Bloomberg predicts sustained solar power growth in the next three decades. It is understandable since solar energy is one of the most cost-effective solutions for combating climate change and lowering energy costs for residential and commercial consumers.
A good customized proposal is essential to engage prospective customers, and eventually help them decide on their final solution. The framework of such a proposal must include the following considerations:
- Why must the proposal be paid attention to, read, or evaluated?
- How can the customer trust the provider and their proposed solution?
- What is in it of specific value/benefit to the customer?
Here are four tips to guide solar businesses to successful solar proposals. These useful suggestions reduce customer acquisition costs and sales lead times by eliminating complexities that hinder customer decisions to transition to solar.
Tip 1: Begin with a persuasive impact to draw urgent attention
An impactful and persuasive proposal pitch makes a great beginning. Home or business buyers are generally aware of the benefits of solar energy. However, they will not transition to solar merely for technical benefits, environmental causes, or brand value. For them to consider a change to solar requires an impactful reason that will draw attention and curiosity.
Here are compelling examples they cannot ignore without the fear of missing out.
- Cite verifiable trends. Example: As per International Energy Agency (IEA), Solar PV is on course to account for 60% of global renewable power growth in 2022. (Avoid making statements that are inaccurate or generic)
- Use past customer quotes. Example: “We switched to solar by XXX over 3 years ago and have already saved $40K per year on our electric bills”, CFO of Company X
Tip 2: Showcase a polished brand with solid expertise
Further to gaining their attention, it is now vital to establish trustworthiness as a successful solar provider upon whom they can rely upon. Showcasing a polished brand image and credible expertise that can gain trust is crucial.
- Team expertise : number of projects deployed
- Customer testimonials : pictures / quotes help
- Press coverage & Industry awards
- Local Certification & Associations
- Social media engagement and reviews
Also it’s best avoid getting customers to fill out forms or provide irrelevant details.
Tip 3: Provide accurate technical and commercial information customized for the client
The final – and the most important – step is to provide technical and commercial solution details that are personalized, easy to comprehend, and facilitate a quicker convergence towards a decision. The following content is crucial to have a good solar sales proposal
(a) Technical Solution details
- A solution proposal that contains a graphic custom solar layout design that uses the satellite image of their actual property. It helps visualize how the solution fits and meets specific and personalized needs. System details of energy ratings, solar panel, inverter, and/or storage brands are other specifics help build confidence.
Avoid generic data sheets or solution designs not relevant to customers.
- The core purpose of any customer changing to solar is savings on their energy bills. It works wonders when the proposal provides a detailed energy savings analysis with concrete, tangible numbers. In addition, a cash flow savings analysis with operating and capital expenses showing a realistic break-even point based on energy consumption patterns and costs can be a decisive deal closer.
Avoid making inaccurate representations or hiding important facts.
(b) Methodology and implementation schedule
A descriptive walk-through detailing the methodology and schedule is required so that customers understand the project implementation. The following activities with timelines should be included:
- Permit approvals timelines
- Testing and commissioning
- Handover and maintenance
Avoid leaving this discussion for later.
(c) Pricing and financial terms
Commercial terms and conditions, pricing, payment schedule, taxes, and levies provide the details of the investment that the customer is required to make. The proposal can also include any third party financing options (e.g. loan / lease) and payment options feasible.
Avoid making false commitments or promises you cannot deliver
Tip 4: Differentiator – use a good Solar Proposal Software
The solar business is competitive. Customers will often consider multiple bids and differentiators are of value to score over the competition. We have seen solar companies add solid differentiation through extended service warranty commitments, performance guarantees etc.
But winning solar bids have one differentiator: they are generated using solar proposal proven (independent) solar proposal software. Pre-designed templates used on such software tools ensure standardized, error-free proposals that are consistent across teams. Also makes change orders or revisions quick to approve, improving the chances to close
Clients gain confidence when they see a sales person using an independent software platform to work with them – this adds to transparency and the assurance of outcomes. And finally the sales person does not worry about the proposal generation or accuracy itself, rather can focus on the sale and closing the customer.
Remember, the solar sale is expensive and a long-term commitment so the sales person is key to every close. A good proposal makes the Sales person shine. And the best solar proposal software makes the end-to-end process agile and professional for everyone.
Written by: The Communications Team