Director of Business Development

  • First Mile
  • Remote
  • Apr 08, 2021
Mid-Career (3-8 years) Business Development/Sales Sustainability Circularity/Waste Social Enterprise

Job Description

About us: The First Mile, an initiative of Thread International and WORK, supports waste collectors in Haiti, Honduras, and Taiwan to recycle plastic and earn income while diverting waste destined for oceans and landfills. These recycled materials are then sourced to First Mile Member brands to be processed into consumer products that deliver a social, environmental, and financial impact. The First Mile is housed within Thread International, a certified Benefit Corporation with an expertise in development and executing product supply chains that are both human- centered and more profitable. Thread partners with its sister organization, WORK, a nonprofit with a mission to accompany the families they serve out of poverty through good, dignified jobs. 

We've done strategy development work for brands like Unilever and Circulate Capital, and we've built and implemented supply chains for everybody from HP to Puma.  We've been in the trenches dealing with ocean bound plastic for over 10 years, and feel confident saying we're the global experts on human-powered ocean bound plastic chains (it's kind of like knowing how to speak Latin.  Really useful in VERY narrow use cases)  Most of our strategy work in the past 24 months has been in helping brands develop achievable plans to hit 2025 and 2030 sustainability goals.  We're very proud to say that so far we've helped our clients divert a total of over 110 million plastic bottles from their supply chains.

In 2021, First Mile will be expanding to five new countries, supporting income opportunities around the world and providing even more opportunity for global brands to source responsibly collected recycled plastic waste. We are looking to expand our team - helping us build these connections with brands, and increase the social and environmental impact we have around the world.

About the role: This role will help inform and execute a sales process, manage an organized pipeline of potential clients, and move clients through this process to a closed deal. You will identify and connect brands with new sourcing opportunities as new First Mile approved supply chains come on line. You will work closely with the First Mile Head of Client Experience, and cross functionally with the Impact team and WORK team. You will represent First Mile in working groups and at conferences, and should be comfortable with speaking to groups of 5 or 500.

You will be critical in helping our team achieve impact and revenue goals and serve our brand partners. Reporting to the Head of Partnerships, you will build and maintain a comprehensive customer pipeline and sales process to help global brands achieve their sustainability goals. This role will be customer-centric, data driven, and balance social/environmental impact along with sales goals. You will be instrumental in the scaling and growth of First Mile into new markets and countries.

This is a unique opportunity to work in a high-growth social enterprise working with some of the most well known brands in the world while bringing dignity and opportunity to waste collectors around the world. We’re a diverse, remote team, working across 4 time zones, and several countries - but we’re headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.

If you worked here this past month here are some things you would have been involved in:

  • Owned the first impression of First Mile to prospective clients through execution of cold calls and emails, as well as following up on warm leads to prospective clients

  • Managed a sales pipeline and constantly explored new methods for growth

  • Navigated the decision making process and multi-stakeholder involvement necessary to closing deals with multi-national companies

  • Created custom pitch decks for multinational companies like Unilever and HP

  • Shared recommendations to help us grow our outreach and our brand as well as our impact (Warning, we love to brainstorm.)

  • Researched and consumed best practices, case studies, and successful strategy around plastic pollution and recycling

  • Presented First Mile at NextWave plastics virtual member meeting

About you:

You’re a problem solver: You understand that sales is really about understanding your client’s problems and recognizing how we can help solve them. You love analyzing strategy, supply chains, and figuring out how to get shit done. You can fill in gaps as necessary, even when it may fall outside of your “job description”. (We are a small, but motivated and agile team. While you won’t have the administrative support of a big corporation, we can promise interesting and rewarding work.)

You are a closer: You beat your goals, and ensure that prospects transition to clients managing the handoff process to the accounts manager. You are tenacious and diligent, but not annoying. You love the sales process, but live for closing a new deal.

You’re an exceptional communicator: Your emails are effective and efficient. Your presentation and public speaking skills are on point. You love talking on the phone and can communicate across different native languages and cultures.

You love recycling: You know the basics about different types of polymers and their applications. You are comfortable talking technical specs with sourcing teams. You can’t wait to become an expert on human powered supply chains.

You are an advocate: You understand that environmental justice cannot exist without social justice. You are comfortable communicating the role that social impact plays in recycling supply chains to your clients and speaking up on behalf of waste collectors - the often overlooked part of supply chains. You remain optimistic and driven by witnessing positive change in people’s lives, while recognizing that there remains a vast amount of work left to do.

Preferred skills may include:

  • A proven track record (2+ years) of business to business sales

  • Ability and willingness to travel once it is safe to do so

  • Multilingualism

  • Public Speaking

  • A love of start up culture

  • Able to legally work in the U.S. 


Why you should work with us: Every deal you close with us will drive dignity and opportunity for waste collectors in the First Mile, and helps to solve the plastic pollution crisis. You’ll work with a group of smart, driven, and passionate people building a fast growing social enterprise. 

We’ll offer:

  • competitive salary 

  • bonus/commission opportunities 

  • flexible work setting

  • generous vacation time

  • paid parental leave

  • healthcare

  • 401(k)