dcsimg

Career Story: Director Of National Account Sales For A Big Food Company

Director Of National Account Sales For A Big Food Company

Job Title: Director National Account Sales - Sara Lee Foods

Type of Company: A large distributor of desserts and packaged foods.

Education: BA, Economics, Harvard University

Previous Experience: I have spent 25+ years in the food service industry selling to commercial accounts as well as to the gaming and lodging segments. My first job was selling to chains in the New England area and as my experience grew, I moved into a role at our corporate offices. I have experience with several commodities, protein, bakery, coffee and tea and shortening and oils.

Job Tasks: I work from my home and am responsible for selling meat, baked goods and coffee and tea to restaurants such as McDonald's, Denny's and Subway. We also sell our products to casinos and hotel chains. The way we get a customer interested is by visiting their restaurants and looking to see if their menu is missing anything ...such as a great tasting chocolate cake! Once our marketing team has an idea what we want to present to the customer, we set up a meeting (most of my contacts are people I have met over the past 25 years) to exhibit and sample our products.

The keys to our success are: Knowing the customer, having a product or menu idea that fits their customer and price targets and having products that taste good. Because our customers have locations across the country, I get to travel to a lot of interesting (and not so interesting) places, and I have now been to all fifty states.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the opportunity it provides me with to work from home where I can see my kids off to school, help coach sports teams and be a part of a family, while permitting me also to travel and see some interesting parts of the country.

The worst part of the job can be not being able to go to a local office. At times it can take longer to get things done from a home office.

Job Tips: I would recommend the following:


1. Looking for internships at larger companies can be a great way of gaining exposure and experience. It is a way of "trying on" a company before committing to a career.

2. If you want to get into the "hospitality / restaurant" business, look for a job at a restaurant, casino or hotel to see how it works.

3. Don't be afraid to reach out to friends and family who may have experience in the restaurant industry. Networking can be a help.

Additional Thoughts: The food business can be a lot of fun, but it's a lot of work too. If you work in restaurants, casino's, hotels, convenience stores or any other location that sells food the hours can be long.

The manufacturing side of the business (at companies like Coke, Kellogg's and Sara Lee) will also be hard work, but usually you do not have to work weekends and holidays ...which will allow you to have a family!

A college education is usually a must if you want to work for a major manufacturer ...however you could get a restaurant level job with less. If you desire to earn more money and have more responsibility, a college education and an MBA will be necessary.

While you may not make a ton of money (unless you own the business or are a president) you can make a good, steady living. Remember ...everyone needs to eat!

Popular Schools offering Sales Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

  • Programs: B.S. in Marketing, M.B.A.: Marketing
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.

  • Programs: BA/Public Relations and Marketing, BA/Sports and Recreation Management - Marketing, MBA - Marketing
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.

  • Programs: MBA/Strategic Sales Management, BA in Business Administration/Strategic Sales Management, BA in Business Administration Marketing, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

Study online with University of Maryland at College Park.

  • Programs: MBA - Marketing
  • Degrees: Master

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: Master of Business Administration, MBA - Marketing
  • Degrees: Master

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

  • Programs: BS - Marketing
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Marketing - PhD in Bus. Admin., Marketing - D.B.A.
  • Degrees: Doctorate

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.

  • Programs: MBA - Marketing, Bachelor's (BBA) - Marketing
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County.

  • Programs: Online Master of Business Administration Marketing Concentration
  • Degrees: Master

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: MS in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, DBA in Marketing
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Product Sales Representatives, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104