Job Title: Regional Sales Manager
Name: Pete Thompson
BA Hospitality Management
Degree studied at: Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
Brief Job Description:
Responsible for Salesmen and their accounts within the Northwest of England.
I develop team’s skills, competencies and knowledge and also ensure optimum growth and development for all accounts within my region.
My career so far…
After Univesity I travelled for two years. I started with Kellogg as a Relief Salesman in Scotland for 6months. I then became Territory Manager for SouthWest Scotland. After two years I was moved to Head Office to take up a position of Business development Co-ordinator. After 6 months, I was promoted to Account Manager for our Impulse Business, with my Key accounts being Alldays, T+S Stores and TM Retail. 18 months into this role, my present Regional Sales Manager(RSM), role came up, and I gladly accepted.
What does your job involve in a typical day?
There is an 80:20 split of time spent with my team (80) and time spent in meetings or Training at Head Office (20).
Meetings at Head Office are for areas such as RSM group meetings, management meetings, NPD (new product development) launches or new policy or practice. There is also a significant time devoted to my training and development.
My average day would consist of the following. Set off from home between 06:30 and 07:00 depending on the distance to the salesman I will be working with. Each salesman has a 4 weekly journey plan, which they work through. During this time they will call on the optimum quantity and quality of outlets, which sell a Kellogg product, as they can. These calls could be as varied as cash and carry, retail multiple, Head Office of a group of stores, or wholesalers.
It is my job when working with the salesman to ensure that s/he is working at his best for, him/herself, the company, and our customers. The key role in my job is to develop people. New salesmen joining the company spend an average of 18 months to 2 years in the field. This is where they learn valuable skills and knowledge to be highly effective as their career progresses. During the day, as I visit the calls planned, I will try and develop some of the following areas. Planning and preparation, time management, presentation skills, consultative selling, customer knowledge, negotiating or communication. This list is not complete but these are the key areas. Usually these areas can be covered off between calls, in the car or over a coffee, but sometimes 2 or 3 hours can be taken out of the day to go over in depth. Each day with a salesman will be documented for development records to give the salesman a focus of strengths and areas for development. I will usually leave the salesman at about 15:00hrs to allow myself time to get home and keep up to date with any admin or planning which I have to do. In order to stay on top of the region, I will have also used the mobile ‘phone and the Kellogg voice mail system (VMX)while driving. The VMX system is an excellent tool for time management. I could have a 2-hour drive but still be highly productive. I aim to finish my day at 6.00pm. (Not always the case!!)
What do I like most about my job?
The people and creative possibilities with the brands. It is a great sense of achievement to work with someone and see development. At Kellogg we also have great opportunities for a creative mind to do anything!
What skills are required in your job?
Organisational, with so many different requirements of a varied team and so much information regarding products or promotions, being organised is key.
Being able to delegate.
How many people work for you?
10 Salesmen, each have an area of the Northwest to look after.
1 Account Development Manager looking after the key accounts within the region.
What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food and grocery industry?
Read as much as possible, in terms of business press and publications. Speak to as many people in the industry as possible. Set yourself a career plan, and ask what part of the food and grocery industry fits into this plan. Once in the business, ensure a varied and balanced life is achieved. Don’t wait to be offered promotion or new roles……make them happen.