The technology available in the Beverage Sales market today has created two camps that are both competing for the same sales and customers. Some companies stick to old formulas, often implemented several decades ago, and rely on the written word and Excel spreadsheets to document their sales, activities and goals. Other companies take a more modern approach by taking advantage of new technology and converting to the updated options now available. The nimble and tech-savvy companies have a decided advantage over the slow-to-change approach that is still married to old school ways.
Initially, most brands were marketed via a hard-working distributor sales force that got the product in front of the consumers. Some marketing and advertising was utilized, but most brands were built on sweat equity. As times changed, distributors consolidated, and there was an increase in advertising, with the edge going to companies who could influence local distributors and bankroll high-tech systems that monitor brand progress.
Times have changed again, and new and more detailed tools and technology have helped even the playing field for all types of companies, from the biggest suppliers and distributors down to the smallest craft brewery. Many companies have learned to employ current technology to target customers better, deploy their salespeople more precisely, and collaborate internally to be more productive. They measure their success with metrics that are actionable and focus in on sales drivers in the key accounts.
These same companies are adeptly utilizing social media to directly reach and listen to their current and prospective consumers, and they are authentically connecting with those in the trade that serve as gateways to their consumers. Just as social media and email reduced the cost of direct access to consumers, the expansion of the internet and the reduced cost of cloud storage have made CRM systems affordable, accessible from anywhere, and increasingly sophisticated.
A company that doesn’t stay on top of the newest and most modern ways of running their sales department is risking its bottom line, future and even reputation within the Beverage Sales community. A slow, out-of-date system can be a huge burden, and is all the more reason to reevaluate your current sales processes and the systems used to empower your sales and marketing teams. The tech-savvy companies that aren’t afraid to embrace the gifts of new and exciting ways to help make them a success have a decided advantage over those that don’t.