Opportunity to Accelerate Long-term Growth for Leading Global Swine Genetics Innovator

This Company is renowned for its partnership with pork producers to enhance their profitability through the Company’s innovative genetics along with outstanding technical support that unlocks their products’ increased performance and efficiency for customers.  Kincannon & Reed has been retained to recruit a Director of Sales & Marketing to operationalize the commercial plans to double sales over the next five years through new customers and market share growth.  

The Company

Headquartered in The Netherlands, they are the #2 swine genetics developer in the world.  The core drivers of the Company are fundamentally distinct from its competitors – the entire company focuses on what is best for customers because it is owned by pig farmers.  With its focus on the next generation of pig farmers, hitting quarterly numbers for Wall Street does not influence decisions.  The profits are reinvested back into its R&D program, and shareholder returns are realized as better genetic products are created for use on their farms.

This Company is recognized for its innovative approach to developing new technologies and its continuous focus on cost-efficient pig production.  To develop solutions for each market, R&D/technical teams focus on five platforms:

  • Reproduction:  Developing and aggregating knowledge on male and female fertility to improve reproductive performance and to enable faster distribution of superior genes.
  • Robustness and Animal Welfare:   Breeding for robust pigs that better cope with challenges and have the temperament to perform in modern production facilities. 
  • Feed Efficiency:  Understanding the nutritional requirements and identifying genetic and environmental factors to improve efficiency.   
  • Carcass and Meat Quality:  Improving lean meat content and pork quality and offering solutions to address challenges faced by processors and retailers.
  • Genetics and Genomics:  Using and developing genomics, machine learning, and intensive breeding programs to accelerate genetic progress. 

They are more than great genetics.  Comprehensive global technical resources are combined with a local presence to help customers – large and small — to maximize the potential of its advanced products.  With a focus on long-term partnerships in the pork industry, the Company takes pride in working together with its customers to help their businesses thrive. 

The Company’s focus on innovation and customer relationships has led to higher genetic progress each year that creates added value and new possibilities for customers.  They have grown from a small presence in the U.S. to now being genetically present in over 10% of the U.S. sow herd.  Accelerated growth in the U.S. market is expected due to its strong new product pipeline and because prior supply constraints have been addressed.  

Position Overview

Reporting to the U.S. CEO and based in its Minnesota office, the Director of Sales & Marketing will provide strategic/tactical planning and execution to drive sales results that meet revenue and growth targets.  Working in close collaboration with an entrepreneurial senior leadership team, this commercial leader will devise and implement strategies and tactics to effectively position and promote the company’s products and services.   In a player-coach role, this executive will manage, develop, and motivate a team of 6-7 experienced sales and marketing managers while also developing business opportunities with new and existing customers. 

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Develop and implement an annual sales and marketing plan which builds Topigs Norsvin USA’s volume and market share in a profitable and sustainable manner.      
    • Serve as the architect and communicator of a clear narrative around product value to the producer and other key stakeholders.  Develop and implement effective trade/consumer marketing strategies.  
    • Create actionable sales plans to achieve/exceed budgeted targets using a key account structure with five sales managers and a marketing manager located in the Midwest U.S. who focus their sales efforts on both small and large U.S. pork producers, including those in the Pork Powerhouse listing. 
  • Set annual sales objectives and organize the team’s sales efforts, including developing accountability for tactical sales disciplines such as call planning, time management, customer relationship building, and enhancing technical expertise on the product lineup. 
  • Lead, hire, coach, and assess sales team to deliver a strategy designed to significantly grow the business.  Foster productive collaboration between sales team and other functional leaders within the Company.
  • Prospect and close deals with key target customers.  Grow relationships with current customers and cultivate relationships with targeted new customers. 
  • Serve as a key member of the senior leadership team for the U.S. business and interact with fellow Company sales and marketing leaders across the globe. 

Candidate Profile

Our client seeks a results-driven sales and marketing executive who has excellent strategic thinking skills, relevant animal genetics experience, and a strong team-oriented attitude and business-builder’s perspective.  The winning candidate will have a “roll-up-your-sleeves”, collegial work style, and excellent interpersonal skills and will regard this as a long-term career opportunity.  The ideal candidate will have these skills and experiences:

  • BS or BA degree or higher in agriculture or a related discipline with 5+ years of sales management experience. 
  • Proven ability to attract and lead a best-in-class sales team in a growth environment.  Ability to create an environment where people are motivated and inspired to succeed and achieve ambitious targets.  Collaborative leadership style balanced with the ability to make tough decisions and stand firm when appropriate.
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize customer trends and market information into successful commercial strategies.  Track record of implementing sound sales and marketing strategies, including initiating and managing value-creating partnerships.  A customer-oriented focus that ensures mutually beneficial, long-term customer relationships. 
  • Wide knowledge and professional experience in the animal protein value chain.  Experience in animal genetics is a strong plus; especially swine genetics experience.  Animal nutrition/health experience is also relevant. 
  • A broad network of relationships within the U.S. pork value chain is preferred, particularly with large U.S. pork operations.  Skilled at fostering trust and partnering relationships with sophisticated large customers.  
  • Strong communication skills.  Demonstrated ability to persuasively communicate with all levels in a customer organization to promote the Company and its technologies.
  • A personality and manner that demonstrates confidence, sound judgment, a collaborative spirit, and a straightforward tenor to interpersonal relationships. 
  • Self-motivation and drive combined with empathetic, perceptive networking skills.  A high level of integrity, flexibility, tenacity, and physical/intellectual energy. 

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