With solar capacity set to potentially triple in just five years, it’s a bright time to be in the business of solar energy. But competition in this thriving sector is only increasing as market complexity grows and more organizations look to get in on the action.
Does your organization have a plan to keep up with—and better yet, beat out—the rest of the pack?
No matter what sort of growth plan your business is on, measurement needs to be at the heart of it. After all, as the tried and true saying goes: you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled the top five solar sales metrics to use as indicators of success—across the entire solar buyer’s journey. Track and optimize your performance with these KPIs to drive growth and come out on top.
1. Cost Per Lead (CPL)
For virtually any business with an outbound sales and lead gen component, your data is going to be one of your biggest costs. Measuring your total cost per lead helps you understand just how costly it is to equip your team with the leads it needs to fuel growth.
Generating leads in home services industries requires diverse strategies in a range of marketing channels. As you track your cost per lead, communicate with others in your industry network to get a sense of where you should be benchmarking this KPI and others. With an idea of others’ typical costs, you’ll gain insight into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and can begin to identify areas of inefficiency.
2. Speed to Lead
Once you acquire a lead, you’ve got a foot in the door. But you need to act quickly, before you’re shut out.
Speed to lead, or lead response time, is a metric describing this quickness. The statistics on speed to lead tell a clear story: the faster you respond, the more likely you are to make contact and convert:
- Calling a lead in the first minute boosts your chance of conversion by 391 percent.
- Calls placed in the first five minutes are 100 times more likely to connect.
But it’s one thing to know you need speed to succeed, and it’s another thing to achieve it. Heather Griffin, a veteran of the call center industry and Co-CEO and President of digital solar marketplace Colossus, says that having the right dialer software makes all the difference in your lead response time.
“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.”
Griffin says to opt for a dialer that completes this prioritization automatically. Because too often, she says, these 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.”
3. Contact Rate
Having top-notch speed to lead sets the tone for your sales operation, putting you in a position to capitalize on leads that raise their hand to learn more about your offerings. That’s because with speed to lead, you not only strike when leads’ interest is highest but also when they’re most likely to answer—helping you drive a higher contact rate.
“This is a contact sport. No matter what vertical you’re in, you have to contact enough people to make it work. If you don’t have the right technology, then nothing else matters.”
That’s because technology doesn’t just help you drive ever-important speed to lead. It can also support caller ID reputation management. These days, every outbound sales team needs to navigate issues of call blocking and flagging. Without tools to ensure that you’re dialing leads with clean caller IDs, you risk coming up as “Spam Likely” and having to watch your contact rates plummet.
Your dialer technology should also help you get in touch with more of your leads with smarter outreach strategies. Because of those call flagging issues and changes in consumer preferences, you need to be able to implement an omnichannel strategy that relies on SMS, email, and other channels that work in conjunction with outbound calling. The more channels you operate in tandem, the more opportunities to drive revenue you’ll have. It’s that simple.
4. Sit Rate
One of the things that make solar so complex is that, as Heather Griffin describes, organizations are often really three businesses in one. There’s a lead gen, sales, and marketing operation that fuels growth. But there’s also a financing operation that helps most buyers afford the cost of solar, and there’s essentially a construction company tasked with advising on and installing new solar systems.
This last component drives one of the biggest challenges in solar sales: the difficulty of coordinating teams in the field with agents on the phone. Between juggling load-balancing issues and ensuring that customers stick to their scheduled appointments, the first—and most significant — casualty is often a company’s sit rate.
Sit rate measures the number of leads that ultimately “sit” for a sales appointment, regardless of that appointment’s outcome.
How do you maintain and improve your sit rates? Again, omnichannel outreach can play a big role. Using proactive, well-timed text messages as part of an automated workflow can ensure easy scheduling for customers, and that they receive follow-up reminders leading up to the appointment.
Heather Griffin also points to the importance of using filtering technology while dialing leads in the first place:
“Long gone are the days of uploading a list of 100,000 leads and dialing straight through the list. With the right technology, you can set the filters you need—whether it’s zip code, state, or territory filters—to make sure that your agents are dialing the data that matches the availability of your sales personnel. I still buy all the data, but I watch my load balance schedule. I know that zipcode filtering will help me sort out and match my dialing strategy to my scheduling on the fly. Using the right tech, you can keep your schedules booked evenly thanks to filtering.”
5. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
While each of these metrics for solar success will give you a clear window into a particular part of your sales process, you still need a way to gain an even greater perspective on your business’s performance and profitability.
That’s where cost per acquisition comes in. CPA helps you understand the total cost of acquiring a new customer, from generating the lead to closing the sale. Changes in your contact center and sales operation’s true CPA over time can help you understand how efficiently you are working. Reasons your CPA might be too high include poor agent training, poor call ID health, a disconnect between marketing and sales, and more.
However, while your overall CPA is important to track and improve, advanced call center reporting and analytics can help you get more granular insights that make it even easier to take impactful action.
During a Convoso webinar, Heather Griffin shared her perspective on how real-time monitoring of a List Conversion Report can make all the difference. Selling is so different across various state solar markets and lead quality so frequently varies, Griffin says. Data simply doesn’t always perform the same.
So, to understand where and how you are driving the most success, you need to be able to understand your true CPA at the individual lead source level. With a List Conversion Report from a solar dialer like Convoso, you can see which sources are delivering positive results. More importantly, you can pause outreach on lists that aren’t performing and come back to a new strategy that delivers more success.
Choosing Technology that Supports Success in Solar
Solar itself is at the forefront of a revolution in clean-energy technology. But to scale their businesses and take advantage of the ongoing “sun rush,” lead gen and outbound teams can’t afford to settle for sales technology that’s anything less than revolutionary.
At its core, Convoso’s solar dialer is built to help businesses reach and convert more leads—and drive gains across all five of these mission-critical sales metrics. See for yourself how Convoso can maximize productivity and profitability for your team by signing up for a free demo today.