Executive Search Firm Needed To Hire Technical Head of BD

PE Firms
Human Capital
Value Creation

Service Area: Human Capital

Client Type: PE Firm

Service Provider Type: Business Development and Sales Executive Recruiting Firm

Industry: Manufacturing

The Need
Sales Executive for Unique Challenge

A private equity firm contacted BluWave in need for an executive search firm to hire a head of business development for one of its portfolio companies. This, however, wasn’t your typical sales role. The company had an exceptionally long sales cycle, sometimes exceeding a year, with numerous stakeholders involved, including engineering and buyers. This role demanded a technical acumen, making it distinct from conventional sales positions. While contingent recruitment was preferred, retained services weren’t out of the question.

The Challenge
Filling Big Shoes of Outgoing Executive

The portfolio company, an investment made in 2017, was a century-old firm operating in the metal stamping industry. It had an engineering-centric approach and had previously relied on a sales individual with a customer service and account management background. This person worked alongside two manufacturing representatives, but three of them had not been productive for years.

In a strategic shift, the company transitioned to collaborating with multiple rep groups and a third-party agency to generate leads. The retiring sales individual had been the key point of contact, handling opportunities from RFQ to closing. As this crucial team member was about to retire, the challenge was to find a replacement capable of understanding the technical aspects, navigating a long sales cycle typical in their industry and building relationships with customers rather than just selling from a catalog.

Reporting directly to the President, this would be the sole sales role in the company. The individual would work as an individual contributor, and there was no immediate need for building a larger sales team.

How BluWave Helped
Knowing the Right Firm To Identify Ideal Candidate

BluWave quickly grasped the client’s requirements and preferences: a versatile candidate who could be a strong utility player in a specialized sales role. Industry-specific experience was also a requirement, as was the ability to work on the road for extended periods.

Understanding the nuanced demands of this role, BluWave identified potential recruitment partners who excelled in placing sales leaders within extended sales cycles in the manufacturing domain. Within a short timeframe, a list of suitable executive search firms was provided, aligning perfectly with the client’s expectations.

The Result
PE Firm, Specialized Recruiter a Perfect Fit

This partnership led to a seamless collaboration between the client and the chosen executive search firm. They were able to select a candidate who not only possessed the technical skills required but also demonstrated a profound understanding of the unique challenges posed by the lengthy sales cycle. This strategic recruitment ensured that the portfolio company had the right leader to navigate this phase effectively.

Overall, I think they had the best understanding of what was needed in a somewhat specialized sales role. Typically, in a process, we will get some amount of odd-ball candidates from a fit perspective, but I thought everyone that they brought us was reasonable. We will very likely use them again.

-Managing Director at PE Firm


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