Front-end focus at RW

We often hear talk of front-end, back-end, big-end and depending on the context, the topic may be computers or engines or systems of some sort.

Some take the trouble to connect both ends; to decode, decipher, interpret, simplify and explain how ‘it’ works! Most tend to congregate at the back-end, where there’s less accountability for results. It’s the safer option with the bonus of being able to wag the finger at the front-end when things don’t quite turn out.


Someone who’d been around for a while once said… “There are three types of people – those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened”! A behavioural scientist did some work on that bold statement and declared… ‘Yep, fair enough, it seems about right and furthermore, the three types exist in most populations in similar ratios of 5% to 20% to the 75% who wonder what happened. Ask any crowd of people to classify themselves into one of the ‘types’ and most will squeeze themselves into the first group. And that’s a good thing… to be sure, to be sure. It’s good to be positive.

But when it gets down to tin-tacks, it’s a tall order to get up every day and ‘make it happen’. Those who do are commonly appraised with unflattering language. But that’s OK; they tend to be the 5% who are too flat out, making it happen to notice the ‘noise’.

These are often ‘the sales’ people.

It’s a well-known but seldom acknowledged phenomenon, that without a sale, nothing happens. Other functions and roles are important but without a sale, there is no point. Selling is what happens at the front end! Front-end work is demanding work. It’s time now to give the 5% at the front-end some extra grunt. It’s time now, at Riverland Wine to connect the two ends; build on the momentum now evident from the decade of back-end work.

The back-end will certainly be acknowledged in the May round of Riverland Wine breakfast meetings. The engineers, the scientists, the instructors and the maintenance teams will take good care of that. But it’s time, at last, to fire-up the big engine. The back-end’s had a decade of being researched, re-structured, re-built, re-bored, rehabilitated, re- balanced, re-scaled, re-polished, funded, and primed for the next Australian wine era. All that remains now is to ‘make it happen’ and that means getting out there and selling what we have. It means finding the 5% who will focus on selling and be good at it; proud to be accountable. It’s imperative to identify and resource the sales-people; to ensure the decade of back-end work will generate returns on Riverland stakeholders’ investments. Without sales, that won’t happen

The first big test will be in Germany at ProWein, the week after next, March 19 to 21.  It’ll be interesting to see how many sellers will be there; actively selling Riverland wines, the products that generate so many opportunities for our region, the State and the national economies. It’ll also be interesting to witness the competition from Chile, Argentina, and South Africa.

Watch this space.



Image Source: sifotography

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