Velocify, a sales acceleration platform, today announced findings from its newest secret shopper study “The Evolution of Solar Sales,” which analyzed solar installers’ lead response tactics in comparison to established best practices for maximum sales effectiveness in other industries.
The results showed that a significant percentage of residential solar installation companies are letting opportunities slip through the cracks by failing to respond to all qualified leads by phone or email. In addition, many solar companies waited days or weeks to respond to interested buyers, putting them at a severe disadvantage compared to the companies that were able to respond within minutes.
“The rapid rise in demand for solar power has come with growing pains for some solar installers, many of whom have become overwhelmed by the number of new leads they must manage or complacent in serving the same level of customers while hungrier new competitors take a larger slice of the market,” said Velocify CEO and President Nick Hedges. “In an industry going through major transformation, it becomes especially important for companies to optimize marketing and sales processes to not only boost sales, but also to solidify their reputation for customer service.”
Overall, the study found significant room for improvement, both in solar companies’ speed-to-call times and overall response rates.
Though past research has shown that companies that respond to buyers within several hours dramatically increase their chances of completing a sale, a majority of the solar installers in the study took more than a day to respond to qualified leads. Even more surprising was the significant percentage of companies that did not respond to interested buyers at all, as well as the majority of companies that failed to follow up after their first contact attempt.
Key findings of the study include:
- Solar installers failed to respond by phone or email to 19 percent of online requests for quotes
- Only 46 percent of companies responded by both phone and email to reach prospective buyers
- Nearly 40 percent of prospective buyers waited weeks to receive a call or never received one, while email response rates were even lower
- The vast majority of solar installers – 77 percent – failed to meet industry best practices for phone persistence, making just four or fewer calls
- An even greater percentage of companies fell short of email response best practices, with 95 percent of interested buyers receiving just three or fewer outreach emails
Velocify conducted the solar secret shopper study by filling out multiple online lead forms for 30 residential solar installation companies. Researchers then tracked how quickly these companies responded by phone and email, and how many response attempts they made in the following 22 days. By comparing performance in these four specific KPIs, Velocify was able to evaluate each company’s effectiveness in responding to online leads, a proxy for sales performance
The full report is available for download on Velocify’s website at: http://pages.velocify.com/evolution-of-solar-sales.html?ls=PR&cmp=701i00000018axs.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.