International Business Development Manager 

Aerospace & Defence


Flexible Location – site based or hybrid with travel to site in south Wales as required


Circa £65K, bonus & benefits


Our client, part of a highly successful international parent has been at the forefront of design, manufacturing and technology for an innovative and diverse range of products to worldwide customers within the demanding Aerospace and Defence sector.


As a result of rapid growth, they are seeking an ambitious business development professional  who will assume responsibility for delivering sales growth across the portfolio which includes aerial delivery, safety & survivability solutions, naval protection systems, training, services and through life support. It is anticipated that the appointee will initially focus on key segments for the business.


Reporting to the Business Unit Manager, you will develop commercial strategies that support the company’s planned strategic re-alignment objectives for re-positioning the business to be less reliant on historical contracts by developing new strategies and routes to market that will enhance margin and profitability whilst still proving exceptional value to the user community and the customer base.


This will require the undertaking of wide ranging “pro-active” business development activities with a core emphasis on establishing, developing, promoting and positioning the activities of the business in order to achieve new international sales for the business unit.


The Role:


  • Develop a “winning strategy” for achieving new international sales by identifying, developing, negotiating and closing new business opportunities in order to generate profitable new business
  • Play a leading  “outward facing” role in developing new routes to market, including the collaborative opportunities that could be available with many of the leading aerospace & defence primes
  • Manage existing and new business relationships with customers, users and partners; in order to secure growth opportunities
  • Travel regularly across core international markets, assist customers to shape their requirements in order to develop a strong position for winning new and lasting business
  • Be involved in all steps of new business capture including identification of user needs, opportunity assessment, product positioning and closing negotiation
  • Drive added value to the customer offering, including the identification of all opportunities for the provision of a wide range of services and through life support
  • Work closely with an established network of agents to increase visibility, “grass roots” market intelligence, support commercial activities and validated opportunities
  • Build on the company’s competencies, brand and expertise in the Defence Aerospace market to continue to seek new opportunities that generate profitable new business
  • Review the market and competition, gather intelligence to facilitate the development of new products, services and solutions
  • Keep updated with customer procurement and replenishment cycles; liaise with the user community, draw upon the vast technical expertise and resources available within the business to evolve the product offering, but without losing sight of the need to win new business
  • Support the engineering team with the development of new ideas and concepts to meet current and future customer needs
  • Provide support to the Business Unit Manager, take pro-active ownership of the sales business development of the portfolio including identifying key milestones and capture plans to involve, drive and communicate with the supporting team
  • Produce and maintain an accurate list of prospects and opportunities; regularly contributing to the updating of sales forecasts and booking plans
  • Attend at military trials, defence trade shows, conferences & PR events as required


The Person:


  • Strong ethical and moral compass: able to work across functions within a non-political, open and honest business culture that has an overarching commitment towards “value creation” and the on time delivery of consistently reliable engineered products
  • A strong track record of success in International Business Development gained from within an Aerospace & Defence related environment (Military/Civilian Aerospace, Maritime or MRO)
  • Able to identify, develop, negotiate, capture and close opportunities in order to generate profitable new business
  • An exceptional ex-military, well networked user may be considered provided that a proven track record of success in a commercial/ business development role has already been obtained. An individual from outside the above sectors with extensive business development experience in “high proprietary products” may also be considered
  • Degree qualified in a business, marketing or engineering discipline, you may also now be an ambitious business development professional with a “hunter/go-getting” approach who is now ready for the “next step up”
  • An understanding of the complex procurement process that nations adopt within a defence environment
  • Able to work pro-actively within in a fun, close knit, agile, highly responsive team based environment that specialises in low volume, highly complex products with long lead times
  • Be self-sufficient and able to quicky grasp sales and technical knowledge of the company’s products, capabilities and branding. The company have strong “in house” technical expertise which can be drawn upon as required
  • Experience of managing of overseas agents/ representatives: - display cultural sensitivity
  • Strong presentation, financial & commercial skills and have a natural flair for developing strong customer relationships, combined with the intellect to fully understand their current and future needs for new capability or the replacement of existing equipment
  • Able to understand wider market opportunities, competitors, technologies and trends
  • Strong commercial understanding of customer budget plans, procurement process, bid management, contractual terms, pricing and gross margin analysis
  • Able to generate the respect of others and operate effectively and remain focused on “winning business” within a matrix organisation with competing demands on time and priorities
  • Familiar with a formal sales operating process which also captures and develops emerging opportunities into defined and qualified prospects
  • A strong influencer who can demonstrate attention to detail and display a logical and disciplined determination to capture new business
  • Able to prioritise information:- ensure internal colleagues and the customer is always up to date
  • Key personal attributes sought include, drive, determination, team work, creativity, good communication skills and a winning mentality
  • An accomplished negotiator, who is responsive to the needs of customers, can close business and adhere to high ethics and codes of conduct
  • Proficient in the use of MS Office tools
  • A willingness and ability to travel within the UK and overseas at short notice
  • Hold or be able to hold UK Security Clearance


Please send your detailed CV quoting ref 21/2009 to our retained consultant David Smalley at Daniels Smalley Partnership, email


Contact us

Daniels Smalley Partnership Ltd
Pencoed Technology Park,


CF35 5HZ


Tel: 01656 856200


or email




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