Life at Breakthru

Building Customer Trust from Afar: Breakthru’s Amanda Chaney

May 9, 2021

By Kyle Trompeter, Content and Corporate Communications Manager, Breakthru Beverage Group

For most sales roles at our company, our associates can meet their customers in person and build a rapport with them, forging a strong relationship rooted in the trust that we will serve their businesses thoughtfully with their best interests in mind.

But if you work on the Inside Sales team, you are expected to develop that same strong relationship, without the in-person element. The job is fully remote and it’s a challenge that Amanda Chaney tackles every day.

“Not being on the ground, and not seeing my customers in person, is a big hurdle,” said Chaney, Inside Sales Representative, Breakthru Beverage Group. “Once my accounts get to know me, and they realize I can help them just like a field sales rep, they see the value I can bring to their businesses. I have all the deals and knowledge as a field sales rep — I’m just remote.”

Many in our industry often think of the Customer Care and Inside Sales teams as being one in the same, but that isn’t entirely accurate. While there are similarities between the two departments, including handling hundreds of thousands of inbound customer calls each year and processing orders over the phone, an Inside Sales rep takes the customer relationship a step further.

I am there to build a relationship with my accounts and be their advocate. I want my customers to receive the best service.
- Amanda Chaney

Her customer count is roughly 700 in the state of Wisconsin, and providing thoughtful service to that many businesses, while based in Maryland, requires a nimble, organized work ethic — one that Chaney and her counterparts are well known for.

“The Inside Sales and Customer Care teams are the front lines to our customers, often representing the first impression of Breakthru,” said Leverne Laws, Senior Director, Customer Care, Breakthru Beverage Group. “The impact these teams have on the overall business has been proven in numerous studies demonstrating that when customers receive good service, they return and share their experiences with others, which adds value to the brands we represent.”

Want to know more about Chaney’s role on the Inside Sales team? Let’s hear from Chaney herself!

Describe a typical day for you.

Amanda Chaney: I am usually maintaining service to my current active accounts, while also trying to reach out to my non-active accounts — businesses who haven’t ordered products in a long time — to make sure they are aware I am here for them to help serve their businesses. With my active accounts, I am making sure they are aware of new products that are available to them, making sure they are stocked on their base products, and just keeping the lines of communication open so I know what is going on with their businesses. The most important thing right now is to listen to the accounts. With the trying times we are in, it is important to know how the accounts are doing, what is going on in their areas, and how business is going. Like I tell my accounts all the time right now, the industry trends are just unpredictable, and we are just along for the ride, but whatever I can do to make it easier, I will do my best.

What is a situation that might pop up during the day that you need to respond and adapt to quickly?

Right now, it would have to be delivery issues, as most accounts have different operating hours. When I talk to them, I try to make sure there is a note in the system of when to deliver their products, but sometimes they do not give one. When this happens, it is wonderful to have such a supportive warehouse team in your corner. Typically, the drivers will call me to let me know about a delivery issue, and I can reach out to the account to facilitate the delivery. If this is not possible, getting a reship ASAP is the best scenario. Even though my position might be in a different state than the customers I serve, my coworkers on the ground in the state are such a great support system.

What is one difficult situation that you are most proud of how you handled it?

When I started there was some push back from accounts of having to work with us completely over the phone. One account in particular did not know me, and they just did not want to talk to anyone over the phone. But after months and months of hard work, here we are a year later, and this account and I are on really great terms. We talk every other week, and they have spoken positively to my managers several times about the strong relationship I’ve built with them.

What are some of your favorite parts of your role?

My favorite part of my role is my relationships. This could be a relationship with my coworkers, the warehouse, the credit department, my managers, and my customers. The whole point of my job is my relationships. If I did not have that, I do not have a foundation for my work. I was brought up to live by the old school lesson treat others the way you want them to treat you. I tell my accounts all the time I am their advocate, I am here for them, and I will always be honest with them. When it comes down to it, no matter what position you are at in the company, we are in the customer service industry, and if we do not have good standing relationship with people, we do not have anything.

What is something about your role that people might not know that you’d want them to know?

I would like people to know that even though I am based out of the office my title still states that I am a sales rep. There is a large misconception that I am just someone that works in Customer Care. I have goals and metrics to meet just like a field rep does. Yes, I do have the capability to help in Customer Care and help with the other states we are in besides Wisconsin, but I am still a rep.