The good: The family’s grown! We opened a brand new branch in the Mombasa slum of Kisauni, bringing the total number of branches to nine, across three different counties in Kenya. This has helped to boost the number of products sold, and the coastal cooking tradition certainly makes the clean cookstove a much in-demand product in our new market. The size of our family of sales agents has also taken an upturn, with a total of 134 active agents operating across the nine branches.
The challenges: Despite high sales force numbers, an influx of new trainees means that total sales and average sales per agent are lower than we aimed for, as is average sales agent income. New agents usually take the first month to build their pipeline and perfect their sales pitch, where they prove their sales ability by trying out what they’ve learned in the classroom during their training. Then, in subsequent weeks, their sales will increase as they become seasoned at pitching products, closing the sale and following up with customers. High numbers of new agents, reflected in the drastic increase in size of sales force (from 92 in February) therefore account in part for these low sales figures. In the coming months we will concentrate on training fewer new agents and instead providing intensive coaching and support to existing agents.