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Ford & Stanley Executive

Opportunity Brief:  Sales & Business Development Director

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

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed by our Client on a retained search for a pragmatic and inspirational sales leader who isn’t afraid to “roll their sleeves” up and drive new business from the front, also holding the gravitas and executive maturity to operate at a strategic level. 

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, Managing Consultant of F&S Executive Search & the Managing Director and Group HR Director. 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:

“Integral to the continuous growth, reputation and capability of our business is the appointment of a pragmatic and product focused Sales & Business Development Director. Someone who will be the catalyst in driving growth in new business streams for the company.

“This individual will need to be hands and lead a highly capable sales team from the front, diligently balancing this, with larger strategic decision making. We need someone who has a product management mindset and isn’t afraid to form business cases to drive innovation in new product lines, based off market dynamics.”

“Ultimately, we have a strong foundation to build upon and need to focus on diversifying our customer base, with a focus Automation and Robotics. For a capable Sales & Business Development Director, this is an opportunity-rich environment, and we see this role as integral to our proactive and strategic expansion.”

The Opportunity

Challenges expected within the first 12 months include:

  • There is an expectation that the Sales Director will be able to lead the expansion of services into new revenue streams. This isn’t a mature revenue stream and will include the need for identification of opportunities, mapping of the market and delivery of the full sales lifecycle.
  • The Sales Director will be expected to ‘wear a number of hats’ that will at times be out of their remit. This is typical within SME Businesses and will require the incumbent to be fairly agile.
  • We anticipate that there is opportunity to increase output from the existing sales team. It will be vital that this is carefully balanced with the building of new relationships within the business.

Key deliverables within the first 12 months include:

  • Successful completion of the business plan for new venue streams including sight of first orders.
  • Complete a succession planning exercise within the sales team that enables growth.
  • Successfully establish a way of working that allows the Sales Director to balance day-to-day requirements of the role with longer-term strategic responsibilities.

Working Arrangements & Location:

It is expected that you will spend 2 days in the company’s office in South Yorkshire and the remaining 2/3 days out visiting prospect clients where appropriate.

Agreed Hard Skills for candidates to secure an interview:

  • Experience in selling into heavy manufacturing sectors.
  • Capability and track record of opening up new revenue streams into businesses.
  • Proven ability to lead and manage teams of sales professionals.
  • Complete with an engineering background or appreciation for engineering processes and procedures.
  • Capable of working at all levels within the sales team (Cradle to grave).
  • Experience or exposure to product management methodologies, principles and procedures.
  • Exposure to a desirable revenue stream (Robotics, Automation or similar).

Agreed Soft Skills for candidates to secure an interview:

  • Able to be agile within the role and business, ‘spinning plates’.
  • A hands-on professional, keen to ‘roll their sleeves up’.
  • Leader and Manager capable of inspiring and motivating a team.
  • Both social and respectful, able to fit into the ‘friendly’ culture.

Our Client’s Interview Process:

  • 1st Stage interview to be held via teams with Group HR Director & MD.
  • 2nd Stage interview will be on-site with Group MD, UTG and Group HR Director

Ford & Stanley Interview Process:

  • 1st Stage – Candidate Discovery: An open, conversational and consultative discussion where interested candidates are assessed on their suitability for the role in the context of the above and challenged on how the opportunity lines up with their career aspirations, motivations, financial expectations and personal circumstances.
  • 2nd Stage – The ‘shortlist’: Candidates are asked to reflect on the candidate discovery discussion, take time to reflect on the opportunity and undertake subsequent research on the client business reporting back on their thoughts, questions and providing additional specific information on their suitability (if applicable). Final checks of role, package and logistical alignments made.

Good to know:

  • The role will report into the MD.
  • The headcount of the business is currently circa 30 with the potential to grow to 50 should the business hit its growth potential.
  • The business fluctuates between £3m – £5m turnover with a peak of £5.7m and a target of £10m turnover within two years.
  • The current incumbent has been in the business for 7.5 years and done a good job building out the capability and market presence (notably growing the team from 1 to 4).
  • We are keen to secure a Sales Director that is capable of being both hands on and strategic, able to operate within all areas of the sales and business development function.
  • The sales team within the business have a strong base and understanding within the mechanical and engineering solutions space although we do expect that there is opportunity to increase productivity within the team.
  • We are keen to utilise this opportunity to identify a Sales Director who can add additional value in exploring new revenue streams for the business (Advanced Robotics and/or Automation).
  • Notably exploring new markets is a relatively cold start and will include business cases and market mapping. As such securing a Sales Director with a solid understanding of Product Management principles will be valuable to the success of this role.
  • As is with most SME’s, there is a small leadership team in place where the expectation is that all members are prepared to ‘roll their sleeves up’ and get stuck in.
  • We see this role as being the catalyst to building stronger relationships between the sales team and operations internally. The company are focused on taking this from “Good” to “Great”.
  • There are a total of three direct reports in the team currently, split between account management, sales and business development.
  • Worth noting that we expect two of the three team members to be exploring retirement in the not-too-distant future and as such, there is a need for succession planning.
  • The team have been working hard to continue to develop the culture within the business to a collaborative ‘we’re all in this together’ approach. We have made good progress with this and are looking to add someone with a similar mindset to the business.
  • The culture within the business is good and there is a real genuine excitement about the potential growth of the business.
  • Important to note that we are expecting this individual to hit the ground running and work to achieve results for the business fairly quickly.
  • The business is centred around producing precision mechanical and engineering tooling solutions for big, high value manufacturers that include the likes of Hitachi and Rolls Royce.
  • The business has ambitions to build a core product offering which supports less of a focus on greenfield, bespoke solutions. This role will be pivotal in understanding the market demands for this, and ensure an accurate balance is achieved.
  • Two notable products that are likely to be ready for production by Jan 2025 are the smart bench and gauge, both aimed at increasing productivity.
  • The role is based in South Yorkshire, and it is expected that the individual will spend two days a week there with the other three flexible to allow for client visits.


Low £75,000/ Mid £82,500/ Top end £87,000

Supporting benefits:

  • Salary reviews: Annually
  • Car Allowance: £482 per calendar month
  • Holidays: 25 days & 8 Statutory
  • Pension: 5% employee contributions, 3% employer contributions into DC pension scheme
  • Sick Pay: Up to 1 year – SSP only, 1-2 years – 4 weeks full / 4 weeks half pay, 2-4 years – 8 weeks full / 8 weeks half, over 4 years – 13 weeks full/ 13 weeks half pay.
  • Life Assurance: Death in service x4 times salary if join DC pension, if join AE scheme x1 times salary
  • Private Healthcare: For you and your family
  • Bonus to be flexed between 10% and 40% depending on basic salary

Likely Job Titles:

Head of Sales, Head of Business Development, Head of Client Development, Sales Director, Account Director, Business Development Director

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Tom Norton – Business Manager (Client Recommendations/Advisory, Offer Negotiations, Headhunting, Networking)
  • Billy Jackson – Managing Consultant (Shortlisting, Offer Negotiations, Headhunting, Networking, Research, Search, Longlisting, Interviews, Data & Market Intel)
  • Ralitsa Kuzeva – Executive Assistant (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: South Yorkshire
    • Date posted:
    • Salary:£75000 - £87000

    This opportunity is being managed by:

    consultant photo

    Billy Jackson

    Managing Consultant


    Telephone 01332 344 443