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High Cost of Cheap Sales Tools

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“The high cost of cheap food” is a well-known object lesson in the dangers of cutting corners. In a nutshell, the idea is this: what one saves in terms of cost by eating nothing but fast food dollar menu fare is more than offset by the significant costs one will incur via healthcare when the consequences of poor dietary intake lead to chronic illnesses like obesity, high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes and the like. Very similarly, choosing tools to aid in beverage sales and marketing using low-cost considerations as the primary guide will also lead to higher long term costs (not to mention health-related consequences like heartburn and headaches). Here’s why!

Recalling another clichéd but still useful maxim, having “the right tool for the job” makes easy work of even the most difficult tasks. With this old saw in mind, we ask beverage suppliers seeking greater efficiency and efficacy in their trade marketing, sales, pricing and other functions the following question. “Are basic CRM tools enough to help you meet your goals?”

Anyone who has used GreatVines beverage selling solutions knows the answer is a resounding “NO!”  Salesforce, the CRM market leader defines CRM as, “a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.”

“Well, that sounds like a great tool to support our efforts at selling more of our beer, wine or spirits” you’re probably saying. And we don’t disagree. In fact, the GreatVines platform is built atop a Salesforce.com architecture. But, we’re suggesting a savvy supplier should not be content to base his/her critical sales processes solely on a CRM; even with the most powerful CRM technology at their disposal. This is why we developed GreatVines to begin with.

Alcohol suppliers and distributors need more than just robust contact management automation to succeed in a highly complex and competitive environment. The very best tool for this job is not just a CRM application or even an IT vendor paid to develop automation of certain key facets of this daunting business challenge. Rather, it is a solution like GreatVines, designed to provide the powerful relationship management functionality and developed to address the very specific needs of a salesforce dedicated to operating within the 3-tier system across a broad spectrum of markets.

An industry-focused solution like GreatVines not only provides the technology tools, but also the beverage alcohol domain expertise critical to achieving the full potential of a supplier or distributor’s operations. From trade marketing, through sales execution with tools and strategies specifically focused on depletions, pricing optimization, survey activities and more – informed by industry-leading data from GoodData, Nielsen and other premium sources. Every step of the way, the industry-specific expertise available from GreatVines’ roster of beverage alcohol industry veterans helps customers make the most of their investment too.

All of this doesn’t mean that goals cannot be accomplished using an array of less-than-perfect tools, but when it comes to business, why would anyone leave success up to chance?  Especially when customers who buy plain vanilla CRM solutions (or engage IT vendors to build homebrew systems that do only one thing) find out that there is a high cost to change systems once they outgrow these less-than-perfect solutions. Suppliers and distributors need a solution that can grow with them. They should consider the high cost of cheap solutions when making these important decisions.

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