What are some of the consumer behavior shifts you're monitoring?
Jerry Shedden, head of on-trade, BrewDog: “Consumer spend levels and frequency of visits are two of the key metrics we track. As pressures on disposable income become greater post-Brexit — and coupled with cost increases in goods and utilities — consumers are looking for more and more premium and high-quality experiences when they do go out. Craft Beer plays an essential role in this journey, so driving distribution but understanding where your brands fit best based in the outlet type and consumer profile is key.”
The company tapped Aforza to upgrade the account management and retail execution functionality of its CRM, drawn by the technology’s ability to provide an experience tailored to the field user. The platform, which went live April 1, is both easier to use and mobile friendly — two crucial components for BrewDog, Shedden emphasizes.
It’s still early days with the new tech, but they’re already seeing benefits, he says, especially when it comes to their sales team embracing the change and using it to its full capacity. It didn’t hurt that they were able to overcome skepticism by quickly demonstrating how it differed from the previous way of doing things.
“The benefits of an offline system have been welcomed by the sales team as they are no longer spending hours manually filling out data post a day in trade,” he notes. “Coupled with the capability of the system — [such as] — the route-planning element — this has significantly improved efficiency.”
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As a result, BrewDog has recorded a 250%-plus improvement in results from Q1 to Q2. The platform has also become a training and development tool by identifying where sales team members require assistance and highlighting best practices, and the beer company continues to work with Aforza to refine as they go.
Having a CRM that’s up to speed is becoming more important in meeting the needs of today’s consumers and enabling sales teams to support their retail partners; for consumer goods companies that want to improve their visibility, there may be no more important feature than ease of use, according to Shedden.
“Very simply, have a platform that your teams buy into and will then use,” he advises. “That way you will get the best return from your investment, and you will also have something that is far deeper than a reporting tool.”