The Good. We are so proud to have started the year off by breaking our sales goal. This was largely due to a former Sales Agent and Training Manager who is now employing around six other people to sell clean-burning cookstoves outside of the Nairobi area. This is part of a greater B2B strategy that we are working on in order to provide our products at discounted prices to entrepreneurs and organizations that will create their own sales forces and create more jobs.
The Challenges. After the holiday break, many of our sales agents were slow to return from visiting their families outside of Nairobi. This, in addition to high training turn out but low conversion from training to employment, led to a smaller sales force than we anticipated for this month. Also, many of our Sales Agents complained that customers were low on expendable income this month after the holidays and with school fees due. We planned for this seasonality in our high-level sales goals but are now thinking about ways to support our agents so that their income is not negatively affected during low sales seasons.