The Wild West

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

Hey guys, Paige here! You may have already read Mathieu’s blog post on the Halifax sales rotation. This post is about my sales rotation experience on the other side of the country - in Calgary with Sam, Phil, and JP. My degree is in biochemical engineering, so not surprising that I was a bit intimidated at the prospect of the sales rotation expecting that I would be completely out of my element. Spoiler alert, I really enjoyed it and quickly became comfortable enough to make a sales call on my own.

JP, Sam, Phil and I at Lake Louise

The first three weeks were focused on shadowing sales reps. I am from Ontario, so the Alberta market was definitely a bit foreign to me. The variety of non-government owned liquor stores was nothing like the LCBO and The Beer Store which we have in Ontario. Each retail store I visited was unique, with some small local independents as well as large chain retailers. I learned how to negotiate better product placement and practiced inputting store data into the sales reporting system.

After becoming familiar with the Alberta market, we got down to work on our projects. Mine was on growing Stella Artois in the West. At first the project felt a bit overwhelming since the scope seemed broad, but with guidance and help from my project mentor and leads, I was able to identify some Stella sales gaps and opportunities to focus on. I developed a 360 marketing implementation plan and had a lot of fun coming up with campaign ideas! I even went out in market to sample Stella for real-time feedback and opinions from local consumers (see photo).

Being in Calgary, we took advantage of many fun activities that the city has to offer as well as some weekend trips to Banff: a must-do. I really enjoyed exploring different parts of the city. The Calgary transit system made it easy to get around so I was able to visit some nearby friends and family. The first weekend there, the four of us drove to Banff for some hiking, exploring, and shopping in the village. When it became colder, I went back to Lake Louise to ski for the first time in years. Other highlights included a paint class at a cat café with Sam, a spontaneous dinner with my sister due to a flight delay, and making homemade pizza with my uncle.

One of the perks of working with the Calgary sales team is getting tickets to Calgary Flames games. We were lucky enough to get a chance to go and I even delivered some beer to the arena beforehand and met their coach. We were also able to participate in the "Grape Escape", a wine and beer festival where we sampled Stanley Park and Mill Street Organic to attendees. We learned a lot at the event by talking to consumers about the products they did or did not like and why.

I had an amazing time in Calgary and would highly recommend visiting if you haven’t already!

Cheers :)