With the cost of gas and other utilities on the rise, and businesses struggling to meet their bottom line, now is the time to eye increasing your solar sales. As a solar provider, you’re in a unique position to expand your business and add value for your customers.
In this article, we will help you understand how marketing is increasing sales of solar panels, how to develop a solar marketing plan for increasing solar sales, and why it is important.
How Solar Providers Can Increase Revenue with Solar Sales
You will have had to be living under a rock not to have noticed the recent surge in fuel prices and how it is crippling businesses across the globe. This inflation doesn’t just affect transportation costs but all business expenses—from distribution to manufacture.
With the cost of solar projects installation plummeting by over 60% in the last decade, many business owners are turning to solar as a more bankable business model. However, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Solar companies’ rapid growth comes with increased obstacles and heightened competition. It is more important than ever that solar providers think about their lead generation strategy to stay at the forefront of potential customers’ minds and reap their market share of solar provider revenue.
So, where do you start? You may have heard of a “sales funnel.” This universal model helps business owners map out their sales and digital marketing plan to draw potential customers further down the ‘funnel’, convert them to hot leads, then onboard them as a new customer.
The steps of the sales funnel go as follows:
- Awareness: A customer is made aware of your solar company through online search or paid advert.
- Interest: After a little research, they show an interest in your service and make contact.
- Evaluation: The customer carries out deeper research or attends meetings with your solar company.
- Intent: Negotiations are made between you and the customer.
- Purchase: The customer signs on the dotted line and handover commences.
The Importance of Increasing Solar Sales
Speaking of fuel prices, if you were thinking of a greener alternative to the conventional diesel motor, I bet you wouldn’t think about purchasing a Varsovia or Xpeng, which are top-of-the-range electric vehicles in their own right.
What makes brands such as Tesla so successful is their clever use of sales, marketing and social media to ensure their brand is always at the top of customers’ minds. Let’s face it, Elon Musk isn’t exactly struggling to turn sales profit.
Increased solar sales create quality customers that drive profits for your business. However, there are other benefits of going solar and increasing sales:
“A big part of sales is trust and building that relationship, and if you get a referral from a customer to a friend or relative, that part of the equation’s already taken care of,” Breeden said. “They’re coming into it with a trust for the company starting off [that] you don’t have to work to build.”
Here are some essential ways you can increase your solar sales, without going for the cold call:
- Customer Referrals
Customers who are happy with your service will recommend your business to others. Referrals are the largest source of customers and qualified leads, and referred customers can increase your profit margin by 25%.
Positive feedback and testimonials play a major role in a business. Increased sales turnover allows for brand loyalty to be built up and a strong positive relationship improves your brand’s reach and growth.
- Happy Employees = Happy Customers
Employees are the heart and soul of your business—they represent your brand. When employees are happy, they give better customer service.
If the sales model in your solar business is thriving, this gives your employees the satisfaction and breathing space to flourish in their roles and improve your brand’s reputation in the marketplace.
- Building Brand Loyalty
A smooth sales process and thoughtful aftercare will leave customers with a warm, fuzzy feeling when thinking of your company—improving the rate of repeat business.
Cultivating Multichannel Solar Provider Revenue
Multi-channel marketing is a proven strategy to help prospects and would-be solar customers interact with each “touch point” of your brand. The ultimate goal of cross-channel marketing is to convey a consistent message, informing your target audience of your brand and its USPs, and encouraging them further down the sales funnel.
“About 67% of buyers rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than a year ago. Buyers are consuming a wider variety of content types depending on where they are in the decision making process.”
Below are examples of marketing tools that, when combined with the sales funnel, creates a reliable, informative and memorable brand image that puts you in front of solar shoppers:
- Awareness: Rank Yourself Highly
When a customer Googles “solar providers near me”, they are met with a long list of companies to choose from. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website’s visibility in search engine results pages.
Adding meta tags and researching keywords can go a long way to ensuring your website sits high on that list. Better yet, employ a professional to give your website an SEO audit for optimal results and generate solar leads.
- Interest: Get Social
Eye-catching social media posts and videos bring to light your solar company’s USPs while maintaining interest for a potential customer. 75% of buyers use social media to help guide their decision-making when it comes to purchases.
- Evaluation: Be Informative
Encourage quality leads to make an informed decision with a purchase by offering comprehensive information about your solution. Some content marketing options include whitepapers, testimonials, and e-books.
- Intent: Sweeten the Deal
Offer trials, demos, and discounts—any incentive to encourage prospects to make that purchase.
- Purchase: Show That You Care
Personalized onboarding, excellent customer service, and regular newsletter updates help encourage sales to close, so new customers don’t feel neglected post-purchase.
How to Market Effectively in the Solar Market
Establishing an effective solar marketing plan to increase solar sales and unlock revenue potential can seem expensive and time-consuming for any solar installer. However, with a little planning and these top tips, the results will soon speak for themselves.
Here are 8 easy ways to help you increase sales:
- Get On the Ground Level: Find out what makes your customers tick. How do they talk? What do they complain about? Who are the decision makers? What do they eat for breakfast? Who are they currently buying from? And how much do they spend on their current energy?
A quick online search could help you connect with your target audience and how best to resolve their specific problems.
- Automate Lead Nurturing: Consider Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) to optimize your lead conversion process, and generate more quality solar leads. Don’t delay on screening and following up on leads, and set automations or timings for when and how you will follow up prospect customers.
- The Customer is King: Check in with your existing customers, build great relationships, and give a little extra. News travels fast (good and bad). When a happy customer leaves a positive review, this goes a long way to help your online reputation.
“85% of visitors to your site trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. It’s like the modern-age referral!”
- Audit Marketing Efforts: Track website traffic, social media tags, and whitepaper downloads to decipher what went well and what isn’t working. Your end goal is to create a consistent brand voice across every touch point that effectively draws customers down the funnel.
- Partner Up: Work with local utility companies to advertise cost-effective energy for minimal cost, and utilize partnerships and cross-marketing campaigns to promote your product. Work with low-income communities to offer a free or discounted deal —publicize your efforts.
- Don’t Be a Salesman: Help customers make the right decision when they purchase your product. Share your passion for solar! Your passion will seep through your content, such as ebooks and whitepapers. That leaves your users coming back for more.
- Highlight Your Attributes: Whether you are the cheapest, most efficient, or have the best customer service, research the industry to find out what makes you stand out against the competition.
- Create a Sense of Urgency: During the evaluation stage, buyers may lack confidence and need that extra push to help them make the right buying decision. You can push them in the right direction with limited time discounts, free trials, or payment plans.
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