Sales & Marketing Director – Technology – Private Equity Backed
A leading private equity firm challenged us to help improve the performance of one of their investments. A traditional UK market leader, multi-site, design, manufacture, install and service business. They had a strong Managing Director, but a poorly performing senior management team.
Not sharing the view that his team was poor, the Managing Director was reluctant to make changes. He believed he knew his industry intimately and that he already had the very best people. He needed to be convinced that there were better candidates available, but his investors were growing impatient, perceiving complacency.
Confidentiality was also critical, competitors would quickly exploit the fact that the business was in transformation.
The Chairman’s first concern was growing the top line, so we agreed to first focus on improving sales with the appointment of a new Sales and Marketing Director. Due to the confidentiality and technical nature of the role we recommended that the most reliable method for identifying candidates who had the specific set of skills, industry knowledge and experience that the business needed, was to complete a headhunt into a broad cross-section of aligned organisations.
Our consultant started by gaining a detailed understanding of the company’s business strategy. They had become UK market leaders but were unsure of where future growth would come from, new equipment sales or service. We therefore needed to identify candidates who were strong in both areas.
We initiated an extremely thorough market mapping exercise of competitors and aligned businesses in the UK. A list of potential candidates was identified and they were confidentially approached about the role. By spreading the net wide we made sure that we delivered a broad and comprehensive selection of candidates to the Managing Director. This ensured that he would have a choice of high calibre and relevant candidates and that he wouldn’t have to compromise on quality.
41 candidates were identified and spoken with, 13 asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and invited to attend first stage interview with LORD, 6 were subsequently shortlisted to meet the client.
As the Managing Director didn’t really believe that there was better talent available LORD offered to interview the 6 shortlisted candidates with him. This helped him sell the role well, and get the best out of the candidates.
The Managing Director thoroughly enjoyed the joint interview process and became genuinely excited about the quality of talent available to him.
6 candidates were interviewed, 3 selected for final interview. Due to the success of the joint interview approach, LORD offered to be present at the final interview stage, which was accepted.
LORD completed personality, verbal and numerical assessments of the final 3 candidates prior to their final interviews. The results were discussed with our client and list of areas which needed to be probed at final interview was compiled.
Our consultant jointly interviewed the final 3 candidates and there was very little to choose between the top 2. We discussed the merits of each candidate, assisting in the decision making process, selected the candidate with the strongest industry knowledge, strategic and people management skills.
A comprehensive and robust recruitment process tailored to meet the Managing Directors specific concerns/requirements, ensuring that he was totally confident in the result.
Successful candidate has subsequently restructured a large salesforce, replacing 3 out of his 4 direct reports and 7 out of his 35 salesmen. They have introduced new training and relevant KPI’s in line with business strategy, realigning sales team’s geographic focus on new business opportunities in the South East rather than traditional account management. Result – revenue up 18% in 10 months.
The Managing Director has embraced the process and subsequently replaced 3 of his senior management team. Our PE client is delighted with the transformation!