More and more businesses are choosing to invest in solar energy—it’s cheap, energy efficient, and comes with some pretty impressive tax incentives. Plus, it’s cheaper to install solar today than ever before. Despite solar energy’s rising popularity, however, there’s no guarantee your business will get a fair cut of projects. With over 10,000 solar companies in the U.S., competition is fierce, and companies are spending big bucks to impress potential clients.
No matter how much money you throw at a sales proposal, you won’t achieve the success you’re looking for without lead generation. With a structured, well-thought-out sales strategy, you can get your name in front of more potential clients and increase your chances of winning a six-figure project. If you can show a lead that you’re better than the competition, you can increase your chances even further.
One of the best (and easiest) ways to set your business apart is sales collateral. With these four types of collateral, you can give your B2B appointment setting strategy an edge and position your solar company to win more deals.
Brochures have come a long way—the brochures of today are nothing like the flimsy pieces of paper overloaded with text that you may remember from the past. Today, your company brochure can be a physical asset printed on glossy cardstock, a digital file attached to an email, or a link embedded in your website. No matter how you choose to distribute your brochure, it can have a major impact on your leads.
It’s not always easy to explain your company mission, values, and offerings during a five-minute phone call. Solar energy isn’t exactly a simple concept, and it’s hard to boil down terms like “photovoltaic” into easily understandable language. Plus, unless you’re reading off a pre-written script, you probably won’t get your point across in the best way every time you speak to a client. Company brochures give your leads valuable information that’s always consistent and impactful.
Though company brochures have a place throughout the sales process, they’re most impactful when you first get to know a lead. The average solar deal is nearly $400,000, and potential customers aren’t even going to consider forking over that kind of money without getting to know your company first. Sending them your company brochure allows them to learn about your business on their own time with no pressure or expectations to respond.
Think about it this way: If a salesperson called you and went on a lengthy and generic spiel about their company history, would you pay attention? Probably not. However, if that same salesperson sent you a personalized email with a link to a brochure, your curiosity would probably compel you to open it. If the headline and design caught your eye, you would take a few minutes to read the entire thing. In the first scenario, the salesperson has the upper hand; in the second, you feel like you’re in charge of your own buying journey.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive investment that, if used strategically, can yield substantial results, don’t overlook a well-crafted company brochure.
Whereas a company brochure is a broad overview of your company history, product offerings, and values, a sell sheet is a targeted explanation of a specific product or service. For example, you may want a sell sheet on solar panel design for potential customers new to the solar energy game, as well as an inspection sell sheet for leads with existing solar infrastructure. Instead of giving prospects an elevator pitch describing your services, you can hand over a single sheet filled with all the information they may need.
Sell sheets don’t have to be a one-sided sales pitch for your services; they can also address customer pain points and common questions. If leads frequently lament that solar panels are too expensive, you can include an FAQ addressing pricing and financing options. Rather than trying to convince them that your solar panels are the most affordable in town, show them a sell sheet with hard data.
If you have different buyer personas that you frequently pitch your products to, you can create a custom sell sheet for every persona. One of your buyer personas may be a facilities manager at a large company who already knows they want solar panels—they’re just waiting to find the best product at the best price. In that case, your sell sheet could highlight your typical pricing structure and emphasize that your panels are of better quality than your competitors.
Another potential buyer may be a facilities manager at a large company who knows nothing about solar power, has never considered installing solar panels, and scoffs at the price of new panel installation. For this buyer, you may want to produce a piece of content that explains the benefits of renewable energy and goes into detail about how reduced energy bills offset the upfront investment required to install solar panels.
Sell sheet possibilities are endless, and they’re a great way to nudge potential customers closer to the end of the pipeline.
You might view business deals as solely monetary transactions—one company pays another company for a service—but sales are more emotional than you may think. For every potential customer who just wants to save a few bucks on their energy bills, there’s another experiencing extreme frustration because their last provider cut corners during panel installation. The second buyer might not care that your inspection services are more expensive than another solar company down the road. If they feel like they can trust you, they might pay a little extra for peace of mind.
There’s no better way to show a potential customer they can trust you than a well-crafted case study. In a few short paragraphs, you can show a buyer how you solved a problem for a company like them. Buyers can put themselves in your past customer’s shoes and envision themselves as future customers, which is exactly what your sales reps want to achieve.
You can write a case study for just about any scenario to match different types of potential customers. One could highlight a company that wanted to reduce its carbon footprint and showcase how your panel installation reduced its energy usage by a certain percentage. Another might tell the story of a company that maximized its solar energy collection after you completed a shade analysis and recommended changes.
No matter which stories you choose to highlight, your case studies will add credibility to your sales team’s claims and help you build trust with potential clients.
Need a better way to get your foot in the door with potential solar clients? Partner with Abstrakt for custom-crafted sales collateral.
It’s not always easy to get your point across with words. Sometimes, it’s better to show a potential customer what you’re talking about instead of trying to turn that image into words. If you want a customer to know that your panels fit seamlessly with their existing architecture, why not just show them a video detailing a past project?
Promotional videos can fill many roles in a sales program. They can replace a corporate brochure during an introductory email or provide the final push a potential client needs to sign that six-figure service contract. Depending on your needs, you can create one or more of the following marketing videos:
- “Why us?” video: Show a lead why they should choose you over the dozens of other solar providers around with a professionally produced “Why us?” video. You can showcase your state-of-the-art facility, clips from past projects, and testimonials from happy customers to create a compelling case for why your work is second to none.
- Case study: Add some context to your typical case study by showcasing clips from every stage of the project’s lifecycle. Your leads will be able to see the quality of your work firsthand.
- Product highlight: If you stock different types of solar panels—such as solar canopies, rooftop panels, and ground installations—for specific projects, videos can clearly highlight the differences between products.
- Company overview: Sometimes, it’s easier to get a potential customer to click the “play” button than it is to convince them to read a company brochure. If you want to make sure a potential client learns about your company, send them a corporate video outlining your history, culture, and success.
- Animated video: Want to turn a challenging concept into an easily digestible video? Don’t overlook the power of animation. You can show potential customers how your solar panels turn sunlight into technology with a short animated video.
If you’ve tried everything to get a lead’s attention but nothing’s working, put the traditional sales collateral aside and blow them away with a marketing video. Your deal closers will thank you.
In a solar lead generation program, more is better. You never want to look back after losing a $400,000 deal and think, “I could have won that lead’s business if I had just done a little more.” Sometimes, “more” is as simple as adding a few types of sales collateral into your sales program. With a company brochure, a few sell sheets, some case studies, and a promotional video or two, you can take your B2B lead generation program to the next level.
If making marketing collateral isn’t exactly in your wheelhouse, Abstrakt can help. We offer one piece of custom marketing collateral for our solar lead generation partners every month because we know how much of a difference collateral can make. Whether you need a simple data sheet or a Hollywood-caliber product highlight video, we can take your vision and bring it to life.
Ready to grow your solar business? Get in touch with us today and learn more about our endless marketing collateral options.