In the solar industry, the sales process moves slowly, but it pays to move fast and close the sale with a potential customer. A streamlined sales process ensures that sales representatives follow up with leads faster and reach them when they’re ready to buy, shaving valuable time off the process and closing the sale faster.
The solar sales process typically goes as follows:
- Lead capture
- Lead qualification
- Site survey
- Engineering and design
- Solar installation proposal
- Follow-ups and negotiations
Let’s go into each of these in more detail.
Sales representatives often face rejection during the process. It’s important for reps to meet enough people to find the right leads and determine who’s interested in making a purchase. The lead capture process should include outbound outreach, such as phone and SMS messaging, social media marketing, paid ads, and the tried-and-true door-to-door sales.
There’s a lot involved in the solar sales process – preliminary engineering, surveys, and commercial discussions take a lot of time. It’s important to qualify leads to ensure that they’re serious about solar and that it’s a viable option for their priority and budget.
For example, do they have the roof or land space? Is the roof in good condition and structurally sound for solar panels? Can they afford solar or do they have the credit to finance solar? Do they seem interested, or just like they’re shopping around for options with the intent to buy in the future?
The solar site survey involves an inspection of the property where the solar panels are to be installed. This may be done physically or remotely, but some aspects may require in-person inspections.
The information collected during a site survey may include:
- Roof measurements and data, including pitch and azimuth
- Solar exposure through shading analysis
- Visual inspection of roof conditions and obstructions
- Information about the electrical system to determine interconnection
- Structural information like rafter size and spacing
Engineering and Design
With the results of the survey, engineering and design determine the solar panel placement, pitch, azimuth, and the equipment necessary for installation, such as panels, racking, wiring, mounting, and more. The engineering and design should also have a projection for solar production to help the customer make an informed decision.
Solar Installation Proposal
The solar installation business is highly competitive, so it’s expected that leads will speak with several dealers or installers before making a purchase. Delays in responding to a lead or sending a proposal can result in losing them to the competition.
A standardized proposal template in your CRM software is an excellent tool to quickly include customer details and submit proposals in just a few minutes. This should include the complete design and engineering information, the project solar production of the array, the financial benefits, the total cost, and the return on investment.
A sales representative has an opportunity to sell the benefits of solar in real-world context here. With the unique value propositions and return on investment, customers can see the value of solar in context to persuade them.
Follow-Ups and Negotiation
Sales representatives don’t always close the deal the first time, especially with a long and involved sales process like solar sales. It’s important to follow up regularly, such as the day after the meeting, two weeks later, three weeks later, 30 or 90 days later, and so on. This is especially important for commercial solar deals, which have a longer close time than residential.
There should be a cadence to the follow-up and negotiation periods to nurture the lead and close the deal.
Word-of-mouth marketing is as strong as ever. The modern equivalent comes in reviews and referrals, the latter of which you can cultivate. A referral program offers incentives to promote word-of-mouth marketing and an influx of new customers from recommendations that come from satisfied past customers.
Supercharge Your Sales Team with AJC Group Consulting
The solar industry is competitive, but a strong system for selling solar can bring in more qualified leads with a shorter process and more closed deals. If you want a more effective sales team, contact AJC Group for high-performance sales training.