Foodservice Distributors “Get on the Truck” Strategies Part 3: Lead Generation

Foodservice distributor lead generation programs convert distributors to order-takers

A robust food marketing plan cannot begin and end with consumer marketing. Yes, consumer marketing is essential, and truely effective programs can create amazing results in sales. But any excellent consumer marketing program begins with a well-thought-out business to business (B2B) marketing strategy.

NewPoint is a team of marketers who understand that volume sales in non-retail channels can increase the volume of ingredients to purchase – typically bringing pricing down as well as optimizes production whether you have a stand-alone operation or use a co-packer.

In this post, I continue discussion points on building a channel marketing program to support foodservice food sales.

Stay Top of Mind with Foodservice Lead Generation

Just because you have a distributor does not mean you get to sit back and count the sales and money. Since food distributors carry thousands of products, you should be worrying about keeping your product lines the top of mind and sales push.

I said this a few posts ago: like any good partnership, one way to appeal to a distributor is to find ways to help their business.

Now that we’ve covered a few foodservice sales and partnership tactics, let’s pull it all together and look at how a full plan to introduce brands to foodservice channels looks:

1. Strategic Message Development Targeting Buyers

  • Why your food brand?

2. Lead Generation Tactical Programs

  • Develop foodservice channel-specific buyer personas
  • Reach buyers + invite engagement with your brand

3. Sales Support Programs

Marketing is a Process

After the foundational messaging and program is created, it’s time to generate leads. Your brand should be represented in as many places (as your budget can stretch) that foodservice buyers are at:

  • Trade pubs: Ads and sponsored content/reviews
    • Digital
    • Traditional
  • Tradeshows
    • NRA
    • Regional & distributor
  • Direct
    • Digital w/ email programming
    • Traditional w/ samples

And since marketing is a process – heck it could take years to sell a great account – you need to create and drive the marketing plan.

Lead Generation To Customer & Order

This may be oversimplified, but we’ve seen it work hundreds of times – when a call comes in – you take it, verify it and cultivate the account – then send the order to your distributor to fulfill.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how to grow sales and margins in new channels like foodservice, please reach out to the NewPoint team. If you are interested in more food marketing topics, please visit our Food for Thought page or check out my book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain.