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Four steps to building a successful outreach team

So far in this blog series, we have described segmentation in the 9-Box Model, contractor/trade ally management using the 9-Box, and the role of market influencers in the 9-Box Model. The goal is to integrate outreach and marketing strategies to use the same model, data sets, and assumptions in focusing on success in driving program participation.

Outreach can be described as account management or relationship management, with a focus on facilitating a certain outcome. The 9-Box Model allows the program manager to hone in on the specific skills, experience, and relationships the outreach team needs to successfully manage the existing accounts and to expand participation. The following four steps, including the initial step of establishing the 9-Box Model for your program, provide a strategy for using the 9-Box to build a more successful outreach team.

  1. Establish the 9-Box Model within your program. Segment customers, service providers, and market influencers in the territory. Based on program goals, further refine the 9 Box Model based on customer market segments, regions, or technologies. And in doing so, define your goals and strategies for delivering your programs as it relates to each of the 9 boxes.
  2. Identify the skills needed on your team. From the analysis and strategy, consider the kinds of technical expertise or market experience you want in the team that will be building relationships and managing the book of accounts of customers and service providers. At DNV GL, we look for outreach team candidates with specific experience in energy efficiency technologies, and existing relationships through membership in trade/professional organizations, or specific jobs dealing with the most valuable customers or service providers.
  3. Find a good coach for your team. That outreach manager must understand the program’s goals, and how the skills and talents of the individual team members can work together to achieve those goals. The successful manager will adjust assignments and territories on the fly, taking full advantage of the team’s technical expertise, people skills, and existing relationships. Finally, using the 9 Box, the manager can identify gaps in the skill set of the existing team members, and provide a more specific job description for recruiting.
  4. Establish specific task/activity goals. The outreach manager and team can translate the general intensity guidelines provided in the 9 Box to specific team and individual goals for frequency and types of contacts with customers, contractors/service providers, and market influencers. Moreover, specific assignments can be matched to the specific skills or existing relationships among the team members. For example, the outreach team member with experience and existing relationships in the HVAC sector could be assigned to participate in the local chapter of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers), with the specific goals for participation based on the 9 Box Model.

Building a successful outreach team becomes more feasible after using the 9 Box Model to identify the targets of program outreach. Then the program manager can match the traits and experience required to establish, grow, and maintain relationships with the groups of customers, service providers, and market influencers most likely to result in program success.

For additional references and access to the full blog series on the 9 Box Model, please click.

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