Numbers don’t lie, or so it is said. Yet, when it comes to beverage alcohol sales, the numbers don’t always tell the whole truth. Yes, depletions are depletions and a case sold is a case sold. However, simply improving depletion volume does nothing to ensure margins are optimized. Nor does it ensure brand equity is increased and that labor utilization (among your sales team) is being deployed as efficiently as it should be. So why is it that so many – even at the executive level – still lean on cases sold as a core metric for success; particularly when doing so doesn’t place any value on the sustainability of that volume or the profitability of the deals that have been done? This paper examines the flawed thinking and practices that are so pervasive in the industry, and offers insight into a number of other critical success indicators frequently overlooked by sales executives and management.