Our client is the North American sales office of a leading German-based, globally-operating organization specialized in premium freeze-dried and air-dried ingredients for the food industry. Through worldwide sourcing efforts and alliances with strategic partners, the company provides the highest quality ingredients to leading food manufacturers, including a broad range of herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables, and more. Their diverse customer base encompasses the dairy industry, manufacturers of cereals, confectionery products and health foods as well as providers of emergency nutrition supplies.
Our client is currently seeking a highly motivated National Sales Manager to grow existing accounts and develop new business. This position requires an independent self-starter who is also able to work well in a team with colleagues both at the German Headquarters as well as the company’s local office in greater Chicago. This role requires frequent travel nationwide (mostly within the East Coast and Midwest regions) as well as periodic travel to Germany.
- Drive sales revenues at target customers in the food processing industry that achieve desired profit margins while building long-term relationships. Manage the entire sales process from lead generation through to the conclusion of contract negotiations.
- Identify and qualify sales leads at new accounts; develop and execute strategies to open doors at these target customers and secure meetings with relevant decision-makers to showcase the company’s products and capabilities.
- Develop new opportunities within existing accounts by liaising with Product Managers and other relevant contacts; ensure that the company is their supplier of choice for new food product offerings planned for the market.
- Represent the company at relevant local and national industry events and shows and serve as a professional brand advocate at all times.
- Analyze the local market and support Sales Management with a comprehensive growth strategy plan.
- Provide Management with regular feedback regarding competitor’s activities and industry trends.
- Support forecasting and budgeting activities.
- Inform colleagues in Customer Service of any quality, delivery or other related issues to ensure an appropriate and timely response.
- Report sales activities and customer visits per company procedures and provide Sales Management and other office staff with monthly itineraries.
- Submit accurate expense reports on a timely basis.
- Minimum 5 years’ experience in the food ingredient industry with a strong and verifiable track record of driving sales revenues at new and existing customers along with an established contact network of decision-makers at food manufacturers
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline
- Solid understanding of the food industry, including familiarity with key players, supplier relationships and common delivery terms as well as relevant food production technologies
- ‘Hunter’ mentality coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong self-motivation
- Outstanding presentation and communication skills
- Ability to build long-term relationships at multiple levels within customer accounts and to position the company as the preferred supplier for food manufacturers
- Exceptional analytical skills, including the ability to identify new markets and growth opportunities as well as additional application areas for the company’s freeze-dried and air-dried ingredients
- Team-oriented and structured
- Thorough understanding of cost and pricing modules
- Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite
- Experience working with CRM systems (preferably Microsoft Navision)