SIA (pronounced “SEE-a”) is a San Francisco based company that produces award winning Scotch Whisky created specifically to appeal to a modern palate.
Carin Luna-Ostaseski, the founder of SIA, said goodbye to her desk job as creative director, and followed her dream of creating a Whisky company, which she funded through Kickstarter and bootstrapping. Carin has taken an unconventional approach to building her company in the traditional Scotch Whisky industry. When she began looking for a CRM to help her manage her growing business she wanted a tool that could keep up with her.
Following the Kickstarter campaign and quite a bit of press, SIA received a ton of orders and Carin didn’t have any infrastructure to keep track of it all. She had a friend who recommended Salesforce, but it didn’t quite go as planned. “I went to the Salesforce site and it was a disaster. It was just too much, overkill” she recalls.
Coming from a background in design, Carin knew she wanted a tool that was well-designed and easy to use, but at the same time powerful enough to scale her business. She also needed a way to keep track of the thousands of relationships she was establishing with distributors and bar owners across the country, and access to this information on the web and on her smartphone.
Carin had quit her job, built a Whisky company from scratch, launched it on Kickstarter, and her biggest challenge was finding the right CRM to run her business. After banging her head against her desk, a little more research finally paid off. “I found Sell and it was like the sky opened up for me” laughs Carin. “From the way that it looked to the functionality; it was exactly what I needed.”
In half an afternoon, Carin was able to get tens of thousands of leads loaded into Sell, along with all her existing customers. She built out a customized sales pipeline and connected her email account. “I love that when emails come in from my contacts, it’s all tracked inside of Sell. I meet so many people on a day to day basis, bar owners, bar managers, store owners, sales reps.”
After a successful West Coast launch, Carin is preparing to launch SIA in 5 new markets in the next three months. She will be entering these new markets with a secret weapon that allows her to view all her leads on a map, from her smartphone. “I can use Sell geolocation to go to the areas that are concentrated with leads.” This allows Carin to focus on the areas where she will make the biggest impact and avoid running back and forth across town.
Since implementing Sell, Carin is noticing major results that are allowing her to grow quickly.
“You need to be able to use your data and numbers effectively. You need this to grow and see where there are problem areas,” said Carin.
This kind of analysis isn’t possible when you keep track of your sales by hand. The Sell reports are also proving to be very valuable for forecasting future sales. “As someone new to the industry, everyone always said December is going to be your biggest month, but we didn’t know how drastic of a jump that would be. For us it was a 3x jump from the month before. Moving forward, now I know how to forecast for the next holiday season.” We’ll be following Carin as SIA continues to grow and change a whisky industry that’s old and set in it’s ways.
These solutions help SIA Scotch take their sales to the next level faster than ever.
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