Women Leading Sales At Rain Bird
It’s no secret that irrigation tends to be a male-dominated industry, and sales as a profession is typically staffed by men as well. Here at Rain Bird, however, we have a vibrant and diverse staff throughout the company, and we are thrilled to employ many strong women in our Sales division. Being a woman in the field has its own challenges and benefits, and we spoke about these with three women in sales: Brittany Borden, Specification and Municipal Sales Manager, Nancy Oliver, Corporate Account Manager, and Silvia Gourian, Northern California Distribution Manager.
All three women are leaders in the company and are passionate about what they do. “It’s a male industry, but that doesn’t need to be,” says Brittany. “I think in irrigation in general, we need more women in this industry because … we care a lot about how things actually play out. I think that [women] are very good at thinking systematically, and taking into consideration not just the product or the customer or the legislation, but … the whole solution.”
Brittany started her career as a landscape architect, but soon pivoted to the other side of the industry by joining Rain Bird. “I really wanted a job that was much more hands-on and in the thick of things ….That was what really pulled me into Rain Bird.” Now, Brittany has been at Rain Bird for nearly six years and loves what she does.
Rain Bird is dedicated to the intelligent use of water, and we ensure that all of our products are efficient and easy to use. Our irrigation solutions include tools like FloManager™ and FloWatch™, which help monitor and optimize water flow, and technologically advanced controllers like the ESP-LXIVM, which recently won a new product award from the Irrigation Association. We also make it easy for both homeowners and irrigation professionals to control their irrigation systems from anywhere with tools like the Rain Bird app and Central Control.
At the core of our Intelligent Use Of Water™ guiding philosophy is our desire to conserve water for a better planet. This tenet is something that attracted Brittany to Rain Bird. She is passionate about nature and the environment. She realized that irrigation is vital to the flourishing of plant life in Southern California, and she wanted to find a way to help customers achieve their landscape visions.
“There’s a ton of opportunity to save water in irrigation, but it’s so misunderstood. That’s another thing I like … is the educational part of it. …. Explaining to people there’s a right product for every place …. Part of this job is you’re really helping people understand what’s going on.” Brittany has taken her love of nature and turned it into a career of showing people how they can get the landscape they want and still use water efficiently.
Silvia is also driven by helping her customers find the best solutions for their landscapes. “Understand the customer and your market …. What tools do they need? What makes it easy for them? What helps them save time so they can go back home to their families? …. All of those things are part of their world, but it’s mine too.”
Our Sales department serves as the connection between the Rain Bird Corporation and our customers, so Silvia and Brittany are right to prioritize finding the best solutions for customer needs. What’s key for all salespeople is product knowledge and the ability to match the right products with the right consumer.
Silvia explains sales as this: “My job is to understand my customers so that I can help our manufacturing leadership to understand what is the next product that these gentlemen or women building and putting these beautiful landscapes together need to save labor hours [and] be efficient …. Understanding what brings all those things together — to me, that’s the fun part.”
The Sales team also stands out in that they work individually with their own clients, and they have to truly understand both their products and their clients’ needs to do their job. “I either do well or I don’t, and it’s a direct result of my performance as an individual,” explains Brittany. “How I get that information to my customers and how I deliver that is really on me …. I really am more of an extrovert, so it plays off of skills I naturally have.”
By deeply understanding their clients’ needs, our salespeople are able to find the right solutions and explain how they work in a simple and educational way. They are ultimately there to help their customers achieve their goals.
Something we are known for at Rain Bird is pushing boundaries and trying new things. We invest heavily in technological research, and we’re constantly working to improve and simplify our customers’ lives.
For Nancy, this dynamic was something that drove her to join Rain Bird. “I think with my old job, things had been kind of stagnant …. There were certain things that needed to happen to change in order for me to succeed, and the company just wasn’t willing to change structure or format with certain things. I just felt like my hands were tied in so many sales situations …. When I came here, [the company said], … We can look at changing how we go to market and strategize.”
Silvia had the same experience with her former employer. “I think they wanted to keep their model and not actually strategize for growth …. [Rain Bird is] a company that's based on quality and innovation …. You're bringing something new to the market and you're staying on edge of the competition.”
Stagnation is not the way we work here at Rain Bird. We are always ready to hear ideas and follow new paths. We trust our employees to be innovative, and everyone’s doors — and minds — are always open for a discussion.
One of the ways we actually drive change at Rain Bird is through collaboration and teamwork. “It surprises me how small of a team we are and how effective we are in the marketplace... Every one of my own teammates has their own perspective as to how they’re going to take care of their customers, but together … we can create the best solutions,” says Silvia.
Do you want to work at Rain Bird? Join our team today! We’re actively recruiting in all areas, including sales. Find out more about open roles on our Careers page, and be sure to visit our LinkedIn to learn more! Help us to drive change, help customers, and use water intelligently every day.