“Exceptional sales results”

With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Whitten and Roy Partnership (WRP), an international sales consultancy, planned and conducted a 5-day, face-to-face training event in Dakar, Senegal, from April 12th to 16th, 2021 as part of the Leadership for Solar Workforce Development program. The aim of this program is to train senior leaders from solar companies in West Africa to build vibrant sales teams that lead to company growth, increased employment opportunities, and more access to modern, clean, and affordable electricity for homes in sub-Saharan Africa. The training was conducted in French and led by three WRP trainers; Davide Castorina, Jerome Freytag, and Pie-Pacifique Kabalira-Uwase.

This program brings together 14 participants from 7 solar enterprises: Alternaprod (Mali), Baobab (Senegal and Mali), Elle Solaire (Senegal), Oolu Solar (Senegal), Qotto (Benin and Burkina Faso), Solar Hut (Cameroon), and Sunna MOON (Senegal) in West Africa, creating a shared, peer-to-peer learning experience with the aim to build management capability. The training covered critical sales, recruiting, and sales management topics to support the growth of healthy sales organizations with high performing cultures. The training was highly experiential and interactive, including role-playing, and group discussions to engage participants in a transformative, holistic training across three themes: Attitude, Competence, and Execution. 

Training participants engage in an energizer activity led by Pie-Pacifique Kabalira-Uwase from WRP. Photo Credit: Whitten & Roy Partnership

Training participants had this to say about the training event:

Kelly Lavelle Nwachuku from Elle Solaire, Senegal: “It has not only been something that brought me practical skills but I can see there is a lot of depth behind what we have learned. I am inspired to carry on and to keep working towards our mission and I am really very much looking forward to taking all the learning back into my organization. It has been a very enriching week.”

Fabrice Botocou from Qotto, Benin and Burkina Faso: “The information received this week will help me to change my vision of what management means. I am really looking forward to putting all the advice and useful information into practice.” 

Jonathan Month from Solar Hut, Cameroon: “We have just spent a really good week in Dakar coaching with Whitten & Roy Partnership. The programme was very insightful in terms of how to approach the sales aspect of the solar industry. I have really learned a lot and cannot recommend the programme highly enough. Not only did the coaches give us lots of useful advice but we also learned a lot from working together with the other cohort participants. We will take all these valuable insights and information back to our business”. 

Participants and trainers engage in role-play practices. Photo Credit: Whitten & Roy Partnership

Enjoy viewing and listening to some video testimonials from participants at the completion of the training;

Marcel Zoungrana (Qotto, Burkina Faso): https://youtu.be/9VjjyRwFmuo  

Kelly Nwachuku-Lavelle (ElleSolaire, Senegal): https://youtu.be/nS9YBWqUa7k  

Jonathan Monthe (Solar Hut, Cameroon): https://youtu.be/uIOxIBC1j9E 

Moving forward, the program cohort will engage in the Embedding phase of this project, which is a 5-month period that will last through mid-September 2021, and include the following activities:

  1. Individual consultation and coaching, tailored to each beneficiary organization according to the individual needs of each company as they implement the frameworks, skills, and practices learned in training. Specifically, WRP consultants will work with each organization as they pilot and develop recruiting, selling, and managing practices, problem solving at each step as required and using the playbooks as a guide for their conversations. 
  2. Peer learning (via live video link) sessions once per month over five months with all training participants. This session will provide space for peer learning and collaboration opportunities, training for additional content, and group problem-solving. 
  3. Creating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with each organization and coaching them in using input data to help their teams make the changes needed to drive the results (outputs) their company is seeking. 

Join us in further sharing this write-up for the benefit of all who might be interested in learning more about the program.

Compiled By: Harriet Adong, Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management at Makerere University School of Public Health-ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and Jessica Gustafson, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Whitten and Roy Partnership, LLC.