Always Be Closing corporate mentality; Great laid back regional office, but not for home-based employees
Pros: monthly beer budget, entertaining customers at fun events, training
Cons: stressful, work events on weekends, bad weather, no consistent interaction with co-workers
-Typical Day: review objectives for each account on the day's route, drive to storage unit/distributor to load up car with necessary support materials, make 10 physical account calls, recap each visit in my living route plan, communicate sales to the distributor rep for each respective account to ensure product gets shipped in.
-Experience Gained: Ability – more... to manage a large number of projects simultaneously, route planning, great sales experience, relationship building with customers, creative problem solving, in depth beer, brewing, and draft system knowledge.
-Management: I am lucky enough to be in a market with a regional office, which has allowed me to get much more face time with management across multiple functions than many of my counterparts across the country. My first direct manager was an extremely competitive, "always be closing" type of individual. He was eventually promoted. My next direct manager was less aggressive and placed a higher value on providing "solutions" that would actually make sense for the account, rather than just making the sale. He recently left the company, and now my former boss is supervising my team until a replacement is hired.
-Co-workers: Of the team I went through onboarding with, only myself and one other are still with the company out of an original 4. Being on my own all day driving in between sales calls has made me value the idea of having a real office workspace in my next job. There has been very little in person interaction with my co-workers in this role because we all have our own account lists and are home-based.
-Hardest Part of the Job: It is exhausting to literally drive around all day, and frustrating when there is excess traffic. Hitting the desired 10 accounts per day is also challenging because of individual account contacts' schedules and geographic locations of accounts. Having no admin time is also frustrating, because the last thing I want to do upon coming home is turn in sign requests for new features/plan my route for the following week/submit expense reports/log mileage. The most frustrating aspect is that it sometimes seems that even if I do everything right, programs still sometimes fall apart - unexpectedly out of stock product, distributor's sign shop making an obscene amount of errors on signage, failure by rep to ship in product, etc.
-Most Enjoyable Part: Finally getting a sale you've been working on for a while is a great feeling; it's even better when the product/feature is a huge success in the account. Interacting with consumers is also often enjoyable and educational. I value the relationships that I have built with the retailers I call on, and with the distributor sales reps in conjunction with whom I work. I love talking about and educating people on beer - styles, taste profiles, history, etc. One of my favorite aspects of this position has been turning consumers and retailers on to beers they might never have considered during sampling events or meetings. I also feel that I have gained an immense amount of knowledge and experience in this role that will be beneficial in future positions. – less