Building a robust sales strategy for environmental clean-up technology
Oil spills have a disastrous effect on the world, harming communities, businesses and wildlife. Ironically, the polypropylene products used to clean up oil are developed from oil themselves. Once oil-soaked, these non-biodegradable, single-use plastics are typically placed in landfills, where they will remain for up to a thousand years, shedding microplastics and leaching oil back into the environment.
Green Boom is an exciting start-up that has developed a patent-pending, sustainable way to help prevent, reduce and clean up oil spills. The company’s 100 per cent biodegradable solution uses treated, tear-resistant fabric pillows and tubes of varying lengths and sizes filled with 100 per cent natural fibre biomass to repel water and rapidly absorb oil from spills. The product can also be cleaned and reused, further enhancing its sustainability.
After proving its technology, Green Boom needed help getting its solution to market and scaling its sales impact. Having grown start-ups in the sustainability space before, Green Boom felt we were right for the job. We applied data analytics and business intelligence, and commercialisation expertise in go-to-market and growth strategy, creating a targeted sales strategy built for success.
Green Boom went on to be named a finalist in the Nature category and received an honorable mention in the On the Rise category at the Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards.
- Identified high-value market opportunities in five target industries and developed detailed sales journeys to accelerate the sales cycle
- Developed a focused marketing and sales strategy, leading to a 15X increase in projected sales
- Introduced Green Boom leaders to industry influencers to fuel future growth
- Named a finalist in the Nature category and received an honorable mention in the On the Rise category at the Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards.
Finding a sustainable solution for the problem of oil spills
While large oil spills releasing tens of thousands of gallons of oil have decreased from around 20 per year in the 1970s to 1.8 per year from 2010 to 2019, the problem is far from solved. A single tanker spill can release hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the ocean. In addition, smaller-scale spills also need to be cleaned up effectively. In the US, there were 150 reported oil spills in 2020 alone. Those small spills add up quickly.
The average amount of conventional absorbent waste produced in cleaning up an oil spill is 10-times the volume of oil that’s spilled. Globally, 25 tonnes of plastic absorbents are used each day to clean up oil spills, the equivalent of 54 million plastic straws, or 57 million plastic bags.
“Oil spills may be decreasing in severity, but they aren’t going away. At Green Boom, we believed there had to be a better, more sustainable way to clean up environmental hazards, without creating more waste or driving up cost,” said Sudhir Sharma, Cofounder and CEO, Green Boom. “After extensive R&D we found it.”
Developing a market for innovative oil-absorbent clean-up solutions
We provided sustainability start-up experience, combined with market research, analysis, and sales road-mapping capabilities to help the company focus sales activities and achieve early wins across target industries and geographies. Our previous work with PulPac, another sustainability start-up, informed our growth acceleration strategy. We brought expertise to scale to market readiness and made connections with potential partners to best position Green Boom for success.
“Green Boom had focused its efforts on developing a highly innovative, sustainable solution but needed help making in-roads with the right buyers,” said Sharma. “We knew PA would move beyond desk research to making introductions to buyers it would otherwise be challenging to connect with.”
First, we met with Green Boom to understand their products, operations, and marketing and sales strategy. After understanding leaders’ goals and current state, we began market research, moving from an analysis of global growth prospects to key regions. In each region, we explored the top industries that would purchase this type of solution. Next, we broke down industries into sub-industries, identifying key distributors and customers for oil-based absorbents in each market.
We set out to find not only which companies would be in the market for an oil spill clean-up solution – but more importantly – where they would go to purchase it. By getting the product stocked by the right distributors, we increase the visibility of the product at the time it’s needed most.
“Our team identified North America and Europe as the most attractive regions to focus on for the near-term, due to their greater market share and higher projected total revenues,” says Seth Lively, digital expert at PA. “We also identified five key industries to concentrate on and which consumers and distributors to target in each industry.” Those sub-industries were automotive, distribution and transportation, petroleum and chemical, rental, and retail and wholesale.
After studying Green Boom’s sales processes, we developed a sales journey to standardise processes, focus initial efforts and professionalise outreach.
“PA gave us a sales journey and an 18-month sales strategy, so that we knew what to focus on and when,” said Sharma
Moving fast to notch some wins
“The market analysis and sales roadmap that PA produced were enormously helpful to us, as we sought to build market share,” said Sharma. “We’re finalising deals that will lift sales by 15-fold, thanks to their strategic guidance.”
In addition, we’re introducing Green Boom leaders to industry influencers for potential funding, which would enable the company to hire full-time sales staff and make other key investments to grow faster.
In the future, when oil spills occur, businesses see Green Boom as a leader in limiting damage while protecting waterways and fragile ecosystems from harm.