Head of Business Development

Scotland Food & Drink
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
Closing date
21 Sep 2020

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Business Sector
Food & Drink
Other Job Function, Sales
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Business Development Managers (BDM) are Ambassadors for Scotland Food & Drink in their areas and are often the first and main point of contact for food and drink companies, our members, and partners. While this is a relationship management and business development role with revenue targets attached, the role is varied, and tasks will often be determined by requests for support from our membership base. Integral to the role is the ability to collaborate with our partner agencies to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the food and drink support landscape, enabling partnership working to facilitate businesses development.



A new post of Head of Business Development is being created with responsibility for managing the day to day activities of the BDM team’s work.

You will be responsible for creating team alignment and structure whilst looking after your own geography in the East of Scotland, operating as the lead point of contact for all matters specific to your accounts; each area BDM is responsible for filtering communication from and to the business base and SF&D.

Reporting directly to the Market & Business Development Director, you will play a central role in assisting SF&D to support businesses with their ambitions to grow sales of Scottish products, meeting targets established in Ambition 2030.

The East Business Development Manager historically leads on the SDA and although this structure is under review, the role is currently responsible for fostering excellent partnership working with the SDA Board and ensuring that their priorities are reflected across the Scotland Food & Drink team.

You will be skilled at mentoring, motivating, and managing a group of high performing BDM’s.  You will have strong core sales skills including influencing, negotiation, quick problem solving, numeracy & analytical skills, and a commercial mind-set.

You will also be able to utilise our CRM to manage regular contact with your account base and ensure your time is purposeful / valuable to those present.

Great communication is key in all BDM roles, both in dealing with the business base and the internal departments who assist you. This is a target driven role, so you’ll need to be able to maximise your, and the team’s productivity through prioritisation, time management & organisation.

A full driving license is required. This is a field-based role so ideally you are located within the area and familiar with your territory, remaining cognisant that new technology from lockdown has taught us to learn to work more flexibly and efficiently.

Knowledge of the food and alcohol sector is essential.


Team Management

  • Implement new strategies to develop the BDM role to deepen Business Engagement.
  • Develop a suite of reports to monitor and develop team performance, maximising your team’s potential and provide regular reporting against targets.
  • Attendance at full organisation meetings and running BDM team meetings.
  • Regular one-to-ones with your team.
  • Maintain a customer relationship management system.
  • Provide the management structure for the BDM team whilst supporting the M&BD Director with projects as required.
  • Lead on all Scottish Distillers Association activity, including Board liaison.
  • Contribute to SF&D cross-team projects, feeding into plans, sharing knowledge and contacts, and delivering work-stream elements as appropriate.

Business Engagement

  • Account Management of existing members within the territory,
  • Understand each member business and highlight specific opportunities as appropriate.
  • Regular email, phone, and face to face meetings.
  • Develop and maintain key business relationships, proactively contacting the business base and working with our internal departments & external support partnerships.
  • Liaise with wider SF&D team re member requests for assistance and ensure you are updated on all resource available to members, across each department.
  • Provide the conduit between the member and SF&D to feedback on emerging industry issues, and improve the value of SF&D services and membership.
  • Outward engagement with SF&D partners, councils, and public sector agencies (Seafood Scotland, SE, HIE, SDI, SDS, Business Gateway etc) to raise awareness of SF&D activity,
  • Create links with local producers and encourage referrals.
  • Regular meetings with partners to exchange information regarding activity within your territory.
  • Attend networking events and represent SF&D at events, including public speaking.

Member Recruitment

  • Identify, recruit, and communicate with potential businesses in the food and drink sector within your area to encourage membership.
  • Deliver against monthly revenue targets.



The successful candidate will:

  • Be commercially minded, with a vast knowledge and deep understanding of the Scottish food and drink sector and supply chain environment.
  • Have proven account management skills, including account profiling, with demonstrable track record of programme delivery.
  • Have a demonstrable background in coaching and managing teams.
  • Be a team player, strong people skills to develop new and existing relationships.
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills; clear communicator with excellent verbal, written and project management skills.
  • Have excellent analytical, monitoring and reporting skills, allowing close monitoring of all programmes.
  • Demonstrate strong mentorship skills.
  • Maintain high attention to detail.
  • Demonstrate ability to solution build to meet the demand of account and team plans.
  • Willingness to travel and able to attend events out with normal working hours.
  • Exhibit good organisational and time management skills; proven ability to work to a deadline.
  • Be resilient and tenacious.


  • Familiarity with Microsoft packages and an ability to learn in-house systems.
  • Collaborate with internal teams, including Industry Development, Commercial Events & Projects, Communications and Marketing, Finance, and IT to support the delivery of projects and resolve queries.
  • Experience of customer relationships in the retail or foodservice sectors.
  • Full driving licence.
  • Degree level qualification or equivalent.


Scotland Food & Drink is the industry body for Scottish food and drink companies, now established for over ten years its role is to grow our companies and reputation in Scotland, the UK and abroad.

It is an industry-led organisation but it is supported by the Scottish Government and its key agencies. It is responsible for the development and implementation of the industry’s economic growth strategy.

As well as the key industry trade associations, our membership comprises over 350 companies operating in the food and drink sector. They range from small, artisan, start-up businesses to well-established multinational companies.  Our growth markets are both within the UK and overseas. 

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