Whether to invest in solar is a major decision for any home or business owner. It has substantial, long-term implications. For solar companies, lead generation is just the first step — in the solar energy market, converting leads into sales is a complex process with many critical stages. Once you’ve gained a lead, converting that lead will take diligence, patience and skill. While focused advertising campaigns will result in solar panel lead generation, you also need to know how to close solar sales.
How Does the Selling Process for Solar Work?
Solar sales have soared in the last two decades thanks to advancing technology and more widespread availability. Solar lead generation can be lengthy and complicated. Because it’s such a significant purchase decision, buyers often spend weeks or months researching their options. The selling process might look like this:
- Gaining a lead from an ad campaign, referral, email campaign or other method.
- Providing reputable information on solar power in general.
- Providing information on your company and the benefits you offer.
- Converting the lead and installing solar panels.
Which Part of the Buying Process Is the Customer In?
You need to know where in the buying process your leads are to approach them in the best way. For instance, if a lead already knows they want to buy solar panels, giving a full spiel about the many benefits of solar would not be the best course of action. Instead, you’ll want to explain how your company is the best place to purchase solar panels. It’s a good idea to understand and keep track of your leads. Here are the three basic stages in which a lead might be.
1. Recognizing a Problem or Need
The first stage is recognizing a problem or need. For instance, a homeowner might realize they’re spending a significant amount of money on monthly energy costs. Maybe they’ve read about the effects of natural gas and oil on the environment, and they’re thinking of ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Either way, they’ll have to decide whether taking action to address the issue is a priority.
At this stage, you can provide resources explaining how solar can decrease monthly costs, serve as a long-term investment and reduce a home or business’s carbon footprint. Because these leads are in the first stage of the process, they’re the furthest from converting. They’ll take the most time and effort to turn into solar sales.
2. Considering Possible Options
Once someone has decided to address the problem at hand, they have to decide what action to take. They’ll start asking preliminary questions about alternative energy options. They might also consider switching utility companies, moving to a new city or taking some other steps, depending on the problem they’ve noticed. In the best-case scenario, they’ll decide they want to invest in solar panels.
3. Choosing the Right Solar Company
At this stage, the lead has decided they want to invest in solar panels. Still, they’ll do more research to help them decide on the best solar company. For leads at this stage, you’ll want to provide resources explaining how you out-perform other solar companies.
Maybe you offer the best prices, the best-quality installation or have access to the best solar cell technology. The leads in this stage are the closest to converting, so they’ll want to know why they should pick your company. For instance, you could explain how you’re responding to challenges facing the solar industry.
Methods for Converting Qualified Leads Into Sales
Since the solar sales process can be so lengthy, it’s easy to lose leads along the way. Here are some measures you can take to turn your qualified leads into sales.
Stay Relevant and Noticeable
Continue your regular advertising, whether you use targeted ads, social media campaigns, email campaigns, billboards or other out-of-home methods. Make your brand easy to recognize in the solar industry. Set your company up as a reputable authority in the industry, attracting leads in the early to mid-research stages.
Follow Up and Ask Questions
To gauge what stage your leads are in, follow up and ask the right questions. With a quick phone call or online form, you can determine how far along a lead is. Ask questions such as:
- Do you pay high monthly energy bills?
- Have you ever considered installing solar panels?
- Are you considering our solar company?
With answers to questions like these, you can determine what type of resources and information to provide your leads.
Focus on the Right Subjects
Pay attention to the buying stage your leads are in and narrow your efforts accordingly. Early-stage buyers want to learn how solar will help them fix certain problems, while late-stage buyers want to know why your solar company is the one they should choose. Keep careful track of your leads and their buying stage.
Provide Answers to Common Questions
Answering common questions will make the process easier for your leads and contribute to your positive reputation. Think about some of the questions your leads tend to ask. They may have questions such as:
- How much will it cost to install a solar system?
- What tax benefits and other incentives are there?
- Is it worth it for me to invest in solar?
- How does solar technology work?
Create resources and frequently asked questions documents for your leads to reference. Always have the answers to such questions on hand during phone calls or other communication.
Streamline Your Day-to-Day Operations
Streamlining your day-to-day processes will benefit your company in many ways. For one, you’ll be able to serve existing customers faster and with better organization, resulting in a stronger reputation, increased referrals and more positive reviews. All of these factors will help you convert more leads. In addition, a refined process will help you keep track of your leads, making their experience consistent and simplified.
For streamlined operations, consider Dataforma complete solar software. Dataforma can simplify your scheduling, customer relationship management (CRM), location tracking and lead management. The software is designed for the solar industry, so it will meet all of your unique needs.