GreatVines’ first annual Sales Execution Summit is in the books, and it was quite an illuminating event as much for the many attendees as it was for the GreatVines team. Hosted at the beautiful Grgich Hills Estate, the Sales Execution Summit brought together the sales and management leadership from suppliers and distributors to listen, learn, collaborate and share. Here are some highlights and feedback from presenters and attendees alike.
One of the most frequently occurring themes voiced by those in attendance revolved around the wonderful, collaborative energy in the room. More than a few people remarked about the benefits of getting to meet face-to-face with their colleagues and fellow GV users. Connecting the user base as we did at this event is the most effective way of satisfying everyone’s mutual curiosity about what their counterparts in other organizations are doing and exchanging strategies for success.
It’s not surprising given the prevalence of the feedback focused on collaboration that many attendees named the session on “Distributor Collaboration Through Technology” as one of the highlights of the Summit. The session, featuring Jay Finnigan of RNDC, Hugh Lander from Remy Cointreau and Scott Ades of Dalla Terra, was moderated by our own Jim Thompson. The animated discussion highlighted the changing landscape around sales rep activity tracking in the field, and the future in streamlining collaboration between distributors and suppliers through the GreatVines platform and other leading cloud technologies.
Another session seemingly well-received was the one titled, “Key Accounts: Less is More”. Led by Ben Salisbury of Salisbury Creative and Rob McDonald of St. Mayhem/Art+Farm, this track addressed the challenges inherent in identifying those field activities yielding actual benefit from those that seem effective but fail to achieve the desired ends. Ben Salisbury’s distilled takeaway seemed to resonate well with the group. Salisbury’s wisdom distilled: “The cost of confusing activity in the field with achievement is astronomical.”
Other highlights noted by the crowd included Christian Miller’s Fact Based Selling session which examined success metrics beyond simple focus on depletions, Tim Jones’ review of management and reporting best practices, as well as an examination of “Social Selling” with highlights from current customers who have adopted this new approach. We explored new ways for sales reps drive Social Media activity at Key Accounts as part of a forward-looking sales strategy.
A casual post-event debriefing conducted by the GreatVines staff returned categorically positive feedback. Particularly, the GreatVines team was energized to see first-hand, the enthusiasm and regard that our clients seem to have for the GreatVines platform. It was of particular value, the group agreed, to learn more about client preferences, perspectives and the innovative strategies and tactics being engaged within the system by the user base. Personally, I was pleased to find that our efforts in ‘matchmaking’ our clients – introducing some of them to others whom they perhaps didn’t know, but with whom they learned they had something significant in common – was a win-win for everyone. It was great to see the recognition between disparate customer/users realizing they shared similar execution strategies and sharing best practices.
GreatVines CEO John Collins noted that it was gratifying to be able to demonstrate, in person, his team’s enthusiasm, personality and passion for this work. “The level of dedication and sincere concern for the success of our user base exhibited by this team is something best conveyed eye-to-eye,” said Collins who characterized the event as a “profound success”. The entire GreatVines organization is energized and looking forward affirmatively to the next Sales Execution Summit.
Check back for videos from the Summit which we’ll be making public in the coming weeks. You can also sign up for The Juice quarterly newsletter to stay abreast of the latest GreatVines news and other happenings in the beverage alcohol industry.
The GreatVines Team