, which clearly defines what you should be doing to achieve success.

Established brands that rely on their historical market share and advertising visibility are losing to smaller craft products that take the time to “go deep” with their key customers. Everywhere you look, you see new brands and craft products on drink lists and menus. These products are not the category leaders, nor do they have large advertising campaigns. So, how did they get this valuable menu presence in these key accounts? They focused their efforts, and went “deep” with the accounts that matter. They executed better than the other guys. This focused effort will pay off exponentially as consumers take the signals from these top on-premise accounts home with them, one consumer at a time.

Do you have the right systems in place to “go deep” and execute better than the competition?

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