April 2018

Sales Director role with exciting, growing, mid-sized food business

The Role

The Sales Director reports to the MD, and leads a group of focussed account managers, with customer responsibilities predominantly split across the major grocers;

  • Salary: Strong base and wider corporate package.
  • Location: North West, UK

Key Responsibilities of the role include:

  • Lead the design and delivery of the Sales strategy.
  • Determining the Sales vision and building the strategic ‘3 year’ and ‘annual’ plan to achieve sustainable, profitable growth for the business.
  • Leading their team to deliver the budgeted sales and profit targets, through building and maintaining strategic partnerships with customers.
  • Maximise growth from existing customers, identifying and converting commercial and category opportunities.
  • Prioritise the ‘new business’ opportunities, design and implement a robust conversion plan, ensuring all stakeholders understand the importance of this plan and their accountability within it.
  • Build strong professional relationships with their customers, ensuring joint alignment on commercial plans.
  • In partnership with the Marketing Director, provide a platform to develop the brand and category penetration.
  • Drive ongoing profit growth through prudent investment and cost recovery.
  • Build and subsequently drive the execution of a robust category plan.
  • Being a highly visible figurehead for the business, both internally but equally across the wider UK retail landscape.
  • Providing the energy, support and challenge to ensure the brand meets the high expectations of retailers, consumers and internal stakeholders.
  • Creating a structure and culture that constantly identifies and actions improvement opportunities.
  • Ensure that there is a strong collaboration between the sales, marketing, NPD, innovation and operations functions.
  • Playing a key strategic role in the business’s ambitious plans.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • The business is seeking an individual with strong and deep commercial capability, someone who is already an established Sales leader. It is essential that the individual has the capability and experience to successfully operate at Board level, bringing challenge, rigour and pace to the senior team.
  • They will need to be able to flex their approach, shifting from providing a hands-on approach through to developing strategic plans. Individuals are very likely to be currently working in a branded food business. Individuals with a private label background must be able to demonstrate that their, likely, customer-centric approach can be leveraged in a branded environment.
  • The right character for this role will be able to quickly win the respect of the sales team and the wider business with their energy, knowledge and ambition.

Specific experience would include:

  • Proven sales leader with excellent commercial expertise and a deep understanding of the UK retail landscape. The individual must have proven experience in ‘grocery’ but also the convenience, impulse, wholesale, food-service and out-of-home channels.
  • The individual will have built a strong career in sales/commercial roles before progressing to senior management. In essence, at least 5 years’ credible leadership experience from well-known, complex and entrepreneurial FMCG environments.
  • Strong commercial acumen, able to build close relationships with key customers and understand their business whilst identifying longer term opportunities in new products and channels.
  • Demonstrable, deep experience in category development, even if the specific design and implementation had not directly been their responsibility.
  • A leader with strong ambition and the intellectual capability to lead on a wide range of commercial activities.
  • Proven experience in building the Sales strategy for a business, prioritising opportunities effectively, constructing initiatives to deliver the vision and obtaining buy-in from all stakeholders and colleagues.
  • An open and progressive leadership style, being highly visible throughout the business, and immediately identified as a figurehead. A willingness to build relationships with team members at all levels, from factory floor to boardroom.
  • A high level of pragmatism and realism with strong interpersonal skills. Outstanding communicator with a proven ability to listen, probe and influence to unite and motivate behind collectively agreed objectives.
  • Ability to build, develop and lead a great team. Past experience in bringing stability, focus and pace to an in-situ Sales function would be an advantage.
  • The individual will need to have strong emotional intelligence to successfully transition the team during a period of significant change as the business moves into the next phase of their development.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss in more detail