Love it or hate it selling is absolutely key to the growth of your business. There’s no point having a great tasting product and a stand-out brand if you don’t get the sales! So how do you build the sales process for a food business?

I’ve been working with quite a few foodie businesses recently working on their sales plan. What struck me is that people often try to over-complicate it. Or perhaps they don’t even have an actual plan or are simply too scared of sales to get properly stuck in! So I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts and ideas about how to make the whole sales process easier.

1.Building a List
Building a good list of prospects before you start selling and keeping it up to date is essential

2. Sales Strategy
First of all – make sure you have one! Have you analysed all the markets you could be selling to? Are some going to be easier/ more profitable? Are you going to focus by market sector or maybe by geographical region? Spending time doing this analysis and getting your strategy together is time well spent.

3. Sales Campaigns
Set monthly campaign targets e.g. January = gain listings in 5 farmshops in Norfolk. Do rewards when targets hit – and then move onto the next campaign

4. Approaching Prospects
Use the communication tool you are happiest with – often a combination of phone calls, emails and calling into the shops works best. Remember to follow up each one until there is an outcome. Always have one main reason for the contact e.g. to get a meeting, to send them samples. Don’t forget you have an amazing product and you will be helping them by offering it to their store.

5. Follow Up
It goes without saying that if it’s a yes you follow up with prompt deliveries, excellent customer service, checking in after a week or so to see how sales are, offering to do sampling etc.. If it’s a no – do try and find out why – all the feedback you can get will be useful and might help you to adapt your product better for the market.

6. Review
I always recommend reviewing how your sales are going on a regular basis. Are some stores working better for you? If so find more of them! Are phone calls working better than emails? Are you reaching your targets? Make sure you capture all learnings and incorporate them into your next campaign.

If you want any further help with building the sales process for a food business, check out this webinar recording.

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