More than most other industries, beverage alcohol producers inhabit a particularly complex sales environment and retail landscape making the pursuit of “perfect account” execution a difficult task. The dynamics of the three-tier system and the interactions between producers, distributors and retailers holds the potential for lots of lost efficiency. This lost efficiency often translates into lost profits for the producer. To combat the high potential for loss, producers and their respective sales functions undertake a number of actions designed to gain better visibility and control over the execution and measurement of sales and marketing activities. Central to these actions are periodic surveys performed to ensure compliance with sales and marketing strategies and evaluate execution at retail.
As any producer can attest, the survey process is a labor-intensive and time-consuming one. The expectation is that the reward for engaging the survey process should be equal or greater than the effort it takes to execute the survey. Yet, very rarely is this the case for most producers. The problem doesn’t lie in the effort these producers are putting forth as much as it does in the flawed survey methodologies being employed.