Sales: Keeping Reps a Part of Headquarter’s Culture

Once a brewery moves into distribution beyond a quick drive down the road and having a sales team that is representing a brand in another city, county or state, keeping the message and the brew culture of the home base can be tricky.

“Your home state is always going to have a slight advantage, but it is just as important to share your culture with the craft community, whether it be local or three states away,” said Two Roads Director of Sales, Meghan Zachry.

Communication is a key, but having the hometown touch can help as well.

For Empire Brewing, that means having the Director of Sales, Tiffany Rogers, ride along with each sales rep twice a month to hit accounts and see what’s out in each reps’ market.

“We bring all of our distributors to our farm brewery for a tour and tasting,” noted Marketing Director Emily Whalen. “It helps them personalized our brand and therefore, help communicate who we are with accounts.”

To keep their reps up to date, both Two Roads and Empire have weekly calls for the sales reps.

“Our teams hold weekly group conference calls where review their market, share their successes and have a group discussion about any obstacles,” Zachry said about what Two Roads employs. “We also make sure that our sales team always feels welcome at the brewery. We hold quarterly sales meetings, but they are encouraged to make the trip whenever they have the opportunity to. There is an open sales office at the brewery for our team to utilize whenever they are at the facility.”

Within the state of New York, clients can see the Empire Brewing the lifestyle of a farm brewery and having that brand translating easier into the local markets than out of state right admitted Whalen.

“It’s easier for us to sell our beer in Syracuse, Cazenovia and the surrounding areas because people know us and have been to our two locations,” she said. “Getting our message of locally sourcing our brewing products, food and focusing on sustainability is a little more difficult to show people who have not been to our farm.”

That means sales reps have to be relevant in the market that they are in, but bring something new to the table that makes them stand out against all of the other craft brands out there.

“Our goal when opening a new territory is to bring our company culture to the market,” Zachry explained about Two Roads. “We do not open a new market without putting a Sales Manager in the territory. We have a very passionate team that always positively represents who we are as a brewery and brings our business philosophy to the market.

“Accounts and consumers like a face to associate your brand with, so hiring the right people is essential.”

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