Always happy to share research supporting the strategies and practices covered frequently in this blog. You know how we’re always urging beverage sellers to focus on leading indicators when establishing retail execution strategies and setting sales goals? Well, here’s some third-party research from a trusted industry group that validates what we’ve been preaching in this regard. Suppliers and distributors who want to improve their sales should embrace these insights from Next Level Marketing, as shared in Wine & Spirits Daily’s recent article, “Consumers Crave More Drink Flights”.
Here are the key takeaways from Next Level Marketing’s findings on increasing retail execution levels. The research polled consumers on what factors influenced their choice of beverage when in a restaurant or bar.
For selling into on-premise outlets, understand the top factors driving consumers’ choices of beverage. NLM research reveals that the number one factor influencing the decision is, unsurprisingly, the drink menu. Followed up by exposure to a special promotion, house or seasonal specialty drink offers, bartender/server suggestions and lastly, recommendations from other sources. Knowing these facts, what sales-driving actions can a smart beverage seller take to ensure robust execution through these avenues?
As always, the answer is not just more sales incentives for your reps, but better sales incentives for your reps based on these leading indicators. Forget focusing on depletions. Set goals instead on getting your brand onto the menu and into the seasonal cocktails. Tap into the 72% of customers who say special promotions and seasonal drink specialties influence their decision. Incentivize your reps to secure “flights” of your products on the on-premise retail menus which NLM data shows 76% of consumers identified as something they enjoy when visiting a restaurant or bar. Build goals around number of menu pairings secured offering your brands alongside appropriate food selections. These activities much more reliably produce repeat orders and increase sales volumes in a sustainable way.
In order to support goals for these activities in your strategic accounts, we recommend emphasizing staff trainings and server relationship-building activities in your on-premise accounts. NLM research revealed that 65% of customers were willing to trade up to a more expensive cocktail based on server suggestions. Three out of four were willing to pay a dollar or two more to “trade up” if the server makes the right pitch. This proves that educating servers does return on the investment.
Yes, planning, executing and measuring these types of goals does require a slightly more sophisticated approach to managing a sales team. It can all be accomplished though – easily, efficiently and while achieving totally worthwhile ROI results using a tool set like GreatVines to help you Sell More. Better.