Adapting a New Way to Make Sales Calls

Of course, each state is different right now in what is open and how it’s open, but many retailers have begun some sort of sales of breweries again, be it just in packaging or maybe even back to draft. That means sales teams are finding new and creative ways to function that they may not have done in the past.

Typically, a great deal of interaction for Urban Artifact happened in person, said Scotty Hunter, a co-owner and Head of Sales for the Cincinnati brewery. That meant face-to-face meetings with both wholesalers and retailers, and samplings at retail accounts to get liquid to lips, he explained.

“The pandemic mostly cut off those avenues to us, so we have had to get creative and that has spurred on a few initiatives,” he said. “We are spending more time on the phone calling accounts and distributors.

“This might not sound that groundbreaking, but it is not quite common in the supplier-to-retail relationship.”

And as things began reopening, UA has been working the phones to feel out who is comfortable taking in-person meetings and scheduling those to maximize time spent in the market. ​

New Glory‘s Area Sales Managers (ASMs) are tasked to work with as many retailers remotely as possible, said the California brewery’s Director of Sales, Rick Piccirilli.

That means phone calls, e-mails, text messaging, and such. When it comes to visiting off-premise chains, the ASMs are to adhere to the health and safety guidelines communicated by each individual chain.

“As for independent on-premise and off-premise accounts, our ASMs are tasked to meet the requirements of each individual retailer by contacting Beer Buyers and retail establishments prior to visiting, and to schedule an appointment,” he said.

New Glory has a set of questions laid out to use:

What measures are you taking to ensure the health and safety of your customers and employees in the midst of coronavirus?

What implemented health and safety measures do you expect of supplier personnel?

What level of interaction would you prefer to have with suppliers?

“From there, our ASMs may interact with beer buyers accordingly,” he said. Piccirilli also noted that if any ASMs feel uncomfortable working with a retail establishment in person due to a lack of preventative measures against the virus, they can choose not to meet in person.

Photo courtesy New Glory Brewery

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