On-trade outlet targeting driven by data. A sales tactic that actually works

Imagine you’re a sales rep in the on-trade / HoReCa market working for one of the major beverage producers like Heineken or Coca-Cola. Your task is to bring onboard as many outlets (restaurants, bars, cafés etc.) as possible to sell your products instead of your competition. Your manager assigns you a certain region and expects results. You look at the map of the region and what do you see? 

Nothing in particular.

You see, outlet targeting is not an easy task. As a sales rep your time should be spent wisely. It’s no use visiting low-quality outlets (like shady pubs or restaurants with low ratings) because you can’t expect stellar results in terms of sales. 

Shady pub frequented by just a bunch of regulars won’t sell much of your products (e. g. beer), but that’s just a part of the problem. On-trade is as much about branding and associations as it is about sales. 

If people see your products in high-quality outlets with great ambience, smiling waiters and great music, they will associate them with fun and good times. Next time they’re in a store looking to buy something to drink later at home, they will more likely choose the product associated with pleasure memories than the one they saw that one time they were passing by a dirty and worn-down pub. 

So you have to pick your outlets carefully. And that’s called outlet targeting.

H2: How to target the best outlets with data driven BI tools

Just as a man's best friend is a dog, an on-trade sales rep's best friend is the BI tool Outlet Census. Why? Because, like a dog, it sniffs out the best outlets to focus on. The ones that are perfect for the sales rep company’s product portfolio and present a higher chance of closing the deal or the ones that are popular and frequented enough to sell more products to bring more value for the producer. Ideally, all of this combined. 

The beauty of Outlet Census lies in the fact that it’s easy to use for anyone. You can input the data to your CRM and use the software you’re used to, you can work with the excel sheet or use one of our visualization partner tools. You can then access Outlet Census data on your laptop, tablet or smartphone when you’re on the move.

Outlet Census allows outlet targeting based on may different criteria such as it’s engagement rank (reflecting general popularity among visitors), business potential, seating capacity, quality and many other innovative indicators like Hot zones or Core Consumer Proposition, which tells the user what is the outlet popular for (like a bistro that is known for its great coffee or a bar popular for night time fun like dance parties.

H2: How can outlet targeting increase sales?

All of this helps the sales rep prepare for negotiations and tailor the offer to the outlet as much as possible in order to increase his or her chances of closing the deal. Because now he knows the outlet inside-out without even stepping one foot inside. He knows if the outlet is part of a wider business network, who owns it, what kind of people probably frequent it and so on. 

And all this data sits at his fingertips. 

But it’s not just sales reps who can benefit from outlet targeting with the Outlet Census. For example, the trade marketing department can make better investment decisions based on outlet quality scoring, team managers can better understand their performance, spot opportunities on the market or find and fix weak points in their strategy. Overall, it can help the company avoid various hidden costs eating away at its ROI.

Outlet targeting can bring many unexpected benefits for on-trade / HoReCa producers and their brands. Learn more about it on the Outlet Census product page or get inspired by real-world examples in our Success Stories section featuring brands like Heineken or Unilever.


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