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Ford & Stanley Executive

Opportunity Brief: Sales Director

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK, Engineering, General Manufacturing, Envirotech & Digital Industries.

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed by AME Group on a retained search for a Sales Director to help drive their ambitious growth plans over the next five years.

Below you will find an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meeting (Situational Discovery) held between the Business Manager of F&S Executive Search, Senior Consultant of F&S Executive Search & the Managing Director of AME Group. This brief is designed to give candidates a deeper insight into the opportunity inherent within the role, the challenges the role presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Statements:

We are looking to bring in a Sales Director who will build upon the impressive growth we have experienced the past 3 years by strengthening current client relationships as well as using their knowledge to explore avenues of work with new businesses”.

“Full autonomy will be given in driving the direction of their sales strategy including what businesses to target within the current industries in which we operate as well as what markets should AME look to break into with this role being at the forefront of this”

“With this role having a position on the board there is a real opportunity to influence business decisions that will impact upon the long term strategy and success of the organisation”

“We are looking for someone who, like us, is hands on and passionate about going ‘above and beyond’ when dealing with clients old and new. We want to provide the red-carpet service that goes hand in hand with the quality of products we provide”

“Ultimately, what we really need is a driven sales professional who can cross-sell across our innovative product range and service offering whilst simultaneously leading, motivating and developing our sales team”

Challenges expected within the first 12 months include:

  • There will be an expectation to challenge current methods of working and create a culture of accountability on output of activities within the team.
  • Due to AME’s broad product offering, dedicated time will be required to get to grips with each product to understand their application and strategically seek out opportunities in the market.
  • AME are expecting to continue their growth trajectory. This naturally comes with a requirement to expand on the client base and improve cross selling within the current client base therefore it is expected the successful candidate will feel the pressure to grow the business.

Key deliverables within the first 12 months include:

  • Established your own pipeline of Incoming revenue from your own activities to the value of £500k+
  • Noticeable change and increase in performance from the sales team you are leading and managing.
  • Evidence a smoother ‘cross selling’ process, awareness and collaboration throughout the business.
Agreed Hard Skills for candidates to secure an interview:
  • Ability to lead from the front and personally generate healthy pipeline of opportunity with a proven track record of results.
  • Able to provide consistent examples of ‘going above and beyond’ client expectations.
  • Previous exposure working within an SME business and managing a small sales team.
  • Experience of developing sales staff along with driving increased output and performance.
  • Track record of ‘coming through the ranks’, able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the team.
  • Proven ability to set effective KPI’s, processes and strategy for the sales team.
  • Experience working in Manufacturing, Engineering, 3D Printing, Prototyping businesses (or similar).
  • Experience or background in similar products and services to what AME offer.
  • Ability to travel nationally on a frequent basis. 

Agreed Soft Skills for candidates to secure an interview:

  • Open and honest communicator, able to motivate teams to go above and beyond to excel in their sales activity.
  • Keen to work and thrive in a collaborative environment and ‘flat structure’.
  • An understanding that leading from the front with energy is key, we are looking for a ‘do-er’.
  • Keen to take the time to understand AME and take a genuine interest in its products.

Good to know:

  • AME Group is currently tracking to be £1.6m in size and forecasting growth of 35% this year through both new clients and increased CRM activity.
  • Headcount for the business sits at 21.
  • Primarily, AME Group sell into automotive, aircraft seating, defence, TV & Film, and medical & Lab Equipment.
  • There will be significant support and mentorship available for the incoming Sales Director to gain an understanding of the business, markets and upskill themselves.
  • The expectation is that the incoming Sales Director will hold a position on the board of directors and as such, will have a significant input in the design and strategy behind AME Group’s growth plans.
  • The plan is for this role to report directly into the MD (Who also has production, design, and marketing duties) and take responsibility for 4.5 heads in sales.
  • AME are currently split into 2 sales units; 3D – which sell higher quantities of products (£1800 – £2000 average order value) and Design – which concentrate on bigger projects (£5,000 – £6,000 average order value).
  • The current sales team is split with 3 focusing on 3D (Account Management, new business – predominantly automotive, and existing clients), 1 part time telesales and another allocated to Design.
  • AME have a monthly ‘run rate’ (incoming revenue) of around £145k (£120k – 3D and £25k – Design).
  • Notable clients include JLR, Reckitt Benckiser and Fellows.
  • 70% of AME’s run rate comes from 6 ‘top’ clients with around 70 clients overall.
  • AME culture is very ‘informal’ and ‘relaxed’ with a real emphasis on togetherness in place. All the management team operate an ‘open door policy’.
  • There is an expectation that this individual will come from an engineer consultancy or similar.
  • There is significant flexibility available for the right person with the emphasis on getting the best candidates into the business.
  • Although it would be beneficial, there is no need for this person to be ‘tech savvy’, there is significant expertise inhouse to enable the incoming Sales Director to be quickly brought up to speed.
  • The incoming Sales Director will have significant involvement in the design of future strategy and trajectory of AME Group in line with their role.
  • This role is ideal for someone who has practical experience in a role of this level or someone who is ready to make ‘the next step’ in their career.

