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Career move from sales role to analytical role

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I need some advice from the collective community. Here is the situation.. I am currently employed at a large CPG company in sales. The location is not desirable yet, the pay and benefits are awesome. However, I feel that I am not making progress towards my ultimate career goal (Brand Manager and then Director of Brand). I feel I am not learning marketable skills specifically, syndicated data analysis.

I'm looking for roles such as sales analyst or sales operation analyst. Im trying to bridge my sales experience (3+ years total) with a role that will have me working closely with syndicated data. Other than the two roles listed, has anyone had any experience with any transitional roles that would suit a recent grad with sales experience?

I am using Indeed as my primary source of job listings. A Linkedin page will go up within the month to help. What other tools are recommended? Any advice is appreciated.
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gqreader239 View Post
I need some advice from the collective community. Here is the situation.. I am currently employed at a large CPG company in sales. The location is not desirable yet, the pay and benefits are awesome. However, I feel that I am not making progress towards my ultimate career goal (Brand Manager and then Director of Brand). I feel I am not learning marketable skills specifically, syndicated data analysis.

I'm looking for roles such as sales analyst or sales operation analyst. Im trying to bridge my sales experience (3+ years total) with a role that will have me working closely with syndicated data. Other than the two roles listed, has anyone had any experience with any transitional roles that would suit a recent grad with sales experience?

I am using Indeed as my primary source of job listings. A Linkedin page will go up within the month to help. What other tools are recommended? Any advice is appreciated.

I'd say stay in sales as long as you can. once you leave sales, you don't go back, and sales is an excellent way to advance.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
globetrotter- I agree with the notion that sales can help a person advance quickly. However, I feel the career path leads to managing other sales people and then ultimately becoming director or VP of sales. That's not what I necessarily want to do . What do you mean by "don't go back"? Does a sales background and analyst experience preclude a candidate from returning to sales? I can only imagine that the longer I stay in sales, the harder it will be to get into a more analytical role.
post #4 of 14
don't want to hijack, but i was hoping to get another viewpoint on this b/c i want to do the exact opposite... business analyst --> sales doable? my future career goal is to be a consultant.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gqreader239 View Post
I need some advice from the collective community. Here is the situation.. I am currently employed at a large CPG company in sales. The location is not desirable yet, the pay and benefits are awesome. However, I feel that I am not making progress towards my ultimate career goal (Brand Manager and then Director of Brand). I feel I am not learning marketable skills specifically, syndicated data analysis.

I'm looking for roles such as sales analyst or sales operation analyst. Im trying to bridge my sales experience (3+ years total) with a role that will have me working closely with syndicated data. Other than the two roles listed, has anyone had any experience with any transitional roles that would suit a recent grad with sales experience?

I am using Indeed as my primary source of job listings. A Linkedin page will go up within the month to help. What other tools are recommended? Any advice is appreciated.

I don't understand. Most CPG companies use extensive syndicated data in the field. Sales people are expected to work with this data to be more succesful in their accounts. Do you call on accounts or are you merchandising? Maybe if you are only merchandising, that explains why you are not working with data now.

There are many sales analyst jobs in CPG - either with the large syndicated houses (Nielsen, IRI) or in regional offices.

HOWEVER, I am not sure this is your best route into Marketing. It is true that most CPG associate Brand Managers will be pulling a lot of data for analysis early on. But most Assoc. brand managers do not come from syndicated data jobs. They come from top tier B-schools.

You are also not going to get a job directly as a Brand Manager. You will start lower than that.

CPG companies want Directors of Marketing that have/are: 1. strong leadership skills 2. Great communicators, 3 Problem Solvers (this is where your analystical skills are but so much more than just synd data) 4. strong results orientation 5. collaborative

So here are some options....

