Sales Management Trainee

Olam Americas Inc. – Willowbrook, IL

OLAM international is a leading agri-business operating from seed to shelf in 70 countries, supplying food and industrial raw materials to over 16,200 customers worldwide. Our team of 62,500 employees has built a leadership position in many businesses including spices, cocoa, coffee, and nuts.

Primary Purpose of the Role:

Each Sales Trainee will acquire a solid understanding of our product line, manufacturing, innovation, quality, marketing, and agricultural functions through projects and business interaction. This foundation will enable each team member to effectively sell to customer accounts by acquiring a working knowledge of our products, innovation process and supply chain. Once, base skills are acquired they will be accountable for customer accounts calling on small to medium size companies. Travel could range from 35-50%.


The Sales Management Trainee will be a member of an exciting sales team selling across channels to food manufacturers, food ingredient, and food service accounts in North America. This position maximizes sales by implementing sound business planning, forecasting, and analytical and category management. Successful candidates will be skilled at developing and maintaining relationships within all funtions of our customer s organization including purchasing, innovation, quality and operations. In addition, candidates will be skilled at identifying key product growth opportunities with strong collaborative skills and will engage with customer operations, marketing, product line, innovation and supply chain teams to achieve sales objectives. Successful candidates will have interest in developing & executing sales plans. Account Managers will be assigned to special markets and complex product lines that require significant client relationship skills.


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Achieve established volume and financial goals and new business objectives
  • To service the customer and develop collaborative relationships at all levels
  • Development and execution of customer business strategies and plans on an annual/quarterly/monthly basis
  • Customer contract negotiation and management
  • Customer project management
  • To collaborate with matrix functions within Spices and broader Olam potentially
  • To develop self and others
  • Market intelligence management: monitor market conditions, product innovations, competitive products, competitive prices, and sales
  • Support sales team on day to day maintenance for accounts; including sample requests, technical document requests, project tracking, contract management and sales reports
  • Learn necessary systems to execute support including SAP, Outlook, Excel, BI, PPT
  • Build sales skills involving proper customer etiquette, project/ time management, negotiation and presentation skills
  • Learn OLAM Spices business from all angles (R&D, QA/QC, Operations, and Account Management) to provide a foundation for effective sales account management
  • Negotiate contracts and learn to conduct a business reviews
  • Work with operations and culinary personnel to assure alignment of sales strategy and product offerings with technical and operational capabilities
  • Engage the Olam Network (e.g., cross-functional team members/ critical resources) to execute business plans, resolve issues, and deliver solutions that meet or exceed customer needs and drive profitable growth.

Candidate Profile:

Individuals applying for Olam s Sales Management Training Program must possess the following requirements:

  • A minimum BA/BS degree in Food Science, Marketing, Finance, or Business Administration
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Must show ability to build and maintain strong, effective relationships with customers and functional groups
  • Flexible self-starter with ability to manage multiple projects and internal and external demands
  • Must have effective negotiation skills
  • Problem solver; well-developed organizational and time management skills.
  • High proficiency in Microsoft Office applications: PowerPoint, Excel, Word
  • Resilience and the ability to cope with rejection
  • Able to work both independently and as part of a team

The following qualifications are preferred:

  • Highly motivated self-starter with strong work ethic
  • Capable of managing multiple tasks and changing priorities in a fast paced environment
  • Proven problem solving skills
  • Strong project development and management and leadership skills
  • Willingness to travel up to 35%-50% of the work month once placed in the account role

Olam Americas, Inc. provides equality of opportunity for all persons with respect to hiring without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation.

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