Head of Sales (Remote)
Yard Stick PBC
Sales & Business Development
Cambridge, MA, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 4, 2024
About The Role
Yard Stick is looking for a Head of Sales to help us fight climate change with soil.
Yard Stick currently has a three-person commercial team: Chris (CEO), Kelsey (Head of Growth and Partnerships), and Maya (Customer Success Lead). To date, Chris and Kelsey have done most of the selling work of the company. On the heels of our $12M Series A, Yard Stick must transition from being primarily a founder-led sales effort to one with dedicated sales leadership. We have demonstrated incredible early traction and are ready to accelerate our efforts to win more and bigger contracts for work in our wheelhouse, namely soil C stock quantification on row crop and grazing agricultural soils in the US.
We’re looking for a sales leader to initially sell big projects themselves and then eventually build a high performing team to do the same. This role must both be the type to knock down a door driving toward a sale, and be incredibly curious and empathetic in the way they collaborate with other Yard Stick stakeholders. This role will report to the CEO. If you have deep sales experience, thrive in a high growth startup environment, and are ready to advance our soil carbon mission, read on!
This full-time remote role will start ASAP in 2024.
About Yard Stick PBC
Yard Stick is a remote-first climate tech startup with cofounders based in Boston, MA and Oakland, CA. We are on a mission to reverse climate change with agriculture. Scientists and farmers alike know that climate-friendly agricultural practices have the potential to remove atmospheric CO2 at gigaton/year scale. When these practices are adopted, more carbon is stored in soils, improving soil health and fighting climate change. But significant measurement challenges have held soil carbon efforts back - until now.
By reducing the cost of soil carbon measurement by 70-90%, Yard Stick will dramatically expand the opportunities for evidence-based regenerative practices to simultaneously improve ecosystem health, increase farmer income, and combat climate change.
Current soil carbon measurement technologies are slow, expensive, and cumbersome, relying on conventional soil cores and labs to quantify carbon stocks. In contrast, Yard Stick is fast and cheap - without sacrificing accuracy. As a testament to our technology’s potential, alongside our scientific collaborators, we were awarded $18M across six USDA Climate-Smart Commodities projects, and we have additional grant financing from ARPA-E, NSF, CDFA, and other discerning grant-makers. We’ve also raised another nearly $18M from top climate VCs, including Toyota Climate Venture Fund, Lowercarbon Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures (Bill Gates’ climate fund), Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Extania, Pillar VC, MCJ Collective… the list goes on!
For more background, check out some coverage of Yard Stick in TechCrunch, Fast Company, and AgFunder.
We offer competitive salary and equity (benchmarked to 75th percentile of high-growth US tech compensation), health/dental/vision insurance, a 401k, and home-office reimbursements. We have many team members with young families and have a strong track record of creative, flexible approaches to hours and communication expectations which let folks feel great about their commitments both to Yard Stick and their lives outside of work.
- Sell Large, Well-Fit Projects: This is a sales role. Stating the obvious, given the right raw materials (e.g. compelling offering, marketing materials, strategic clarity) you’ll win big soil carbon measurement contracts for the company quickly and consistently. Alongside our Head of Growth, you’ll identify the right customer targets, create account and customer segment strategies, plan outreach, present demos and proposals, negotiate contracts and assist in smooth onboarding efforts, and then appropriately hand-hold as projects kick off. You may not self-identify as a marketer, but you can confidently create basic marketing materials on your own as needed and you’ll find cost-effective ways to get supporting consultants (e.g. writers, photographers) as needed.
- Build An Inspiring Sales Team: You’ll be the only dedicated salesperson at the company, but if you do your job well, we’ll need many more in the near future. In partnership with the CEO, you’ll define your team’s goals, culture, process, and interaction with the rest of the company. You’ll lead pipeline management, forecasting and other relevant business metrics, and creation of sales enablement materials and processes.
- Inform Overall Commercial and Product Strategy: Since you’re the one selling all day, you’ll understand the market and customer in unique ways. Your insights will help refine the company’s ideal customer personas, define segment-specific sales strategies, and inform new customer experiments we’ll want to run to build a lean, successful commercial organization. You will prioritize and execute high value partnerships. You’ll also serve as a key internal voice of the customer to ensure our actual offering is well-aligned to market needs.
- Tell The Company Story: This is primarily a sales role rather than brand marketing role, but guess what… we don’t have any dedicated marketing people! 😛 Where appropriate, you’ll attend industry conferences, contribute to Yard Stick brand awareness in earned media and speaking opportunities, follow and guide market trends, influence key non-customer stakeholders, and broadly participate in the soil carbon sector with authority.
- Partner For Success: Yard Stick’s offering spans hardware, software, soil science, and many other disciplines. This role will focus on scaling our “known” business like row crop and grazing lands in the US while Kelsey’s role will focus on “new”/emerging business like international work and specialty crops. You’ll partner seamlessly with Kelsey to ensure clarity of account ownership and strategy, and you’ll similarly partner well with Yard Stick tech team members to both understand what Yard Stick already has and inform future product features/direction/tech priorities.
