International Sales Manager - Polymers/Speciality Chemicals
Newly-created opportunity to join a market leading Specialty Chemical Manufacturing business. This well established, privately owned business has constantly kept ahead of competition, and has a clear focus on technical input and product innovation to become top, second or third largest supplier in all markets they exist within. Quality of product and service is at the core of the business, they were one of the first chemical manufacturers to gain ISO9002 over 30 years ago and added BS EN ISO 9001:2000 in 2001, then ISO 14001 in 2013.
Technical awareness and knowledge has long been a strength of the business and has led the business to some of the largest supplier contracts in the world in their sector(s), but their commercial structure and capability has underpinned their growth and driven the long-term success of the business.
The business is achieving well-above industry average EBITDA figures, but is focused on re-investing heavily into the business to continue and accelerate its growth and financial might. They invest significantly in both process technology and in personnel to ensure the highest of standard of both product and service are maintained.
Recent growth and ongoing hunger for further growth has led to the desire to recruit a commercial executive to focus on increasing the business’ presence and commercial performance in North America, as well as key account development in the UK and Europe, working closely with existing distributors (US & EU), leveraging existing global contacts/customers with international/US operations/headquarters, as well as developing new relationships.
The appointee will report into a newly appointed Sales Director, supporting him directly and playing a key role in his plans for ongoing succession planning within the sales/commercial teams.
The appointee will take a high degree of autonomy in the management, development and leadership of their key market, but with the full support of the Board and the parent Group. The successful candidate will design, develop and implement a clear strategy to profitably expand the sales in their territory/ies both through established distribution networks and, crucially, through direct sales where appropriate. They will be tasked with the management of the appointed distributors (and revising/adding to them where appropriate) as well as additionally growing sales through direct & key accounts across all territories to achieve the agreed profitability and sales targets as well as on-going performance.
But this is not a stand-still role. The appointee will be seen as part of the continuous development (and succession planning) strategy to broaden their role, develop their career and increase their input across the global business.
Duties and Responsibilities
- To determine, in conjunction with the distributor(s), the best strategy to develop profitable sales and maximise the benefits of the product portfolio and the brand and service into the North American market
- To liaise, negotiate and help distributors/customers with the selection of the correct products based upon commercial and technical aspects
- To develop and maintain mutually beneficial working relationships with distributors/customers
- To provide the required information to ensure timely and accurate communications, ensuring that your function is consistently presented to a high level to promote a professional image to the internal and external customer
- To take a lead role in developing both direct and key accounts across all territories, especially amongst legacy UK/EU customers
- To monitor, in conjunction with the credit controller, the payment record and credit worthiness of all distributors and customers to ensure timely payments
- To plan and prepare sales forecasts and budgets and ensure that sales profitability, volume and budget objectives are achieved
- Ensure that all management information is produced and distributed within the stated deadlines
- Proactively work towards the achievement of the company overall budgets and forecasts
- To ensure that limits of authority and sign off levels are adhered to
Business Processes & Safety:
- Ensure all policies and procedures are adhered to and to ensure that controls are effective
- Ensure that you are aware and comply with all company policies including health and safety
- Undertake regular reviews of your function to improve customer service, performance and productivity
Specific Performance Deliverables and KPIs:
- The sales and profitable performance of the Company and in particular, your designated market(s)
- Meeting various deadlines and agreed targets
- Accuracy of budgets and forecasts
- Customer satisfaction performance of your function
- Implementation of cost reduction solutions where appropriate
- Improvement and delivery of management information
- Results/Sales driven customer service focus
- Leadership capabilities
- Planning and monitoring
- Judgement and decision-making
- Forward planning
- Excellent verbal and written communication, consulting and networking skills
- Excellent negotiation and numeracy skills
- Ability to work within a team
- Excellent people management skills
- Ability to prioritise workloads, meet deadlines and maintain accuracy at all times
- Ability to work independently and with the vision to ensure customer development
- Must be able to travel internationally
Qualifications & Experience:
- Preferably degree educated and/or technical exposure to a specialty chemical/polymer product or process
- Experience of international sales, as well as the management of distributors and agents, with significant exposure to the US market – preferably with extensive travel in the US
- Experience of selling ‘value added’, technical manufactured products
- Demonstrated ability to lead process changes
- Ability to tailor communications to the appropriate (US) audience
This is a career defining, fantastic opportunity for an experienced, operationally aware and commercial business development professional.
Suitable candidates will be experienced Sales Professionals with demonstrable business development, commercial and operational capability. They will crucially have had commercial/sales exposure within North America, and will have worked with/set-up distributor networks there. They will be used to travelling for a week per month or so, and know what it takes to be high-performing and self-managing whilst on international duties.
The appointee will have worked within in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial, international commercial environment. They will have designed commercial sales and business development strategies, worked closely with operations and technical teams in designing solutions and have had success in doing so. They will be ready to take that step up to lead the expansion into one of world’s biggest markets.
The successful candidate will have had extensive experience of controlling the entire sales cycle, both directly and through distributor networks, and doing so with high levels of autonomy and commerciality. They will have significant entrepreneurial ability and desire, and be hugely excited by a very fast paced environment, thick with USPs – technical strength is underpinned by a real “Just Do It” attitude.