Name – Cassandra Fox
Age – 32
Job role – Sales Operations Assistant Manager
Company – Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd
Summary of current job role:
I joined Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd in November 2002 on the Graduate Program. Since September 2008 I have been working in the sales department at Nissan as Sales Operations Assistant Manager, reporting to the Sales Operations and Vehicle Distribution Manager. My primary responsibly is to manage the Sales Operations team, which consists of six employees, and ensure that all of the department’s objectives are achieved in a timely and accurate manner.
How did you get into the job?
My first role at Nissan was in the Network Development Department where I was involved in the daily management of Nissan’s customer satisfaction survey and mystery shop programme for new vehicle sales and aftersales. I was responsible for calculating and processing the dealer bonuses related to customer satisfaction and mystery shopper scores and for developing reports that highlighted poor performing dealers, therefore enabling the field force to develop action plans with these dealers to improve their scores. This led to my second role at Nissan as Sales Reporting and Forecasting Controller, which provided exposure to all aspects of the business. My key objective was to provide concise reporting and analysis, enabling top level management to quickly understand current trends and opportunities. Specific responsibilities included tracking and reporting Nissan’s performance vs. the business plan, forecast and key competitors, forecasting the UK market by segment, analysing market trends across vehicle segments and the development of weekly, monthly and ad-hoc reports for the Executive Board and Nissan Europe. I then progressed my way to National Advertising and Sales Promotion Controller.
What kinds of training have you received to succeed in the role?
My third controller position at Nissan was in the Marketing department. This role significantly improved my knowledge of the industry as it was a challenging role in a new area of the business. I was responsible for all amendments to Nissan’s national advertising, from TV to print and for ensuring that these were supplied to the relevant media owner correctly and on time. I was involved in developing Nissan’s quarterly tactical advertising campaigns and was responsible for developing and delivering the national advertising element, including any sales promotional activity, such as test drive incentives.
Why did this career path appeal to you?
In the six and a half years that I have worked at Nissan I have been lucky to have worked in a number of different departments. What attracted me to the Sales Operations Assistant Manager job was the interaction with different departments and the dealer network, something I knew I would enjoy and something that I felt confident about due to my previous experience. I was also attracted by the responsibility of the role, due to the significant scale of the payments processed to the dealer network, and the people management aspect of the job. I had previously only managed one employee so I knew that managing a team of six would really help to develop my skills.
Having now been in the job for nearly a year I am finding the role both challenging and extremely rewarding. Along with the cross functional nature of the job and the team management aspect, I particularly enjoy the fact that myself and the team are often involved in new and exciting schemes both at Nissan and within the industry. This has been particularly true over the last year as the automotive industry has battled the current tough market conditions and it has been vital to be able to adapt our systems to new incentives and programmes. An excellent example is the Government Scrappage Incentive Scheme. I was tasked with quickly understanding the rules, advising the dealer network on submissions, checking and submitting data to the government, ensuring prompt payments and training a new member of staff to take on all the day to day responsibilities of the scheme such as dealer queries. This has been a challenge and a lot of work, but it has been very satisfying to be involved in such a significant project.