As Crisp’s newest Account Executive, Eli leverages his extensive background in CPG to forge meaningful connections with customers, and educate them on leveraging the Crisp platform to grow their business.
Role: Account Executive
Lives in: NYC
Favorite grocery store product: Chocolate, all kinds.
Eli recently joined Crisp, bringing with him a comprehensive sales background in both SaaS sales and CPG. After scaling a hard kombucha brand to acquisition by Anheuser-Busch – and applying his New York street sales approach to growing a subsequent beverage brand – Eli made a move to the tech world to help make life easier for CPGs.
We spoke with Eli about his career journey, what life is like with Crisp and how he is enjoying being a part of our dynamic sales crew – and his best advice for CPG leaders.
Eight years ago, Eli began his journey in CPG by helping his business partner brew hard kombucha in an apartment kitchen. The idea for the new product began on a hiking trail in China, where Eli’s business partner struck up a conversation with one of Honest Tea’s co-founders about the market opportunity for an alcoholic kombucha beverage.
It was decided that Eli would lead the sales efforts for this new product. And so he took to the streets of New York, “with alcoholic kombucha that was ready to explode at any minute” in tow, and began to make opportune connections with delis, restaurants and bars. These authentic and impactful relationships eventually led the team to business with Whole Foods – a landmark deal for any emerging food brand.
Eli’s first sales experience proved to be a success. And after the brand was acquired by Anheuser-Busch, his talent and drive took him to hard seltzer company Willie’s Superbrew, which he also helped grow in and out of city.
Eli learned that communicating value, and most importantly – efficiently – was key to selling in the big city.
“When you’re a restaurant owner in New York, you have 50 people a day walking into your business trying to sell you something,” Eli shared. “You need to have a product that truly differentiates itself.”
Having a grasp on data
Thinking back, Eli reflects on how having a product like Crisp would have saved his team many headaches, and likely made their path to success quicker and more direct.
“You would bet on one store doing really well, and ship them a ton of product,” he recalls. If that store didn’t do well, you’re getting hit with chargebacks. Meanwhile, there are stores that didn’t get enough product.”
Striking the right balance, and selling the most product you can, is paramount for CPGs to maintain their business with retailers like Whole Foods, and to stay afloat while uncovering new opportunities in the sales journey. It’s safe to say that being barraged with fees is a pain point Eli would have preferred to avoid altogether during this said journey.
Simply said, “If you have a way to have a grasp on your data, do it.”
“I know that’s a little cliché considering we work for a company that helps do that,” he continues, “but I joined Crisp because I want to help.”
Bridging two worlds
Like many, Eli found himself making a career change during the pandemic, opting to move from CPG to tech sales. This meant taking a step back, and learning about the new industry and best practices. But ultimately, his CPG background and new tech environment came together.
“Luckily I made it to where I really wanted to be,” he shares, “which is as an Account Executive with a company that has its ties to the CPG world.”
“Previously those worlds would have been completely separate,” he continues, “which shouldn’t be the case.”
Eli describes Crisp as an easy, “digestible tool” that can be used for taking action, enabling smarter decision-making by salespeople and company founders alike. He emphasizes that it saves hours of time spent making sense of data in individual retail portals – something he has very much experienced first hand.
“If you have a way to have a grasp on your data, do it.”
“I know that’s a little cliché considering we work for a company that helps do that, but I joined Crisp because I want to help.”Eli Rowe
How it’s been
After arriving at Crisp, Eli was delighted to find that everyone has been very welcoming and set on helping one another to succeed.
“I’m used to bigger sales organizations and here, it’s a super lean team,” he describes, “so you get to know everyone pretty well.” He says too, many other members have a background and CPG and so, “it’s been fun sharing war stories.”
But they’re more than just war stories – they’re experiences that can be used to share about the many use cases for the Crisp product when translating the value to other sales teams and decision makers in the CPG space.
Eli is able to create a story, as he puts it, that helps prospective customers recognize how the product works, and can improve their business. Given his background, Eli is able to translate the benefits of the Crisp platform with confidence.
Crisp’s resident craft brew connoisseur
“One thing that’s cool about coming from the alcohol space,” Eli shares, “is that I’ve probably tasted thousands of different beers that people were pitching.”
Cool indeed, Eli says that this has helped him develop a passion – and refined palette – for craft beer. He holds memories of sitting in on tastings for New York restaurants and helping them with the selection process by providing input. Eli also maintains that beer tasting can and should be on the same level as wine tasting, emphasizing that “there are over 600 different flavors you can experience [with beer].”
With that in mind, we encourage anyone on our team to reach out to Eli for recommendations – about data, beer, or anything in between!
To join Eli and the Crisp team, view our open positions.
To discover how Crisp can help your CPG brand do more with data, contact us for a demo.