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International Business Development Manager

Chelsom Ltd
Job Category: 
Country / Region:
To be confirmed/Negotiable
Car Expenses, Pension, Laptop/Tablet and Mobile Phone, 25 days holiday plus bank holidays, life insurance

Job Description

About the company:

Chelsom is a market leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of decorative lighting to the global contract interiors sector. Predominately specialising in the supply of lighting to hospitality, cruise ship and high-end residential projects, Chelsom’s reputation stands firm as one of the longest standing and well-established vendors in this field. By having proven relationships for many years with major hotel groups, cruise ship operators, interior designers, architects, shipyards, contractors and hospitality procurement groups, Chelsom has been able to secure large scale projects with the biggest names in the industry from all around the world. Recent success stories include the supply of lighting to projects such as Four Seasons Sydney, Ritz Carlton Berlin, Royal Caribbean Harmony of The Seas, Mandarin Oriental London and Le Meridien, Florida. Chelsom has immense flexibility as a business and can work across all global markets and at any budget level allowing the company to service and supply projects ranging from Travelodge in UK at the lower end all the way up to 5/6 star hotel operators such as Peninsula and Mandarin Oriental.

Founded in 1947, and therefore now in its 75th year, Chelsom is a 3rd generation family business based in the Northwest of England. With around 60 employees, the company operates from headquarters in Blackpool where they have large offices, a production facility and over 100,000 sq. feet of warehousing space. Chelsom has an extensive range of standard lighting products, all of which are designed in-house by the design team led by Will (Managing Director) and Robert (Chairman) Chelsom. The cutting-edge designs are presented in a 300-page high quality catalogue, as well as within a world class website and in 2021 the company was awarded a Red Dot Award for product design. Furthermore, Chelsom offers a fully flexible bespoke manufacturing service so that client design concepts can be produced, whether 5000 wall lights for a cruise ship cabin scheme or a one-off central statement chandelier for a hotel atrium.

Supported by various in-house project management and operational functions, the Chelsom sales team services clients around the world ensuring immense coverage of overseas markets which has positioned Chelsom as one of the UK’s most successful exporting businesses. Outside of the UK, Chelsom mainly focuses on core export markets of the USA, Mainland Europe and Middle East and their place as a leading exporter has not gone unrecognised as they have recently been rewarded with two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the International Trade category, firstly in 2017 and again in 2020 on the back of continued overseas growth. The overall revenue is split about 50/50 between domestic and export markets

2019 financial results posted a record year for Chelsom, both in terms of revenue and profit and it showed that sales around the world had more than doubled since 2014. 2020 and 2021 have been difficult years for many businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic but Chelsom has ridden the storm well and has adapted successfully in order to meet the challenges faced. Although they have seen a drop in turnover during the pandemic, strong accounts will be published for the 2021 financial year. As 2022 gets underway, there is a healthy pipeline of project prospects, and the board of directors are looking for growth and a swift return to pre-pandemic trading.

About the role:

With 50% of their turnover generated outside of UK and on the back of a long period of aggressive pre-pandemic growth, there is a requirement for a new person to manage sales, look after customers and manage projects in overseas markets. The candidate will be responsible for the development of business and management of key customers across a range of possible markets with focus mainly on USA and Europe. With most of the focus on Export markets, there may also be a requirement to manage major accounts within UK depending on location and experience. Customers will include major hotel groups, interior designers & architects, 3rd party FF&E procurement groups, main contractors, electrical contractors and project management companies.  A cross section of accounts will be assigned to this person and they will be required to service them on a regular basis, making visits as and when necessary. Prospecting and cold calling to build up new relationships will form a large part of the role as will managing major projects from inception to completion.

Regular travel will be required to key countries including USA which is a major export market for Chelsom. Other target countries will be determined based on the candidate’s experience and on where the Sales Director feels that most coverage is needed. The overall strategy for these areas will be planned between the new candidate with the Sales Director.

Chelsom has existing agents and representatives based in numerous markets. A team of 3rd party reps are located across major USA cities/states and they work specifically with the hospitality interior design market there. Likewise, there are agents in Middle East and across major countries in Europe and this candidate will be expected to manage and work closely with some of these reps alongside the Sales Director. Regular travel to meet with these reps and agents will be key to support their sales efforts and to help with major customer presentations, product launches, training and key project tenders.

Extensive and existing databases of key customers will be provided to the new person and lead generation software will be utilised to ensure that a healthy potential pipeline of work is provided from the start. As well as this, the new person will be expected to use existing contacts and experience to initiate sales and nurture relationships across the area.

