All too often as brewers open up, many of the decisions made
with the aim of creating a successful sales team seem haphazard, at
The brewery industry has changed significantly in the last 20
years and is continually evolving. Sales used to be based on
relationships only – but customers are now demanding more
than ever from your sales team. Selecting and building your sales
team is an essential part of your brewery's long-term success.
Below are five tips to help you build an effective brewery sales
1. Create a Sales Plan
A sales plan is an evolution of your vision and mission
statement. It should be an extension of your products and encompass
ethics, morals and a clear strategy. Your plan should list what
your expectations are of each person who is representing your
brand, including call planning, sales tactics, tools and
compensation plans. The brewing industry is dynamic and a valuable
salesperson will increase profitability and open up channels of
2. Look For and Develop Great Sales People
Great sales people are not born, they are created. This means
you can't rely solely on a great personality. You need to
implement training programs to prepare your staff members and
create an organization that thrives on success. In this day and
age, craft beer is a hot commodity. Assuming you are entitled to a
listing or shelf space just because you are part of this sector is
Since new styles and flavours are constantly being introduced,
brewers are now being challenged on creating unique selling
propositions (USPs) that help define who they are. Your salesperson
needs to understand and reflect your USP.
3. Hire the Right Sales People
Although it's important to find the right salesperson, it
shouldn't be looked at as an impossible task. Given that the
brewing industry is growing in leaps and bounds, there are plenty
of people out there with relevant sales experience. Ideally, your
sales people should exhibit some or all of the following
Organized and able to create a call schedule
Interested in continuous learning
Able to articulate the key characteristics of your brand
An understanding of the industry (retail and on-premise)
A history of being able to achieve results
If you're concerned about the cost of hiring a sales team, a
government grants are available to potentially help fund your
4. Retain Your Sales Team
Once you've hired a great sales team, it's up to you to
provide incentives for them to stay. Make sure you are creating
opportunities for growth and development for each of your sales
team members. This includes educational programming, personal
development and portfolio growth. It's also great to get them
involved in the business to make them feel more invested in what
you're doing – ask for their input on the brewery's
business goals and objectives.
Take the time to handpick your sales team. Remember, they are
the face of your business.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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