How to Generate Solar Leads through Calling Software
You need solar leads to make a solar installation business successful. The term “solar lead” refers to the name and contact information of potential customers who have expressed an interest in solar panel system installation for their home or business.
Generate Leads through Marketing or by Purchasing Them
Your business can either generate these leads through marketing or purchase them from a lead generation company. Many businesses use both methods to earn more work and to grow their customer base more quickly.
When developing a marketing plan, your business needs more than one strategy for advertising, conducting public relations, and conducting direct marketing. Generating both inbound and outbound leads serves your long-term and short-term needs.
Inbound leads come to you via your social media, website, blog, business cards, distributing flyers, etc. Outbound leads come to you by conducting direct marketing in the form of door-knocking, also called door-to-door sales, and via telemarketing, email, and direct mail marketing. You can also purchase solar leads from a lead-generation company.
In this article, we’ll look at the telemarketing option and how to start telemarketing your business. This includes an introduction to calling software and legal aspects to consider.
Should You Generate Your Own Solar Leads or Buy Them?
Before we deep dive into telemarketing software, let’s consider buying from the pros. Many firms already exist with telemarketing operations. They specialize in contacting homeowners in every area of the US to determine their interest in a variety of services, including solar installations. Some companies generate many types of leads, while others only do so for solar leads.
Essentially, if you do it yourself, you’ll need to set up your own marketing department. If you contract with an existing company, you need to choose one that only sells compliant leads. Some companies sell the same lead to multiple solar installers, which increases the available lead volume. Check the veracity of each company and the honesty of its services.
A solar lead costs you money, whether you buy it from a lead-generation company or generate it yourself. If you purchase it, the cost you pay varies from firm to firm. If you generate it yourself, you’ll need to calculate the cost of generating it. As we’ll explore, you’ll need marketing software, a script, and time set aside at work to make calls, or you will need to pay an employee to make the calls. US law confines businesses to specific hours for making telemarketing calls and to specific techniques to use for telemarketing, including those that control the use of progressive dialing.
Pricing Per Solar Lead
Determine the cost of both options. Choose the one that costs you less. If generating one viable lead yourself costs you $200 in overhead but you can purchase one for $50, then go with the cheaper solution.
There is no single price for solar leads. Depending on where in the US your company is located, the cost differs. Lead prices have risen in US solar markets over the last decade as a result of increased competition in the installer market.
For a typical residential installation of 5.6 kW, the installer spends an average of $1,400 per lead. That figure represents an average of the cost in all 50 US states, with a range that varies from about $500 in Florida or Texas to nearly $2,000 in Massachusetts or California for a viable lead. A viable or a hot lead will turn into a sale.
Cold Calling to Generate Solar Leads
You don’t simply open the phone book and make phone calls when cold calling to generate solar leads. Even if you don’t purchase solar leads, you’ll need calling software to help you generate sales visits. Proper use of the software makes cold calling leads more efficient.
What Is Cold-Calling Software?
The term “cold-calling software,” also called “dialer” and “sales engagement platform,” refers to a computer application platform that facilitates calling potential customers. This automated software system helps you develop your telemarketing program because it automates outgoing calls, integrates with your customer relationship management (CRM), and provides reporting modules that let you generate call statistics reports on demand.
The best cold-calling software apps include modules for writing sales scripts and business email templates. Choose an app that integrates with your CRM so you can do the following:
- Automate calls and sync call data between platforms
- Prioritize sales calls in your CRM
- Access the company’s database of contacts, including contact information and contact history
- Automatically log sales calls in the CRM
- Create customer sales lead profiles
- Enable customer journey tracking
The software app doesn’t speak; it simply accesses the database of phone numbers and dials them for your employees. This makes it simpler for them since it saves them the dialing time and negates their need to track manually who they called to turn a morning of cold calling into an afternoon of high-quality solar leads.
A software like LiveAgent VoIP Call Center distinguishes between cold and follow-up calls, whereas Five9 Predictive Dialer sends an automated voicemail if the call is not answered by a human voice.
Training Employees on Telemarketing
You’ll need to train your employees on telemarketing. Using online training videos and courses from accepted institutions of learning saves you from needing to create your own training course. Consider a course or a set of courses from Udemy. Start with Telemarketing Fundamentals, a course that has no prerequisites. Follow the initial course with Telephone Sales Training Certification, which covers sales techniques, the recognition of buying signals, and opening and closing a sales call. The certification course comes with an accompanying e-book.
Helper Apps for Cold-Calling Software
Cold calling software doesn’t function by itself. You’ll also need a voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephone number for each, which also requires a telephone jack for each number or line. The software options don’t link to landlines or cell phones. The cost of this technology varies according to location. This enables your employees to use the cold-calling software.
Cold-calling software supports integration with your CRM, introducing agent call capabilities to the CRM dashboard. While it is useful for outbound calls, it can help streamline inbound calls as well. The cold-calling software also helps you sort out all types of calls.
Writing Your Script
To land solar leads on your own, you’ll need a strong, attention-grabbing, educational script that sells solar. If you don’t write well or lack experience writing sales scripts, contract with a marketing or advertising agency to have an expert write it for you.
A professional sales copywriter will author a script with an appropriately strong opening and closing. In the middle of the sales pitch, the script will include potential questions that the customer might ask and scripted answers for them. This makes telemarketing easier for newbies since they only need to learn to deliver the lines in an effective voice with proper inflection to turn cold calls into high-quality leads and sales visits.
Following US Law while Generating Solar Leads
While generating your solar leads using telemarketing, you’ll need to learn US law related to direct marketing via any telephonic method. Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991 to restrict how companies make telemarketing calls, including the following:
- Use of automatic telephone dialing systems
- Use of artificial voice messages (robocalls)
- Use of prerecorded voice messages
The following year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules to facilitate enforcement of the TCPA.
Congress and the FCC have since added to this law to strengthen the controls on direct marketing using telephony. US law includes the 2003 creation of a federal do-not-call list that enables a consumer to add their telephone number to a government-maintained list that the government then provides to marketers. This list, maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), includes the names and phone numbers of consumers who exercised their legal right to tell marketing companies to never contact them.
Later laws extended the controls to any telephony method; hence, they now apply to technology invented since 1991, such as VoIP, and will apply automatically to any technology developed in the future. One such update occurred in 2012.
Before you try to generate leads, review the law. Your company will need to institute procedures for building and maintaining your company. The FCC update in 2012 requires telemarketers to do the following:
- Obtain written consent to telemarket to a consumer before robocalling them
- Eradicate the “established business relationship” exception to the explicit telemarketing consent requirement
- Mandate each telemarketer to provide an automated, interactive “opt-out” mechanism that lets them end a robocall immediately and opt the consumer out of future telemarketing messages
Other related US laws restrict the use of auto-dialers and how they transmit caller ID information. These restrictions reduce dead-air calls and hang-up calls.
For specific information and rules, read the TCPA website and the Commission’s Telemarketing Rules (CFR Title 47, Part 64, subpart L: “Restrictions on Telemarketing, Telephone Solicitation, and Facsimile Advertising”).
Contact Clean Energy Experts
By now, you probably realize what an investment doing your own telemarketing requires. You’ll need to devote a large chunk of time and money if your company decides to generate its own solar leads. Using a high-quality cold-calling app provides a reliable way to make your outreach more efficient.
You’ll probably find that when you do the math, purchasing leads from Clean Energy Experts costs less. This business-to-business lead generation company specializes in solar-lead generation. Clean Energy Experts operates a high-quality lead-generation company that uses phone verification for each lead. It charges no upfront fees or contracts, so you can affordably obtain solar leads to start your business.