People to Watch 2021: Kelly Taylor


Kelly Taylor

Company: E. & J. Gallo Winery

Title: Manager, E-Commerce Sales

Age: 29

Education: University of Notre Dame (bachelor’s, American studies, television studies)

a woman smiling for the camera
Kelly Taylor

Following internships at NBC News and “The Late Show with David Letterman,” Kelly Taylor planned for a career in broadcast journalism or television production. But she pivoted while finishing her degree at the University of Notre Dame to pursue a career at E. & J. Gallo because she was drawn to the company’s culture and the promise of building a long-term career.

She was recruited into Gallo’s Sales Leadership Development Program, starting as a retail sales representative in Detroit inside Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, a Gallo distributor, followed by district manager and key account analyst positions. She then transitioned to roles working directly for Gallo, calling on retail customers as a project analyst and regional account manager in Chicago, and has been its manager of e-commerce sales since July 2019.

Taylor is tasked with maximizing alcohol e-commerce sales across external sites and platforms. “I partner with the Gallo sales organization to consult with grocery retailers, specialty chains and independents on their e-commerce business,” she says. “Our team is committed to delivering data-driven recommendations to retailers to improve online alcohol availability, increase category visibility and optimize the online shopping experience for wine and spirits.”

As consumer adoption of e-commerce accelerated tremendously in 2020, Taylor’s team heavily shifted its marketing spend toward digital and experienced substantial e-commerce revenue growth as new stores and restaurants began selling alcohol online. “We partnered with winery sales to consult distributors, retailers and restaurants on best practices for online category growth,” she says. As a result, online alcohol sales gained greater share of mind across merchants, leading to increased category availability, visibility and prioritization. “We strengthened our partnership with both retail and on-premise partners as we provided suggestions on navigating the changing landscape and capitalizing on e-commerce sales.”

Taylor has also been focused on developing retailer-facing insights, resources and best practices that help accounts improve the online shopping experience and maximize sales. “We also build sales-facing resources that enable our sales force to identify opportunities for a customer’s e-commerce business,” she says. “As a result, we’ve encouraged sales to increase their e-commerce fluency to accomplish e-commerce and digital objectives.”

Taylor points to the managers she has worked with since moving into roles inside Gallo as being instrumental in fostering her professional development. “They have all struck an impressive balance of providing ample support while simultaneously allowing for personal autonomy,” she says. “My managers have put trust in me to execute my roles independently, contributing to an entrepreneurial culture that is rooted in Gallo’s company values of integrity, commitment, teamwork, humility and respect.”

    Persevering through the early days as a retail sales representative and district manager led Taylor to where she is today. “Pushing through the holiday season as a wine sales representative is no easy task, but it’s entirely rewarding once you reflect on the hard work and sweat equity.”

Understanding entry-level sales responsibilities is crucial to succeeding in future roles at the Winery, she notes, since so much of what the company accomplishes is dependent upon the sales representatives at the store level.

Being on the e-commerce team in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has been immensely challenging but extremely rewarding. “Our team was thrust into the spotlight in 2020 and rose to the challenge to support our sales organization quickly and effectively,” she says.

The team operates with an entrepreneurial spirit that allows it to seek out untapped opportunities and create solutions that set it up for success in the e-commerce sphere. Says Taylor: “I’m very proud of the body of work and the e-commerce wins we were able to accomplish.”