How To Fast-Track Remote Solar Sales

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Land More Installations For Less And Deliver Savings Before Installing A Solar Panel

We are all living in a new reality thanks to COVID-19. It’s affecting every-day lives and industry in different ways. For solar, that means adapting fast to keep growing and landing sales, especially when the sales process is going full digital.

Setting up a remote lead generation sales process is probably something that you have already begun to implement within your business – much like PV Magazine showed in a recent webinar. Using zoom for sales calls & presentations, Aurora Solar for site modeling and Docusign for digital contracts.

However, having a remote sales process and great software doesn’t help you consistently win deals.

Much like hiring someone to upgrade your kitchen, we tend to go with the installers we can trust the most. When everyone is coming to a project with similar proposals the way they differentiate is either on price, track record/reviews or because they trust the individual they are dealing with.

We have surveyed and researched the top reasons and ways that solar installers are currently closing more deals than ever, now that we are ~1 Month into US-wide shutdown. 

So here are our top 3 ways you can fast-track your remote solar sales and close more deals – those digital software solutions can be expensive…

1. Become More Consultative In Your Sales Pitch

It should be no surprise that the competitive difference in installing solar is you – the installer. You are the local expert in solar and there to help your prospective client make a decision, remotely, as to what is the best system for them. 

Many times we have seen installers just pitch the hardware of the companies they partner with or pitch the solutions that they make the largest margin on. 

However, times have changed and now solar hardware & storage hardware have become commoditized with a number of manufacturers in the game. This means that no longer is there one “best” solution to pitch your prospects on through a zoom call. Sunpower doesn’t command the #1 spot and using a Jinko doesn’t mean you are giving a lower quality product to your prospects. It all depends on who you are targeting and speaking to. A customer who wants to go solar might be on a tight budget, doesn’t really care about long term warranty and is planning on moving in 5 years. That buyer’s persona might see more value in buying a Jinko set of panels as he can likely recover the cost when he sells the house and a “longer than 10-year” warranty may not be important to him at that point. 

Making sure the first call or interaction with your customer is understanding their unique wants and needs and prescribing the right solution with the available hardware and software in the market is the way to go.

2. Top of Funnel Marketing Arbitrage

Digital marketing is now the go-to with a fully remote solar sales process becoming necessary. Naturally, a solid marketing foundation is immensely valuable in generating leads that will close faster – better leads, faster sales process. 

What we have found is companies that go beyond blogging and focus on creating resources or writing for publications like PV Magazine, The Impact, Greentech Media and others can help in establishing credibility with prospects and drive more qualified leads to your site. 

Partnering with publications like The Impact – which develop open-source industry specific resources surrounding sustainability & cleantech can help rapidly grow visibility for solar installers. 

Launching useful webinars or mini-series and distributing it through PV magazine or GreenTech Media can bring significant attention to your business & brand and can help you set yourself apart from other installers fighting for the same prospect. 

This is a game of awareness after all. 

3. Remote Energy Efficiency Before Solar

A new and rising trend in the small C&I and residential solar space is using energy efficiency as a tool to help prospective customers reduce their energy consumption before going solar. Typically this involved installation of LEDs, a new HVAC system or upgrading insulation. However, these won’t help us in building a remote solar sales process that closes more deals. 

Enter – Virtual Batteries

A powerful load shifting & curtailment software based solution that improves the usage of energy within residential & commercial properties through off the shelf smart home devices. Virtual Batteries are a new stem of product coming from “Virtual Power Plants” that utilities use to help better manage loads on the grid. A virtual battery can be immensely useful in a remote solar sales process because it can not only reduce energy consumption by up to 30% for a prospective client, but is designed to extend the range of a solar + battery system. In turn saving your prospects even more money on storage costs – usually around $12,000.00 worth of saved battery costs. 

Most installers who are using TouchLight’s Virtual Battery as part of their new remote solar sales process are closing more deals earlier in the sales cycle than others. They use the data provided from TouchLight’s remote assessment to properly size a solar + battery system for their customers & improve energy efficiency automatically without ever setting foot on a client’s property.

So what does this all mean. 

We found that most solar companies today do some variation of the first two, however, few are able to offer a solution that not only reduces the overall hardware costs incurred by the customer and extends the range & value of a system. Winning on all three fronts; deliver value first, win trust, and create a technology-based competitive advantage.

Conclusion

We live in interesting times and solar sales have gone entirely remote. The key thing in closing more deals than your competitors is building trust with your customers, which you can do through Top of funnel marketing, changing your remote sales process to a consultative strategy and including software solutions that can improve the energy efficiency of your client’s property before you even enter the site. 

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