Solar-related Jobs in the U.S. have increased 167% over the last 10 years, and are continuing to rise – and that includes outbound solar sales! In the growing and competitive solar energy sector, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. In this blog post, we'll explore two critical aspects that can help your solar call center smash your sales goals: crafting effective cold calling scripts and monitoring key sales metrics.
Crafting solar cold calling scripts that convert
To grow your solar sales, you’ll need to equip your agents with scripts that make it easier for them to do what they do best: sell solar over the phone. Creating effective cold calling scripts is a key step in your solar call center's success. Plus, it’s important to make sure they have access to these scripts while they’re speaking with leads. It’ll help them feel more confident on the phone, and will help them avoid making mistakes that worsen the customer experience.
Who’s buying solar? Know your leads
Before picking up the phone, it's essential to understand the available and actionable information about the leads you're dialing. Tailor your scripts based on the local market and compliance regulations, which can vary significantly from state to state.
Buyers in the United States’ photovoltaic capital– California –will have different motivations and experience with solar than buyers in New York. One way to do this is by utilizing dynamic scripting, a technology that automatically adapts your scripts to different states and customer preferences. (This functionality is included with every Readymode license!)
Make a great first impression
Your chance to positively influence your prospect—or lose them completely—begins the moment the call starts, not at the end of your opening hook.
Greeting your customer warmly (and effectively!) is an essential piece of crafting winning scripts. First, it’s important to leverage your knowledge of the target audience outside of just the solar system you’re selling – how you’d greet someone from New York may be very different from how you would greet a person from California.
Next, rather than starting with an impersonal question, that’ll get your prospect to identify you as a salesperson and disconnect before your conversation starts – try personalizing your approach by using your lead's name. This helps create a personal connection and increases the likelihood of successfully continuing your call.
Match your script to your lead’s intent
Each of your leads is different – and your cold call script should be too! Tailoring your scripts to match the intent of your leads can help create more positive interactions.
When dealing with high-intent leads, it's crucial to remind prospects of their initial interest in solar, or if they’ve taken a previous action like signing up online for more information. Start the conversations by confirming that you’re speaking to them at a convenient time before moving on with your well-crafted script. Since this group has already expressed an interest in a solar solution, the goal of this conversation is to highlight the benefits of choosing you over a competitor.
On the other hand, when speaking with low-intent leads, you’ll need a different strategy. You won’t be able to rely on their existing interest in solar– they haven’t expressed any yet. Instead, your goal is to gauge their understanding of what solar solutions are for them, and if they’re willing or interested in proceeding. Open-ended questions about their knowledge or experience with solar panels, and highlighting potential savings create opportunities for positive follow-ups based on their responses. By encouraging them to share their thoughts, you can gradually guide the conversation toward a potential sale.
How to convert a solar lead on the phone
First, get their appointment booked
Scheduling an in-person evaluation is a critical step in the solar sales process. Create a script centered around scheduling an appointment before asking filtering questions about eligibility. Here’s some tips to help you create a winning outbound solar script:
- Act quickly: Time is important, so don't spend too long on extra details. When you've figured out if someone is interested or you've given your pitch to someone who's keen, move on to scheduling an appointment right away.
- Make it simple: Make sure your leads know it's easy to check if solar is right for their home. Tell them you have a solar specialist nearby, like on their street, in their neighborhood, or in their city, and ask if they want to schedule an appointment soon to save money.
- Offer choices: Like in any sales situation, it's good to give your customers options. But, to add some urgency, offer time slots that are really close. For example, if you can have a specialist visit them tomorrow, suggest a few times like 3:00 or 6:00. Ask them which one works best for them.
- Be ready to explain: Some prospects might want to know exactly how much they can save with solar. You might not be able to provide all the details, but you can include a polite response in your script. It can explain that an in-person appointment is necessary because every home and solar setup is different. This way, you're prepared for any questions or doubts.
Qualify leads after appointment confirmation
Once you’ve secured an appointment, confirm the lead's eligibility with a set of screening questions. Express that you respect their time and want to ensure that they’re the right candidate for solar with a few extra questions. This is a soft lead-in to incorporate screening questions like those below your solar cold calling scripts:
- Is your current credit score over ____?
- Is ____ still your current utility provider?
- Are you the only person on the title of your home?
- Would you say that your roof has lots of shade, a little, or none at all?
Counter common solar objections
Addressing objections is a crucial skill in solar sales. Common objections may include concerns about affordability, green credentials, time constraints, or doubts about solar's effectiveness. Prepare well-researched rebuttals to overcome these objections and keep the conversation moving in a positive direction. Here’s the top 4 objections that solar prospects voice:
- I can’t afford solar right now
- As with many products and services, cost is a common concern for solar buyers. There’s two ways to address this: you can either get to the bottom of their concerns or you can share a data point about solar costs. Depending on your offers, you can share information about affordable payment plans, state solar tax credits, and the amount that their neighbors save every month on their electricity costs.
