Sales Manager Germany, Switzerland and Austria

Context

Recently acquired by United Mining Supply Group, with a turnover of 190 M€ in 2020 and more than 500 employees around the world, Alteo is a leading producer of high-value specialty alumina. Alteo’s customers are market leaders in the ceramics and thermal management industries as well as refractory, special glass and flame retardant industries. Alteo supplies more than 1000 different plants worldwide with hydrate, calcined, reactive, low and very low soda alumina, through an extensive network of sales offices and local inventory points. With over 125 years of experience and know-how in the alumina industry, Alteo strives for the highest product quality and product development thanks to its integrated application laboratory and R&D team. To ensure its development, Alteo implements a sustainable growth strategy, based on a strengthened CSR approach and on its capacity of innovation.

Primary Purpose

As part of the sales network, the position is to manage commercial relations with Alteo accounts, especially within ceramics, thermal management, refractory, special glass and flame retardant industries, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The Sales Department’s primary role is to manage the whole customer relations (from initial contact to final payment). It represents Alteo in front of the customers, but also brings customer’s point of view into the organisation.

Accountabilities 

This position will contribute to and be responsible for the management of the relationship with the markets in order to optimize our position and maximize the value, in line with business objectives. This will require:

Customer Relationship & Sales Management (60%):

  1. Develop business by gaining new customers or expending in existing customers
  2. Maintain customer relationships at all relevant levels (management, purchasing, technical).
  3. Manage this relationship from first contacts (prospect) to final payment (credit management).
  4. Negotiate the contract conditions following ESA Sales Director Directives.
  5. Follow the selected Distributors in Central & Eastern Europe.
  6. Manage payment process and risk together with Sales administration and Credit Management.
  7. Organization and tracking of samples at the customers.
  8. Interface with the customer in the claim process.
  9. Map the customer organization to understand decision making process.
  10. Local participation in the Key Account Management.

Reporting and Planning (20%):

  1. Issue visit report to capture both short term customer activities and long term needs.
  2. Report monthly results on the customer portfolio.
  3. Prepare 3-month rolling sales forecasts to support planning process.
  4. Input to the Budget processes.

Market analysis (20%):

  1. Analyse customer businesses to gain a complete understanding of the key drivers of the markets.
  2. Develop and maintain local relationships with key industry players (co-suppliers, professional unions).
  3. Identify and monitor direct and indirect competition threats.
  4. Participation to specific market studies and new product launch.

Problem Solving

Alteo is present worldwide and offers a complete range of products to various markets. Alteo sales specialty alumina, with high technical properties.

This implies deep knowledge of the different markets/customers (and their needs) and a close interaction with the customers to better understand value-driven changes. It also means an appropriate sales channel in order to optimize logistics and value generation.

On a daily basis, this position will have to deal with volume management (demand vs. availability), pricing policy and payment issues. Such approach will be especially complex due to our multi-market and multi-product structure.

Key relationships

This position has a direct interaction with the Sales organisation, the ESA Sales Director and the Business developers. As part of the global Commercial & Marketing team, a good connection with Marketing is also required.

The role interacts with Specialty Alumina team including Operations, Finance, and Management at all levels.

Internal / External Impacts

Internally, the Sales Manager has a direct impact on our interactions with the customers (currently 60 activeaccounts). More specifically, this includes volumes and revenues of their account portfolio (ca. 20M€), but also includes credit, claim and sample management. Extensive travelling (over 50% of the time) to visit the different customer accounts of the area will be also considered.

Through his forecast, he also gives a clear input to the industrial operations (production and inventory management) and the different planning processes (Budget).

Externally, he is Alteo main entry point for the customers and the first local vehicle of our image.

Education & Qualifications

  • Master degree in Business Management, Commercial and/or Engineering.
  • Fluent German and English are required. French language would be a plus.

Leadership Competencies

  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal skills as team member, leader, collaborator, facilitator and relationship builder.
  • Ability to interact with all levels of Alteo key positions.
  • Ability to create interpersonal relationships with customer organisation.
  • Good negotiation skills.
  • Exhibiting personal drive and accountability for own behaviour.
  • Commitment to personal development.
  • Ability to work undirected, and maintain communication.
  • Structured organisation to implement and monitor action plans (commercial, technical, marketing).
  • Flexibility to deal with mixed specialty/commodity markets.

Technical Competencies & Skills

  • Demonstrate a passion and enthusiasm for commercial activities.
  • Technical background to support specialty product sales development.
  • General business and financial understanding.
  • Ability to deliver accurate forecast.
  • Marketing feeling to understand and capture market dynamics.
  • Cross-cultural experience highly desirable.

Relevant experience

First professional experience in sales in a B to B, multi-product and multi-market environment or in production/ development/engineering in refractory, ceramics or mineral industries.

Note

The requirements and responsibilities contained in this job description do not create a contract of employment and are not meant to be all-inclusive. They may be changed by the role manager during employment on an as-needed basis.

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