Cider Corner: Finding the Right Sales Team

When it comes to building a sales force, finding someone in the craft beverage industry may be difficult to start. That means building up a salesperson to start. Knowledge can be taught, explained Ash And Elm‘s Andrea Homoya.

“I look for people who are passionate about the product first and foremost,” said the co-founder of the Indianapolis cidery. “Ninety percent of the skills that are necessary to be a great salesperson can be taught, so find someone who believes in what they’re selling.”

Eric Phillips, the CSO for Schilling Hard Cider in Washington noted that they look for someone who is a self-starter and proactive.

“This is more important to me that experience,” he said. “Someone who understands the importance of communication.”

Once Homoya is able to connect with a sales person with the will, she said that the next traits she looks for are a mix of being personable and detail-oriented.

“So … accounts look forward to talking to you and are then impressed by your follow up a couple days later,” she said.

Phillips believes that the drive to work in this style of job is intrinsic, the passion for the product can be fostered.

“If you aren’t willing to put yourself out there and bounce back from failure then I am not sure this is a desirable position,” he said. “It is my feeling that providing education for a specific item and/or brand can definitely be taught.

“For me it is important that every salesperson finds their own voice. While there are certain concepts and facts that will remain constant, it is key that each member of the team is allowed to approach their accounts with their own voice to ensure authenticity.”

The cidery uses people from different aspects of the company to be involved in the interview process.

“No matter how hard you screen and how well you work to interview someone the statistics show that you are still hitting about 50 percent,” Phillips said. “The best you can do is vet people and then make the most educated guess.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.