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Come join SparkMeter’s Customer Success team and help increase electricity access in developing countries. As Business Development Director-Microgrid, you will be a member of the senior leadership of the Customer Success team, you will be responsible to grow the microgrid business pipeline, qualify leads and secure sales by moving our microgrid customers through our sales pipeline in strong collaboration with our Territory Market Managers, you will also help improve our processes and systems, and increasing sales by managing existing accounts to improve customer satisfaction.
We pride ourselves on a problem-led, solution-based sales philosophy. We understand the challenges facing utilities who are working to increase energy access, and we look to learn from our customers’ challenges. Rather than trying to hard-sell a one-size-fits-all product, we’re talking with interested commercial and technical experts to discuss how our product can help with their specific problems, and what they will need to make the most of it in the context of their business and their objectives.
You’ll focus on:
- Business development. This is an external-facing role, you will develop business relationship with customers to make them aware of SparkMeter’s technological developments and new products, assist them in solving complex problems, achieve cost savings and optimize their operations. You will generate new opportunities for equipment, SaaS and value-added services products to grow the Microgrids segment Business by double digits
- Market Research. You will develop & execute strategic growth plan (1 year, 2-year, 3-year) for the Microgrids segment per Region while ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations in the different markets.
- Improving our commercial operations processes. You’ll help manage our CRM (Salesforce.com) to ensure we are fully leveraging the tool for automation of processes and for reporting.
In your first few months you’ll:
- Learn our product and industry. We have a robust onboarding program so that you understand our product, its functionality, our market, and how to help prospects and customers understand it. And you’ll bring your own knowledge and experience in the process.
- Learn our strategy. You will learn about strategy in general and craft from it the microgrid strategy while adopting our company values.
- Survey the market & Develop the relationship with the different stakeholders in the microgrid space. You will reach out to new & existing funding organisations and microgrid developers to introduce yourself and SparkMeter. You will survey the market for leads (incl. market intelligence data) to determine the total market, the target market and convert those leads into into opportunities for SparkMeter.
- Take part in handover meetings between BD Leaders & Market Managers. We have twice a month a meeting where BD Leaders & Market Managers discuss market potentials. You will present in these meetings the business leads received from your interactions with the stakeholders in the microgrid space after having assessed and qualified them against for SparkMeter’s value offering.
- Represent SparkMeter at industry events & conferences. We travel internationally to events regularly to give talks, meet with our current customers, and expand our networks in the industry. You’ll join other members of our team at a few events each year. (Some recent events have been a few blocks away from SparkMeter’s Washington, D.C. and Nairobi offices, while others were in Abuja, Lisbon and Miami-Florida!)
Where You’ll Work
This person will be a member of our Nairobi, Kenya office. You can expect occasional travel: about 25-30% or ~6-10 weeks a year.
Type of Role & Compensation Structure
This is a full-time role with benefits. Compensation is made of salary and performance bonus.
SparkMeter was founded to promote opportunity in underrepresented communities.
SparkMeter’s core value is opportunity: the opportunity for underserved communities to achieve great things. That’s why our mission is to increase access to electricity in underserved communities – it is electricity and the services derived from it that unlock and create those opportunities. This value is reflected in our hiring ethos: we believe that the strongest teams have diverse backgrounds. Our approach to hiring has been validated by academic and industry studies that show that workforce diversity improves team and business performance. (It has also been validated by the quality of the team we’ve assembled so far!) We encourage applications from members of groups currently underrepresented in energy, web development & software engineering.
You’ll be a good fit for this role if you have:
- Challenger Sale mindset. Our customers being unique, you will need to understand the customer’s business, you will need to challenge them out of their comfort zone and propose solutions that address the customer’s genuine needs rather than offering products.You should be comfortable and enjoy talking with people who come from different cultures and be able to identify opportunities to solve customers problems.
- Significant experience working with customers in Business Development and Stakeholder management. You are comfortable engaging with customers at all levels (incl. C team) via email, over the phone and face-to-face to create new relationship, discuss customer’s needs, expansion plans and project and funding requirements to turn them into business opportunities for SparkMeter.
- Strong understanding of the microgrid business. You will need to understand the complete business cycle of a microgrid development, understand where SparkMeter’s offering features and how to tailor a unique solution from early stage of the project.
- Comfort with technology. While you don’t have to be an engineer to do well in this role, you will need to be a fine Business Developer, you should be comfortable with computers, science and engineering concepts. You are excited to make new relations, convince customers and learn more about the technical concepts behind SparkMeter’s product. A background in energy, energy project finance, project development or power generation will help you navigate between our product’s changing capabilities, limitations and ensure all stakeholders (especially our clients) are kept satisfied and meet their objectives.
- Strong understanding of the funding process for microgrid projects. You will need to have a good understanding of how funding organisations and developing agencies (i.e: USTDA, US DFC, World Bank, EIB, AFDB, AFD, etc.) work and their processes. You will also need to support customers during their application for grants and loans where applicable.
- Disciplined self-starter. You love devising new systems and getting all things in their right place. We’re a startup, which means we are building systems as we grow and require leadership from everyone in our company for this.
- Empathy. Our customers and partners are based in more than 25 countries all over the world and come from many different backgrounds. You should be comfortable and enjoy talking with people who come from cultures different from your own.
- Strong communication skills. In order to connect to customers, understand their needs, and create great documentation, you should have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
We’d also like to see (but don’t require) experience with:
- Experience using a CRM. We use Salesforce as our CRM to track opportunities and generate quotations for customers. Ideally, you should have some experience with Salesforce or another CRM system for tracking opportunities, generating quotations, and creating reports. SparkMeter uses many customized features within Salesforce, so comfort with adding custom fields and features is a plus.
- Industry experience. Have you worked in energy for a private company? Have you worked for a microgrid developer or in rural electrification? Do you have experience on the public sector side of energy access but are looking to make the switch to the private sector? We think that either of these would give great perspective to work at SparkMeter.
- French language skills. Ability to speak French and English would be required as the territories to cover have mainly English and French-speaking customers.