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When Upselling Is Done Right, It Looks Like Customer Service:

When Upselling Is Done Right, It Looks Like Customer Service:

Strategic selling to your drinks business’ core customers based on insights gathered from your order management software should be common practice.

Retailers are constantly dictated to by changing and fragmented consumer behaviour, as well as continued demand for quality, choice and value. Being caught up in day-to-day operations means they often rely on their distributor to provide strategic foresight into the product lines that they should carry.

But many sales and marketing divisions are missing a trick by not enhancing their retailers’ product line (as well as their own sales figures) by recommending products with higher markup.

Not only does failure to upsell leave a lot of potential revenue on the table, but drinks distributors are also missing out on opportunities to add value to their customers.

The cost ratio of selling to a new customer is much greater compared to upselling to an existing customer, both in financial terms and in terms of the hours taken to cultivate and grow the relationship. It makes sense to focus your efforts on the most cost effective methods.

Convincing retailers to increase their spending isn’t about making a quick buck – duping them is a surefire way to reverse hard-earned trust. Rather, the motivation for upselling should be to impart wisdom or knowledge about a particular product or consumer trend.

Beverage Supply Chain: Craft Beer Case Study

An appreciation of the fact product lines change according to consumer demand is key to delivering excellent customer service.

Take for example the craft beer trend of recent years.

Craft beers have continued to trickle onto distributor’s portfolios in response to the trend. It is now estimated that a third of on-trade outlets offer some sort of craft beer product. While the category currently only brings in about 7% of overall beer sales, at £4.55 versus £3.16 for a standard lager, there is much to be gained by adding a craft beer to the product portfolio.

Distributors can access raw inventory data from across the drinks micro-vertical via an industry-specific ERP.

When retailers partner with a distributor who works with an integrated software platform, they have access to unprecedented business intelligence. Leveraging this data against wider industry trends can result in better recommendations and product selections.

Business intelligence tools can organise industry data into outlet hierarchy (how are pubs selling compared to hotels?) and across time periods, as well as breaking it down into product hierarchy (what beer brands were outselling others in the last quarter? Is there a penchant for low bitter juicy beer developing in the locality, in line with national trends?) Distributors can pose these questions and also answer them – a sales and customer care double-whammy.

As well as increasing the retailer’s product portfolio and value of orders with the help of an ERP, the system itself should be agile enough to cope with regular change.

Is your ERP flexible enough to deal with seasonal changes in consumer taste?

Using the craft beer example again, these drinks are subject to seasonal change, light wheat ales in the spring and summer and heavier brown ales in the cooler months.

With an ERP system that can be changed as often as every quarter, forward-thinking drinks distributors in the beverages supply chain can be proactive, reaching out to retailers, managing questions, and suggesting new product lines.

Beyond order management software or sales ledger software

Upselling is about making suggestions that aren’t always the cheapest but have the potential to deliver the greatest value to the customer. Distributors are in the best position to advise on new products, drinks lines and trends, since it’s their business to keep an eye on consumer trends and analyses.

The key to successful upselling is by offering customers something of value that they weren’t even sure that they needed. Intelligent beverage distribution software, coupled with industry insider knowledge, can help distributors with strategic selling and retailers with decision-making.

Did you miss out on last week’s blog? Do you want to learn more about how an ERP can make your life easier when it comes to controlling the pricing and promotions for your drinks distribution? Click HERE to find out more!

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