SparkMeter is a venture-backed company that was founded in late 2013, a spin-off of the non-profit EarthSpark International. We developed our low-cost, pre-pay enabled, smart metering system as a solution for electric utilities in developing countries to serve low-income customers. Our metering system is being widely adopted by utilities serving customers in rural parts of Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Come join SparkMeter’s Customer Success team and help increase electricity access in developing countries. As Director of Utility Business Development, you will help SparkMeter develop its approach to selling into a new market for SparkMeter: distribution utilities and other on-grid customers. 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.
Duties and responsibilities:
You'll focus on:
- Distribution Utility Sales and Sales Process: SparkMeter’s main customer segment is currently microgrid utilities. This role will lead our expansion into central grid distribution utilities worldwide through the acquisition of major sales contracts. The Head of Utility Business Development will define a sales process for this segment, track customer touch points, gather customer and project information, qualify leads, and demonstrate SparkMeter’s value proposition to potential customers. You will contribute to a sales playbook, inclusive of information acquisition tools, marketing collateral, demos, and webinars.
- Business Development and Stakeholder Engagement: This is an external-facing role, and you’re excited to speak with utilities about their challenges and determine if we are the right product fit to help solve them. You are eager to learn what makes a customer a better fit for our product and are constantly aiming to better understand our business as a whole to ensure we focus on customers we can serve profitably. You will also work with stakeholders like national regulatory bodies and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) on initiatives that are designed to improve distribution utility operations.
- Managing our growing pipeline: You’ll make sure we’re following up with our contacts regularly so our leads have the information they need when they need it and so we don’t miss out on opportunities. You’ll track metrics and use reports to keep the full commercial operations team apprised of the status of opportunities in our sales pipeline and our sales performance.
- Market Landscape Research: You’ll help us identify the right markets for SparkMeter’s product and the specific utilities or other on-grid customers who might be interested in our products. You will follow developments in the utility sector and help us determine who we should contact and how best to do it.
- Product and Technology Feedback: You will be responsible for gathering market information on distribution utility needs in emerging markets, from West Africa to Southeast Asia and the Pacific. You will keep an eye on SparkMeter’s competitors and help SparkMeter understand our key areas of differentiation in this customer segment. You will develop surveys, and work with partners like Universities and SparkMeter’s investors to connect with utilities to better understand their needs and how SparkMeter’s product can solve their problems.
- Improving our commercial operations processes: You’ll help manage our CRM (Salesforce) and track opportunities from qualification through quotation and negotiation to close.
In your first few months you'll:
- Join sales calls: You’ll jump right into our work by joining calls with leads to get firsthand contact with the criteria we use to qualify customers so you can apply what you learn throughout your work.
- Conduct demos: After you become more familiar with how our products work, you’ll help us conduct demonstrations for our potential customers. (This is usually online, but may occasionally be in person).
- Manage market research: You’ll help us identify utilities and other on-grid customers who might be interested in our products. You will follow developments in the sector and help us determine who we should contact - and how best to do it. You’ll help us track and organise information about various markets and our targets and partners within them.
- Develop marketing materials: You’ll help us create FAQs, newsletters (content creation and email distribution), and other materials to help our prospects and customers understand our products. You will think from their perspective to help define what resources would be most useful to understand the features of our metering system.
- 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. office, while others were in Abuja and Lisbon!
You'll be a good fit for this role if you have:
- International experience: Your background should include extensive commercial work in emerging markets, particularly in Africa.
- Industry/domain experience: You have a background in the utility sector.
- B2B and technical sales: You have experience with selling hardware and software to businesses.
- Comfort with technology: While you don’t have to be an engineer to do well in this role, you should be comfortable with computers, science and engineering concepts. You are excited to learn more about the technical concepts behind SparkMeter’s product.
- 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 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.
- Financial and contractual sophistication: You have developed commercial offerings that provide customers with optionality to finance or buy a product outright.
We’d also like to see (but don’t require):
- Language skills: You have fluency in languages in addition to English.
- Financial modeling: You are capable of producing a pro forma around a specific sale or product line to estimate cash flow.
- Channel partners: You have experience with incorporating channel partners into a sales and support strategy.
How to apply:
Apply online here: https://sparkmeter.workable.com/j/713D5CDAE8
As soon as possible