THOUGHT PIECE the carling team

Spirits National Sales/Account Manager Job Description


The national sales/account manager is one of the most senior sales roles at a distillery. Their primary responsibility is to increase sales for the distillery and develop customer relationships. The types of customers they will frequently liaise with include wholesale liquor distributors, retail stores and pub operators.

They must take responsibility for the design and implementation of the distillery’s sales strategy. They will direct a team of salespeople to implement this strategy while sharing their extensive sales knowledge with their team.

This is a pivotal role in a distillery and their ability to do their job well can determine the long-term success of the distillery.


Some of the key responsibilities of a national sales/account manager for a distillery include:

• Grow the popularity of the company’s products within designated trade channels
Their chief responsibility is to foster more sales for the products produced by the distillery in designated trade channels.
• Present strong branding to drive growth in existing and new markets
The national sales/account manager will ensure that the distillery’s brand is well-represented and effective at growing sales. They must nurture the distillery’s brands so they become instantly recognisable and in-demand within the liquor industry.
• Profit and loss responsibility within each trade channel
They must monitor the net income after expenses for each distillery product within each trade channel. Based on that data, they will help decide how company resources should be allocated.
• Liaise with customers in a positive and effective way
The national sales/account manager excels at keeping customers happy! They will solve problems for customers, inform them of new products, and ensure customers have a plentiful supply of products and much more.
• Managing the sales team
They are responsible for ensuring the sales team is working effectively and generating sales. The national sales/account manager will share his or her extensive knowledge with the sales team, making them a more effective sales force for the distillery.
• Achieve sales targets
Quarterly sales targets for value and volume must be met by the national sales/account manager. They have a deep understanding of how to track sales and make improvements to meet those targets.
• Manage budgets
The national sales/account manager will manage budgets for the sales team and their activities, alongside marketing budgets.
• Create account generation plans that are appropriate for the long-term direction of the company
They will chase and obtain the appropriate types of accounts for the distillery’s products and level of development.
• Create sales plans for different regions and territories that align with the distillery’s objectives
The national sales/account manager must create sales plans targeting specific regions and territories. These plans must closely align with the sales targets and objectives of the distillery.
• Position each brand appropriately in the market
Each brand produced by the distillery will have a specific role in the distillery’s portfolio of products. The national sales/account manager must appropriately market each brand in a way that matches its unique role. They will take into account brand positioning, brand value and the appropriate sales volume for each brand.
• Work with regional sales teams
They must co-ordinate account planning sessions with regional sales teams.
• Perform all work in accordance with the distillery’s values and code of ethics


A national sales/account manager should have a degree in sales, marketing or business.

Work Experience

They must have a minimum of 5-years’ experience in sales within the spirits industry. Ideally, they should have experience managing a team and managing a budget.

Key Skills

• Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
• Excellent sales and negotiation skills
• The ability to influence people
• High-level sales and negotiation skills
• Enthusiasm for spirits
• Information technology skills
• The ability to create budgets and sales reports
• Team leadership skills and the ability to inspire other staff
• Strong organisational and planning skill

The Carling Partnership offers a range of specialist jobs for a wide range of companies exclusively in the distilling drinks industry.


What is the primary role of a national sales/account manager in a distillery?

The principal role of a national sales/account manager in a distillery is to drive sales growth and develop strong customer relationships with key stakeholders such as wholesale liquor distributors, retail stores, and pub operators. They are tasked with creating and executing the sales strategy of the distillery and nurturing the company’s brands in the market.

What are the core responsibilities of a national sales/account manager?

The national sales/account manager’s responsibilities include increasing the distillery’s product popularity across trade channels, enhancing brand representation, managing profit and loss for each product line, engaging positively with customers, leading the sales team, meeting sales targets, managing budgets, developing long-term account generation plans, crafting territory-specific sales plans, positioning each brand correctly in the market, and collaborating with regional sales teams.

What educational qualifications are required for a national sales/account manager in the spirits industry?

A degree in sales, marketing, or business is generally required for someone to qualify as a national sales/account manager in the distillery industry.

How much experience is needed to be a national sales/account manager at a distillery?

A candidate should have a minimum of 5 years’ experience in sales, particularly within the spirits industry, and ideally experience in team management and budget oversight.

What key skills should a national sales/account manager possess?

A national sales/account manager should have exceptional communication and negotiation abilities, persuasive skills, enthusiasm for the spirits industry, proficiency in IT, budgeting and reporting skills, leadership qualities, and strong organizational and planning capabilities.