K-12 Outside Sales Specialist – Affinity Group – Knoxville, TN

Looking for an opportunity to unleash your savvy selling and business development abilities?

Now’s the time to bring your skills to the Affinity Group, where you get to develop and present clients with a consultative roadmap to enhance their brand and value proposition. Here’s a taste of how you can make your mark for the Affinity Group:

Who we’re looking for

We’re searching for a motivated outside sales pro to be our next K-12 Segment Sales Specialist and is passionate about the K-12 food industry. Reporting to the K-12 Team Lead, this position can be based either in Nashville, Knoxville, or Cookeville, TN.

The candidate must have experience in K-12 education.

Those with a background within K-12 food service and/or K-12 cafeteria operations management will be given top priority.

The selected talent should possess a progressive and consultative selling approach, with a proven ability to influence without authority and be an effective communicator at all levels. You’ll be responsible for sales development for an assigned K-12 market. Activity includes, but is not limited to prospecting, lead generation, managing the sales pipeline, and influencing decision-makers to improve K-12 nutrition.

Our Segment Specialists are goal-getters and passionate “foodies”. To be set up to win, Segment Specialists should have a demonstrated success in outside business development, consultative selling, and/or account relationship management. This position will unleash their proven skills in relationship selling and are not apprehensive about courageously asking for the business to produce outcomes.

The most proficient Segment Specialists will leverage their exceptional communication and creativity skills to present and showcase the incredible food brands our agency represents.


Who we are

Talent. Execution. Results.

The Affinity Group is one of the fastest-growing sales and marketing agencies, with a national presence throughout North America and Canada. Affinity Group represents some of the most recognizable and cherished food manufacturers in the industry.

Supported by the sales support team regionally headquartered in the Queen City of Charlotte, NC Top 6 “Best Places to Live” U.S. News & World Report, you’ll be part of a team that drives brand awareness and increases market demand for Affinity Group clients. Our agency brings decades of expertise and a consultative system that is tailored for a localized approach.


As a K-12 Segment Specialist, a typical week might include the following:


  • Strategy and Execution.
    You’ll be consistently identifying and implementing event/activity plans for your assigned accounts, building awareness of our client’s unique value proposition while presenting features and benefits for the lines we represent to drive inquiry generation. You’ll be using your unique ability to influence high-impact partnerships for your market while diving down to ‘street level’ to execute the daily work via informational virtual presentations, calls, emails, and iterating as needed to maximize value to increase cases shipped.

  • Partner and Influencer.
    Through a variety of mediums, you will use your passion for serving others to provide exceptional sales presentations with a consultative approach for prospective K-12 foodservice directors, school board members, charter organizations, and food service associates, along with local community advocacy groups.
  • Heart and Hustle. This position will have a local office base, combined with working remotely, and ambitious targets! Working independently, you will leverage your out-of-the-box critical thinking skills to support prospective Affinity Group clients through the selling cycle, CRM system, data integrity, and guiding prospects on the right path towards a successful purchasing experience.


The role might be right for you if you have:


  • Credibility.
    3-5 years experience preferably with a food sales and marketing agency, along with food service management in K-12, or with a national food manufacturer.

  • Outstanding time management skills.
    In this role, you’ll wear many hats, so you’ll need to show that not only that you’ve honed your time management skills, but you’re savvy in prioritizing competing priorities even while traveling from location to location.

  • Clear communication skills.
    You can explain just about anything to anyone and you’re comfortable communicating in person, in writing (professionally, no typos), and on the phone. You’ll also need to have incredibly well-developed listening skills.

  • Self-motivation and driven to succeed
    . You raise your hand for new challenges without waiting to be asked. You’re the type that takes ownership of the time you spend with Affinity Group clients and making a difference as their perceived business partner.

  • High emotional intelligence.
    In this role, you’ll interact with a diverse range of Affinity Group clients and business partners, each within unique circumstances. You’ll also be establishing key partner relationships to develop and nurture. A proven ability to demonstrate empathy is key to success in this role and discovering unknown needs.
  • A valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, and a flexible schedule. Since this role requires daily travel throughout your territory, you’ll need a clean driving record and the ability to use your vehicle. Some industry events might require overnights during the food trade show season.

  • Computer literacy.
    As part of a remote workforce, we rely on several digital tools to help you execute your work and keep you accountable. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (required), CRM systems, along with the ability to effectively use virtual presentation tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other cloud-based solutions.

Bonus points if you possess:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Relevant industry related professional experience
  • Experience working with CRM systems


What to expect:

  • The typical work week: Mon thru Fri (8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.)
  • During the food trade show season, the position requires the ability to stand for extended periods, with the ability to safely lift case goods (20-25 lbs.).
  • Travel: Requires daily motor vehicle travel to assigned locations
  • Overnights: 4-5x month (pre-COVID). 1-3x month (COVID).


How we make room for you:


  • Compensation:
    Competitive and non-commission income (no click-down salaries!).

  • Health & Wellness:
    Flexible medical, vision, and dental insurance plans to care for you and your family, including a $15 monthly medical plan.

  • Paid Time Off:
    Along with company paid holidays to unplug and recharge.

  • Telecommuting:
    Flexible work schedule start/end times, telecommuting that includes office from home.

  • Wealth Planning:
    401(k) contribution that supports planning for the future.

  • Wealth Protection:
    Company-paid life insurance, supplemental insurance, along with short/long term coverage to prepare for the unexpected.

  • Perks:
    Plenty of stocked food snacks, samples, and coffee to keep you energized and inspiring you to test drive the brands we represent!

  • Team Building:
    Development meetings and team outings that enable and inspire new conversations, while fostering team relationships.

  • Food Trade Shows:
    During food show season, taste some of the finest cuisines prepared by local culinarians and artisans!

  • Collaboration:
    A workplace environment where your “foodie” passion counts! If there’s a better way to build it or do it, your viewpoint matters.

  • Empowerment:
    Opportunity to be trusted and empowered to take charge of your area of responsibility.


Our culture

Starting in 2014, we’re just a team of sales pros, business development chasers, and creative marketing designers that came together with the goal to disrupt and re-engineer how a sales and marketing agency represents clients within the food, beverage, and retail verticals.

As a premier food and beverage agency, we know our “secret sauce” is our people. The Affinity Group culture can be described as #flexible, #accommodating, #creative, and #activating.

Our people are empowered not to wait for things to happen, but to make things happen! We believe for us to continue being a forward-thinking and progressive organization, we must honor and learn from our past but remain hyper-focused on our future. Forget about “culture fit”; we’re looking for the very best, qualified, and diverse talent that will be a “culture add” to the Affinity Group team!


The Affinity Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.
All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.

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Source: Indeed.com
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