About AME Group:

Going about a busy day, you might well use one of the diverse range of products our product design consultancy have had a creative hand in developing. It could be a bar of soap, part of your office chair, or a complex component in your car.

AME Group were set up in 1996 from Managing Director Ian Jones’ kitchen table after he was made redundant from his job with British Coal. Since then, we have evolved to become one of the UK’s leading and most innovative product design consultancies. Our studio and workshops now stand on the former site of a Yorkshire colliery. Our many clients, both here in the UK and internationally, range in stature from large blue-chip companies to sole trader start-ups, and span sectors from fast-moving consumer goods to medical and automotive.

We believe our strength lies in the scope and flexibility of our product design process. We provide expert product development and design services alongside full in-house rapid prototyping, using the very latest technologies and materials to produce one-off verification prototypes, fully finished appearance models or low volume production solutions.

Our product design consultancy has the capability to be involved at every stage of the new product development process – from idea generation, product development to rapid prototyping. We are equally adept at working with clients as and when required at various stages along the way.

Our aim is to find solutions that match individual needs. Our staff have a wealth and depth of experience to apply to every project embarked upon, and we are genuinely passionate about bringing ideas to life, however challenging the journey might be. AME firmly believe in building long-term relationships based on trust. Our approach is personable, straightforward, and professional. Many of our clients come back to us again and again and have now become our friends.


  • Salary Brackets – Low £60,000/ Mid £70,000/ Top end £80,000 for exceptional candidates that meet/exceed all essentials and desirables.
  • Car/Car allowance – £8,400/£700 per month.
  • Performance-related bonus on agreed objectives/sales (Circa 20%)
  • Pension – 5% contribution matched.
  • Westfield healthcare (individual)
  • 25 days holiday plus bank holidays.
  • Annual salary reviews.

Likely Job Titles:

Likely current job titles of candidates: Sales Director, Head of Sales, Account Manager, BDM, Sales Manager, Business Development Director, Head of Business Development, Sales Manager.

Working Arrangements & Location:

AME are based just outside of Sheffield in a modern and welcoming office in keeping with the company image. AME provide hybrid working solutions for all their staff with the option to go into the office 2 days a week to establish an onsite presence.

The interview process:

  • 1st stage interview virtually between the you and Richard Proctor (MD). Plan around an hour or so to go through your experience, suitability for the role, AME and its plan moving forwards.
  • Second stage face to face meeting with Richard Proctor, a member of the sales team and potentially further executive leadership. This will include a presentation whose topic will be disclosed later (NDA’s to be signed beforehand)
  • Final stage meeting either virtually or ideally onsite for an informal meeting with Richard Proctor and/or board members.

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Tom Norton – Business Manager (Client recommendations/Advisory, negotiations, headhunting and interviewing)
  • Joshua Dunn – Senior Consultant (Headhunting, search, research, longlisting, and interviews)
  • Ralitsa Kuzeva – Executive Research Associate (Diary Management, coordination, candidate experience)

About Ford & Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusive and retained search assignments with forward-thinking and proactive global companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors (who are themselves members of the F&S Group Board) and our in-house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy candidate market.

Ford & Stanley Group Ltd is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all opportunity seekers and approach all opportunity with a mindset of who is right for the job irrespective sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief or political beliefs and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy. We shall adhere to such a policy at all times and will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination.


    • Job type: Permanent
    • Location: Sheffield
    • Date posted:
    • Salary:£60000 - £80000

    This opportunity is being managed by:

    consultant photo

    Joshua Dunn

    Senior Recruitment Consultant