Newly created Sales Director - Utilities Infrastructure installer


Collingwood partnered this growing Utilities Infrastructure installer based in the North West. Their growth has in principle been borne out of the Managing Directors realisation that a strong client experience had been lacking throughout the industry. The leadership team has built a team of 50 employees based on an ethos of humility, respect, integrity, resilience, open communications and personal development. The organisation boasted turnover doubling in the last four years.


To date, new business has been won through the MD’s strong, regional industry network, supported by a team of three external sales personnel. And although targets had been excelled, the company felt ready to invest in a Sales Director in order to build and roll out a strategy going forward. Overall the company has a clear plan to 2022, but very little substance in terms of sales strategy. The Board was looking to appoint a seasoned Director who could:

  • Devise, evolve and drive a robust sales strategy for the coming years
  • Shape intelligence into what the market requires from the services now and in the future.
  • Build and develop the sales and marketing teams
  • Cultivating a key account strategy; maximising accounts through a national network of main contractors


Unlike situations Collingwood often find themselves in, this client was not insistent on an individual coming from the competition. The cultural, person and overall skill set were of more significance to them. Culturally they required someone who had proven abilities to formulate strategy and drive grow in a privately owned company setting. Clearly, based on their own values, the cultural fit was going to be key. 


Honing in on an area to target, Mark Goldsmith consulted in services that would most align to the client’s marketplace. Given the market was Main Contractors and Consulting Engineers, Mark was able to offer a broad array of target companies. These did include circa 30 direct competitors. In total Mark targeted 67 companies, developing a target list of their Sales Directors.

After approaching and engaging with candidates via phone calls, Mark gained the interest of 25 individuals. Of these, eight were rejected after initial phone interviews,with Mark agreeing to meet seven for face-to-face interviews. The other candidates were put on hold should these candidates not meet the client's requirements. Four were recommended during a board meeting at which Mark presented the candidate shortlist.

Importantly, the client had not recruited to this level previously, therefore, support was offered throughout their interviewing process. At the first stage this involved Collingwood advising on who from the client should interview and a list of prominent competency based questions. This led to the client taking their two preferred candidates to the second stage. Again, Mark advised on the best approach – this time being for the four main board members to meet and an agreed presentation to be produced by the two candidates. Mark Goldsmith then took the client and preferred candidate through the offer and onboarding stages, until he started two months on.


"Mark has recently helped me to secure a position that not only matched my requirements but also exceeded my expectations.

His attention to detail and level of understanding throughout the process was first class. He truly understood who my new employer was, where they were in their development, precisely who they were looking for, and the skills and experience required. He also placed particular emphasis on securing a candidate that was a perfect cultural fit for the business.

He took considerable time and had the patience to genuinely understand what I was looking for. He was meticulous in uncovering my skills, attributes, and experiences, and how I was likely to apply those things in this unique situation. He was extremely generous with the time he allowed to answer all my questions throughout the process both face to face and on the phone. I suspect that must have been the case with m employer too, as he clearly understood the team and their requirements much better than I could have expected. It felt as though he himself worked for the business rather than being retained, because of the ease he was able to answer some pretty detailed and often technical questions without the need to refer back. I was left with the strong impression that none of this was the surface level exercise I experienced from all other recruiters when I was searching. Mark genuinely gave a damn and was the consummate professional.

In my opinion, Mark has the x-factor that most recruiters are missing. He isn't just looking for a professional fit to meet the brief that most professional recruiters do. He truly understands the immeasurable value of the personal fit and future relationships and the potential impact on the culture of a business. He placed considerable emphasis on this throughout the process, and his understanding and recollection of the detail were seriously impressive.

The level of service Mark provided, combined with his engaging personality, gave me the best recruitment experience I've had in over 30 years of both recruiting and being recruited. I could not recommend Mark and the level of service he provides highly enough. I will certainly be working with him again in the future."