Successfully leveraging beverage sales tools like GreatVines to improve retail execution and marketing efficiency relies heavily on data analytics. In fact, most industries adopting automation and management software rise or fall according to their ability to harness data analytics. But, simply having the ability to collect and review data isn’t the point per se. It’s what an organization does with the data that makes the difference. Here’s what you need to know to build the successful data analytics program needed to become a trade marketing and sales juggernaut.
GreatVines has long urged (and trained) users on the practice of pinpointing key performance indicators (KPIs) and then using those milestones to plan and execute against these markers. Unsurprisingly, leading industry data aggregator, Nielsen, also emphasizes the critical role of good KPIs when selling alcoholic beverages.
Establishing the right KPIs is an important first step. Typically, the most relevant performance indicators for beverage sales and marketing include sales velocity, volume and points of distribution. Nielsen is now offering a free glossary guide that defines the top KPIs for consumer product groups. The glossary explains each KPI – what it means and how collecting data on these indicators can help make more informed, effective decisions. We recommend downloading this highly useful resource.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the typical KPIs, isolate the ones most relevant to your operation. Then, consider how to view those data in terms of leading versus lagging indicators of sales activity. This is a topic GreatVines has evangelized and written about extensively. To summarize, leading indicators are those activities that drive sales. Whereas lagging indicators are a metric that looks back on what has been sold/accomplished. Focusing on top line analysis of lagging indicators (like depletions as a prime example) is, unfortunately, a tactic widely embraced in the industry. Mostly because there exists a major lack of visibility into the leading indicators around sound sales execution.
Customers focused on leading indicators – those healthy activities that drive sales such as, numbers of displays installed, staff trainings conducted, retail ads & catalog features placed, POS placements and other measures – report greater brand activation and expansion for their products. This is because improving execution on leading indicators incentivizes sales teams by tying the front-loaded efforts to improved volume results as opposed to focusing solely on volume goals (lagging measures), which do little to ensure brand building activity is taking place as it should.
GreatVines offers a fantastic white paper describing in detail how producers can generate sales and marketing plans dedicated to focus on Leading Indicators. You can download the paper, “Not Just More but Better Sales – Moving Beyond Depletions as the Measure of Sales Success” for the secrets of this powerful strategy. With the KPI definitions from the Nielsen glossary document, the methodology from the GreatVines white paper, and a tool to collect, analyze and harness data like the GreatVines beverage selling platform, any producer can transform their trade marketing/sales function into a juggernaut!