Optimize Your Solar Sales Process: Master the 4 Steps of the Solar Customer’s Journey

Optimize Your Solar Sales Process: Master the 4 Steps of the Solar Customer’s Journey

February 8, 2024 | Convoso

Understanding the steps that a consumer goes through to get to the point of buying solar panels is essential for anyone selling solar. Whether you only generate solar leads, or you take the prospect from the beginning to the end of their buyer’s journey, this summary of the basic four steps in the process is a valuable reference.

Beyond “Ready-to-Buy Leads” — Where to Focus Your Solar Sales 

When it comes to optimizing your solar sales process, you may wonder where in the typical buyer’s journey you should focus to get the best results. Should you concentrate on the people who are ready to buy, or is it better to connect with prospects who are just starting to learn about solar?

The short answer? Both—and everywhere in between.

While targeting the warmest, conversion-ready leads can certainly bring immediate wins, it’s like fishing in a tiny pond. The vast majority of potential customers are still in the earlier stages of the buyer’s journey – they’re curious, maybe have heard some buzz, but aren’t actively shopping yet. Ignoring this segment means missing out on a massive pool of potential customers and limiting your pipeline potential.

Here’s why focusing beyond “ready-to-buy” leads is crucial:

1. A Longer Sales Cycle Means More Nurturing: The solar buying process typically takes months, not days. By capturing leads early and nurturing them over time, you build trust, become their go-to resource, and ultimately increase your chances of securing the sale when they’re ready.

2. Early Engagement Supports Brand Loyalty: Engaging early allows you to shape their perception of solar and your company. By providing valuable information, addressing concerns, and offering a positive experience, you build trust and loyalty, making them more likely to choose you when they decide to go solar.

3. Capture Leads Before Competitors: If you only wait for “ready-to-buy” leads, your competitors might already be nurturing them. By engaging early, you get a head start, positioning yourself as the trusted expert before they even consider other options.

4. Expand Your Reach and Pipeline: By targeting the entire journey, you tap into a much larger pool of potential customers. This not only diversifies your pipeline but also helps you weather fluctuating market conditions.

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Why People Go Solar

To overcome solar sales challenges and successfully market to any lead, you first have to understand their mindset and what kind of information they are looking for. That’s what the solar buyer’s journey is all about.

Rather than narrowing your market to customers who are ready to buy, you can use the steps of this journey to give context to your marketing actions. You’ll be able to connect with leads at all stages and increase your chances of making a sale.

So, who are these customers at the heart of your solar sales process? What is it that drives them toward solar energy in the first place?

Ultimately, new solar prospects may be motivated by a variety of factors, including these most prominent ones:

  • Energy Independence: Solar energy offers customers a unique way to get off the grid and produce their own energy. This appears to be an increasingly attractive option, as this has actually become the most common factor cited among those who decided to switch to solar,  
  • Cost Savings: The price of clean energy continues to fall as coal gas prices continue to rise. It’s no wonder that the next biggest reason people want to switch to solar is to lower their monthly energy bills. 
  • Government Incentives: Monthly energy bills are one thing, but solar customers also have to contend with the cost of installing solar panels. Government incentives, especially those put in place by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, have helped ease the burden of these installation costs and have been key in motivating more than 56% of solar buyers.
  • Environmental responsibility: Contributing to a cleaner planet and reducing reliance on fossil fuels is a significant factor for many. In fact, it remains a significant motivator for more than half of solar buyers.
  • Other Factors: Beyond these leading factors, others may look to solar to increase the value of their property or change their home’s aesthetic. Plus, according to an earlier survey conducted by Forbes, 9% of those switching to solar said the biggest reason was to have a more reliable source of energy powering their homes.

Understanding the "why" behind solar choices empowers sales teams to personalize their approach. Targeted messages addressing specific motivations help build trust and accelerate the solar sales process, creating win-win situations for both customers and your brand. Of course, as we’ll explore, this is just the beginning. You still need to deliver this messaging at the right times and in the right places, based on which step a prospect is at in their overall journey. 

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Marketing to the Full Solar Buyer’s Journey


Step #1: Research and awareness

Solar Buyer Journey_Step 1 Research and Awareness

The buyer’s journey begins with a spark: a neighbor mentioning their solar panels, an article about rising energy costs, or a growing desire for a cleaner future. 

At this initial stage, potential customers are still in the discovery phase. And your solar sales process needs to match this mindset with a focus on education. 

Your prospects are curious, gathering basic information about solar energy and its potential benefits. They ask broad questions: "Will solar panels work for my roof?" "How much can I save?" "What are the environmental benefits?" They might consult family and friends, browse online resources, or attend industry events.

Understanding the Mindset:

  • Low commitment: Leads at this stage aren't ready to buy; they're simply exploring possibilities.
  • Information-hungry: They actively seek answers to their questions and concerns.
  • Open to influence: Brand awareness and positive first impressions are crucial.

How to Market at this Stage

  • Become a knowledge hub: Create informative and engaging content – blog posts, infographics, videos – addressing common concerns and providing basic solar education.
  • Leverage social media: Share relevant content, participate in conversations, and answer questions on platforms your target audience frequents.
  • Offer downloadable resources: Develop helpful guides, checklists, or calculators to empower their research and build trust.
  • Showcase success stories: Share compelling stories of satisfied customers to inspire and demonstrate the real-world benefits of solar.

