The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2018

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Page 63 of 134

july 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  61 You've trained the SGWS salespeople on technology for the past six years. Did you come from a tech background? Not at all. My background had always been in the hospitality industry with a focus on wine and spirits. Just before coming to work as an imported wine specialist for SGWS, my last two restaurant jobs were as the Sommelier/ Bar Manager at Aqua [the now-closed restaurant owned by Michael Mina] and the General Manager at Top of the Mark in San Francisco. So, you were hired by SGWS as a salesperson. How did you make that switch to being a technology trainer for your peers? As more technology was introduced to the sales force, training was set up and presented by the techies. Some of the trainings were painful to sit through because of the disconnect in com- munication between the sales team and techies. I went to the SGWS California sales executives and proposed that someone with sales experience along with wine and spirit expertise would be more effective at training the sales force on technology. Was this new position an easy sell? Adding a new position is never easy, but the SGWS leadership is very forward-thinking. The position of Technology Training Manager was established and has been expanded over time. Did you have a lot of training experi- ence when you started as the tech trainer? Mostly I relied on my experience as a restaurant manager where training new staff and product training are con- stant. Since then I have more formally refined my training skills. For example, I'm certified as a Master Trainer by the Association for Talent Development. What sort of technology do you train the sales force on? We have a lot of proprietary applica- tions like our ordering system that are important. Mostly it's getting them knowledgeable about the applications they use every day like Microsoft Excel, OneDrive, and Outlook. Since some people use laptops and some use iPads, I have to be well-versed on both. You have to know the various technolo- gies so well that you can teach others to use them. How do you keep up with new applications and constant upgrades? It's really very simple. I enjoy doing what most people hate to do: I read the manuals—every page. In Conversation with Carl Corsi, TECHNOLOGY TRAINING MANAGER FOR SOUTHERN GLAZER'S WINE & SPIRITS OF CALIFORNIA Q&A

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