Opportunity to Shape Sales and Business Development Strategy for Innovative Plant-based Ingredient Company

A new kind of ingredient innovation company has retained Kincannon and Reed to recruit a newly created Vice President, Sales and Business Development role to lead the company’s innovative food ingredient sales growth. S/he will be responsible for promoting sales growth through the development and management of strategic relationships out in the marketplace, especially CPG.

The Company
They are a new kind of ingredient innovation company dedicated to reshaping the landscape of food through science and technology. The Company is pioneering the discovery of delicious, better food experiences, that are animal-free to improve human health and animal welfare; and reduce the impact animal agriculture has on our natural resources.

This Company is a growth-stage venture capital-backed company with a vision to fundamentally change the understanding of food and develop ingredients that do not compromise between taste and food values.  The Company leverages its foundational synthetic biology technology from an exclusive partnership along with proprietary technology and know-how to produce food ingredients that expand the realm of what’s possible with animal-free solutions. As the possibilities expand, so too does the appetite for better food solutions. The race for animal-free, ethically produced alternatives is at the heart of changing consumer values and it’s what is driving the next generation of food companies to pioneer new plant-based innovations.

Part art, part technology, part passion – their team understands what it takes to make great innovation work and they help food innovators unlock new possibilities for food. Leveraging food science to unravel the secrets of food, the Company works with partners and customers to innovate new food properties that maintain taste and texture while achieving better nutrition, accessibility, and sustainability.

Position Overview
Reporting to the Chief Commercial Officer, the selected candidate for the new position of Vice President, Sales & Business Development will collaboratively develop, refine, and implement a sales strategy for the Company’s current and future discoveries, including prioritizing of markets, customers, and product types. More specifically, s/he will be responsible to:

  • Effectively represent and communicate the company vision in the marketplace to solidify the Company’s reputation as a trusted, innovative partner to food companies seeking healthier ingredients.
  • Identify, investigate, and analyze B2B commercial sales of food ingredients and ingredient systems along the food supply chain to optimize the value of the Company’s technology. Negotiate, establish, and manage on-going partnerships with leading market participants.
  • Communicate and develop an overall sales strategy and execution of business rationale, analyses, and proposals on business relationships and articulate to fellow senior management and the Board of Directors about opportunities, market issues, and food company alliance strategies.
  • Develop and implement customer project management approach, tracking, and communication including on-going account management, customer relationship management (CRM), and business development.
  • Develop and manage key performance indicators and implement plans within salesforce.com.

Candidate Profile

The Vice President, Sales and Business Development will have an entrepreneurial mindset with an understanding of the demands and challenges of pioneering new products, partners, and category segments within the food industry. The ideal candidate will have the following attributes:

Experience, education, and critical success factors

  • 15+ years of experience in B2B value-added services or ingredients sales with an ability to build high value, technically oriented sales strategies.
  • Expertise in food/food ingredients industry and a strong understanding of product development lifecycles in the food industry, food applications and formulations, and new product or ingredient introductions. Experience with plant-based proteins a plus.
  • Deep understanding of partner/customer acquisition, development and execution of aligned agreements, negotiations, and demand creation with a proven track record of fostering new relationships, leveraging existing business connections with success in closing deals in excess of $10M.
  • Prior success in developing and managing a sales and account management team in a performance-based sales culture.
  • Clear understanding and passion for plant-based protein consumer trends and track record of launching similar added-value products.
  • Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, or related discipline. An MBA is a plus.

Personal characteristics

  • Strategic thinker and doer with excellent business acumen and ability to grasp technical product offerings combined with a detail orientation to effectively manage day-to-day projects. Able to synthesize customer trends and market info into successful alliance-building strategies.
  • Outstanding communication skills. Demonstrated ability to effectively visualize, understand, and persuasively communicate, at a senior executive level, what the Company can bring to partners and present layman’s level understanding of the Company’s science and value.
  • Ability to quickly generate trust with stakeholders and develop productive high-level business relationships.
  • Affinity for innovative technologies and food-agricultural applications that address important health and sustainability opportunities.

Critical Success Factors

  • Market knowledge – Specifically, sales in Food and CPG industry; customer-focused and anticipates industry or market problems and opportunities.
  • Business Acumen – Use all available resources to craft solutions that meet customer needs. Use data and analytics-driven decision making.
  • Responsiveness – Communicate to internal and external partners in a timely manner.
  • Collaboration – Understand the mission of the department and company and the importance of working as a team.
  • Leadership – Establish trust through service, high emotional quotient, and positivity.
  • Organization – Demonstrate great time management skills, and ability to prioritize.

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