A sales target and budget will be agreed between the International Business Development Manager and the Sales Director. Revenue is expected to come from both major large-scale projects as well as from ‘day-to-day’ sales from the client base.

All administration of projects will be handled by the internal sales and commercial functions allowing the International Business Development Manager to focus on both generating new income and managing ongoing projects from a customer facing stand point. A huge support network at head office allows this candidate to purely focus on business development and ongoing project/client relations.

Duties & Tasks

  • Dealing with all aspects of customer queries, enquiries and requests.
  • Being the interface between the international client base and the business.
  • Regular reporting to the Sales Director on all aspects of the role.
  • Build and grow sales across an area that has huge potential growth for Chelsom – despite growth and success already, we are only seeing the top of the iceberg at this stage.
  • Planning and scheduling meetings throughout the year to ensure that existing major customers and potential new customers are given the best possible customer service.
  • The candidate will be required to manage and plan all travel throughout the year. An ongoing travel plan will be devised between International Business Development Manager and the Sales Director and primary target areas will be selected to focus on – approach should be focussed and narrow rather than wide and ‘scatter-gun’. Travel will not be required all the time, but it is expected that the candidate will be overseas on trips at least once a month for as much as a week at a time.
  • UK account management will be required to an extent and relevant accounts will be allocated where international projects are linked.
  • As well as planned sales visits and presentations, it is expected that some travel will be required on a last minute and ad hoc basis as and when projects and leads require specific client visits.
  • Ongoing management and meetings will be required with all Chelsom distributors and agents across USA and Europe. The candidate will be expected to monitor all of these organisations and will be responsible for ensuring that the right people are representing Chelsom in each country.
  • They will also be expected to attend all exhibitions that the company shows at in order to meet with existing clients and attract new ones. New exhibitions and sales platforms can be considered for Europe.
  • Attending Exhibitions and meet the buyer type events (EG Hi-Design, BDNY).
  • The candidate will work from a home office where they will be expected to plan trips, follow up quotations for projects across USA and Europe, research new prospects and liaise with the wider sales team and management teams to drive business development in the area.
  • Regular trips to head office in Lancashire will be required as well as regular meetings with the Sales Director to develop the overall sales strategy for USA & Europe.
  • Once a project comes online, the International Business Development Manager will be expected to manage the process from inception to conclusion. Taking the initial design and project brief, managing the quotation and tender process, requesting technical drawings, arranging samples and prototypes, negotiating payment terms and delivery schedules and finally winning the order will all be part of the project management process.
  • For a live project, an in-house Sales Coordinator at head office will be assigned to each project to handle all project administration.
  • The candidate will be expected to liaise with numerous different parties on any one project. They will need the correct skills to work with interior designers on all specification requirements and design intent. This may involve supporting designers with standard product suggestions as well as helping to come up with 100% custom designs. Equally they will be required to negotiate and close the deal with end users such as hotel owners and 3rd party procurement companies.
  • The International Business Development Manager will be expected to manage their on-going list of projects and will report back to the internal sales teams with all forecasts, updates and status changes to ensure the senior management team has relevant, up to date project information at all times.
  • As part of a 6-strong sales team, all of whom report into the Sales Director, regular communication and networking between all members of the sales team is expected.
  • The candidate will receive full support from various functions within the business, including Commercial, Marketing, Technical, Operations and Production teams to resolve any issues. It is expected that the International Business Development Manager will have regular dealings with all Company Directors, the Managing Director and Chairman.
  • The candidate will be expected to network with fellow suppliers to the contract sector. Regular meetings with networking groups will be essential to ensure growth and exposure to the market.

Expected qualifications and experience:

  • Previous substantial sales experience.
  • Considerable previous market experience with a successful supplier to the global hospitality market and knowledge of the hotel A&D sector.
  • Prior experience in travelling overseas in order to develop and manage business prospects.
  • Drive, resilience, self-motivation and a hunger to succeed.
  • Ability to prioritise workload and manage multiple projects and prospects at any one time.
  • Ability to plan strategy for sales areas and report back on progress.
  • Strong organisational and communication skills are paramount.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work alone but also a as part of a wider sales team.
  • Strong IT Skills to include fluency in Outlook, Word, Power Point and Excel
  • Passport and ability to travel overseas.
  • Other languages are preferred but by no means essential.

How to Apply:

Please apply to