That’s a great point and I think that transitions really nicely. We at Lilypad spend a lot of time thinking about what makes for good managers and how you create buy-in among the team. What other tips and tricks with managing reps and coaching them up have you found to be effective to get buy-in for the mission of the company or a particular initiative?
You know for me, I’m more of a guy who likes to be in the field working with people. So for the example of using Lilypad in the field, I had a lot of guys saying it took them a lot longer to use Lilypad in an account call than it would just taking notes. For the first six months, every time I worked with a rep I did the same sales call with them on Lilypad as they were writing it down. I was way more efficient and got more out of putting it in Lilypad than the rep got just writing it down.
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Kind of like what we’re doing with Tom Fox, people get into habits, we’re all creatures of it, and going in the field and using these tools in examples and showing them how it works in accounts actually has benefitted us greatly with the buy-in and people actually using the systems in the field. I think for me it’s about the engagement with the team on a one to one level. A lot of times I refer to myself as the Stone Sales Counselor as opposed to a Trainer and that’s not a bad thing. It’s because I talk to the reps and I talk to the managers and I understand where everything lies for both sides. That helps me have conversations with the different levels of our organization.
Makes perfect sense. So, you have a massive organization now, about 1,100 employees, how many are on the sales side?
We actually have 1,400 employees now, hah. With the addition of Berlin and Shanghai as well as what we have going on in Richmond, Escondido, and the national sales team we have quite a large organization. We’re actually the largest employer in craft beer, which is really cool to say.
I think it’s because we have restaurants and bistros. We also have some satellite bars in Southern California which employ quite a few people. We have large restaurants in Escondido and San Diego as well as two breweries on each coast, the brewery in Berlin, and the pub in Shanghai. We basically staff 3 or 4 restaurants and 5 or 6 satellite bars. So the majority of our people work in that part of the organization and headquarters. You know, our sales team is relatively small for our size. I don’t remember the exact number so you can’t quote me on that. Somewhere north of 50, maybe 60, on the national sales team.