The primary responsibility of a technical sales representative is to generate new sales for a brewery. They are also responsible for supporting customers on technical matters and promoting the brewery’s products in the marketplace.
They are typically people who have an in-depth understanding of beer and the brewing industry. Their product knowledge is second-to-none and they can spend hours talking about beer and the products that the brewery makes.
The technical sales representative will use a consultative sales approach, acting as a liaison between the brewery, distributors and retail customers. They will take orders from customers then ensure there are no technical issues which prevent those orders from being fulfilled. They are usually a customer’s primary point of contact if a technical problem occurs with delivery or product quality.
They will spend a fair amount of time promoting the brewery’s products and informing customers of changes to product lines. The technical sales representative has a very hands-on approach to technical sales issues and helps the brewery understand market conditions, implement realistic sales growth targets and deal with logistical challenges.
Technical Sales Representative’s Responsibilities
The technical sales representative has a wide range of responsibilities, which reflects the high level of technical knowledge and sales expertise they have.
- Generate new business for the brewery
This is the key responsibility of the technical sales representative and most of their time will be spent doing this. They will deal with distributors and retailers on a regular basis, using their expertise to promote the brewery’s products and drive sales.
- Manage a list of key accounts and forecast growth
An important job of the technical sales representative is to estimate the level of production that is required to meet demand. They will manage a list of key account holders and estimate their requirements into the future.
- Grow relationships with distributors and retailers
The technical sales representative has exceptional personal skills and will use them to build friendly relationships with customers at the distribution and retailer levels. These relationships are crucial to the ongoing success of the brewery.
- Work in conjunction with the technical team on product creation
The sales representative has a strong understanding of the beer market and can inform the brewery’s technical staff on the current trends, popular products and effective marketing strategies. The brewery can create new products to meet that demand and market products effectively.
- Perform product demonstrations
They will have to give product demonstrations that encourage customers to purchase the brewery’s products.
- Give sales presentations
A technical sales representative must convey the information they know about the market, sales figures and other technical matters to the management of the brewery and/or customers.
- Collaborate with other staff within the brewery to achieve company goals
To achieve the brewery’s objectives, the technical sales representative may have to work with brewers, production line staff, delivery managers, marketing staff and many other personnel around the brewery.
- Work with customers to understand how the business can be improved
By working closely with customers, the technical sales representative can gain a deep understanding of how the brewery is succeeding and failing in the market. They will develop a clear picture of what changes need to be made at the brewery and will be able to communicate those important ideas with management.
- Provide technical support to customers
Perhaps their second most important goal, the technical sales representative must ensure customers are well supported. There may be delivery issues, problems with product quality or sudden spikes in demand that must be handled by the technical sales representative.
- Promote product innovations by the brewery
They must support the new products that a brewery produces and market them successfully to customers.
- Research and engage strategic accounts
A technical sales representative must constantly find new sales opportunities and be developing new accounts in new and existing markets.
Ideally, the technical sales representative has a brewing qualification and a sales qualification.
- Brewing experience preferably at a high level
- Sales and marketing experience (ideal)
- Experience providing customer support
- Very strong knowledge of the beer industry, beers and beer making
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Negotiation skills
- Sales prospecting skills
- Customer support skills
- Computer skills and time management skills
- A passion for beer and the beer industry
- Enthusiasm about brewing and the ability to motivate or excite customers about beer
- Analytical, with a high level of attention to detail
- The ability to work in highly pressured and fast paced environments
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