European & Middle Eastern Sales Manager – Cable Management
Privately owned manufacturer within Cable Management who has enjoyed impressive growth. Growing by 33% through the recession they have doubled revenues since 2010. Products are extensively specified in projects ranging from libraries, hospitals, public buildings, educational establishments and commercial buildings, with products pulled through their national electrical wholesale network.
Moving forward there was a hunger from senior management to further develop and grow the business. Investment in capital expenditure projects were on-going (to the value of £2m in new equipment and £4m over recent years). With this infrastructure in place and, being the market leader for cable management manufacturing in the UK, senior management saw an opportunity to develop this offering into Europe. Initial focus would be centred on France and Spain.
THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE
It is envisaged that the successful person would be likely to live in either country, although Collingwood was not to discount strong individuals residing in the UK, who possessed an extensive network into the aforementioned countries. An ongoing two way communication plan was agreed between the Finance Director, Managing Director and Collingwood consultant Mark Goldsmith, where Mark would provide feedback on the market. The manufacturer had never ventured into foreign shores and so their plans for expansion would largely be shaped by feedback on market research into how competitors were trading abroad and from conversations with Country Sales Managers.
Upon agreeing to concentrate the search initially into both France and Spain, due to the potential of opening up trading quickly, Mark Goldsmith researched key competitors working in these countries. Through speaking with targeted individuals, it quickly became apparent that not all products were sold directly to specifiers or wholesalers. In fact over half of those manufacturers trading into Central Europe traded via distributor network. Nonetheless, Collingwood’s client was happy to proceed across the board.
Mark identified 52 individuals and, upon approaching them, networked with a further 21. The client was very willing and able to hold regular updates throughout the process, which allowed both parties to further shape the specification and expectations. Upon exhausting the target list, 10 candidates were shared to outline the breadth of experience available and highlighting those individuals with the gravitas needed to establish business in a new market. This information was broken down in detail by salary bands, revenue generation in different regions / countries and market sector exposure. Mark Goldsmith recommended 5 candidates in particular, travelling to both France and Spain to interview them in full. From here 3 candidates were recommended to the client, ultimately leading to the appointment of 2 individuals being – 1 in France and 1 as an Export Manager with exposure into the Middle East.