As a company that provides a solution to solar companies, Scoop Solar’s success is directly tied to the success and growth of our clients. So we decided to dedicate this article to how best help our current and future clients ramp up their business through industry-leading sales and marketing efforts.
1) Know Your Customer and the Industry
The number one question you need to ask yourself is Who is my ideal customer? The answer to this question is what will determine your sales and marketing strategy. It is also recommended that you revisit (if not, challenge) this question every year or so to ensure that your business model is still aligned with your key customers and market segment. Equally important is to ensure that EVERYONE in, and outside, your organization is on the same page when it comes to knowing who your core customer is.
Some key questions to ask in determining your “ideal” customer may include:
- Do you exclusively work on residential solar projects, commercial projects, or both?
- Do you have a minimum project size? This can be in terms of dollars or KWs
- What types of projects will you take on? O&M, Installation, Design…or all of the above?
- What does your market geography look like? Will you be limited to your County, your state, or a much larger Region (e.g. the Southwest)?
For example, at Scoop, our ideal clients are forward thinking solar service providers located in North America, who handle either residential and/or commercial projects, with annual revenue between $1-20 million, who are looking to optimize and automate their solar field operation processes.
For many customers, the decision to invest in a solar and storage system has historically been a financial one. But for an increasing number of people, going solar is an emotional choice. For many buyers today, the desire to ensure safety and security for their family and home drives the decision, in the face of both natural disasters and uncertainty about the costs and reliability of power supplied by traditional energy utilities.
2) Differentiate Your Brand and Your Service
Now that we know who your ideal customers are, the next challenge is ensuring they know who you are and what services you offer. Sounds easy enough? Think again. In a recent blog, we highlighted just how fierce the competition is for solar services. So how do you stand out from the solar crowd? Here are the fundamentals to get you started:
- Ensure your message is targeted for your target market. Residential and Commercial customers have different pain points and your messaging needs to match their specific concerns.
- “Going solar” is still a relatively growing trend so make sure you have plenty of customer testimonials on your website and in your sales collateral which will ease the anxiety for customers and give your company credibility.
- Everyone offers the same products and services in solar, so in order to outperform your competition, create your own customized packages and services that no one else can match. These may include different financing options or a 24/7 service.
3) Generate Demand
As we had reported in a previous article, the failure rate of solar contracts is around 90%. Translation: 9 of your 10 existing proposals will not close! Crazy huh?
We help solar companies boost their batting average when it comes to closing solar contracts by doing more accurate and consistent pre-sales site visits. However, you also want to feed the top of your sales pipeline with as many warm prospects as possible. Here is a few ways to grow your solar sales pipeline:
- Ask for at least 3 referrals from every customer. Try offering them an extended solar panel warranty or a discount in return.
- Form strategic partnerships and referrals with companies in the same industry. These can include architect firms, building engineers, developers, or interior designers.
- Become a thought leader in the solar/renewable industry in your market. This can mean anything from contributing to local newspapers to holding seminars at the local hardware store, or writing blogs (like this one) and sharing it with your network.
Two things we have learned from all our customers in the solar space is that a) The solar industry is still relatively new and disruptive in many people’s minds, and b) People buy from vendors they trust! So ease up on the hard sell and focus more on educating your potential customers.
- New to Scoop? Watch this overview video, this product demo video, take this tour or contact us to schedule a free consultation and demo
- Visit the Scoop Solar website for general information on how Scoop is helping empower today’s new liquid workforce.