Sales Strategy

How best to begin commercial solar sales?

Joanne Jubert Solar Marketing & Sales Specialist

January 18th, 2016

Background in marketing & advertising now in commercial solar sales.
New to hands on, person to person sales.
How best begin: generate leads, cold calls/in person, schedule, coordinate,
best CRM?

Rob G

January 18th, 2016

that's a big subject.  Read "Strategic Selling" by Miller and Heiman" (sp?).  

Justin AP CEO at EcoCosm, Inc.

January 20th, 2016

Many good suggestions here.  Also look into www.sellingenergy.com.  The instructor Mark Jewell is top notch and often teaches a week long course funded by NY State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).  The courses specifically focus on selling commercial energy upgrades (solar and energy efficiency).  There is also a class coming up in San Diego.  Our team took the training last year and it lead to a significant increase in revenue.

A. Andrew Chyne

January 19th, 2016

Hi Joanne Jubert,
Nothing can substitute a one to one interaction with the company's representative. Cold call won't be a good sign. The best thing is call the company's rep for an appointment. Getting in touch with key decision makers is the most important thing for a B2B sales. Always make sure that you are in touch with the Head of Marketing or the Director of Marketing. 
Once you are done with your one-on-one meeting, you can start keeping a follow up via email or send some weekly emails about your product updates. 

Good Luck. 

Joanne Jubert Solar Marketing & Sales Specialist

January 18th, 2016

Thank you Rob that's a start.

Joanne Jubert Solar Marketing & Sales Specialist

January 18th, 2016

Great advise Adam... "court those who already market to your best customers." The challenge certainly will be to find out who those "already marketing" are.

Max Rosenthal Strategic Sales Professional Harnessing Tactical Fortitude To Capture New Business

January 18th, 2016

Hey Joanne - I made the transition to commercial solar sales a little over two years ago now. The comments above will be helpful but I think what you are asking is not only for a 'sales' process but most importantly a 'solar sales' process? If so feel free to email me directly to further discuss and be happy to talk on the phone as well. maxrosenthal@gmail.com

Adam Pressman

January 18th, 2016

You won't go wrong with "Book yourself solid".   Getting specific to solar commercial sales the biggest reason companies did it was subsidies for doing so.  Therefore, if your locality offers them, become an expert in how your prospects can leverage them.  If not, perhaps partnering with commercial electric, architecture, facilities management or property management firms will help.  Strategically it's always a good move to first court those who already market to your best customers and find a way to increase the value proposition with what you offer and what they offer. 

Adam Pressman

January 18th, 2016

On the subject of CRM I was on a similar search to find something better suited than Outlook which I use now.   I learned two things:  
1. Only 2 CRMs work with LinkedIn as of May of this year: Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. 
2. LinkedIn's research and connection management make it a must.  

I didn't like the overhead of either product and it's clear that both are written for sales managers not salespeople.  I stuck with Outlook.  
I have to share the love I have for Contactually and my colleague Zvi Band as his "CRM" is fantastic...for 200 contacts.   For managing your most important 200 connections, there's nothing better.  It just doesn't scale well above that.  Hope this helps.  

Jessica Magoch Sales doesn't have to be a dirty word. Get more clients without being icky, sleazy, or just plain annoying.

January 18th, 2016

Hi Joanne, 
We have a prospecting master class coming out this fall, it takes students through the 13 Prospecting Strategies to test and master to they never have to worry about where the next client is coming from...but that's too far for you to wait, so.. 
Since this is a B2B sale, who is the person at the company that cares most about this problem? Who is most affected by it? That is person you want to target (a simple introductory email after a LinkedIn invitation works well). What is the value prop? Is it saving money? Being environmentally conscious? Meeting certain regulations? Depending on what you're selling and how you're selling it, it will lead you to different departments. 
Specific to your product, there are consulting agencies that exclusively help companies with their social and environmental impact, so they would be great partners for you. Google is your friend for any of this kind of research!
As far as a CRM, we use Solve360. It's very affordable for you as a solopreneur and is easily customized without a developer.  Your crm basically needs to keep track of your contacts and conversations, remind you to follow up, hold documents or links to relevant documents, and generate reports of data that is important to you (emails: responses: discovery call: appointment: etc) so you can plan for the future. 
Going from marketing to sales are different skill sets, so I would highly recommend getting some formal sales training under your belt, as I'm sure you had some marketing and advertising training in the past. 
Good luck on your new venture!  

Joanne Jubert Solar Marketing & Sales Specialist

January 18th, 2016

Thank you Farzad. I would like to book myself solid! As for CRM I'm a solo rep not on a large team. Most CRM seem being working for sales teams