Lead generation is the backbone of any well-run solar sales team. In general, the quality and quantity of your leads will have the largest impact on your sales team’s ability to scale your revenue.
Although most solar sales teams understand the importance of lead generation, they don’t know how to do it or what specific best practices are.
In this post, we’ll cover the different ways you can generate leads for solar sales along with improving your lead quality.
- What is a lead for solar sales?
- Different methods for generating leads for solar sales:
What is a lead for solar sales?
Before diving into the intricacies of lead generation, it’s important to clearly define what a lead is in order to generate one.
Many solar sales teams have difficulty making sales because they are not clearly defining what is a lead.
In general, a lead is a prospect who has indicated an interest in a company’s product or service and is ready to be contacted.
Different marketing and sales teams have different criteria for what a lead is. An example of a lead can be someone who completed an online survey, someone who signed up for a free trial or someone who downloaded content from your website.
For solar sales, here are a few examples of what a lead can look like:
- A homeowner who expresses interest in switching to solar energy by visiting your company’s website and filling out a contact form.
- A business owner who attends a local industry event and expresses interest in learning more about the benefits of solar energy for their company.
- A referral from a satisfied customer who recommends your solar energy services to their friends or colleagues.
Different methods for generating leads for solar sales:
1. Content marketing
Content marketing is one of the best ways to generate long-term, recurring leads for your solar sales team.
Content marketing is an umbrella term and includes basically any form of content that is created to attract prospects to your website, blog or social media profiles. It can include anything from blog posts, YouTube videos, TikToks, LinkedIn posts, podcasts and more. Some use Hootsuite alternatives to post their content the different social media portals.
A great example of a company that does this well is Solar Cleaning Mech on TikTok. This company is focused on cleaning solar panels and they put short videos showing their process, the before & after, and the benefits of their services.
By doing this, they have accumulated over 26,000 followers on TikTok. This helps drive repeat leads to their business and this will only compound as their audience grows.
2. Cold outbound
Content marketing is great for creating long-term leads, but if you need leads today, there’s no better option than doing cold outbound.
Cold outbound encompasses any form of cold outreach such as cold calling, cold emailing, direct mail and SMS marketing. This is basically you reaching out to a stranger and providing value while informing them of your solar services.
Cold outbound is a great place to start for most solar sales teams because they already have the ability and skill to cold-call prospects.
The key to succeeding with cold outbound is using personalization and having a good offer for your prospect. The average person receives a bunch of spam calls every day so you need a way to stand out.
Personalizing your pitch allows you to build a better connection with the person you are speaking to and it will show that you care about their needs. Furthermore, having an offer or incentive for your prospects can increase your chance of success.
The lower the barrier is for your offer in terms of effort from the customer, the higher your chances will be to sell your solar products and services.
Quick ways to increase the value of your cold outbound offer:
- Giving the first month free
- Adding a money-back guarantee
- Waiving installation costs.
3. Attend local events and trade shows
Solar sales is generally a geography-specific business, so it’s important to take advantage of local events and trade shows. If the goal is to generate sales in a local city or county, local events and trade shows can be the most effective way to attract prospects.
By attending these events and trade shows, your sales team can showcase the benefits of solar energy and make an impact on potential prospects. Additionally, these trade shows give you access to higher-paying customers like large business owners and government officials.
Attending these events is not enough, you need to be intentional in order to generate leads and maximize your ROI for attending the event.
Practical ways to generate solar leads during events:
- Creating promotional materials and distributing them at the event – e.g. special certificates
- Creating a booth that stands out from the competition
- Proactively engaging and networking with attendees
- Offer demonstrations or product samples to event attendees to give them a hands-on experience with your solar energy products and services.
- Use social media to generate solar leads with a live-tweet or post updates from the event, highlighting your participation and engaging with potential customers online.
4. Create a referral program
A referral program can be the highest leverage method for your sales team to generate leads. By incentivizing your current customers to refer their friends and family to your business, you can quickly grow a reliable source of leads that will compound as your customer base grows. These types of leads are generally higher quality because they are generated by word of mouth.
If your customer base goes and tells their friends and family about your great solar services, they are far more likely to buy in comparison to cold outreach from your sales team.
You can be very creative with solar sales and offer different incentive structures for your referral program. Some common approaches are offering discounts, cash rewards or free items.
Additionally, you can even set up a referral system to track customer referrals and ensure those customers get the agreed-upon incentives. In general, the more your customers can see they can be rewarded for bringing you business, the more successful your referral marketing will be.
A good example of a company that has a great solar referral marketing program is Sungevity.
They pay for their referrals very handsomely by offering up between $500-2,000 for the first three referrals. This cash is given out to people who refer after a person makes a purchase and installs.
It’s a very lucrative lead generation strategy because referrals are only paid out once a sale has been made. This is a win-win strategy for both the company and the person who refers customers and this can be scaled very quickly and profitably.
5. Paid advertising
Many solar sales teams rely on paid advertising for their lead generation because it’s a tried and true way to get qualified leads. Paid advertising can be used to target potential customers in the right location and with the right interests.
This method is particularly effective when combined with targeted landing pages and lead forms that are optimized for conversions. The key to successful paid advertising is to carefully track and analyze the results in order to continuously refine and improve the campaigns.
This can involve testing different ad copy, targeting options, and landing pages to see what works best for your business. Ultimately, the goal is to find the most cost-effective way to generate qualified leads that are likely to result in closed deals.
You can start using paid advertising by focusing on one paid media channel and seeing how effective it is to generate leads. You would need to know how to generate solar leads on Facebook. Other popular paid advertising channels include Google Ads, YouTube Ads and LinkedIn Ads.
If you haven’t done paid advertising before to generate leads, it’s probably best to hire a PPC agency or a similar kind of paid advertising agency to see how it’s done.
By consulting with an agency or working with them for a period of time, you’ll get immediate access to best practices, how to perform campaigns, which channels to use, what’s the best investment, etc.
The better you get at paid advertising, the higher your ROI will be for each dollar spent to generate leads. Once you’ve done this reliably for one paid media channel, you can start experimenting with a new one.
Successful solar sales teams understand the importance of lead generation in driving their revenue growth. In this post, we explored different ways to generate leads, including leveraging content marketing, cold outbound, and local events and trade shows.
It’s crucial for solar sales teams to not only generate leads, but also to focus on improving lead quality through personalized pitches, incentives, and customer reviews and referrals.
By implementing these best practices, solar sales teams can effectively attract and convert high-quality leads, ultimately leading to increased sales and business growth.
To learn more about how you can improve your solar sales team’s pitches, check out our blog post on How to make your solar sales pitch perfect.