About Sales

Foodservice Distributor customers expect exceptional service. Inside and outside sales teams are the front lines for ensuring that customers have the product information that they need when they need it, and are a first point of contact if there are any concerns related to the ordering/delivery experience. Customer service and technology support teams provide an additional level of support with an emphasis on first call resolution so any customer needs can be addressed quickly and with the highest level of attention. In addition, some foodservice distributors have registered dietitians on staff to ensure that they can deliver customer support for more specific questions related to food nutrition or other culinary needs. Relationship building, interpersonal skills, and management skills are imperative to sales people in foodservice distribution as this function has to work with many areas in the business to ensure that customer needs are met with a high degree of satisfaction.

Distributor Sales Representatives – known as DSRs – are the face of foodservice distribution companies in the marketplace and trusted business partners of restaurant and foodservice operators across the United States. IFDA created this video to drive awareness of career opportunities in this dynamic field, and illustrate to potential candidates what being a DSR is all about. We encourage members and other industry professionals to share it with colleagues, customers and partners.

Positions in Sales/Customer Relationship Management

Sales Management

  • Manages the overall activities of the department including the directing, advising, and managing to ensure strong team member and team performance.
  • Develops and implements strategic sales plans to align with corporate goals.
  • Directs sales forecasting activities and sets performance goals accordingly.
  • Reviews market analyses to determine customer needs, price schedules, and discount rates.
  • Directs channel development and coordinates sales activity by establishing sales territories, quotas, and margin goals.

Sales Associate (Sales Representative)

  • Provide on-site sales and consultation for customers. Provide advice on improving operations, menu development, product selection, and operational strategies.
  • Calculate margins; prepare estimates and bids using pricing models to meet specific customer need.
  • Identify prospective customers and new opportunities within existing accounts.
  • Monitor market conditions, product innovations and competitors’ products, prices and sales.

Customer Service Manager

  • Leads and develops all customer service team, ensuring appropriate communication and goal setting.
  • Builds commercially strong relationships with all customers.
  • Reports to sales management any customer issues in a timely manner.
  • Trains and updates skill sets of customer service people on products, programs, conflict resolution, and other skills as needed by customer service people.
  • Interact with customers in any form necessary to receive and enter customer orders, maintain, change and monitor orders, handle all customer complaints and inquiries and ensure resolution of all customer related issues in a timely manner.

Customer Service and/or Support

  • Acts as the single point of contact for managed and target account customers on issues and complaints.
  • Performs a variety of daily duties including manual order entry and the processing of order cancellations and modifications for managed and target accounts.
  • Resolves pricing discrepancies on customer orders.
  • Works closely with sales team to support the growth of target accounts.
  • Establishes and maintains a productive relationship with managed and target account customers.

Nutrition Resource

Attributes for Sales/Customer Relationship Management

  • Relationship Builder
  • Collaborative
  • Detail Oriented
  • Complex Thinker
  • Influencer
  • Problem Solver

Find an IFDA Member Near You

If you would like information on IFDA Member Companies in your area, click here for a map of our member company corporate offices and distribution centers. Please visit individual IFDA member websites for information about their company and job opportunities.