Whether it was last weekend or many years ago, we’ve all been in that one dive bar with a heavily graffitied bathroom and hand soap in a condiment bottle. The draft beer seems questionable when you see the bartender constantly dumping foam to get a full pint. A visible layer of dust is on the myriad of vintage beer signs. Fish tacos are on the menu, but from a quick glimpse at the kitchen on the way to that dark hole of a bathroom, it’s a better decision to skip the inevitable food poisoning. We tell ourselves that this dive has probably been cleaned regularly, but we know that realistically it likely hasn’t. Not in awhile at least.
When the first news of the novel Coronavirus surfaced, I giggled to myself and thought, you know, if I survived one of those dive bars on a busy weekend, I’ll probably be fine through this if it comes to my area. A funny thought, but this global pandemic is more serious than germs left behind on a sticky booth.
A message from our CEO: In light of uncertain times ahead, we want to express our utmost care for the well-being of you, our customer, your employees, and your business interests, as well as our own employees. The health and safety of staff is important, but we also want to help you be as effective as possible in reacting to market and employee conditions. At GreatVines, all of our employees work from home and are equipped to continue working per usual. We want to assure you that we’ll be operating normally, and that we’re available to respond as we ordinarily would. With more public gathering and travel bans enacted, we’re seeing that more attention is being paid to off-premise sales. This will likely lead to rapid swings back to on-premise accounts once they’re lifted. Making sure that folks have the right tools and ways to strategize sales efforts is important, and we’ll be here operating normally to support your work from home staff if they need us. John Collins, CEO
With that being said, I want to go over how our platform can be used when it’s not possible to visit an account in person, as well as give some tips for staying productive while working from home – as all of us here at GreatVines already do this on a daily basis.
How to Best Use GreatVines When You Can’t Visit an Account in Person
- Log Account Calls (regular phone calls) as if they were a visit
- Email your contacts with brand updates and content files
- If possible, ask critical KPI or survey questions by phone
One of the reasons that GreatVines has kept the term “Account Call” is that it can generically describe any type of engagement, whether it be face-to-face, at an event, or a phone call. Right now, it’s probably a good idea to call your Key Account Contacts and check-in with them. How is their business? Are they planning any temporary closures? Adding an Account Call can be done with either of the GreatVines Mobile applications, or directly within the browser/desktop experience as seen below.
Email communication is an often overlooked way to activate your brands. If you aren’t already, make sure to capture all of your Key Contacts’ email addresses on their Contact record. Whether you utilize our Email-to-Salesforce Bcc address or create the emails directly in GreatVines, it’s a powerful way to ensure consistent engagement with your buyers and partners.
Account and Brand KPIs
Phone calls or emails are great ways to inquire about any updates to the business which could drive targeting, segmentation, or trade marketing initiatives. For example, did they receive that shipment of cases you recorded last week as an Order Commitment? Perhaps the menu placement started this week and you can now close that Objective.
If You Have to Go Out
If your job does require you to visit an account in person, follow the CDC guidelines for preventing illness and protecting yourself and others. One recommended item has been hand sanitizer, but due to shortages in certain areas of the US, it’s been quite the joke to make your own out of vodka. A spirits producer has spent a lot of time counseling people to not use their product to make it as it doesn’t meet the CDC’s requirement of 60% alcohol. Good samaritans are popping up in the spirits industry though, with a handful of distilleries across the US producing hand sanitizer with an approved recipe from the World Health Organization.
Tips for Staying Productive While Working from Home
All GreatVines employees work remotely, and have for several years now. With the encouragement to work from home increasing, I wanted to share tips from our team. We talked about the most important elements to staying productive and maintaining good energy while in a potentially isolated environment.
- Have a routine to help keep yourself disciplined and accountable
- Move! Get up every hour, use a sit/stand desk, take a walk break, or do yoga
- Avoid the temptation to work in your PJs and get ready like you normally would if you were going out
- Make yourself real meals instead of grabbing quick snack options
- Fill your workspace with natural light
- Listen to music or podcasts in the background
- Have quasi-in-person interactions with coworkers via voice or video calls
While the impact from the coronavirus on the beverage and hospitality industries has yet to truly unfold, the health and safety of those around us is our number one concern. As John said, “We’ll be here operating normally to support your work from home staff if they need us.” And don’t forget to wash your hands!