At the time of this article, we’re starting 2022 with a great deal of opportunity for foodservice, as well as concern for the latest COVID-19 variant and what that will bring. How does your roadmap for success in foodservice look for the year ahead? Are you ready with a solid plan to implement your strategy?
As I’ve written about in previous articles, many companies take a ready, fire, aim approach to entering or growing in foodservice which is not the best approach. A sound strategy is key to success, helping you understand your right to play and win in this sector. Knowing why the markets you are targeting should buy from you specifically is extremely important.
As a quick recap, a robust strategy outlines:
The channels and customers within foodservice you should target
Customer expectations of world class suppliers
Your unique value proposition and why customers should buy from you
How products will get to market
The unique needs of the foodservice industry
Whether to act like a finished goods supplier or an ingredient supplier
Innovation and research needed to have a compelling story
How to leverage existing capabilities and programs
Current gaps and resources needed
Let’s assume you have a solid strategy and that all of those points are well defined. What comes next? How do you implement this strategy in the right way to get the results you are looking for?
For me, the key to unlocking the right strategy is to have a roadmap to implementation. A roadmap is where you translate strategy into tactics and actions. These are the things the working team will be hungry to start.
As you develop your roadmap for implementation, ask yourself these questions to see if you have the most important aspects covered:
Q: Who will own the implementation of this new initiative within your company? Will it be part of their goals and bonus?
Q: Have you translated your strategy into a series of initiatives, tasks and goals that can be outlined and prioritized?
Q: How will you kick off this foodservice initiative with the appropriate teams to formally launch into the channel?
Q: Do you have the experience internally to implement this strategy, or do you need to hire an advisory firm or a full-time employee to accelerate your success?
Q: What are the quick wins you can create and focus on to get early momentum?
Q: Do you take a weekly, monthly, or quarterly approach to implementing the various initiatives?
Q: How will you divide up the customer reach outs to specific customer targets?
Q: How will you train your existing sales team on this new market?
Q: Are you able to “lift and shift” existing content for the foodservice market, or do you need to create compelling content through push innovation and proprietary research presentations?
Q: What channels are the best for B2B reach outs? What marketing and PR is needed to support this?
Q: How will you evolve your website and social content to announce you are in this channel?
Q: What will you invest in food shows and conferences for the greatest return?
A roadmap can have a variety of other aspects, and the above questions give you a start on how you can think about translating your strategy into a successful roadmap for implementation. Review the questions above with your team and really challenge yourself to know if you’re doing all the right things to unlock sales at your dream accounts. A sound roadmap for 2022 will set you on your way to success!