Blog: Olly WehringPostcard from Brazil - #2 - The morning sales meeting, Brazil-style

Olly Wehring | 16 May 2008

It's early morning in Sao Paulo. As 0720 approaches, Ambev's sales force – almost all male, aged between 25 and 35 – begins to congregate at the company's direct distribution centres around the city. There are around 40 sales representatives – all of whom serve Sao Paulo on motorbikes – per room. Six per table, with a sales manager per group.

At 0720, AmBev TV – the corporate television station exclusive to AmBev staff – kicks in. A 15-minute gameshow – based round a raffle for prizes including Playstations for sales staff who have hit recent targets – ensues, during which the room grows more exhuberant when their distribution centre is named. Groans follow, when the name read out is in a neighbouring room (but you hear distant cheers).

After the programme finishes, the head of the department takes the floor. With raised voice and exaggerated gestures, he runs through the previous day's performance of each table. Thankfully, yesterday was a fairly good day – applause all round. He then starts to rally the troops. The voice grows louder, the pacing grows more defiant. And then...

.. cue the drums, cue the table banging, cue the shaky things (no, not maracas). The room launches into a football crowd-like fervour, singing and shouting to a samba beat. It's almost a battle cry. It's almost a call to arms. It's almost a bit frightening.

Within seconds of the final “hurrah”, the room is empty. Each of the reps has an average of 42 'points of connection' to visit, before returning to base for their review meeting at 1700.

That's the AmBev way in Sao Paulo.


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