How solar-focused call centers can drive lead generation and conversions
Growing demand for clean energy, solar tax credits, the promise of lower utility bills, and declining hardware costs have contributed to a 10-year boom in the solar industry that’s exploded in a sunburst of growth at nearly 50% annually.
There’s a lot of potential business out there! Which means there’s also a lot of competition. And to be competitive, companies in the solar residential market need to corner the best leads.
Lead generation is the make or break for solar sales
Whether your company buys leads or generates them in-house, the primary objective for solar telemarketing agents is to find potential buyers who meet your established criteria [for example, amount of sun exposure, roof suitability, and credit worthiness, etc.].
Who’s on first
Equipment and labor costs are relatively similar across the board for solar companies, which means the real competition comes down to customer acquisition.
When 46% of Americans polled say they’re considering solar panels for their home, you know you’ve got a hungry market. The question is, who’s going to feed it.
The answer is, whoever gets there first. The second answer is whoever gets the most qualified leads on the phone and converts them.
The most common ways for solar companies to capture prospective panel buyers
- Generating leads in-house with outbound telemarketing agents who make cold calls and set appointments for their sales reps.
- Purchasing pre-qualified solar leads, from lead sellers. These may be in the form of live transfers.
- Purchasing lead lists for in-house telemarketers to qualify [which can have variable results in terms of data quality, depending on the cost of the lead lists]
- [Lead sellers, which run call center telemarketing operations, are in the solar market as well to find, qualify, and sell solar prospect leads.]
To Be COMPETITIVE in Solar, Contact More and Convert Faster
It doesn’t matter if your call center is cold calling to generate leads, or calling leads from a qualified list, you have to move through a massive quantity of data, as quickly as you can, and you have to be efficient about it. While there’s been a growing demand for solar panels, there’s ironically also a limited supply of data due to the challenges faced by businesses in the solar market.
To be a player in the game, you need to drive efficiencies for your leads, your agents, and your management team. That’s where your solar dialer comes in.
The success of your telemarketing efforts—of your entire solar business—depends on the power, capabilities, and flexibility of your call center software. The automated power of a predictive dialer will dramatically improve your campaign productivity and effectiveness.
To increase your company’s bite out of the solar market, here are 5 ways to convert leads faster:
Driving campaign effectiveness with lead management, dial-level scheduling, and recycle/redial logic
Automating a scheduled cadence of communication with multiple channels [email, text, ringless voicemail drops, in addition to calling]
Employing powerful lead followup automation tools
Managing list, lead, and agent performance with insightful real time analytics
Streamlining processes to save time and costs
Tracking the costs of your leads
Don’t focus solely on your cost per lead. You need to look at the entire picture. Your real focus should be on understanding your true CPA, or cost per acquisition.
The trick is to be able to get a quick read on how lists (or lead vendors) are performing. If you can get real-time insight into the CPA being delivered by a list or list vendor, then you can make smart, metric-driven decisions. If it’s sorely underperforming, you can choose to pull that list and stop wasting more agent time on it. Or if you’re getting great results, then you’ll be in a position to purchase more leads from the same list/list vendor.
To do this, you’ll need access to real-time analytics. When you know your true CPA and implement smart dialing strategies, your solar call center will improve lead efficiency. This will translate to increased ROI.
Quality leads save you money
Yes, you’ll pay more for quality data. Especially in today’s highly regulated world where compliant data is more expensive.
But if you buy higher quality [more expensive] leads for your solar company’s outbound sales, you can make back the extra cost by converting more leads.
The best dialer on the planet won’t help you if your agents are calling from a bad list. Your staffing costs just go up, morale goes down, and the savings on the cheaper lists you bought are void, AND, you don’t have the revenue expected from your list purchase.
Likewise, the best list on the planet won’t help if the script your agents are using isn’t effective. Make sure you have sales scripts that get results and your software gives you the automation of dynamic scripting. Outbound call centers convert more leads when their agents know the right thing to say at the right time.
Generating leads on the web with inbound marketing
With the right persistent efforts, over time solar companies can naturally develop a flow of interested solar prospects reaching out to them directly. The lead just knocked on your door.
Rather than only dialing out, fingers crossed you’ll find leads that maybe might be even a little bit interested in PV on their roof, once you develop your inbound flow, your success rate and profitability will dramatically improve.
As solar consultant Erik Curren says, “the day may come when you can start to cut back on buying lists and eventually generate all your solar leads in-house. With better leads, your conversion rate will rise and you’ll sell more solar.”
The point is, residential solar companies need to take other actions to improve lead generation by leveraging digital marketing that builds an online presence and uses ad campaigns to attract prospective solar panel customers. You need to enhance the SEO of your website, blog posts, and social media to elevate your search engine ranking for solar energy.