Some problems are good to have. Such is the case with selling solar once Memorial Day rolls around — homeowners emerge from a long winter and start to think about making the switch to solar … just as your sales team is finalizing their summer vacation plans.
Sales and Marketing Month sponsor
Get Aurora AI & Get Back to Summer
Let Aurora AI do the heavy lifting for you so you can get out of the office and into the pool. See how Aurora can speed up your sales & design with one-click design magic. Learn more here
We all know sales teams have to produce proposals quickly to get a jump on competitors, especially during this busy time of year. At the same time, as sales reps work on their feet to close new deals, inaccuracies in proposals can lead to change orders, additional project costs, bad customer experiences, and even cancellations. So with the clock ticking — and the beach calling — modern solar companies are left looking for ways to streamline their sales and design processes to quickly create accurate proposals and eliminate the worry about potential problems with the project’s design, logistics, or performance.
Artificial intelligence (AI) — helps save time and money, and can often solve unforeseen problems. Simply put, AI derives insights from large datasets in a way that traditional computing can’t, so you can automate processes that used to be manual and error-prone.
With a little help from AI, it is possible to create fast and accurate proposals, build customer trust, and streamline the sales and design process. Here’s a few ways AI is helping salespeople meet demand and still get time by the pool.
Create an instant site design
Instead of waiting for a designer back at the office to generate a site design, what if you could create an accurate home model in less than a minute during a solar consultation? With tools like Aurora Solar’s Sales Mode AI, your team can work in real-time with homeowners during the design process, and make their unique property come to life with up-to-date imagery using just a few simple clicks.
Tools like this allow salespeople to create full 3D models at the tap of a button, in less than a minute, on a tablet in a home or on the computer during a virtual consultation. AI accelerates the modeling process without sacrificing attention to detail.
To capture those fine details that can make or break a sale, it’s important to use a solution that offers comprehensive Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) coverage to instantly detect an accurate size, height, and pitch for customers’ roof faces and mark any vents or obstructions that may prohibit panel placement. By taking the guesswork out of the design process, solar companies can save time, money, and energy on property visits and site assessments.
Close solar deals, fast
Without having to worry about design inaccuracies, companies can rely on AI-powered solar design and sales tools to move customer conversations forward with confidence. Since every adjustment to the proposal is automatically reflected in system performance and project costs, the right AI-powered solution virtually eliminates errors, delivering accurate contracts to your customers.
While most solar companies will include some sort of irradiance analysis in their proposal, AI-based software makes it easy for reps to create and customize precise shading reports in seconds. When you run a shading analysis with solar software that uses AI, it should be able to calculate the irradiance for your customer’s home based on the LIDAR of the surrounding buildings and trees for every hour, day, and month of the year — you’re not just guessing the shading of a roof based on static data.
So instead of taking time to manually qualify customer rooftops, AI-powered software that constantly updates with new data points can quickly generate bankable shading reports for small and large homes alike. With accurate documents created in one simple click, exact irradiance and performance can be calculated for any PV design and instantly updated with every design change implemented throughout the sales process.
Having the power to sell customers on the value of solar with accurate production estimates, then apply for financing directly within the app, and close customers on the spot with automatic contract generation and e-signatures creates a simple, frictionless customer experience and helps close deals faster than ever.
Rise above the competition
The old adage, “make hay while the sun shines,” rings true when it comes to empowering your solar sales team this time of year. During the summer rush, it’s important that your team is outfitted with the most up-to-date solar design and sales tools so you can make as much “hay” as possible. This means using software that has the latest AI technology so your reps can quickly generate accurate site designs, and close on the spot — complete with a signed contract. On the lead gen side, it means having qualified leads come to you, from your own website.
Even with all its benefits, some companies might be a little hesitant to adopt everything AI has to offer, thinking technology can make your company less personal. In reality, the opposite is true. AI lets you automate the slower, more manual processes so you can create designs and proposals tailored to each specific customer faster, and empowers your sales team to make changes on the spot as they discover more about each individual.
This makes your company’s services more compelling and personal, and leaves those who don’t adopt the best that AI has to offer working through that summer vacation and down a deal.
Author: Stephen Gerken with Aurora Solar
Have you checked out our YouTube page?
We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.
Our longer running side project is The Pitch -- in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don't have to. We've discusses everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.
We also post our Project of the Year announcements there! Interviews with this year's winners will be up starting the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe today to stay on top of all this extra stuff.