Sales Director

API Manufacturer
c£100-120,000 plus performance-based earnings and exec package

A career-defining opportunity, based with a market leading API manufacturer, supplying both the Pharmaceutical/Nutraceutical and F&B markets. This high performing, high growth, privately owned business has kept constantly ahead of competition with a strong reputation and enviable client list across the globe, but are focused on developing and reaching even greater success through significant investment through capital expenditure, and people.

Targeting their efforts on product innovation, keeping pace with, and ultimately outpacing their already highly evolving marketplace(s), they are developing a strong focus on scientific/technical input in order to drive new product innovation, along with support from the very top of the business, with the aim of cementing a strong commercial and operational foundation based on quality of product, as well as service.

The board has set about an accelerated new product development strategy along with an ambitious international expansion program to drive exponential growth, bringing new products to market over the medium term, which will in turn bring further investment in technologies and inorganic growth opportunities by leveraging the commercial channels set up in the short-term.

The business is performing well. They are cash rich, debt free and with significant investment capital available. Turnover has increased by 50% over the last 5 years, during which time GP increased to 75% and EBITDA almost doubled.

There does however exist significant appetite to accelerate those growth achievements within the business, seeking to more than double both turnover and EBITDA in the next 5 years, whilst further cementing their market position, increasing their market share and crucially internationalising the business, all the time re-investing heavily into the business to continue and accelerate its growth and financial position in the long term. 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 has created the need to recruit a Sales Director to increase the strategic capability, global reach and ultimately, the commercial performance and top-line/Gross Margin growth, primarily through an extensive list of global distributors.

Initially the appointee will report into the Interim CEO (the current Group MD), but with the potential objective of progressing to the MD role longer term.

The appointee will take a high degree of autonomy in the sales development and leadership within the business, but with the full support of the Board and the parent Group. The successful candidate will design, develop and implement a clear strategy to drive global sales and profitability, with a focus in both short-term wins and long-term strategic planning.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop the sales, marketing and gross margin strategy for the business, identifying business needs, market potential and innovative strategies for long terms success for target sectors/target customers in line with company objectives.
  • Measure the achievement of the strategy and the business plan with regular reviews.
  • Deliver the results in accordance with the strategy and agreed plans identifying areas for profitable growth. To assume responsibility for performance, conduct and motivation.
  • To understand the market environment, to lead the sales function effectively, providing clear direction, motivation and enthusiasm to ensure all work towards common goals.
  • To lead and develop the sales team, ensuring maximum productivity, effectiveness and customer facing skills to ensure a high-performance culture of business excellence and continuous improvement.
  • Manage the sales/business management team on a continual basis to assess company performance against KPI’s for revenue, margin, order size and conversion. Ensure an effective sales pipeline and lead tracking process.
  • Manage the implementation of the sales/commercial strategy – including campaigns, events, digital marketing, website and PR, social media presence and direct programs to improve broader market reputation and recognition.
  • Undertake continuous analysis of competitive environment to fully understand competitor positions and strategy to develop market share.
  • Ensuring the CRM is effective and provides a competitive advantage.


  • Take a hands on role in leading the sales function. The desire to lead from the front and taking a personal sales target will be essential.
  • Undertake regular reviews of the entire sales function and its people to improve customer service, performance and productivity.

Business Processes

  • Develop and where necessary design effective processes and procedures, introducing structure to the commercial delivery, and ensuring all aspects are adhered to en route to ensuring delivery.
  • Undertake regular reviews of your function to improve customer service, performance and productivity.

The person is everything. The brightest stars in this business are all about having the right attitude.

The appointee will have a proven, highly commercial and full spectrum, broad commercial, sales and marketing background within an API manufacturing, broader pharmaceutical manufacturing or specialty chemicals environment.He/she will possess excellent interpersonal skills, be hands-on when needed, possess strong analytical abilities, and be a robust decision-maker and a ‘finisher’. The role involves providing strategic and tactical commercial advice and revenue generating solutions to the entire business.

Experience of managing and developing teams of sales professionals is essential, as is a proven track record of driving profitable growth across numerous international channels.

The successful candidate will have strong stakeholder influencing skills and be able to put across his or her view clearly, often articulating the benefit of commercial initiative and activity in clear business terms and have the confidence to constructively challenge (and be challenged by) senior stakeholders.

In addition he/she will have strong creativity and be capable of committing to, and delivering to, tight deadlines to keep up with a fast-paced market environment.

The appointee will exude enthusiasm and demonstrate an outstanding work ethic – this is a culture where hard work and success is expected, celebrated and rewarded.

The appointee will have gravitas. It will be immediately obvious to all around them, internal and external, why they have been selected and appointed. Their appointment will be met by a sea of nodding heads. They will command and yet earn respect. They will be the centre of ideation within the business and will foster others to be the same. They will inspire not only their department, but everyone within the business. They will be motivating as well as motivated.

Alongside their astute leadership capabilities, they will be an ‘action’ style leader. Their attention to detail will be second to none, and will be contagious. They will never see themselves as ‘too big’ for any task within the department, and will gain huge satisfaction from developing the wider team in every regard, form and function.

Above all else, they will be enthused by the opportunity of taking a broad commercially focused executive role, joining the senior leadership team and leading the commercial, sales and marketing strategies for this innovative business at one of the most exciting times in its corporate history.

Person specification

  • Motivated to be part of the energy of a high growth, innovative & entrepreneurial manufacturer.
  • API/Pharmaceutical/Specialty Chemical experience.
  • Entrepreneurial character and leadership charisma
  • Engagement orientated – work with team with and through others
  • Leadership and man management experience – performance management
  • Public spokesman confident – voice of a sector
  • Flexible, agile and driven – with ability to influence directly and indirectly
  • Soft skills – with strong disciplines in performance management – happy to recruit people and build a team
  • Team work orientated – multi-task mind, ability to handle multiple things at once and overcome objections and transform practices
  • Willing to travel, be with customers and stay away/ work at pace as needed
  • A thirst for success and excited to make a difference
  • Good levels of Stamina, pride & personalization in working style and offers to customers


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