Building Products Careers in Sales and Marketing

Adam Dolman

What do Building Products careers in Sales and Marketing look like? This is a sector full of professional pride and high levels of customer service. It’s an industry with no-nonsense, politics and the red tape is clear. It’s a value industry for values-driven people. And can be a great industry for Sales and Marketing professionals.

What jobs are in Building Products? 

Starting off with highlighting the shear size and scope of the industry – the building products sector makes up 11.0% of total manufacturing turnover in the UK. And the combination of Building Materials and Construction is worth £77 billion as a whole – this is just for manufacturing! These products are then distributed, installed etc. 

It’s an amazing industry to join at any level, with varying jobs and departments to go into. From the Trade Counter in a Merchant to Managing Director and beyond, opportunities are endless. Due to there being so many transferable skills that are relevant to the industry, it’s an industry most people can choose as a career. Pair that with the industry being open and welcoming to experience in any sector, there’s a role for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an apprenticeship at any age or you’ve been operating at board level for many years, it’s certainly an industry to consider. 

There’s so much variety within the sector and the routes you can go down are never-ending. We’ve spoken with people who have gone from working in a bar for 5 years where the progression is limited, to joining a national merchant and 5 years later they’re managing a branch of £6m turnover, 6 members of staff and have a bright future ahead of them, both in their current business and in the industry as a whole. 

Sales Careers in Building Products 

Starting a career in sales is easier than you think. You can really enter the industry at any level and with varying experiences. As long as you can give examples of accounts that you’ve grown, revenue brought to the business and show your passion for solving customer problems, you’ll show that you’re a great fit for the industry. If you have no sales experience, don’t worry, it won’t be a hard “no”. You can start in an entry-level position and work your way up. 

But, what do salespeople do in the building products industry? It’s a question that Natalie Chapman answers, as there are so many routes in this industry: 

Sales in the industry span many different routes to market.  

You can start in a Sales Administrator role or something similar, this’ll give you experience in answering customer queries, putting through orders, processing invoices and keeping customer records up to date. In this role, you’ll see so many areas of our industry. 

Most products start with the manufacturer. Salespeople will sell these products to merchants or distributors to reach the end user or subcontractor. So it’s important to build a strong presence in the industry, create a network and get your name out there. 

Some companies will also sell through specifications and architects. However, these are usually bespoke or design lead products, so they are a lot less common and as a result, come at a higher expense.  

Finally, as a salesperson in building products, you can also sell to contractors or house builders, this is products sold on high volume. 

Sales jobs in building products are so varied that you can really carve out your own career. But, the typical jobs are: 

  • Trade Counter  
  • Internal or External Sales 
  • Area Sales Manager 
  • Key Account Manager 

Routes into the Building Materials Sector 

Having previous experience will always have its benefits. But can’t stress enough how it isn’t a necessity! Building Products really can be for anyone. We’ve helped people from recruitment, beauty therapy and more, get into the industry. All of whom have gone on to have great careers in building products. 

Here are their stories! 

Marketing Careers in Building Products 

Modernisation of the building products sector hasn’t happened overnight, so if you’re looking to make a splash, you can make a huge impact. There are a number of businesses in the building products industry with no previous experience of having a Marketing team. Only in recent years have they started moving towards a more modern business model and including Marketing in their strategy.  

Marketing within building products is similar to other marketing roles, but it has the added layer of challenge with a non-consumer-led strategy. It’s summarised nicely in this article, which discusses how the person buying the materials is more likely to be an industry professional. Meaning that person has a depth of knowledge and won’t fall for the classic marketing tactics.

Why choose Marketing in the Building Products industry? 

The sustainable nature of the industry is what draws Marketers to it. There’ll always be that demand for building products, as people will always want to build houses and extend on what they already have. It’s an industry with the promise of long life and opportunities for lots of progression. 

Building products doesn’t just offer longevity, it’s a place where, as a marketer you can reap the benefits of the work you’ve sown. An idea you’ve thought of or a strategy you’ve helped to implement could bring on big business. So, there’s the potential of having a huge impact. 

And there’s the rewarding element. As a marketing professional in this industry, you could see a slate from production, all the way to installation. Marketers I’ve worked with have told me it’s one of the best feelings, knowing they’ve encouraged that purchase and the improvement of the end user’s living space.  

Natalie Chapman shares her thoughts on what Marketing in Building Products looks like: 

Marketing within the industry is as diverse as the sales. You’ll be responsible for making your products known by not only businesses, but the end consumer too. Getting the name out there and what products you offer aren’t the only elements to think about.

The industry is heavily digitally based but there’s still a focus on offline media and print for events like tradeshows where banners and advertising materials will need to be created.  

And within the industry, there’s such a range of marketing jobs on offer. You can niche in more of a product marketing position, focus more on digital or choose to become a campaign manager. Each role generally has the opportunity for progression, and can grow to manage a full marketing department.  

Careers span, product marketing, campaign manager, digital and so much more. 

What is the earning potential?  

Looking at the BMF Remuneration survey in 2022, which from our research is incredibly accurate, it shows the roles and salaries paid.  

In the East Midlands for example, you can be expected to start on c.£10/hour but a Branch Manager (a role which you can achieve in just a few years of being in the industry) pays between £32,000 and £52,000 depending on branch size. This role generally comes with a company car and a performance related bonus. 

What is the Progression in Building Materials?  

The route to progression generally starts at Apprentice/Trainee to Trade Counter to Internal Sales then leadership roles. With hard work, applying yourself and soaking up all the training the employers and BMF offer, you can earn a really good living in a stable industry with excellent long-term prospects. It’s a very clear route of progression that is applicable to each sector within the building products industry. 

In Summary 

The sky is really the limit with your career in building products. The industry offers so many avenues for you to progress and is itself so diverse. It really is a great industry- though we may be somewhat biased 😅 

What’s next? Well, if you’d like to talk about starting a career in building products, our team are on hand to guide you. So, reach out today to talk about your options. Alternatively, if you want to see a couple of jobs before speaking with your team you can see all our building products jobs on our website!