Strategies, programs & training to succeed.

Your salespeople will make the difference between a shopper who walks right past your beer on the shelf and one who picks it up and brings it to the register. We’ll help you develop the strategies, the programs, and the training to make their jobs easier.

Whether you’re a start-up launching a brand for the first time or an established operation expanding your portfolio, it all starts with the key questions and we can help you answer them: What are your objectives by channel? Which accounts are the ones most worth the investment of your time and money? How can you better understand your distributors and retailers’ needs and better support them? What sorts of materials can you develop to persuade them to support you? How can you evaluate your salesforce’s current capabilities, identify gaps and develop training to close those gaps?

We’ll help you define sales territories, identify and target key accounts, develop objectives for your salespeople and equip them with the tools to succeed. But once strategies and plans are in place, the time for the view from on high is over. You have to put feet on the ground and your people have to feel confident they’ll succeed.

We have the experience and the expertise to elevate your sales and distribution capabilities above all others. From clear and straightforward objectives to programs and tactics that really work, from simple and relatable brand stories to relationship management skills, First Key will help ensure your people will be prepared to seize any opportunity to sell.

Our Route to Market services:

  • Identification of sales and/or distribution channels
    • Work with client to define objectives by channel.
    • Set distribution targets, agency or self-distribution model, relative costs, reporting requirements.
    • Identify and assess agents in targeted geography, develop target list, schedule telephone appointments, conduct remote interviews.
    • Build final candidate list, secure client approval, schedule appointments, travel with client to meet with agents for interviews and make final selections based on criteria and ‘best fit.’
    • Assist with contract negotiation with selected agent(s)/distributor(s) where applicable, with performance metrics including stock rotation, quality, sales, etc.
  • Develop key account strategy
    • Identify key account targets fitting client strategy and positioning.
    • Communicate targets, sales strategy, and brand messaging with sales / distributor agent where applicable.
    • Provide assistance with meeting market entry requirements (e.g., developing and submitting product listings to chain retailers; submitting packaging materials for compliance review, etc.)
  • Launch Process
    • Define planned activities by channel, pricing, support materials, communications to agent.
    • Define pre and post launch support activities and expectations with agent.
    • Assist client in developing planning / ordering schedule (if required).
  • Sales Management
    • Develop sales process for in-house sales reps and strategies for working with agency sales reps where applicable.
    • Define sales territories for in house sales reps that maximizes engagement with target key accounts. Optimize interaction between in house sales reps and agency reps where applicable.
    • Create account strategies by channel including brewery and brand messaging, point of sale materials, visit schedules, and account needs.
    • Assign sales targets and budgets to both in house and agency reps to ensure brand acceptance and maximize volumes.
  • Sales Training
    • Develop sales training structure and content fully aligned with core brand strategy.
    • Deliver sales training using a “train the trainer approach” working in conjunction with client.
  • Sales Tools
    • Source and select branded sales tools (tap handles, point of sale materials, branded vehicles, signage, flight trays, wearables, glassware), ensuring consistency with overall brand strategy.