Why choose Customer Development?
Life in our sales teams isn’t what you think it might be. We focus on building strong relationships with our customers, understanding their needs and delivering against them, using market (we call it category) information to make sure consumers have the right choices in store, and maximising opportunities in new spaces, like online. It’s not cold calling, telesales or one-off conversations with disinterested people.
What will you be doing?
During the two-year scheme, you will spend time in two of our Grocery businesses, gaining a breadth of experience in both account sales and category. We’ll support you along the way with a buddy, mentor and both core management and function-specific training to help you maximise your development during the scheme.
Who are we looking for?
To succeed with us, you will be passionate about achieving great results, motivated to make things happen and be comfortable using information to make strong business decisions. Building credible relationships through clear communication is really important to us and our graduates are hungry to learn and improve their understanding of the impact that they have on others.
What do our Grads say?
My absolute favourite part of belonging to ABF has been realising the extent to which the wider network of businesses are interconnected. There are always so many people to learn from and reach out to, and this is actively facilitated by regular network events. These are always so enjoyable (even though they are rigorous and can be exhausting!) and leave me feeling energised to take the opportunities available to us across the network. At the same time, because ABF Grocery is a nexus of small-medium sized companies, each business retains a kind of cosy and supportive feel, which is so important when you start as it can be an overwhelming experience in a lot of places. This behaviour of sharing with each other is ingrained within the culture of ABF, so it is something that exists from entry-level graduates like me, all the way up to the senior leadership as well as cross-functionally. I love this part of ABF especially because it has meant I’ve made such good friends with the other grads despite being many miles away in other businesses! I know we will continue to learn from each other as our careers progress over the years because it is the ABF way. Olive McMahon Customer 2016 Graduate
Working in Sales truly means that no day is ever the same! What really surprised me with the Customer Development graduate scheme is that real responsibility is given to you from the commencement of your time with ABF. As a National Account Executive you get a depth of exposure into the customer and have the opportunity to learn how an account is managed from an internal and external perspective. As a person who enjoys engaging with others, I have daily opportunities to communicate with various stakeholders across the business. Sales is truly an area of spontaneity – the peaks, troughs, calm and ‘firefighting’ type situations all provide excellent learning experiences. The best part of my role is having the opportunity to learn from experienced National Account Managers and then be given the chance to implement what I have learned in our smaller accounts such as Tesco Ireland. I had my first solo customer meeting in Dublin only 6 months into my role as an executive! I was overjoyed to be entrusted to this level of exposure so soon in my journey with ABF. Working in sales is extremely rewarding and I’m glad to have found my area of best fit. Peda Alabi 2016 Graduate