Vice President of Sales
Capital Equipment Manufacturing Company
Type: retained executive search
Title: Vice President of Sales
Role: national sales leadership
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Client: private equity owned Capital Equipment Manufacturing Company
Collaboration: President, CFO and PE Principals
Completed by: MN executive search team
A family-owned business until recently acquired by a prominent private equity firm, this $20M manufacturer of heavy duty equipment and technology-driven production systems enjoys strong niche and brand clarity.
The manufacturing organization in place exhibits impressive tribal knowledge and extraordinary in-house capability. The leadership team has optimized all key internal elements, including: manufacturing, production systems, shop-floor assembly, engineering, technical services operations and inside sales. A strong foundation for 2x next-level growth has been established.
Key Selection Criteria
The Vice President of Sales role requires demonstrated success in: national sales growth, client relationship oversight, strategic business planning, field execution of sales initiatives, driving strategic business focus, business process optimization, direction of the marketing function, enabling interdepartmental communications, establishing shared vision, and promoting organizational excellence. Requirements included:
– Minimum15+ year background in manufacturing including shop floor experience and/or engineering background with organic growth into sales and sales leadership
– Ideally, 10+ years of successful field sales experience and 10+ years of successful leadership experience with a relevant capital equipment manufacturer
– Executive caliber all-points communications skills
– Connected, data-driven decision maker, in touch with industry trends/innovation/change
– Influential change agent and consensus builder capable of gaining rapid support and igniting immediate action around priority sales and business growth initiatives.
– 4-yr college degree
With an optimized internal team and a strong line of highly-competitive products and systems on the field, the sales frontier is the key to 2x growth.
A regionalized team of highly autonomous outside salespeople currently operates across eight North American territories. A hands-on national sales leader is needed to detail an over-arching sales strategy, develop adaptive market-by-market growth plans, create alignment with a new marketing approach/competitive messaging strategy, and unite the remote/distributed team behind a shared vision. The Vice President of sales will need to be a highly skilled sales leader/team builder capable of acclimating quickly, interacting closely, balancing urgency with fusion and managing significant change.
Deare was contacted and invited to a meeting with the President and CFO. At the meeting the President requested that we conduct an assessment and propose the terms of a search engagement. After delivering the assessment, outlining the approach and providing a full search process portfolio, we were asked to become the primary search advisor. The search was retained after a minor delay with the PE firm Board of Directors approval process.
Given the selection requirements and preferences involved (too many to detail here), the executive team believed the search could face a high degree of difficulty. We approached with confidence that we could provide the search result in less than half the time predicted.
Several prospective candidates emerged as having potential early in our search process. Among those, a front-runner emerged quickly. While the front-runner was being interviewed, another prospective candidate surfaced with nearly an ideal match to the selection criteria.
With an engineering background, highly relevant manufacturing/production systems sales experience, and clearly demonstrated results as a high impact sales executive, we had a new front-runner, who would ultimately be hired* as the Vice President of Sales.
*In less than half the time predicted by our PE partners.
Sales Leadership Talent
Contact Rick Deare