Like all great businesses, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider was started in Nat’s garage (and basement) in late 2011. It was never supposed to be this popular, but apparently he struck a nerve with his unusual ciders. We made 65 barrels that first year in the garage, 650 barrels in 2013 and 2800 barrels in 2014. Now we are making about 600 barrels per month.
Our public mission is to search the world for superior ingredients to handcraft the most unusual ciders that no one else will make. We are not here to churn out commodity or entry-level cider. We are pushing the bounds of cider and believe that we have no true competitors.
Our internal mission is to change the perception of cider in the US by expanding the consumer’s expectation of “What is Cider” and including previously-ignored beer drinkers. These lofty goals are why we host large community-building events, why we use exclusively beer yeast, and why we appear in so many publications and books.
In the words of one local newspaper: “Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider is out to destroy everything you know about cider.”
We recently signed a lease for a new much-larger production facility and have new equipment coming online in the first quarter of 2018. For the last six years, we have been unable to keep up with demand but we are anticipating a swing of the pendulum the other direction with our new cidery. That’s where you come in.
We have carved out a new role for the right candidate as a Sales Director. Nat has been doing this job for the last few years, but it’s time to get a new person in the business to drive growth through sales, develop systems and procedures to manage growth, and develop a world-class sales team.
To be the ideal candidate, you should check all these boxes:
- Be enthusiastic, positive-minded, extremely passionate and highly motivated
- Want to play a lead role the changing of an industry
- Understand that it’s necessary to be flexible to thrive in a high growth environment and comfortable with the unknown
- Have experience growing a crafty consumer goods brand (not just beer/cider) from small to mid-sized
- Have 5+ years in the sales management profession and enjoy growing, managing and mentoring sales teams from the ground up
- Live in or want to move to beautiful Portland Oregon
When you assess your character, you should have these abilities:
- Clear Thinker: multi-tasking, analytical skills, focus
- Excellent Communicator: admired manager, effective sales personality, ability to motivate, competitive
- Technically Competent: knowledge of data, use of VIP, spreadsheets & numbers
- Available & Committed: good availability with flexible hours, some travel to other markets
- Physical Needs: able to comfortably and competently lift 50 pounds, stoop, kneel, crawl, climb ladders, and work on slick and irregular surfaces. (Working on the production floor is part of every employee training.)
Your job responsibilities will include, among other things:
- Manage Existing Markets
- Visit key accounts in Oregon, Washington, SoCal
- Train and develop sales staff
- Work with distributors for new product launches and achieving sales goals
- Develop Emerging Markets
- Communicate with six or more distributors in emerging non-local markets
- Manage aging and inventory and orders including new products
- Educate distributor sales teams
- Build-out international sales efforts
- Cultivate Chain Grocery
- Work with established buying/reset procedures with our distributors
- Work around those established procedures for increased distribution and programming
- Push Internal Company Systems to the Next Level
- Work with production team on short and long-term forecasting
- Align with marketing team for increased brand awareness and pull-through
- Assist in development of recipes, packages and pricing to increase sales while maintaining our unique brand position
MORE ABOUT THIS POSITION
A typical week in this job looks something like this:
- Monday: Wake up early and get to the office as the production crew is arriving. Spend a couple hours preparing for our weekly sales team meeting, checking on last week’s goals and developing this week’s. Run the meeting with three local reps, and four on the phone. Spend a couple hours following up with individual reps on their goals and plans. After lunch, work on pricing and item setup for a new distributor, and spend the next few hours off-and-on working with our operations director on forecasting while plowing through your inbox. Late in the afternoon, you meet one of our reps and a distributor sales rep at a local bar to discuss an upcoming event there for a new product launch.
- Tuesday: This is “emerging markets” day. You pull up sales data on remote markets without any local sales support and update your plan to increase distribution, including a conference call with two distributor team. You take a break to run our weekly inventory call, lining up what distributor orders are in-hand, what the short-term forecast is calling for, and what the production team has on their schedule. The group makes a few adjustments to the schedule to get all the orders filled. You dive right back into researching national market trends (data mining from the latest Nielsen numbers) to prioritize next quarter’s new market rollout. Denver or Phoenix?
- Wednesday: Today you’re in the office in time to catch a webinar on Orchestrated Beer, our ERP system. After that, you spend a couple hours developing reports in OBeer to make the upcoming forecast cycle easier. Chains are always a focus so you add some more detail to our upcoming chain grocery reset presentation, which you’re doing next week with Nat in Minneapolis. You also book your hotel for that visit, and while you’re at it, you book your flight to LA for next month’s new item launch meetings with the distributor. Your weekly Wednesday phone meeting with the craft manager for our local distributor is brief, but you’re glad to get the upcoming incentive plan finalized and some more insight on a few chains you’re pitching soon. Late in the afternoon, you get a call about a keg that went missing on a recent distributor shipment, bound for a special event, and spend an hour on the phone with various people tracking it down. On your way home, you swing by a bar near your house that is hosting a tap takeover. You have a cider, talk to some industry friends, and resupply your sales rep with more coasters which he needed for the event.
- Thursday: The day begins with continued development of the launch plan for a new cider, a replacement for our fall seasonal. After a few hours, you have the plan nailed down, so you begin creating tasks lists for the rest of the company. Nat needs to finalize the label design, the sales team needs to finalize the list of load-in accounts, you need to get it authorized in three chains, you want to double-check with the production team on the sourcing for a new ingredient, and you need to update the Q3 sales forecast. That takes all day. In the afternoon, Nat asks you to run an errand to pick up tap handles from a local wood fabrication shop.
- Friday: Our weekly Manager Meeting is an all-hands affair so you spend an hour preparing your notes and analyzing sales. The rest of the day is clean-up from your week: another review of the forecast, data mining, distributor conversations, chain reset pitch, travel details, new product setup, and you finish the day with an informal meeting with the Whole Foods regional buyer to sell them on a chain-wide seasonal display program.
- … and next Saturday: One of our premiere events is today, and as is typical, it’s an all-hands affair. You spend a few hours running a Square register, handing out tokens, talking to people about our ciders, and cleaning up pizza boxes. The team goes out for a beer after the event.
To apply, send your resume and cover letter to email@example.com with the subject line “Sales Director”. Cheers!