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Three Strategies to get into National Accounts

Want to get into National Accounts? Want to become a successful NAM? Not sure how to get there? In this blog I’m going to talk about three of the most common ways I’ve seen people get into National Accounts from a recruiter’s perspective.

Number one: graduate scheme. Straight out of University I’ve seen people get into National accounts by either completing a year or two on a sales graduate scheme, field sales executive or as a business development executive - then moving into national accounts or straight up diving straight into it as a National Account Executive as a graduate.

Number Two: Working for a field sales agency. Role titles can include: territory sales representative, business development executive, key account executive, field activation executive the list goes on. Field sales with an agency can get you some great raw sales experience and the opportunity to work on behalf of some great brands in FMCG.

Number Three: Starting in Regional Accounts. Quite a common move is for people to start as a regional account executive, get to know the brand and gaining experience working on accounts and maximise profits over a smaller area before moving onto national accounts.

Don’t take this as gospel though – I’ve also seen people take a step into it from: taking a step over from other functions such as category/brand, recruitment, store management.

Some common things to watch out for is that car – a lot of people in field sales are given a car as they’re covering a large territory area and most National Account Executive roles don’t come with a car as its office based and you’re not out meeting customers regularly as of yet (although you will attend a few meetings).

It’s entirely your choice but you’re likely to get a car back at Junior National Account Manager level so if you want to get into national accounts it may be a case of taking the short-term loss for a long-term benefit.

Similar to the car is money – its natural people want to see quick promotions and along with that comes a higher salary but that doesn’t always necessarily mean progression. Sometimes it can be better to stick with a role a bit longer, gain a little more exposure and more experience.

Don’t chase the cash – remember it’s a marathon not a race.

Truthfully there is no right or wrong answer but these are just some common themes I’ve spotted.

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