Don’t distract your sales team with inventory liquidation; they need to focus on building your brand. Every minute spent on something else is a wasted opportunity to move your business forward. Your team is likely specialized in the sorts of sales – on-premise, chain retail, etc. – that drive your business forward on a daily basis.
Discreetly selling excess inventory is not the sales segment they specialize in. Just as you wouldn’t expect your chain retail team to have current relationships with all the top on-premise accounts, you shouldn’t expect your team to have a full contact list of the right buyers for discreetly selling your excess inventory.
Furthermore, your sales team is almost certainly going to engage your distributors and existing customers in the inventory liquidation effort, which will be doubly injurious. Your distributors can only devote a certain amount of time and attention on your wines, so time spent on inventory liquidation is time not spent on expanding your account base and selling current vintages.
Perhaps the biggest problem is that management will get distracted trying to manage and oversee a process that it is likely new to them. By definition selling excess inventory is not a core task, so the most productive course is for management to establish a clear objective and desired resolution, and then engage with a professional team that will provide a clear plan for the winery’s approval and then execute and report back. Successful organizations delegate and outsource non-core functions, and selling excess inventory is not a core function for wineries, but it must be planned and executed professionally with an eye toward preserving your brand equity.