Step #2: Consideration

Solar Buyer Journey_Step 2 Consideration

Armed with knowledge, the customer is now seriously considering solar as an option for their home. Now, their research focuses on the specifics. They want to know what kind of panels are best for their needs, if they can get any rebates or incentives, and what local ordinances say about installing solar.

This is when customers turn to the experts—you! You are now a potential vendor, not just a source of info. They’ll be looking through your website, reading reviews, and possibly even calling for details and quotes. 

But don’t get too excited. These customers are also looking at your competitors, using what they know about general prices and their own budgets to compare multiple options. Here’s how to make sure you stand out.

Understanding the Mindset:

  • Increased engagement: Leads actively seek information from multiple vendors, asking detailed questions and comparing options.
  • Specific needs: They focus on concrete, personal factors like budget, roof suitability, and desired system size less than broader ideas about solar.
  • Building trust: Credibility, responsiveness, and transparent communication become key decision factors.

How to Market at this Stage:

  • Become a trusted advisor: Active listening is your strongest tool at this stage. Ask leads about what they want, what they know, which other vendors they’re considering, and, most importantly, what are their biggest concerns. Stay present in the conversation and use what you hear to understand their viewpoint and build that trusted relationship.
  • Leverage social proof: When appropriate, use this discussion to share more about your company, experience, prices, products, and projects. Showcase positive customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies to build trust and credibility. Just be sure to avoid pressuring the customer. This is still a conversation, not a sales pitch.
  • Be readily available (and persistent): Respond promptly to inquiries and demonstrate excellent customer service. And don’t forget to follow up! Many homeowners will make their decision within three days of their first contact, so keep in touch and respond quickly.

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Step #3: Decision

Solar Buyer Journey_Step 3 Decision

Your lead is now solar-educated. They have an idea of what they may want and the benefits they want to see. Since they are ready to buy, you can now focus more on the sale. 

At this stage, customers are now making final decisions about who to hire. Generally, customers will get several quotes on their project. This ups the competition, but also indicates their level of commitment. The more quotes a consumer gets, the more serious they are about buying.

Understanding the Mindset:

  • High purchase intent: Leads are actively comparing final quotes and nearing a decision.
  • Value-driven: They seek the best overall value, considering not just price but also quality, service, and trust.
  • Ready to act: They're open to compelling offers and incentives that nudge them towards choosing you.

How to Market at this Stage:

  • Keep your pitch personalized: Use the information you gained in the Consideration stage to hone in on the prospect’s deciding factor. Then, leverage tools to help you stick to the right pitch. With dynamic scripting, you can ensure that sales agents have personalized customer info at their disposal on each call. If you’ve done it right, this is where the relationship you’ve built can make a difference. Making a purchase is often an emotional decision, so your personal connection is a strong selling point.
  • Focus on value beyond price: At this point, you’re not trying to sell the customer on solar. Instead, focus on the benefits of switching and the reasons to hire your company over others. Discuss financing, warranties, installation processes, and other points that can affect their final decision.
  • Act fast: When a potential customer indicates that they’re close to making a purchase, your team needs to be able to pounce. In the solar industry, speed to lead is absolutely critical—and that means you can’t afford to have anything less than the best solar dialer on your side.

Step #4: Sale

Solar Buyer Journey_Step 4 Sale

Congratulations! You've secured the sale and helped a customer embark on their solar journey. 

But remember, the story doesn't end there. In today's competitive landscape, customer satisfaction and long-term relationships are the cornerstones of sustainable success. Here's how to nurture your new customers and turn them into vocal advocates for your brand:

Understanding the Mindset:

  • Post-purchase excitement: Your customer is thrilled about their new solar panels and eager to experience the benefits.
  • Potential concerns: New systems can bring questions and anxieties. Prompt support and clear communication are crucial.
  • Brand loyalty potential: Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your company and become brand ambassadors.

How to Market (and Nurture) at this Stage:

  • Deliver a seamless experience: Ensure a smooth installation process, provide clear communication, and promptly address any questions or concerns.
  • Exceed expectations: Offer proactive support, go the extra mile, and personalize your interactions to build genuine rapport.
  • Gather feedback and testimonials: Share success stories on your website and social media, showcasing the positive impact you create.
  • Offer ongoing value: Provide maintenance plans, educational resources, and updates on industry advancements to stay connected.
  • Run referral programs: Every customer represents the opportunity to gain more business. Nearly 90% of solar customers report being satisfied with their decision to install panels—and an incredible 82.6% say they’re willing to recommend solar installations to others based on their experience. Incentivize satisfied customers to recommend your company to their network, expanding your reach organically.

Finding Your Next Customer

Ready to start building connections with your next solar customers? Discover the power of our solar dialer.

Convoso's cloud-based outbound contact center software is more than just a dialer—it's a comprehensive solution designed to streamline your solar sales process and empower your solar sales team at every stage of the buyer's journey.

Schedule a demo today and discover how Convoso can help you:

  • Reduce your cost per lead
  • Set more solar sales appointments
  • Shorten your sales cycle
  • Build stronger customer relationships
  • Grow your solar business sustainably
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