Thomas Vanderlinden is one of our Key Account Managers based at our Nazareth, Belgium location. Thomas joined the business a little over two year's ago and he is currently responsible for the retail market. In 2021 he was awarded Account Manager of the Year Belgium by Kruidvat, AS Watson! Below he shares some insights into his position and what life is like being part of the Sales Function!
Can you tell me a little bit about the Sales function at Perrigo Belgium? I joined the team as Key Account Manager for the retail market. This fitted perfectly with my previous professional experience where I had done both field management and trade marketing in a pharma and retail environment. I was able to use this cross-functional experience to shape the supermarket channel in Belgium. Here the self-care market is still in its early stages and it's nice to be a pioneer in this with Perrigo.
What is a typical workday like as part of the Sales team? At Perrigo, you won't be bored for a day. The changing market provides new challenges every day. This ensures that a variety of customer meetings combined with the support you give to the brand managers makes every day different and challenging. Need help? Your colleagues or boss's door is always open for feedback.
Tell me about the teams this function works closely with on a day to day basis? Because we have a fairly flat structure, everyone has a lot of responsibility and entrepreneurship. This ensures that we have a lot of freedom in decision making. However, we are a very close-knit team, which looks for the best solutions together. We share our experiences in the weekly sales meeting, and help each other as much as possible.
How would you describe the leadership style within the Sales function? I have been working for 8 years now and already have my first experiences. Nevertheless, I can still learn a lot and develop further. Here I owe a lot to the management. Their door is always open and they like to make time to catch up.
What has been your biggest work-related highlight? As the market changes, we as a business must also change with it. When I started, there was a need to catch up with current trends. Now, two years on, we have taken big steps by introducing a self-care range tailored to supermarkets. We have also strengthened partnerships with retailers where needed, found new customers and simplified business through wholesalers.
What can a prospective employee expect when joining the business as a Key Account Manager? When I started at Perrigo I wanted two things. On the one hand, I wanted to improve the business with the knowledge and experience I had previously gained. On the other hand, I wanted to learn a lot more. Today, I still feel that I find a good balance between both.
What does someone need to be successful within the Key Account Manager position? Because you will be given a lot of independence and responsibility, a future colleague already needs the necessary maturity. In addition, entrepreneurship and a positive attitude are two must-haves so that together we can make the business grow. There must also be a willingness to learn, adapt and apply.
What is your favourite part about the sales function? I enjoy the freedom and credibility I get from my management. This way I have maximum impact on the business. It's also nice to be part of one big team: out together, home together!
We are always looking for passionate, dedicated people to join our teams at Perrigo. Take your next career step today and check out our live vacancies!