Head of UK & Ireland Sales

Job Description

Head of UK & Ireland


The Head of UK & Ireland Sales is an entrepreneurial, agile, commercial leader who inspires others. They have both strategic and operational responsibilities for trade in UK & Ireland, including strategy, data insight, general management, Profit & Loss (P&L), team management & leadership, business development and sales with the ultimate goal of business expansion & securing market expert position. This is a highly visible, creative, and critical role with a privately held supplement company in a fast-growing space.

Company Description

Wren Laboratories is a successful, family-run business based near Andover, Hampshire. It produces a range of health supplements called ‘Optibac Probiotics’ – the UK & Ireland's most trusted & recommended friendly bacteria supplements. The company is committed to producing high quality products, providing excellent customer service, and achieving a vibrant & inspiring workplace.  The products are sold in the UK, Ireland and many export markets via multiple different sales channels including pharmacies, health food stores, grocery, online retailers, marketplaces and Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners.

Job Purpose           

Co-ordination across all departments (marketing, digital, finance, operations) to maximise UK & Ireland trade sales growth, distribution and profitability & to enforce market expert leadership position.

Job Location                

HQ and home based

Position in Organisation

Reports To: Managing Director

Responsible For: 

  • National & Regional Accounts
  • UK field-based sales
  • Ireland field-based sales
  • CAM practitioner & HCP development
  • HQ-based Telesales

Number of direct reports: 4

The Head of UK & Ireland will:

  • Develop strategies and oversee execution plans and budgets to accelerate sales, and meet distribution and margin objectives for the all-important home markets.
  • Work closely with other department heads and senior management, taking a leadership role on the Commercial team to help develop the overall Company’s strategy & development plans.
  • Secure our leadership position and ‘market expert’ reputation across independent retailers, national, regional & key accounts, clicks & mortar and pure play online resellers, and practitioner recommendation.
  • Develop high-performance sales-driven teams ensuring development & continuous learning as well as succession planning where appropriate for all key positions/skill sets.
  • Keep abreast of trends, competitor activity and market shifts in the global probiotic business environment. 

Key Responsibilities

1.  Develop, lead & implement the UK and Ireland Commercial strategies

  • Analyse and interpret business data to understand performance drivers and develop the UK and Ireland strategies and priorities; oversee annual department plans and budgets to deliver growth. 
  • Drive the execution to meet ambitious revenue and financial targets in very competitive, but critical markets for the business. Assess opportunities across sales channels & ensure resources are correctly allocated.
  • Mentor / coach / support the National Account Manager to profitably increase our visibility & become a more mainstream brand.
  • Work closely with the Commercial team & cross-functional teams to ensure strategies, objectives and plans for the UK & Irish teams are well communicated & integrated to maximise synergies within the business and ensure smooth execution.
  • Test new ways to achieve our big ambitions in the UK & Ireland - constantly fine tuning and evolving the plans and co-ordinating and driving the combined efforts of sales & marketing.
  • Have a bias to action, be a decision maker & drive urgency.
  • Develop and maintain accurate Budgets, re-Forecasts & rolling product forecasts for the UK and Irish market.
  • Effectively manage stakeholder relationships with key accounts and channel partners to consistently deliver objectives while creating long-term, win-win relationships.
  • Lead on the Selective Distribution System / Retail Criteria List to maintain high brand image across all retail channels.

2.  Lead, develop, and inspire the UK and Irish Sales teams

  • Support the teams to develop and apply best-practice and forward-thinking ideas across key accounts, including annual planning, forecast reviews & product training.
  • Champion the development and ongoing education of the sales teams with relevant training on sales, train the trainer, digital and commercial activities to drive growth and support accounts. 
  • Help the teams to develop, obtain & update relevant management information (internally, and with external partners) to understand & review market performance to help achieve the agreed objectives.
  • Embed the consumer-first approach, ensuring product is available to the consumer in whichever way they wish to receive it i.e. online or bricks and mortar retail.
  • Establish clear operating principles, as well as short and long-term objectives (SMART) for the teams to drive accountability, urgency and increased sales.
  • Support the teams on a day-to-day basis with coaching, advice, and direction as appropriate – to achieve delivery of all key team objectives.
  • Streamline and evolve ways of working to embrace technology and drive efficiencies.
  • Review team structures and capabilities regularly, and adjust as needed, to ensure the team structures are poised to fully capitalise on future growth within the evolving market needs.
  • Support effective recruitment into the teams, both internal & external and ensure career path development and succession planning initiatives are in place.
  • Ensure that Wren Labs’ family-like, entrepreneurial, and nimble culture is honoured and upheld while achieving significant growth goals.

Knowledge & Experience


  • Seasoned and proven business leader with significant experience growing and developing Fast Moving Consumer Goods businesses. Significant experience in marketing (brand & digital), sales and business development with a strong UK & Ireland focus.
  • Proven operational experience leading and inspiring teams.  With a deep understanding of the company vision and strategy, you seek areas to improve and can guide the team to understand the roles they play in delivering it.
  • Proven experience leading strategic planning and execution, with P&L responsibility.
  • Strong working knowledge of omni-channel strategies and operations.
  • Experience working in natural products, consumer healthcare, over-the-counter or pharmaceutical industries.
  • Strong communicator - able to develop strong relationships and influence the Commercial / cross-functional leadership teams and management via formal and informal communications.
  • Experience prospecting, negotiating & managing wholesalers, distributors, and key customers; including e-commerce resellers.
  • Ability to find creative solutions to often challenging and difficult situations.


  • Understanding of training techniques, both internal & external delegates.
  • Living within a commutable distance of the Andover, Hampshire HQ.

Skills & Competencies

  • Strong team leadership and people development
  • Strategic thinker with ability to roll sleeves up and execute
  • Articulate, engaging, and persuasive communicator
  • Confident presenter
  • Strong negotiator
  • High level of numeracy, P&L management, commercially ‘savvy’
  • Analytical thinker - use data and logic to extrapolate insights & back up your ideas.
  • Strong Microsoft Office skills, especially Excel, PowerPoint and Word
  • Self-motivated, resilient, energetic, enthusiastic and hard-working
  • Realistic and pragmatic with confidence to address difficult circumstances and ‘find a way’ to achieve goals
  • Appreciation for the value of joining a small, fast growing company and being a part of the ‘work family’

Hours, salary & start date

  • Full time, permanent position
  • Competitive salary based on experience and qualifications
  • Start immediately

To apply

  • To apply for this role please send your CV along with a covering letter and your salary expectations to HoUKIre@wrenlabs.com
  • No agencies please
  • Deadline for applications is 2nd July 2021

We believe that a diverse, inclusive culture drives creativity and success.  We strive to create a workplace that values all people, where we embrace differences, and everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work. The more perspectives we share, the better we can be.

For more company information please visit www.optibacprobiotics.com/uk

Data protection

We take data protection seriously. In submitting your application for this role, you will be sending us your personal data. We will need to process your personal data in order to consider your application. Our Applicant Privacy Policy sets out the basis on which we will process the personal data that you provide to us with your application and explains your rights. Please read it carefully.