Qualifications (Must Have)
- Demonstrable expertise leading relevant enterprise sales efforts. You have led relevant sales processes yourself. You’ve been given a thing to sell and have successfully sold it at the scale of many millions of dollars. “Relevant” in this case could include various kinds of overall with Yard Stick’s offerings: Services offerings, IRL “field”-based offerings, offerings sold to big ag companies, climate offerings, science-y/highly technical offerings, time-based offerings (e.g. something which is inherently recurring like measurement over time or “tracking” offerings), and/or offerings in regulated industries where “standards” and “protocol alignment” are important. You love relational selling where you must get “in the head” of your customer to educate, build trust, and get to yes. You’re not intimidated by sales processes which can last months (or sometimes years!). You are hungry. You will run through a brick wall to hit your number.
- Comfort managing complex pricing and contracting processes. Offerings like ours which are priced uniquely on a per-customer basis don’t freak you out. You’ll gather the required details, operate and manage internal pricing/scoping tools, and figure out pricing which satisfies both customer WTP and company ops/capacity/financial targets. A 12-page services agreement doesn’t faze you. You’re not a lawyer, but you understand how contracts work and will carefully and patiently trade edits until all parties are happy, pulling in expert support when necessary.
- Flawless organization of complex information. Since you’ll often be the only person with a specific piece of customer/sales information, documenting, interpreting, and sharing it well is paramount. Doubly so since Yard Stick is a remote-first company. You’re a little obsessive with folder organization and file naming conventions, and you love setting up lightweight systems to make sure everybody can see the right stuff at the right time without always asking you for help. You’ll have to keep track of dozens of leads at varying stages of maturity, and that’s fine - you’ll just design a process to keep it all under control. Airtable or similar is your love language. You’re encouraged to learn that Yard Stick has a 10-page internal communication norms document. You write very well.
- Strong personal independence and entrepreneurial autonomy. You beg forgiveness rather than ask permission. You don’t sit around waiting for the CEO to answer your question, but rather get it done one way or another with what you’ve got. You assess the situation, consider solutions, make a plan, and execute. You tend to get way out ahead of everybody else and anticipate others’ needs well. Ownership and (appropriate) autonomy are key to your fulfillment. Nonetheless, you understand and respect what’s your job and what’s not, and you collaborate deeply and effectively with other teams at Yard Stick.
- Personal, durable enthusiasm for the challenge of climate change. It matters to you that you’re working on a problem of existential significance. You get fired up by the fact that your work can help avoid others’ suffering. You’re briefly overwhelmed by the scale of the problem... and then you’re right back in the ring doing your part.
Qualifications (Nice To Have)
- Prior experience at a high-growth start-up. Yard Stick is a small, young, ambitious company. We move very quickly and have big goals. You understand the pace of early-stage tech startups and can move at a similar pace yourself. Note this is not about work hours per se - most people at Yard Stick work “normal” work hours. An appetite for growth means you know what a high-growth company feels like and expects, and you’re signing up for that experience.
- Prior experience in agriculture, soil science, carbon markets, land use, MRV, and similar. This isn’t required, but it’d obviously be super helpful to accelerate your time-to-impact at the company.
- Comfort with any aspects of brand/marketing process. Can you write legit sales copy? Design a world-class pitch deck? Give a banger of a keynote? We’d love to know! To be clear, this role will not currently be supported by a marketing person, so you’ll have to do a bunch of this whether you’re an expert or not. You must be “passable” in these domains, but if you’re actually exceptional in any, please say so since that will significantly improve your attractiveness as a candidate.
- Familiarity with CRM/pipeline systems (e.g. HubSpot, Pipedrive). Again not required, but if you don’t have experience with these tools, we’ll need to see evidence of prior work on similar software and would need confidence that you can get up to speed with new technologies very quickly.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Yard Stick’s impact goals go well beyond climate science. Why? Our company operates primarily in the US agricultural sector, which is predicated on centuries of mass land theft and disenfranchisement of Native and Black people. This harm continues today. If we’re going to work in this sector, we need to leave it better than we found it.
Consistent with our core value of “Pursue Justice,” we speak up about these issues, and we support emerging solutions and relevant policy efforts such as H.R.40 and S.300. We also publicly highlight the risk of further racial discrimination in emerging agricultural legislation like the Growing Climate Solutions Act and in press coverage ensure that the discrimination in past and present US agriculture is part of the conversation right alongside more typical topics like who our customers are, or how our tech works.
Regarding hiring and culture, we work to create a work environment where everyone feels confident sharing their ideas, problem-solving happens openly and collaboratively, and mistake-making is welcomed. We’ve recently organized lunchtime all-team discussions on issues like labor equity in Florida produce, Pigford v. Glickman (the largest US civil rights settlement in history), and other contemporary moral concerns in agriculture. When hiring, we standardize our interview process and questions to reduce “likeability” bias, benchmark salaries against industry databases to reduce negotiation, and utilize tools like the Gender Decoder(this one is feminine-coded, fwiw). Climate change is arguably the most complex challenge ever faced by humanity - we need all of humanity activated to fight back, and that motivates us to build a diverse team.