This is a unique leadership opportunity to join an entrepreneurial organization that has a vision and expectation to become one of the best independently owned alcohol beverage distributors in the United States. The role is primarily focused on developing a high-performing sales organization and culture that is customer focused, along with driving day-to-day improvements in other related areas (customer service, deliveries, etc.) to ensure the business runs well. The role is based in a large Midwestern city with a growing suburban population around a vibrant urban area. For the candidate who performs well in this role and desires to move into other leadership roles, we expect there will be opportunities to grow within the organization, either functionally and/or geographically.
About the Position
The role is, first and foremost, expected to be a key leader within the company. The individual will not only have P&L leadership for their team under his/her responsibility area, but is also expected to be a cultural leader in driving a strong, day-to-day execution mentality for his/her team. We are looking for an action oriented, sales leader with a hands-on approach who will drive continued growth of our existing brands, and also accelerate our business forward as we acquire new brands. The role will lead sales and marketing activities for his/her field sales team throughout the state. This individual will need to balance a meaningful amount of time in the field calling on customers, and implementing brand/supplier tactical actions to drive sales, margin and profit improvements. We expect the individual will be a key contributor in helping us implement evolving, go-to-market strategies and related tactics as the alcohol industry continues to change.
- Manage a field sales team to maximize sales, gross margin and operating contribution.
- Evaluate all sales team members, and make necessary changes where appropriate to drive a “never satisfied”, enthusiastic culture of continuous improvement.
- Work directly with the team to reinforce and deliver excellent customer service.
- Engage with key on-premise (restaurants, bars, clubs, etc.) and off-premise customers (retail stores) on a frequent basis.
- Train, mentor and develop the sales managers and sales representatives, taking an active role in these critical efforts.
- Work closely with other company leaders to maximize the selling and customer service opportunities across the company.
- Partner with suppliers to develop and implement appropriate planning, pricing and promotion strategies and tactics which profitably drive sales.
- Drive execution of marketing efforts to ensure they translate into sales and margin improvements.
- Lead product pricing efforts, including working closely with internal analyst to re-evaluate and implement improved tactics.
- Achieve supplier objectives through strong field execution and focus on key priorities.
- Work with others on the leadership team to identify and aggressively go-after new suppliers and brands that make sense for the business.
- Evaluate all existing talent (sales, analysts, others, etc.) to build / maintain a high performing, customer-focused team.
- Ensure high-performers continue to be challenged while experiencing professional growth; also address under-performers in a timely manner.
- Develop a talent pipeline by maintaining a ‘virtual bench’ of sales talent, as well as developing future leaders amongst the existing team.
- Re-evaluate all base and variable compensation / incentive programs to ensure they are designed and implemented to create appropriate behaviors and align with business objectives.
Other Profit/Return Management Aspects
- Manage gross margins by ensuring all pricing and expense decisions that affect margins, are well understood, challenged, and modified where appropriate to drive healthy long-term profitability.
- Drive expense accountability in all sales and marketing activities, including with suppliers and sales managers / representatives, to appropriately manage expenses while making effective brand and people investments to maximize growth and portfolio profitability.
- Manage inventory stocks appropriately, by working with purchasing analyst to manage forecasting, ordering and depletions to ensure appropriate inventory levels, while minimizing returns and aged inventory.
We pride ourselves on our Midwestern roots, which are reflected in our culture of direct, straightforward communication, caring for the individual, and competing to win. Competencies which the successful candidate should demonstrate:
- Leadership – demonstrated ability to lead others, not relying on a position of authority but one of influence and hands-on, day-to-day interactions with key team members (lead by example with a positive attitude).
- Drive for results – top and bottom-line focused; gets things done.
- Action oriented – strong bias for action; energetic and hard-working.
- Change agent – not afraid to “rock the boat” in a constructive, positive manner; always searching for ways to get better even when business/financial results are positive.
- Teamwork – focus on working well with others to accomplish objectives, while balancing the needs / priorities of multiple teams / team members.
- Work ethic - strong passion for work, as well as professional attitude and demeanor.
- Communication (verbal and written) – excellent listening skills as well as articulate in ensuring common understanding, even in situations where there is ambiguity (concise and clear communicator).
- Organizing – adept at multi-tasking; can successfully work on multiple activities while remaining focused on priorities.
- Knowledge- Given the nuances of the wine industry, this leader must have some background, understanding, and experience operating in the distributor/supplier relationship world. Fine wine and/or craft spirits expertise is a plus, but business management skills are crucial.
Education & Experience
The successful candidate will have the following education and experience:
- Successful track record including some type of sales leadership role in a beverage sales and marketing organization.
- Minimum of 10 years of experience in adult beverage industry.
- Appropriate work experience for a distributor is desired, but not required. It is possible an exceptional candidate may have “only supplier” experience.
- 4-year college degree.
- Competitive background in some aspect during life e.g. sports, music, debate, theatre, etc.
- Passion for competing to win.
Ability and willingness to travel some (primarily day or single night trips throughout state; occasionally out of state).
Send Resume and/or Cover Letter to [email protected]