3 easy ways to qualify a solar customer in 10 minutes

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Unfortunately, solar doesn’t work for everyone. 

When trying to operate an efficient sales cycle, solar companies can’t afford to waste too much time and energy on the wrong customers. Since only about 2% of cold contacts can be expected to eventually turn into sales, every second counts when pitching and qualifying potential solar buyers. 

To cut down on lost time, future change orders, truck rolls, and even cancellations, solar companies must make their customer qualification process as fast and accurate as possible. 

Using technology to qualify leads quickly

With the right technology and resources, it’s now possible to qualify a solar customer in 10 minutes or less, almost anywhere in the world. 

In a recent webinar, Aurora Solar Senior Product Marketing Manager Katherine Burk Cheema explained that making small, subtle changes to your existing lead acquisition process can help streamline sales and avoid time wasted on unqualified contacts. 

To make the process as painless as possible for everyone involved, here are three simple steps for nearly instant solar customer qualification. 

1. Conduct a virtual solar assessment

The first step in every solar assessment is determining whether a property and its owner are fit for a PV system. While some experts can determine a home’s solar potential from its doorstep, most companies can’t afford the time and fuel it takes to drive and inspect every property that enters their sales cycle.   

Solar companies can save time and energy by allowing sales reps to fill their schedules with virtual solar assessments. Without having to travel to a customer’s home, solar providers can ask all of their most critical qualification questions online or over the phone to determine whether or not an installation is feasible.  

While every company has its own set of parameters to qualify a customer, virtual solar assessments can help you gather critical information, like:

  • The amount of sunlight the property receives
  • The customer’s current electricity consumption and expenses 
  • And whether or not they plan to move within the next few years 
A quick, accurate initial site assessment — without having to visit the site — is a key to success.

And since clear communication is one of the keys to a great customer experience, initial assessments can help potential buyers understand exactly why or why not solar is a good option for their property. Once a customer is qualified, companies can then afford to allocate more time toward an on-site assessment and next steps within the sales and installation processes. 

2. Quickly create an accurate site design 

With the customer’s precious attention on the line, a quick, customized site design is a great way to keep a homeowner engaged during a solar presentation. And while working efficiently to qualify the property, accurate projections of a site’s solar energy potential are critical to guarantee its value.

Maintaining careful attention to detail and using modern solar design techniques are the best way to guarantee accuracy during the PV planning process. Today, solar installers do not have to physically measure a customer’s roof size and pitch to qualify the property for solar. Instead, Aurora Solar’s LIDAR and irradiance features can instantly determine the amount of sunlight a property receives, making it easy to calculate its solar potential. 

Keeping every variable of the project in mind, accurate site designs must also account for any dormers or roof obstructions that could prevent panel placement, as well as surrounding trees or buildings that could partially shade a solar energy system. 

To qualify customers as quickly as possible, Sales Mode AI allows solar companies to generate accurate roof designs in 30 seconds or less. Packed with intelligent features, Sales Mode AI uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to continuously improve its speed and accuracy. 

Sales Mode makes it easy to accurately design a system — on the spot. (Click the gif to learn more.)

3. Educate and talk to your customer 

Most importantly, to fully understand whether solar will work for a customer, focus on honest education and open communication. With every qualifying question, you can build customer trust by explaining in detail what each of the answers tells you about their qualification status. 

Whether it’s how their credit score affects financing options, or how their electricity habits affect the size of their PV system, an open discussion can keep you and potential customers on the same page.   

This is important because fully understanding the lead’s perspective can help you avoid lost sales. So, never assume anything during a presentation, and always aim to listen and fully explain every step of the process while addressing any questions that arrive. 

Sales Mode gives you the ability to present a wealth of information to potential customers.

If a customer is qualified, tell them exactly why you believe this to determine whether you’ve overlooked any variables. And if a customer isn’t qualified, let them know exactly why not. By treating potential customers with honesty and respect, both qualified and unqualified homeowners will be more likely to recommend your services to others looking to go solar.  

Final thoughts

With the right technology, lead processes, and a keen focus on unique customer variables, solar companies can qualify homeowners in ten minutes or less. To streamline your sales processes, solar companies should consider conducting virtual assessments, finding ways to create instant site designs, and always allowing for open communication. 

And while nearly every solar company prefers to visit a job site at least once before construction begins, properly vetting interested homeowners saves a significant amount of time, energy, and resources from being spent on unqualified customers. 

For more information, watch the full customer qualification webinar and schedule a personalized demo to get all your specific questions answered. 

Blog Writer

Brian Church

Brian Church is a freelance writer focused on renewable energy technologies.