Transformation time for Majestic's B2B arm

Majestic Wine’s commercial arm will soon begin to feel the benefit of the group’s wider transformation project, as it focuses on rebalancing efforts in its B2B business.

The retailer has recently hired Olivia Fitzgerald as MD of commercial to drive the transformation in this part of the business. She has experience in hospitality sales, as well as technology – with her previous role heading up sales at SaaS ePOS company, Zonal.

Talking to Essential Retail, she explained that the time had come for Majestic to invest in its commercial business, after 2-3 years spent improving its retail division, including a significant replatform of which concluded at the end of last year.

Fitzgerald said that in the next 3-6 months, the commercial arm would begin to use data gathered from local stores to better inform its pub and restaurant clients about trends in wines.

“We’re being quite scientific in the way we approach our meetings with potential customers now,” she explained. “If you’re looking at a wine list from a revenue generation point of view, armed with the knowledge of what’s trending and what customers want to buy in a specific local area, we would be able to suggest, for instance, you don’t have a Malbec by the glass but it would improve your revenues by X amount.”

Daily data feed

The commercial team has recently launched a new CRM system on the Salesforce platform, and Fitzgerald wants to get to a point where it receives a daily feed of data from the group’s data warehouse, which was built in house by Naked Wine’s technology team.

“Until now the focus has very much been getting the consumer proposition right and I think for me now to focus on the commercial proposition, it’s not simply the case of recycling what works for a consumer business, because they’re quite different disciplines and have different demands. But it will probably take a bit of time and energy [to understand] how we strike the right balance.”

While she admitted the B2B website needed a refresh, there will always be a need for face-to-face selling in her division. But a website is still valuable as it creates 60% of lead generation for commercial.

“It’s about running your business as tightly as you possibly can,” she concluded. “So in these tougher times if you can run a really lean, efficient business, suddenly it becomes really important. And that’s where Majestic can really help.”