Fast moving consumer goods sales, commonly known as FMCG sales, can be one of the most exciting areas of sales to work in. We spoke with a National Account Manager from a leading international FMCG brand to get his views on how FMCG sales stands out amongst similar jobs and some key tips on building a successful career in the industry.
What differentiates FMCG sales from other sales positions?
“FMCG sales is predominantly about relationship management. While other sales jobs can incorporate large amounts of business development and winning new clients, my job has an element of this but mainly focuses on managing accounts and delivering the best service to my current clients.”
A typical day on the job
Many people believe sales is always about cold calling and trying to build new bridges, FMCG sales is the opposite and brings extremely varied daily tasks.
“Each client is different so the day-to-day work I do will vary depending on which client I am meeting with. Sometimes I will be meeting to present new products, sometimes I will be showing clients different brands we carry other than those they currently stock, and many times I am going out to dinner and socialising with my clients to keep those relationships strong.”
Qualities of a great FMCG sales professional
Some qualities can be found in all sales professionals – its what makes them excellent at their job – including an outgoing personality, the ability to stay organised and manage several accounts at one time. The key train of a successful FMCG sales professional is their relationship building abilities.
“At the core of account management you must be a good relationship builder, and even better an maintaining those relationships.”
FMCG sales is predominantly about relationship management. While other sales jobs can incorporate large amounts of business development and winning new clients.
Career progression within
Although graduate programmes can be good entry points for sales professionals, the best way to transition into FMCG is from an internal sales position.
“The experience you gain in internal sales can be key to success in a client facing, account management role. You will usually enter into a field sales position and progress onto key account manager, national account manager and eventually sales director or head of sales.”