“Are you more into sales or marketing?”
I remember a recruiter once asked me this in an interview. What I answered? “Both!”
A typical answer for a Swede, some might say. But in this case there was an underlying meaning: To me these two concepts are so closely linked to each other that you could argue that one is a part of the other. One could simplify and say that if the objective was to bring a product or service on the market, sales would be just to persuade the market, whereas marketing would be applying an understanding of the market in order to optimize sales.
As an easy analogy, take the application process for a new job. Going through the job ad and scanning for information, doing additional research on the position and on the company, writing and designing your CV and personal letter, and maybe even establishing contact with someone on LinkedIn that recently joined the company; this is all marketing for the product/service that is you. Selling is what you do once you enter the interview. However, there could be several interview rounds, with also important feedback coming from the interviewer. In order to remain as a relevant candidate for the position, this could require additional research or even a need to adjust or reinforce the positioning of yourself in order to remain competitive (marketing).
So what do I do at Nestlé? I am working as a Key Account Manager (KAM) for one of Nestlé’s big coffee brands – NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto – and I am part of a Nordic team based in Nestlé’s Nordic head office in Copenhagen, Denmark. Just as the general definition of key account management, I am managing key customers, maintaining long-term relationships and maximizing sales opportunities with them. However, although key account management is primarily about sales, in my position, it also includes a variety of tasks including project management, strategic planning, market analysis, and coordination. I work closely together with the Nordic NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Brand team, the local Nestlé commercial organizations and external business partners.
Working in a Nordic function at Nestlé gives me the opportunity to learn and build competence about all 5 Nordic markets – the similarities, but especially the differences (yes, there are differences among the Nordic markets and consumers although we have much in common in way of life, history and social structure). The mix between global, regional and local – Nestlé worldwide vs. Nordic region vs. Nordic country – is something that reflects both our work and our people, and is one of the key aspects that makes it very exciting to work in this position.
Ok, so what do you actually do at Nestlé? What is an average day/week like?
These are normally the follow-up questions I receive at this stage, in particular when speaking university students who soon finish their studies. Therefore, I would like to give you a brief insight into my everyday life at Nestlé by summarizing a workweek in October.
- §Weekly meeting with full NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Nordic team – weekly business updates and ad hoc project updates.
- §Visit from Head Office in Switzerland – held a presentation and participated in meetings.
- §Extra focus on emails in order to catch up from yesterday.
- §Telco with one of the local Nestlé commercial organizations on strategic planning for a customer.
- §Ad hoc phone calls with customers and business partners to follow up on planning YTG.
- §Preparing a presentation for a customer meeting.
- §Preparing monthly reporting of market analysis to local Nestlé commercial organizations and business partners.
- §Customer meeting – going through results, planning and new opportunities.
- §Participating in CBS Career Fair as a representative at the Nestlé stand – speaking with students regarding working at Nestlé, openings, how to apply for job, thesis collaboration etc.
- §Calculating on a business plan for a customer.
- §Meeting with our Brand team on a co-driven project.
- §Administrative things such as planning upcoming meetings next week.
- §Meeting with line manager – discussing preparation for tomorrow’s meetings and other ad hoc business topics.
- §Right before leaving the office, I read an email on something urgent I need to take action on, meaning a few phone calls with different stakeholders in the car on my way home.
- §Trip to Nestlé Finland office in Helsinki.
- §Operational meeting with business partner and local Finish NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto commercial team – going through business updates, results, customer planning and activities, and miscellaneous.
Despite how the day looks like, there is always on segment that is frequently reoccurring, which was not mentioned here, and that is – NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto coffee!
My name is Kristofer Edholm. I am a Swedish native from Malmö. Joined Nestlé in 2014 as a Junior Key Account Manager for NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Nordics. Holds a Master’s degree in International Marketing and Management from Copenhagen Business School.