- Get MBA from top MBA school - this is by far your best avenue.
- MBA from a 10-30ish ranked MBA school.
- Stay where you are at -Go get great results, bigger accounts, promotions, etc Take on extra projects that get you around the marketing team. Many of the smaller CPG companies (and occasionally the bigger CPG companies) take sales stars from the field into marketing.
- Get job as account exec at agency & get assigned to CPG account
- Get job at promotion agency as AE and get assigned to CPG account
- Go your Syndicated route but do it at corporate headquarters, not a field office

If your company is pulling all their marketing people from syndictade data jobs, it is likely to be a crappy CPG marketing company. If all they are looking for is quant jocks to pull data, do you really want to build your marketing bse at a company like that? Yes, you have to know Synd data (not that hard to learn) but CPG brand marketing is about running a profitable and growth mini business. SO much more than knowing how to pull synd data.

Good companies want their marketers to have the skills listed above. Go showcase those skills in your role. I think you are approaching this almost like syndicated data is a tool of the trade so you have to master that tool. Nope. Don't spend too much time on it. Be a strong, smart, collaborative leader that gets great results. THAT is what will get you noticed for jobs you want.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjeezle View Post
don't want to hijack, but i was hoping to get another viewpoint on this b/c i want to do the exact opposite...

business analyst --> sales

doable? my future career goal is to be a consultant.

What type of consulting? sales consultant? Or management consultant?
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gqreader239 View Post
What do you mean by "don't go back"? Does a sales background and analyst experience preclude a candidate from returning to sales? I can only imagine that the longer I stay in sales, the harder it will be to get into a more analytical role.

my, personal, experiece is that a lot of managers of different departments started out in sales, but you very seldom see a manager of a line unit that cae from outside sales. and, getting into sales from another function, even if you did sales in the past, is usually difficult. but other people might have other experience. good luck in any event
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
my, personal, experiece is that a lot of managers of different departments started out in sales, but you very seldom see a manager of a line unit that cae from outside sales. and,


This is true in CPG companies which I realize is what the OP cares about. But in other industries Line Unit leaders will come from sales backgrounds - like: Pharma, technolgy and many B-to-B indutsries. Often these leaders will have come inside to gain different functional exposures but their sales background is key to their eventual P&L responsibilties.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guster View Post
I don't understand. Most CPG companies use extensive syndicated data in the field. Sales people are expected to work with this data to be more succesful in their accounts. Do you call on accounts or are you merchandising? Maybe if you are only merchandising, that explains why you are not working with data now.

There are many sales analyst jobs in CPG - either with the large syndicated houses (Nielsen, IRI) or in regional offices.

HOWEVER, I am not sure this is your best route into Marketing. It is true that most CPG associate Brand Managers will be pulling a lot of data for analysis early on. But most Assoc. brand managers do not come from syndicated data jobs. They come from top tier B-schools.

You are also not going to get a job directly as a Brand Manager. You will start lower than that.

CPG companies want Directors of Marketing that have/are: 1. strong leadership skills 2. Great communicators, 3 Problem Solvers (this is where your analystical skills are but so much more than just synd data) 4. strong results orientation 5. collaborative

So here are some options....

- Get MBA from top MBA school - this is by far your best avenue.
- MBA from a 10-30ish ranked MBA school.
- Stay where you are at -Go get great results, bigger accounts, promotions, etc Take on extra projects that get you around the marketing team. Many of the smaller CPG companies (and occasionally the bigger CPG companies) take sales stars from the field into marketing.
- Get job as account exec at agency & get assigned to CPG account
- Get job at promotion agency as AE and get assigned to CPG account
- Go your Syndicated route but do it at corporate headquarters, not a field office

If your company is pulling all their marketing people from syndictade data jobs, it is likely to be a crappy CPG marketing company. If all they are looking for is quant jocks to pull data, do you really want to build your marketing bse at a company like that? Yes, you have to know Synd data (not that hard to learn) but CPG brand marketing is about running a profitable and growth mini business. SO much more than knowing how to pull synd data.

