In-House Salespeople

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Overview

This method involves distribution through employees in enterprise branch offices. It is often practiced by enterprises selling products such as solar home systems or biogas digesters which are larger and higher-tech, but still affordable to individuals. Similarly, this model is well suited for products that need enterprises to be involved in financing and maintenance.

This strategy is sometimes combined with community-based implementation if a community-based enterprise sells products (ex. Shidhulai Affordable Technologies sells rechargeable lanterns from their boat schools).

Pros

The enterprise may have a high-maintenance cost and a more expensive product but it is selling commercially to independent customers. This model can improve customer trust because the enterprise maintains a presence in the sales area. This creates an opportunity for the enterprise to have recurring sales. This model enables the enterprise to control the brand and product and eliminate any intermediary middlemen in the supply chain.

Cons

This model is more resource intensive than retail or partner sales models. The enterprise must spend time and money training salespeople within the business. Similarly, the enterprise can only scale as fast as it can create new branches and train new salespeople.

Case Study

SELCO sells solar home systems in Karnataka, India, primarily by employees trained as salespeople who get salary plus commission.

SELCO’s distribution model is closest to that of an interior decorator or kitchen remodeler: salespeople go to a client’s house, discuss their power needs, and determine how many lights, plugs, etc, are right for them. SELCO’s systems are sold with a 1 year service contract (covering 2 panel and battery cleanings and 1 emergency call) and customers can buy an annual maintenance contract going forward.The enterprise has 25 energy service centers around Karnataka and Gujarat and does not sell anywhere that it cannot provide service within 24 hours. SELCO also partners with local banks to facilitate customers getting credit for solar system purchases.

Enterprises