Getting your wine into the chain accounts is a well-worn strategy for promoting the label to larger, retail audiences. Sweet-talking sommeliers into including your labels on their lists in well-known restaurants is another, more tedious proven-effective strategy for building brand awareness and image. The ongoing consolidation of the wholesale and retail wine sectors adds even more competitive pressure to the task of making your wine stand out among the rest. So, as the Press Democrat’s Bill Swindell asks, “What’s a Winery to Do?” We submit the answer lies in utilizing the CRM functions of a solutions like GreatVines, and here’s how …
In his article, “Even in Digital Era, Restaurant Wine Lists Still Carry a Cachet for Vintners”, Swindell points to a number of successful methods used by wineries seeking to overcome this challenge. We’re going to look at how the strategies highlighted in the article can be replicated to a large degree using CRM sales automation.
Method 1 | Winery and wine company outreach to sommeliers, wine stewards and wine directors to personalize and distinguish brands
This strategy, Swindell reports, was most notably achieved by Kendall-Jackson in the early 1980s and also well-executed by Meiomi Wines more recently. In both cases, a great deal of personal pitchcraft and relationship development was necessary to make the outreach happen to key influencers in these restaurants and other locations where these winemakers wished to display their wares. What better way to cultivate these special relationships than through automation tools designed specifically to foster and nurture dialogue and build personalized relationships? You’re simply not going to capture the interest of these key influencers with generalized sales and marketing activity. GreatVines CRM functions are used to not only target influencers, but know them. Once you have identified who to talk to GreatVines helps engage in authentic conversations and communications and keep tabs on the progress you’re making in approaching these influencers directly. The GreatVines platform supports this “Customer Relationship Management” activity beautifully!
Method 2 | Personalize communications and activities to appeal to the foodies working in non-chain restaurants
Again, the competition for this avenue has never been stiffer. Producing, executing and deriving results from special programs and initiatives can pay exceptional dividends when it comes to getting labels into more and better restaurants — even if the large producers have deeper pockets and greater influence. Whether it is the sommelier training programs Swindell references or other engagement-fostering activities, the key to success lies in ensuring program dollars and efforts are properly targeted and their results studiously measured. There is, as Swindell notes, appetite among the more adventurous, foodie-minded influencer in the independent restaurateur community for a less standard, middle-of-the-road wine drinking experience. However, the sheer number of individual, non-chain restaurants makes keeping track of this kind of targeted activity impossible without a technology like GreatVines to keep it all on-point and to deliver visibility into what’s working where, and what’s not.
Method 3 | Become a valued resource and preferred supplier
Customer expectation and sophistication has never been higher when it comes to wine. Leverage CRM outreach to develop a steady pipeline of clever and engaging ways independent restaurants can deliver higher-end wine experiences to their customers. Sure, many of these restaurateurs are knowledgeable about wines. But they’re also very busy. Make yourself an invaluable source of sales support, designed to make it easy for restaurants to feature your labels. CRM tools allow a producer to easily deliver a steady stream of useful marketing content and ideas to a list of recipients. Become a source of valued sales strategy to the restaurateur, and you’ll also become a fixture on their wine lists, which helps broaden penetration for your labels in other channels too!
Trying to manage this key sales strategy without a proper CRM tool that’s integrated with your sales data is foolish. For more ideas on how to leverage the CRM capabilities of GreatVines, reach out to us today.