Recruiting the Right National Account Manager for Your Vape Business

Here at Parna we’ve been deeply involved in vape recruitment for the past five years, during which the industry has transformed in a massive number of ways, each new one more earthshaking than the last. The latest of these developments relates to high street engagement, and the slow spread of supermarkets willingly welcoming independently owned E-liquid brands. If you’re a hungry vape business looking for advice on how to better broach the retail market — particularly the big four — then look no further.

Before now the majority of vape brands , such as Logic, Blu and Ten Motives in Asda, Tescos, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have been owned by well established tobacco companies. However, during our research for vape recruitment we’ve seen a number of independently owned vape companies list, such as Dinner Lady, Doozy Vapes and Juul. This isn’t easy by any means, but there are a handful of simple steps you can take to better position yourself to expand into the high street. Read our tips on how to recruit the right national account manager, and why it can have such an impact.

Clear Vision
Be clear on exactly which doors you want to open and enter with your eyes open. Successfully entering a working relationship with the big four comes at a substantial cost, and isn’t necessarily the best route for your vape business. Similarly, selling to forecourts and buying groups also comes with its own challenges, so make sure you have a clear understanding of the lay of the land before committing to a national account manager.

Doors
Once you’ve cleared your vision and ensured you’ve got the bank balance to match your goals, think about the profile of your national account manager. Are you looking for someone to open doors for you, or will your sales director be handling this whilst the NAM manages any already open doors? The profile for each is very different.

Look outside of the vape industry
Remember, the vape industry is still in its relative infancy. In our experience looking for a seasoned NAM within this field is like looking for a needle in a haystack, and by limiting yourself you miss out on valuable candidates. There are plenty of accomplished NAMs who have transferable skills that will add value to your vape company — don’t ignore them.

Culture fit
Corporate businesses run totally differently to SMEs, and not just because of resources and scale. Culture is shaped by these factors and more, meaning that the right candidate has to align with your core principles as a brand. In a vape start-up people regularly multi-role, whilst a giant corporation will have clearly defined job positions and an all-singing, all-dancing CRM system. The candidate needs to be fully aware of these differences. Don’t assume they know this.

Pay well!
A good NAM who fits both the company culture and the accounts you are looking to manage is worth their weight in gold. Once you’ve spent time and money developing this person, and they in turn have developed relationships for you, the last thing you want is for them to be poached by a competitor. As ever, you get what you pay for.

Here at Parna we’ve built national account teams for a number of vape businesses. If you are looking for more advice, you can call us directly with a Vape NAM expert at: 0121 227 4690