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Posted January 22, 2021

Advantage Group International is seeking an ambitious and resilient Managing Director to join us in our journey of helping businesses be better together.

What Matters to Us:

Thirty years ago, in Toronto, Canada, Founder Ron Pirie championed the belief that businesses work better together when they commit to actively listening and responding to each other’s feedback.

Ron’s original idea to have retailers rate and rank their suppliers was first conceptualized in 1988. Not long after, fast-moving consumer goods suppliers and retailers throughout North America began to recognize that strong and measurable relationships lie at the heart of improved business performance.

From humble beginnings and a staunch and universal belief that stronger collaboration leads to better business results in any market and any industry, our relationship benchmarking capabilities have become the gold standard for measuring business-to-business engagement in over 40+ countries.

Who We’re Seeking to Join Our Team:

Reporting to our Chief Executive Officer and managing a direct team of up to ten, the successful candidate ideally holds 10+ years of leadership experience in senior key account sales and/or customer marketing roles at a large CPG supplier, and/or has held senior management positions at a grocery, drug or convenience retailer. Senior client service experience at a market research firm, servicing clients within the consumer goods and retail sectors, is also viewed as an asset.

The ideal candidate will also have a robust track record of experience and connectivity with major national retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, Amazon and Costco.

What Success Looks Like in this Role:

Provide organizational, sales and client service leadership for the Advantage business in the U.S.  marketplace. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Achieve sales and profit goals by maximizing client retention and increasing market penetration
  • Secure new business opportunities
  • Build strong business relationships with our CPG clients and ensure that they are delivered an excellent client experience and gaining value and insights from the Advantage program
  • Ensure that all major US grocery, drug, convenience, and online retailers are actively engaged in our programs
  • Manage the global client relationship with multinational CPG’s and retail groups who are headquartered in the U.S.
  • As a thought leader, help to enhance the Advantage brand within the FMCG community through keynote presentations, conference/association participation, white papers, published articles, and other similar efforts
  • Develop annual business plans for the U.S. market, and provide Advantage Head Office with regular reports and updates
  • Work closely with the US operations and field coordination teams to ensure the client service responsibilities of program management are conducted in a timely and well managed fashion
  • Work closely with the Commercial and Finance teams to ensure alignment to business strategy and processes
  • Work closely with the CCO to be in lockstep with the expectations and piloting of new approaches as we develop out our end to end Client Engagement experience

Where You’ll be Located:

This role will begin remote (home office based), and over time will be tasked with setting up a physical team office. Travel will be limited during the global pandemic, as many presentations and sales meetings may be conducted virtually.

If travel and business restrictions change, expectations on travel may evolve to include travel to:

  1. Supplier and retailer offices for meetings and presentations
  2. Toronto global HQ (occasional)
  3. Relevant conferences or industry events

The Capabilities and Skills that Matter:

  • expert in the U.S. CPG retail industry
  • strong network of contacts amongst U.S. CPG suppliers and retailers
  • a strong client-service and business development orientation
  • practical understanding of market research principles / concepts
  • ability to manage complex consulting projects
  • strong written and oral communication skills
  • ability to work independently and an entrepreneurial mindset a positive attitude, zest for learning and always seeking innovations and efficiencies
  • Ability to motive, inspire and effectively manage teams and team engagement
  • An ability to create and foster strong inter-departmental communications

The Competencies We Value:

Advantage has identified the following set of competencies that successful client service leaders demonstrate and develop in the role over time:

  • Outstanding Industry Connectivity

Building thriving relationships within the industry, particularly CPG companies and retail groups. Becoming a trusted advisor within the CPG community and creating mutually beneficial relationships with individuals outside of our own organization that allows access to resources and expertise.

  • Client Leadership

Acting as an advocate for our clients, understanding their needs, and recommending the right solutions. Conducting the necessary activities to drive long-term, sustainable, profitable growth for both Advantage and our clients, while achieving high levels of client engagement.

  • Prospecting for Growth

The ability to use prospecting principles, processes, and tools to identify and engage potential clients in the market while continually prospecting within existing clients to capitalize on additional business opportunities.

  • Effective Communication

Understanding and applying effective communication concepts, tools, and techniques. The ability to effectively transmit, receive, and interpret ideas, information, and needs through the application of appropriate communication behaviors.

  • Insightful Presentations

The ability to present innovative, actionable insights using relevant market data and trends. Proficient at using storytelling tools and techniques to engage clients and deliver new information.

  • Business and Financial Planning

The ability to apply financial concepts to make business plans and decisions to create value for our company and our clients.

  • Entrepreneurial Drive

The ability to take different actions to overcome obstacles that get in the way of reaching goals. Being driven, ambitious, and motivated to grow the business and exceed targets consistently and successfully.

  • Strategic Agility

The ability to anticipate future opportunities and trends accurately. Being future oriented and able to create competitive and breakthrough strategies and plans.

  • Superior Commanding Skills

The ability to eliminate road blocks to zero in on what’s important. Being able to take unpopular stands when necessary and face adversity head on.

  • Coaching for Success

Knowledge of coaching concepts and methods; ability to encourage, motivate, and guide individuals or teams in learning and improving effectiveness.

Tentative Start Date: March 2021

Advantage offers an attractive salary package with fringe benefits.