- I’m not interested in solar
- This objection is much more common for lower-intent leads. They’re much more likely to have concerns about realizing the benefits of installing solar panels. For them, it’s best to lean on understanding pain points outside of green energy. Highlighting that solar can protect them from utility companies’ unexpected rate hikes, and increase their property value if they’re looking to sell their homes in the future.
- I don’t have time right now
- Just like you, customers have busy schedules, but there are effective ways to ensure you can still successfully convert them! While you’re on the call, provide alternative appointment times that might suit them better, or you use an omnichannel SMS solution to follow up with them at a later time to arrange a meeting in the future.
- I’m I don’t think it’ll look good OR I don’t think I get enough sun
- These two are by far the most common objections to solar sales. The most effective response you can use in this situation is to emphasize the importance of an in-person appointment: "Our expert technician can address this during a brief (and complimentary!) consultation. And of course, we won’t move forward if your home isn’t a good fit. As mentioned earlier, we'll be in your vicinity on Friday—can we schedule a time that suits you then?"
Dynamic scripting for solar cold calls
Using a predictive dialer with dynamic scripting built in can be a game changer for solar sales. This technology adapts your scripts to different states, regulations, and customer preferences automatically. It’ll also help you ensure that you’re meeting DNC and TCPA compliance standards, and help you sell the right solar solutions in the right way.
With Readymode’s dynamic scripting, you can seamlessly adjust your approach when dealing with leads from different regions, making your solar call center more efficient and effective.
Top 5 metrics to drive solar sales success
In addition to crafting effective scripts, monitoring key sales metrics is essential to track and optimize your outbound call center’s performance. Below are 5 of the most important metrics to keep track for successful solar sales:
1. Cost Per Lead (CPL)
The cost of your leads is likely one of your biggest expenses. Measuring the cost of acquiring leads helps you understand how much you’ll need to invest to set your team for growth. Whether you’re just starting out, or if you’re a home service pro – talking shop with others in your industry can help you create a benchmark for your CPL. Knowing your CPL allows you to benchmark your performance against industry standards and identify areas of inefficiency.
2. Speed to Lead
Responding quickly to leads is crucial. Especially knowing that 78% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first! Leveraging automation with the right dialing software can help you capture these leads. Readymode’s blended inbound and outbound system is able to route your calls to ensure that you never miss a lead.
3. Contact Rate
High-speed to lead sets the stage for improved contact rates. But that’s not the only thing that matters! The right predictive dialing tech is necessary to help you respond quickly to leads, but most importantly supports the management of your caller ID reputation.
Nearly every outbound sales team is navigating challenges related to call blocking and flagging. Without tools to ensure that your calls display clean caller IDs, there's a risk of being labeled as "Spam Likely," resulting in a decline in your contact rates. Given the prevalence of call flagging issues and the changing contact preferences of consumers, it's crucial to implement an omnichannel approach that incorporates SMS, email, and other communication channels to support your outbound calling. The more channels you use in harmony, the more opportunities you’ll have to boost your solar revenue.
4. Sit Rate
The "sit rate" metric is a vital indicator in the solar industry, representing the percentage of leads who ultimately “sit” in a sales appointment or site assessment. This metric measures the effectiveness of coordinating phone agents and field teams, reflecting the success of converting potential customers into concrete solar installations. This information is valuable because it reflects how well the coordination between phone agents and field teams is functioning. A low sit rate indicates a breakdown in the process, highlighting missed opportunities and inefficiencies in the sales funnel.
To improve sit rates, solar businesses can employ an omnichannel strategy to better prepare their clients, and their installers, for upcoming appointments. A predictive dialer with a CRM and scheduling built in can streamline the scheduling process and minimize appointment no-shows. This helps companies enhance their sit rates, resulting in more successful solar installations and increased revenue.
5. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Understanding the total cost of acquiring a new customer, from lead generation to sale, is crucial. Monitoring CPA helps you assess the efficiency of your entire solar sales operation. Plus, it also highlights areas for improvement, such as agent training, call ID management, and marketing-sales alignment.
Strong call center reporting and analytics tools can help you get the detailed insights you need to make it easier to improve your CPA. This can include identifying which of your DIDs may be flagged as Spam and hurting your contact rate, seeing who your weakest performers are, and gaining insight into the quality of your lead data.
Success in the solar sales industry hinges on crafting effective scripts and monitoring key metrics. Tailoring your scripts to match local regulations (especially in states like Maryland) and lead intent, along with embracing dynamic scripting technology, can set you apart in a competitive market. Additionally, tracking essential metrics like CPL, speed to lead, contact rate, sit rate, and CPA provides valuable insights to optimize your solar sales strategy. By focusing on both effective scripts and key metrics, you'll be well-equipped to thrive in the solar energy sector and maximize your sales success.
Readymode is a cloud based all-in-one predictive dialer software that intelligently connects sales and call center agents with more leads in less time, helping them make more connections, and maximize agent productivity - all at an affordable cost. See what makes us the industry leader, book your demo today!