More often than not, many of us will have something to eat and something to drink at the same time, so it seems only natural that food and beverages go hand in hand when we think about selling. Products like food and beverages are referred to as Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG). At a high level, CPG refers to products that a person (consumer) uses daily. These items can include food, cosmetics, drinks, cleaning products, etc.
The goal for a sales representative working in CPG is to establish contracts and agreements that become accounts. For example, PepsiCo might want its beverage line to be sold at all Target Stores. The PepsiCo sales representative in this example would work to secure an account with Target to ensure their beverage is sold to all consumers that shop at Target. Part of this job might include the representative building marketing displays or doing promotions to drive sales.
Once a sales representative develops enough accounts like in the example above, they might have the opportunity to move up into a management position. An account manager is responsible for maintaining accounts in a specific territory. This role ensures that clients have all the products they need and are up to date on new products and releases. Account managers have the sole responsibility for making sure clients renew contracts and continue the business. This type of relationship management demands the account manager to meet the needs of each client.
Regardless of whether you are a sales representative or account manager, interpersonal, management, and communication skills are important for success. In some cases, companies might even combine the sales representative and account manager roles. This means the employee would be responsible for having to create and manage the accounts full-cycle. If you are obtaining a degree with a focus in food science, nutrition, agriculture, or even food safety you may consider checking out CPG sales!