Food & Beverage
Building A Sales Effectiveness Process For The Wholesale Channel
Keurig (formerly Green Mountain Coffee Roasters) is a leader in the specialty coffee business. It sells a wide variety of fine coffee through multiple distribution channels. Sales in one of the company’s largest sales channels - wholesale market - were below expectations. Many wholesale customers (supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, universities, hospitals, hotels and offices) viewed all coffee as a commodity; customer attrition was high; participation in seasonal promotions was lower than forecast; and market pressures were pushing prices down.
CDI implemented a multi-phase approach to improve the company’s wholesale sales practice. The first phase included a comprehensive needs analysis where CDI consultants interviewed senior management, reviewed customer focus group reports, and made joint sales calls with sales reps in the field. The next two phases included the development and implementation of training programs for both Sales Managers and Sales Reps on how to position and sell Keurig (Green Mountain) Coffee as a business partner, not just a coffee vendor. Reps and managers went through sales training as regional teams learned how to articulate the value that their product and services brought to customers. Managers were also taught how to manage their territories and develop their people.
Subsequent to the training, the wholesale sales organization achieved continued sales growth for each of the last four quarters. The fiscal year started with a 2% improvement in Q1 and finished the year with an 8.2% improvement. The Vice President of Sales and Marketing attributes an additional $2.5 million in gross sales revenue as a result of CDI's involvement and work with the sales organization. In addition, customer participation in seasonal promotions and customer retention increased significantly.