Competition in the solar industry is as ferocious as ever and advertised prices remain low.
Margins are wafer thin and yet, overheads and product costs seem to endlessly increase.
When you dig around inside a solar business there are a myriad of tasks that need to be done to keep the wheels turning from a sales perspective. It’s easy to say “just sell on value and get more efficient” but how do you actually do that, on top of running a solar business?
You can broadly group these tasks into four stages:
1. Pre-sale – prospecting, qualification, training, and processes
2. Sales – lead management, design, quotations and your USP
3. Installation – commissioning, connection, and onboarding
4. Post-sale – fleet management, support, trouble shooting and back selling
Imagine if there were tools that could solve these problems for you in a simple and integrated software package.
And even better, imagine if these tools added so much value to solar owners that they were willing to pay for them, so you didn’t have to!
Here are our top tips on how to achieve this, with the least possible effort and in many cases at no cost to your business.
Generating high quality leads, targeting the right customers, developing sound sales processes, and ensuring your team are expertly trained is the basic formula.
Of course, the best sales leads are referrals. Solar Analytics has built in a number of clever features designed specifically to delight your customers, so they tell their friends how much money they’re saving with solar and what an awesome job you did. We’ll help you fill your sales funnel with referrals.
Advertising and marketing will generate leads too, but to get great leads you need to carefully target your efforts. Experts like SunWiz have helped countless businesses to target the right geographic areas and customers with their high-quality data and advice, maximising your marketing spend.
You also need to decide if you are selling on price or value and I’ll assume that you aren’t focused on being the cheapest in the market if you’re reading this, so it’s all about telling your value story.
Features that add simple, tangible value like Solar Analytics Plan Optimiser can add hundreds of dollars a year to the solar savings you’ll deliver, creating a unique selling proposition and a valuable point of differentiation in your promotions.
It’s also essential to build trust in the solar market which is rife with claims and promises. As an independent service, Solar Analytics helps show your customers why they can trust you.
Once you have your sales leads, you’ll need a well refined CRM to track their progress and ensure they don’t slip between the cracks. The key is to ensure that this is as automated as possible, so your sales reps don’t waste time doing endless manual follow ups.
Software programs like Open Solar, which is also free for solar retailers, has CRM capabilities which can be automated through SunWiz’s ExtendIT service saving your team time and accelerating your pipeline progress.
Being able to quickly prove your claims to prospects differentiates you from others who simply promise the world. Using the Solar Analytics app allows you to show real examples of savings you have already generated for other customers and the demo app is free.
I’m sure you would agree that if you could increase those savings estimates by 10% or 20%, it adds real value to your offer, enhances your differentiation, delights your customers, and makes them more likely to refer friends. This is what Plan Optimiser can do for you, by helping solar owners save on average an extra $400pa off their energy bill.
Open Solar also has an incredibly fast and intelligent design capability which creates differentiated proposals in seconds. Marketing materials for products like Solar Analytics are included and curated by us to ensure the latest information is at your fingertips, saving you even more time. To truly stand apart from the masses, your proposal must look unique, and this is where SunWiz’s PVprosell comes in.
Once you’ve closed your sale and got the system installed the back-office work begins, and this can bury a business in menial tasks if it’s not carefully managed.
Poorly developed monitoring apps can be unreliable and tedious to commission. By comparison, Solar Analytics has spent years developing simplified commissioning processes and, in many cases, has even automated much of the work.
Our Inverter Integrated service automatically creates sites for you by pulling data from Sungrow and Fronius inverters without the need for an additional hardware, a huge time and cost saver. Our Classic hardware has an automatic diagnostic tool called Install Check which ensures our hardware is operating perfectly before installers leave the site, avoiding call backs.
With Plan Optimiser, Solar Analytics has also solved an often overlooked problem at the time of installation – “which energy retailer should I switch too now that I have solar?”. From day one, users can use Plan Optimiser to find the best solar retail tariffs, matched to their expected energy use and solar system size. As we learn about their behaviour, our system learns and refines the savings estimates.
Onboarding your new customers is also a potential minefield of support calls which Solar Analytics has solved for you. Every single Solar Analytics customer gets a carefully crafted series of onboarding messages, so they understand how to maximise their savings and keep an eye on their system over time. Let us do the hard for you.
Successful solar businesses know that efficient and automated post-sales support is the key to long term sales growth and as your fleet of customers grows, efficiently managing the effort involved in managing them has to be simplified and automated.
SunWiz has a range of services designed to stimulate and automate reviews and feedback, so you maximise opportunities for referrals without lifting a finger.
Solar Analytics has also invested heavily to build one of the best Fleet Performance managers in the business. Even the best solar companies will experience unexpected problems in around 15% of their sites overtime and our service helps you identify, manage and triage them before small issues turn into big disputes.
And of course, I’m sure we can agree that every single customer is going to ask you: “should I get a battery”? However, around 80% of customers won’t go ahead – yet. So how do we keep them sticky and let them know when the perfect time is to invest in a battery? Or a solar upgrade and a battery? Easy. Every Solar Analytics subscription includes our Battery Calculator which uses real owner data to constantly learn what the ideal battery size is. Over time we’ll highlight the growth in your customers savings, and when they’re ready to re-invest, with the click of a button your customer (or you) can calculate the ideal battery size and a savings estimate. Stop wasting time and let us help you.
And finally, you know you are going to get customers calling you over the years with questions that are hard to answer. “I only generated 15kWh today, something must be wrong!” or “My electricity bill has gone up, something must be wrong” or “I heard there is a better retail tariff or FIT available, which retailer should I switch too?”. Relax. Solar Analytics gives you the data and information to answer these questions in literally seconds.
Plan Optimiser updates thousands of retail plans automatically every month and allows your customers (or you) to see which retail plan is the best for their particular situation. In the background, it’s incredibly complex and took us years to develop but for you - It’s pretty simple really.
And if you’d like everything implemented for you, SunWiz’s SunBiz Accelerate will give you an effortless business elevation.
So, there you have it.
Cutting edge solar software services from Solar Analytics, SunWiz and Open Solar can easily add value, help you convert more sales and automate your business making you more profitable.
What are you waiting for?
Published: 11th March 2022