Highlights from Boosting solar sales with water-tight funnels powered by automation

How to fix the leaks in your funnel and get more from the leads you already have
Author : 
Katarina Brown
June 25, 2024

We were chatting with the president of a Texas-based residential solar company about his funnel when he shared this stat with us:  Out of 100 leads, only 5 make it to contract.  From those 5 contracts, 1 customer will inevitably end up cancelling.  That means his sales team is working with a 4% conversion rate — not what you want in an economy where leads are expensive and hard to come by.

We know this story isn’t unique.  Most solar companies have a sales funnel that is at least a little leakier than they would like.  Especially in this down market, installers are wondering how they can stop buying so many new leads and instead scale sales by making their funnel more effective.

Most solar installers are only working with a 4% conversion rate from the top to the bottom of their funnel.

That’s why we teamed up with Austin Rosenbaum, CEO of Demand IQ, to share a step-by-step guide showing how installers can use automation to patch up the leaks in their funnel and get better results from the leads they have.  

Below you’ll find our top 5 tips for using automation to boost solar sales. You’ll also find the full recording of the event, full of even more tips for installers who want to grow their project volumes.

1. A/B test where you’re putting your lead gen form.   

If you’re having trouble reaching leads who only give you their email, move the form fill behind the estimate page.  This essentially makes it gated content — and everybody knows that gated content delivers lower conversion rates but higher quality leads. If you have the opposite problem, and you’d like to open up your funnel to generate more leads that you can nurture, put the lead capture in front of the proposal.  These leads will have lower intent, but with the right content marketing strategy, you can better nurture these leads to close.

2. Stop emailing and start texting. 

Most solar installers (and marketing experts) agree that email is generally not effective anymore.  Instead, prospects are now used to SMS marketing.  If you want to cut through the clutter of an inbox, go straight to text.

3. Use UTM parameters for solar lead source detail. 

If you’re only analyzing cost of customer acquisition at the channel level, you’re missing out on the truly transformational data.  Use UTM parameters to help you check which exact ads, blogs, and one-pagers are driving conversions.  Once you get to this level of resolution on your marketing performance, you can optimize specific channels to be more performant because you know what specific content ad copy or blog content generates the most results.

4. Time is of the essence, so use automation for company intros. 

Most leads request quotes from multiple installers, and if you want to give your business every advantage in winning the deal, you need to be the first company to respond.  That’s why you should set up simple automated emails or text messages that go out when a lead responses.  That way, even when your sales teams are busy, or a customer contacts you during off hours, your reputation as the most responsive, customer-obssessed company is secure.

5. Don’t use AI for customer-facing work. 

Customer interactions are so sensitive, and if they get frustrated, they’re just going to drop. Instead of using something like an AI chatbot to try and answer customer questions, we recommend leveraging AI to make your team more productive. For example, at Bodhi we’re prototyping customer sentiment analysis on customer text strings, which will allow an installer to prioritize customers who need extra attention at scale.

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