The solar industry is booming, setting the stage for what the industry is calling the “Solar+ Decade.” But with so many trying to get in at the ground floor of the growing trend toward renewables, businesses need to take a clever approach to solar sales if they’re going to stand out from the crowded competition.
Lucky for them, Heather Griffin, a lead gen veteran and solar industry expert who heads up Colossus, sat down with Convoso’s own Nima Hakimi to share her analysis of the current solar market—and her formula for outbound sales success.
We’ve collected some of the highlights of their discussion below for your convenience, but as always when we talk to Griffin, the full conversation is something you won’t want to miss.
| To learn more about growing your residential solar sales, visit Colossus.com. |
The State of the Solar Market
When the Inflation Reduction Act passed, extending and raising a federal tax credit for residential solar installation, solar industry insiders were thrilled. They expected their phones to be ringing off the hook. However, Griffin says they were surprised to find this wasn’t the case. Instead, they’ve still been chasing customers much more than customers have been coming to them, and closing solar sales still takes plenty of grit and know-how.
But why? Griffin explains that, for starters, many consumers still have concerns about the aesthetics of solar panels and others still don’t quite fully understand how the panels work, creating some resistance to growth. Also, Homeowner demographics are shifting. It’s no longer Baby Boomers and Gen X who make up the majority of homeowners but Millennials, with Gen Z just waiting in the wings.
Meanwhile, solar industry marketing and sales teams are working within what Griffin describes as the most difficult dialing and text messaging laws ever.
Nevertheless, Griffin is overwhelmingly optimistic about the industry:
“This is the sun rush,” she says. “Less than 4% of eligible homes have solar. 96% of the population whose eligible has not gone solar. It’s a great time to be in solar, but we haven’t seen the consumer demand just rise a huge amount yet. So, you have got to be smart in how you market to people.”
The Formula for Solar Sales Success
Just what does smart marketing mean in solar, though? To answer that, Griffin laid out all the elements of a successful formula that fuels more conversions and sales, including omnichannel marketing, smart dialing, dynamic scripting, and speed to lead.
Because of changing regulations and the rise of “Spam Likely” labels, the days of buying a list and beating it up with tons of calls are very much over. Instead, to get them on the phone, Griffin says you have to meet them on their level—and that includes reaching them on the channel that they prefer.
While you may get more mileage out of some high-intent and exclusive leads, Griffin’s team has found many of their solar leads won’t convert after about the eighth call attempt. “What that tells us is that call attempt one to call attempt eight is [a] really important [period]. So, we’re going to sprinkle some texts in there to see if they respond that way. We might try conversational AI. We’ll get to know our algorithm of how we’re going to use omnichannel to get the best results.”
The difficulty, of course, is that every single data source performs differently, so you need a different algorithm for every data source to make sure you’re getting your maximum results. But in time, you should be able to build a default approach for different types of data.
Dialing Strategies and Sequences
Businesses are often looking for a shortcut when it comes to call cadences. “People always want to set it and forget,” says Griffin. “But the data just doesn’t work the same. Your dialing has to be specific to the lead source, and even [change in] real time.”
During the webinar, Griffin discussed the importance of real-time call center reporting tools when it comes to nailing down the most successful dialing strategies. Because while you may be finding success with a certain lead source—and while using the default algorithm described above—that can all change in a hurry. Without somebody monitoring the data in real time, you risk forging ahead with strategies that don’t match the data.
Still, there are some general rules of thumb that Griffin tends to stick to, regardless of list. For example, fresh high-intent leads should always be immediately moved to the front of the hopper to ensure they receive priority—and that your call center maintains speed to lead.
Your solar panels might be the same everywhere, but the people you’re selling them to are anything but. You can’t simply approach residents of Texas the same way you would those in Vermont and expect to get the same results. Griffin says that dynamic scripting software is a critical tool for keeping scripts personalized, increasing sales, and supporting TCPA compliance.
“Every single state has [their own] laws. Some require you to give a four-digit code after your name, some require you to give a physical location. If you really want to be compliant in every single state that you’re in, all sorts of requirements need to be read and maintained,” says Griffin. Dynamic scripting gives her team the ability to automatically pop a state-specific script that informs agents of relevant regulations and required disclosures.
But there’s so much more to the software, according to Griffin. “If you combine dynamic scripting and AI to listen to calls, there are so many more things you can do to close sales.” For example, if you have a top rep who is outperforming everyone else at your call center, the AI can listen in and recognize patterns, discovering which sentences or rebuttals the agent is using to propel their improved sales numbers.
Speed to Lead
Griffin says that the best way to think about the importance of speed to lead in solar sales is to consider the customer journey. If you’re a consumer looking for solar panels, you may take two or three quotes—but that first person who calls you has the best chance of making a sale.
“No matter what, the new leads with a status of ‘zero attempts’ need to go to the front of your hopper. That’s what’s going to get you to that lead within seconds.” Too often, Griffin says that leads get filtered through a bunch of other sales platforms before being loaded in the hopper. “That’s killing seven seconds. Guess what? Somebody else has them on the phone already. You have wasted too much time.”
Griffin has found success in solar thanks to her decades of experience in sales. But she also credits Convoso’s powerful predictive dialer for its role in Colossus’ rapid growth.
Read the full story of their solar sales success here. And see for yourself how the Convoso dialer can help you increase contact rates and conversions by scheduling a demo today.