What is our ambassador program (Solaris Business School)?
The program started over a year ago and aims at recruiting and training salesmen to join the Solaris team to pitch in the villages. More than 150 ambassadors have been trained in the program so far.
After being recommended by staff members and pre-selected, the pool of potential ambassadors attends the Solaris Business School, to be trained in the fundamentals of selling. Half a day or more is generally dedicated to marketing theories in a classroom setting. This is followed by a practical half a day, where the candidates are taken to the field to learn how to pitch to real leads along with the Solaris Tanzania sales team. Each ambassador will have a chance to practice pitching during this practical session.
For Solaris Tanzania, ambassadors are local and reliable resources: they bring knowledge and understanding of local villages and people. They foster trust and sustainable relationship with our end customers.
Last but not least, ambassadors help us maintain a lower Customer Acquisition Cost, contributing to an increased expansion potential. Having a mixture of full-time staff and ambassadors also gives us balance in our sales assets portfolio, as per the recommendations of Hystra's latest report (cf. Challenge #3).
A launchpad to a permanent position at Solaris Tanzania
The ambassador's program is a win-win opportunity; it provides Solaris with valuable local sales people and it can lead to full-time employment for the ambassador.
When an ambassador is performing well over several months and showing long-term commitment, we review the possibility of them becoming a full-time member of the sales team at Solaris Tanzania. As the company grows, the impact of this is clear; we have now more than half of our sales team coming from this program.
As an inclusive company, we believe that recruiting and generating local and sustainable employment is part of our mission and provides real impact. More generally, in a developing country, where the quality of education remains a challenge and traditional methods of recruitment are scarce, retaining your high potential resources is an important strategy.
Examples of new members - former ambassadors
Meddard is one of our sales managers. A former entrepreneur, he used to run his own shop, selling solar systems. He has been working with Solaris for more than one year now, starting as a sales ambassador during the 6 first months where he was bringing more than 15 new clients monthly. As he clearly demonstrated his selling and management skills, and his understanding of local challenges, we offered him a full-time place in the team.
This 41 year-old father of two kids is now in charge of coordinating more than 10 people on the ground every day! He helps Solaris Tanzania to get a deeper understanding of the challenges that local people are facing on the ground, especially when it comes to the farmer population.
Briton and Fransisco are two experienced salesmen who recently joined the team. Briton used to be a local mechanic while Fransisco was managing his farm along with several other businesses. These two friends have always had "selling skills" in their DNA. Over the last 7 months, they have brought respectively more than 100 installations to the company!
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