This past week we had the unique opportunity to travel to Tampa, Florida for a deep dive into field sales and in-store execution. We were greeted not only by beautiful weather, but also by an enthusiastic and energetic team that displayed passion for our products as well as our customers. The team we met covers most of the Southeast region, selling our products into major chains in that area. After gaining an understanding of the customers, our in-store execution lead took us into two different retail locations. We were able to examine consumer activities, store set up & flow, and promotional displays. We were also able to get a feel for how our team executes in-store. The immersion taught me how valuable our sales force is to the success of strategies developed at the corporate level.
Upon returning to Chicago, we did an immersion into Food Service Sales, which covers the restaurant business. During this immersion, we were able to compare many of our products to competitors through blind taste tests called “product cuttings.” We learned about various types of products and their ideal color, taste, and ease of use. We also learned about how chefs make decisions on which products they will order. It was certainly eye opening to compare and contrast the differences between retail and food service sales.
Next week the sales trainees will be relocating to our field sales offices and beginning our first project in sales analysis! Luckily we’ve been getting robust training in Excel every Friday and are quickly becoming experts!