National Sales Manager – Building Product Manufacturer


Collingwood’s client is the largest UK manufacturer of door-sets in the housing marketplace. Established over 40 years ago, they are renowned for their enviable service and product quality. Along with this, they work incredibly hard to ensure their products reach the Code for Sustainable Homes criteria.


Established and recognised as the leading manufacturer within both the social housing and house-builder markets, the Managing Director realised that there was no reason why their portfolio should not be equally well received within the fabricator/trade marketplace.


There was, therefore, a need to bring a National Sales Manager, whose experience had been gained in the trade arena. Initially a standalone role, our client needed a strong business development individual who, in the medium term, could grow the sector, whilst at the same time recruiting and managing a team.


Having used database agencies historically, the client was keen to bring on-board a headhunting company who could map out the fabricator selling and manufacturer market and run an extensive headhunt based on this research. 

Having met with the client to fully understand their needs, Collingwood produced an assignment specification. This included company information, job description, candidate profile and remuneration package details.

Using their experience and knowledge of the industry, our consultant compiled and presented a list of target companies to the client. From this agreed list, some 110 key individuals were identified and approached confidentially to discuss the opportunity. Having met with 11 longlisted individuals a short list of 7 was presented to the client – this is a larger number than Collingwood would ordinarily present, but as the client was new to the market, collectively we felt it best to offer a broad range of quality potentials. The client chose to interview all 7, with 3 being taken to final stage. 


On meeting the 3 candidates, the Managing Director stated he could ultimately have offered any one of them the role due to their experience and strategic management. One was however highlighted as an outstanding candidate and offered the role with Collingwood managing the process through to their successful start.

Upon speaking with the incumbent, a year in the Sales Manager is on schedule to not only achieve initially agreed targets, but has already had confirmation he has budget to recruit two Regional Sales Managers to further develop their coverage nationally. In addition, the company are looking to invest in additional marketing resource within his target market. 


The brief from the then owner was clear – already market leaders within the composite door house builder market, this manufacturer wanted a foothold into the trade (fabricator / installer) market. 

Having spent the latter part of his career solely in the trade arena, the new manager spent the first six months analysing the manufacturer's ability to penetrate the market. He then realigned numerous manufacturing materials, systems and marketing collateral (to include a new website) to better suit the direct nature of selling to trade. This led to the new venture going live around a year into him starting.

He has now built this division to a team of four external sales personnel who have generated sales to take the manufacturing site to full capacity. Due to this, he has gained promotion and now also manages the New Build and Social Housing markets. He is now responsible for c. £50 million of sales.