4 commercial skills NAMs must have to grow market share, online presence and sales

Does your recruitment agency really understand the importance of finding you digitally savvy National Account Managers?

We are living in a digital world. Our social, work and shopping habits are changing the very shape of traditional sales and marketing roles within FMCG. We have seen supermarkets transforming to cater for the 21st-century shopper. The days of the “weekly shop” are disappearing, with a number of consumers now choosing to shop for convenience, inspiration and efficiency with online shopping paving the way to cater for this.

As it continues to mature, online grocery no longer needs to replicate the store environment. Instead, it is becoming more inspirational and personal. The speed of innovation is increasing in line with demand; offering channel integration and more choice for shoppers with lower overheads for the retailers.

Sainsburys and Asda both recently integrated non-food into their grocery e-commerce sites while AmazonFresh delivers 500,000 Amazon SKUs such as health & beauty and entertainment items alongside groceries. This provides continued opportunities for collaboration between retailers and suppliers.

A good example of this is Heineken’s shop in shop with Sainsbury’s driving interest in the BWS (Beer, Wines and Spirits) category by addressing different occasions. They matched beer and food bundles to provide inspiration and tempt shoppers to buy new products.

So, how do we identify the skill-set required for roles working with the online retailers:

• Category understanding and shopper trends are key: It has always been essential for the Account Manager to have a solid understanding of the category they are operating within and also the consumer they are looking to target. Data analysis will play an important role and help shape a consumer profile to target online shopping missions. Specifically within the digital sphere, are shoppers looking for a weekly stock-up or just browsing online? This will provide a platform to negotiate media space across the site to further engage with the consumer.

• Strong understanding of the online strategy: It is key to understand different retailer strategies/priorities/opportunities. To work successfully with the retailer, the Account Manager must align these to their processes, including JBP (Joint Business Plan) online forecasting.

• Prioritise technology as an enabler to targeted messages: Retailers and suppliers are currently playing catch-up with their shopper. Acquiring and maintaining online shoppers in a competitive market is a key focus for retailers and by extension, the suppliers. Multichannel shoppers are more valuable - driving loyalty frequency increases spend. Online specific promotions and suppliers’ working together could grow market share through multi-buy deals so the need to work collaboratively is essential.

 Innovate and move fast: Technology is helping to make the process faster for routine additions and inspiration is required to combat boredom and tempt shoppers to try new products. This drives the need for a versatile supply chain and so it is imperative that the Account Manager has a solid grasp of the full operational mechanics of the business. Opportunities to drive online-specific NPD are high and so must be fully explored at listing meetings.

This means that Commercial candidates who have all these skills and experience are in short supply. So if you’d like to work with specialists who understand the ever-changing face of retail, speak to Denholm…not only do we understand the intricacies of the grocery channel, but more importantly we have the tools and ability to unearth fresh talent who will continue to drive your online presence and sales in the digital world of the Grocery retailers.

Talk to Denholm

We are a search, recruitment and employer brand consultancy that specialises in commercial marketing, sales & digital opportunities. If you'd like to find out more, call us on 0131 554 6191 or email connect@denholmassociates.com.