Developing a tailored solution for Think Spirits


Think Spirits is a highly credible distributor of premium spirits and liqueurs in Australia. With a select range of contemporary liquor brands backed by continual year round trade support and targeted consumer activities, Think Spirits boasts a great deal of recognition among the local liquor industry.

With roughly fifteen sales reps, Think Spirits leverages local representation in all states and territories of Australia to ensure their premium brands are available nationwide. Resting in the palms of those reps responsible for growing business across the country is the powerful but simple CRM tool, Rhino by ForteIS.

We sat down with Graeme Ewens, Sales and Marketing Director of Think Spirits to discuss his experiences with Rhino and the team at ForteIS.

The beginning of a strategic CRM partnership

Rhino is their business at their fingertips, and that’s all anyone wants from a CRM, isn’t it?

“We started using Rhino probably about six years ago – even before my time in the business,” Graeme explained. “We represent over 40 premium brands such as Stolichnaya and Malfy’s Gin, with a strong presence among on-premise sellers. With a large portfolio of high-value brands and a vast network of bartenders and venues, we needed a CRM that was specifically built for purpose.”

“That’s where Rhino comes in. As I understand it, Rhino already had an existing footprint in the liquor industry, building for the purpose of other breweries and distributors. So not only was the team at ForteIS producing a CRM catered directly to businesses like ours, but they have an intimate understanding of the industry and what we and our sales reps need.”

Rhino is a CRM system that enables better customer conversations.With documents and data at the tap of a finger, sales reps can manage customer conversations with ease.

It’s this understanding of the industry that has helped us design Rhino around the way real reps in the liquor industry – and other sectors as well – work. Graeme elaborated on how Rhino has helped Think Spirits reps complete their everyday tasks efficiently.

“The data in Rhino is the most up-to-date information we can give our reps,” he explained. “It’s updated instantaneously so long as there’s an internet connection, so we can be confident our reps are meeting customers armed with relevant, contemporary data as much as possible. And that same data feeds back to our office so we can see what’s going on and help out if we’re needed.”

“So that really gives them complete autonomy. Our reps can open Rhino at the start of their day, week or month and plan everything out. Using the Journey Planner, they can organise their schedule and ensure they’re maximising time with customers and delivering the best results. They can set their own objectives and track their target progress in the app – really, they can’t run their business without Rhino.”

“Rhino is their business at their fingertips, and that’s all anyone wants from a CRM, isn’t it?”

Business right at your fingertips. That's the power of Rhino.Business right at your fingertips. That’s the power of Rhino.

Flexible, adaptive, Rhino

Graeme spoke about working directly with the team at ForteIS to develop adaptive solutions perfect for Think Spirits’ unique business objectives.

“The team at ForteIS are so responsive to what we need. They’re both flexible and adaptive. Sandy and the team are sure to really tailor everything to us, and that comes through especially in the modules they’ve developed that are unique to Think Spirits. For example, activations and bartender membership platform integrations that we’re able to track and monitor within the Rhino interface.”

Think Spirits unveiled their own bartender rewards program in 2013. A product of their own design, the Think Rewards Plus program allows venues to accumulate points according to the number of bottles ordered, incentivising the sale of Think Spirits products. While ForteIS isn’t involved in the program itself, we’ve developed integrations with Rhino to simplify conversations around Think Rewards Plus.

With Rhino, Think Spirits sales reps are able to have more relevant, targeted conversations with their customers.With Rhino, Think Spirits sales reps are able to have more relevant, targeted conversations with their customers.

“Rewards Plus gives us a different way of communicating with our customers, but Rhino gives us a way of tracking them,” Graeme explained. “Data from our rewards platform and other systems is integrated into Rhino. We can see members within venues and venue performance, so it allows them to talk specifics and target brand and activity within venues.”

Simply put, the Rhino integration pulls data from Think Spirits’ bespoke rewards program and displays it simply alongside other customer information, so when sales reps meet with venues they can refer to that information and speak in real numbers. So all customer conversations are relevant and effective.

Beyond our custom development, Graeme spoke highly of Think Spirits’ long standing relationship with ForteIS.

“They have really good customer service,” he began. “Our main point of contact is Sandy, who from a relationship manager perspective is fantastic. Nothing is ever too much trouble, she takes the time that’s needed. They’re always free to provide training and if we do have a hiccup or need a solution, the team are quick to jump on board and work through it with my field guys.”

Think Spirits enjoy enhanced visibility and a simplified, streamlined day-to-day workflow for their sales rep thanks to Rhino. Furthermore, with the addition of bespoke modules and integrations, Rhino has helped to enhance customer conversations and enable stronger relationships. To find out how Rhino can support your broader business strategies, reach out to Forte IS to book a free demo today.

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