Solar energy is the latest green trend in the power industry. It is fast eclipsing other sources of energy in terms of adoption and installation. In fact, a solar photovoltaic system is installed every four minutes. In 2015, the global investment in solar energy technologies reached a staggering 179.3 billion U.S. dollars, where China, Europe, and the United States were the main investors. On the other hand, the wind power sector amassed an investment of just 110 billion U.S. dollars while geothermal energy received only 2 billion U.S. dollars in investments, in the same year.
The increasing demand and environmental consciousness have led to a phenomenal growth of the solar installation industry. Consequently, solar companies face intense competition to remain relevant in the saturated market. Moreover, since the technology is relatively new, and still in its initial development stages, the construction and installation costs are widely varying.
The best players in the solar industry are vying to grab the maximum market share by the intuitive implementation of their solar marketing strategies, while also providing highest efficiencies in a nominal cost. Here is how solar providers can improve their sales and efficiency:
- Solar marketing techniques:
Solar providers face immense challenges when it comes to selling home solar installations. The sales team should be equipped with in-depth knowledge about the entire process and tools to convey their sales pitch effectively.
Following are some effective strategies to grow your solar marketing efforts:
Research the customer base
Before you dive into the marketing aspect of your business, you should understand the inherent concerns of your consumer base. Conduct a comprehensive research about the beliefs and thoughts of your local market regarding solar energy.
Most often, the masses are hindered from adopting solar energy because they consider it an exorbitant investment with limited advantages. On the other hand, some people are more eco-friendly and willing to contribute towards a greener and cleaner environment by reducing their carbon footprints.
Therefore, the first step is to survey your target market, accumulate relevant information, and design your campaign accordingly.
Target the pain points
The next step is to be proactive and address the pain points of your locality. Educate your customers by highlighting the economic aspects of going solar, identifying the environmental benefits of this technology and focusing on the liberation from the fluctuating fuel prices.
Your sales team needs to be equipped with in-depth information about how a prospective client can benefit from adopting solar power. They need to have compelling statistics and concrete numbers instead of vague content.
The education-based strategy generates awareness and, therefore, is far more influencing.
Know your industry
Once you have intelligently convinced your customers about switching to solar energy, the next step is to sell your firm as the most proficient choice amongst the competition. This is where it can get tricky and difficult.
As mentioned earlier, the solar industry is a fiercely competitive niche including large enterprises and small startups. To stand out from the crowd, your sales team needs to know everything about the industry such as the latest trends, current events, technical developments, and so on. Also, the team should also be aware of the competition including their practices, offers, strengths, and weaknesses. This allows you to portray a better picture of who is the best choice for the consumer.
Referral marketing is a powerful tool in every industry. It is a highly effective way to generate nurtured leads that require little effort to convert into customers.
According to a survey, 82% of the Americans seek recommendations from their acquaintances before making a purchase.
Moreover, customer referrals cut down your customer acquisition cost significantly, because if you provide exemplary services, you are bound to promote positive word-of-mouth.
Referral marketing is especially beneficial to the solar providers. A solar installation is a big step for numerous households as it challenges the norm and most people are not accustomed to it. Therefore, when the recommendation comes from a family member or a friend, instead of a salesperson, it is received with more enthusiasm and open-mindedness.
- Improving energy efficiency:
In addition to recruiting more clients, the solar providers with the most efficient designs are often more successful. Majority of the panels have an energy efficiency rating ranging from 15% to 17%, but some providers have ratings as high as 22.5%.
Various factors contribute towards an efficient solar installation:
Solar cell designs
To improve the efficiency of the solar panels, manufacturers must ensure that panels absorb the maximum amount of sunlight. The color of all the panels should be consistent; a slightly off colored panel indicates a compromised quality, resulting in reduced efficiency.
Solar panels are lined with busbars. These silver metal wires direct the generated electricity from the cells into your houses. However, they cause a small percentage of the sunlight to be reflected thereby wasting energy. Manufacturers are striving to tackle this issue by producing thinner busbars. However, the most efficient cell designs include wires that are placed at the back of the panels, and the entire front surface has no reflective elements.
Orientation and placement
Solar cells should be placed in areas that receive the maximum sunlight. Installation workers take into consideration the position and elevation of your home before deciding the orientation of the panels. Experienced installers are able to mount the system in a way that receives the optimal sunlight, during the longest part of the day.
Solar operations and maintenance require minimal efforts to yield the best results. Inform your customersofn how best to achieve the maximum efficiency with regular upkeep. In most cases, hosing down the panels after every few months is enough to wash away any accumulated dirt, debris, or bird droppings. If not removed, these contaminations can compromise the absorbing abilities of the cells by blocking or clouding the surface.
The key to maintaining an affluent reputation in a saturated market is to provide the customers with education about the benefits of solar panels systems, as opposed to mindlessly plugging your solar cells as the best. Improve the efficiency of your panels with refined designs that acquire the highest energy ratings to gain a notable edge over your competition.