Good companies want their marketers to have the skills listed above. Go showcase those skills in your role. I think you are approaching this almost like syndicated data is a tool of the trade so you have to master that tool. Nope. Don't spend too much time on it. Be a strong, smart, collaborative leader that gets great results. THAT is what will get you noticed for jobs you want.

I actually call on accounts myself however, the sales force do not have access to IRI or nielson data. Instead, the information is already segmented and summarized in ready to use presentations. Currently, I am in the process of being assigned larger accounts. I believe this will enrich my professional experience.

Graduate school is definitely on the table for the future. I plan to work at least 5 years before considering entering school. (Money and work experience are rationales for the timeline). While I did not do poorly in college, I do not believe I can get into a top 10 MBA school. Probably shoot for 25th-50th ranked schools. Would the degree still be worth it?

Thanks for the insight, the advice was very clear and straight forward. Do you mind sharing your career background?
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gqreader239 View Post
I actually call on accounts myself however, the sales force do not have access to IRI or nielson data. Instead, the information is already segmented and summarized in ready to use presentations. Currently, I am in the process of being assigned larger accounts. I believe this will enrich my professional experience.

Graduate school is definitely on the table for the future. I plan to work at least 5 years before considering entering school. (Money and work experience are rationales for the timeline). While I did not do poorly in college, I do not believe I can get into a top 10 MBA school. Probably shoot for 25th-50th ranked schools. Would the degree still be worth it?

Thanks for the insight, the advice was very clear and straight forward. Do you mind sharing your career background?

Depends what you want to do. I know a lot of people think it's top 15 or bust when it comes to MBAs (and for consulting and finance, that's mostly true) but a state school MBA in the 25-50 range can be a good idea if you want to work for a F500 in management. American multinationals are teeming with people who got their MBAs from these types of schools and that's where programs in that range are the most useful, in my opinion.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
Depends what you want to do. I know a lot of people think it's top 15 or bust when it comes to MBAs (and for consulting and finance, that's mostly true) but a state school MBA in the 25-50 range can be a good idea if you want to work for a F500 in management. American multinationals are teeming with people who got their MBAs from these types of schools and that's where programs in that range are the most useful, in my opinion.

This is very true. But OP wants to get into brand marketing for CPG company. There are limited schools that CPG companies recruit from for marketing talent. There certainly are MBA schools in 25-50 that are active recruiting schools for CPG. That info is easy to gather. For instance, Yale & Princeton may be "ranked" higher as schools but Indiana, Wisconsin, Texas UNC & Notre Dame will get more CPG marketing recruiters. My comments are about the quick path to a CPG arketing role early in OP's career. So I am focusing on where I am told CPG goes recruiting for brand management.

If OP is flexible on marketing roles in various industries, then the MBA from 25-50 helps even more. Also if OP is willing to move internationally, CPG companies outside states look less at school and will just like the MBA degree. Once someone gets into CPG marketing, the school and sometimes even the degree matter less a whole lot less.
post #12 of 14
Sales is going to trump analytics in terms of Brand Director roles. Brand Directors have other people conduct the analysis for them, and then make decisions. Sales is about seeing the whole picture and making decisions all the time. When you're a Brand Director you need to be conversant in the data but it's really about being able to pull out that core insight or red flag more so than worrying about the methods, types of data, etc.

Soooo...stay in sales for a bit longer (5 years would look good), and then look to get into the home office. If your company pays for some classes consider doing an MBA part time or taking some exec education classes to round out your ability to communicate forcefully.

Cheers
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by guster View Post
What type of consulting? sales consultant? Or management consultant?

management/strategy
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjeezle View Post
management/strategy
There are a number of ways to this type of consulting but again, if you want the best odds - look at where the top companies ( McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, Bain, ATKearney) are recruiting getting people. A large number of new hires are straight from top undergrad and MBA programs. I am not sure sales job is going to be a better springboard than business analysis in top consulting firm. But I do think it rounds you out and gives you more options down the road.
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